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10 Best Coat Options for Chalk Painted Furniture In 2024

By: Susie
Updated On: August 4, 2023

Diving into the world of DIY home improvement can be both exhilarating and daunting. As I explore the seemingly endless array of techniques to rejuvenate my tired furniture, I’ve been especially intrigued by the transformative power of chalk paint.

However, it’s quickly become evident that a top coat is crucial to achieve a truly polished look that will withstand the test of time.

With so many products on the market, finding the best coat options for chalk painted furniture can prove challenging.

That’s where this blog post steps in. After countless hours of research and experimenting with scores of different products, I’ve gleaned some valuable insights worth sharing about which finishes provide optimal protection while maintaining the unique aesthetic chalk paint offers.

Let me walk you through my experience and shed light on this often-overlooked aspect of enhancing your painted furniture’s longevity and brilliance.

What Is Chalk Painted Furniture?

What Is Chalk Painted Furniture?

Chalk paint, as the name suggests, is a type of paint that primarily contains chalk, giving the furniture a unique ultra-matte finish.

Sometimes compared to the rustic farmhouse style, chalk-painted furniture is often celebrated for its ability to transform overlooked or outdated items into pieces brimming with charming character.

One distinct merit of chalk paint lies in its fabulous coverage abilities. Its consistency eliminates pre-sanding or priming, saving time and effort while revamping your furniture.

Add to that, the power of this paint to adhere tenaciously to diverse surface types makes it remarkably versatile — from wood and metal to ceramics and fabric.

A vital aspect is that while the finish imparted by chalk paint is visibly appealing, leaving it unsealed can lead to easy wear and tear due to its porous nature. This brings us back to those all-important top coat options that will provide additional resilience while preserving your furniture’s charm.

But before I rave further about my favorite top coats for chalk-painted furniture, let’s first discuss why choosing a suitable one is paramount.

Why Are Coat Options Important?

Laying down the perfect top coat is just as crucial as choosing the right paint. It adds an extra layer of defense against daily wear and tear and significantly enhances your furniture’s finished look. Here are several reasons underscoring the importance of choosing a practical top coat:

  • Enhanced Durability: A top coat acts as a protective armor for your chalk-painted furniture. It safeguards against scratches, stains, and water damage — from spilled drinks or ring marks from cups.
  • Furniture Longevity: With a suitable top coat, your masterpieces can bear the brunt of everyday use without losing their luster, preserving their charm for years to come.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Top coats can add texture and depth to your piece. From silky smooth satin finishes to glistening glosses or even antiqued effects, you can achieve a wide array of finishes based on your chosen sealant.
  • Easier Maintenance: Cleaning unprotected chalk paint is often challenging as it can quickly absorb stains, water, and oils. An effective topcoat makes cleanup exponentially simpler.

Selecting the right top coat requires insight into what each type offers — its strengths and potential shortcomings in situational contexts — so you can choose what complements your work best.

Top 10 Coat Options for Chalk Painted Furniture

Best Coat Options for Chalk Painted Furniture

When consulting on topcoats, one size doesn’t fit all scenarios. Here’s a comprehensive list of my handpicked and highly recommended top coats with exceptional range, quality, and aesthetic versatility.

1. Polyvine Wax Finish Varnish

Polyvine Wax Finish Varnish

This is not your ordinary top coat. A sophisticated blend of varnish and wax, the Polyvine Wax Finish Varnish is an extraordinary choice if durability is at the top of your priority list.

Noteworthy Features:

  • Durability: With wax and varnish properties combined, this product offers high durability to withstand everyday wear.
  • Satin or Dead Flat finish options: Catering to different aesthetic preferences, it can provide a gently lustrous sheen or a striking ultra-matte finish.
  • Non-Yellowing: Unlike some alternatives, it will not yellow with time, keeping your piece looking clean and new.

2. Howard Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish and Conditioner

Now moving on to an exquisite blend of beeswax, carnauba wax, and orange oil^- the Howard Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish and Conditioner.

Ideal for anyone seeking a nourishing treatment that adds depth to the wood grain while developing a soft sheen in chalk-painted furniture.

Noteworthy Features:

  • Unique formulation: Combining beeswax and carnauba wax provides a dense layer of protection while adding a sheen.
  • Moisturizing essence: Orange oil penetrates deep into the furniture’s underlying wood layer— providing necessary moisture and highlighting the wood grain.
  • Versatility: Its capable application on all wood surfaces adds to its appeal for those who like simplicity and reliability.

3. DecorArt Americana Decor Creme Wax

Specially devised for chalk-finished furniture, the non-sticky nature of the DecorArt Americana Decor Creme Wax breaks away from traditional choices in favor of something uniquely suited to chalk paint projects.

Noteworthy Features:

  • Easy Application: With its creamy consistency minus any stickiness, applying this creme wax is phenomenally simple.
  • Multiple Colors choices: Available in clear or tinted variations (dark or golden brown), it allows you more freedom in deciding how authentically vintage you want your piece to look.
  • Enhanced highlighting: Particularly with tinted variants, when used over clear creme wax for layered effects— this product can masterfully accentuate grooves or distressed parts, contributing towards that coveted antique feel. With these outstanding choices available at your disposal, rest assured that whichever top coat option you pick —your chalk-painted furniture will gleam as an unforgettable masterpiece replete with visual allure—tough as nails!

4. Minwax Paste Finishing Wax

Now, let’s delve into the widely-acclaimed and trusted name in the world of wood finishes – Minwax. Their Paste Finishing Wax provides a high-quality wax finish suitable for chalk-painted furniture.

Noteworthy Features:

  • Accessible to Work with: Designed for ease of application, this can be easily managed by beginner DIY hobbyists and experts alike.
  • Enhances Natural Beauty: Available in either a Natural or Special Dark variant, it enhances the depth and beauty of chalk paint while providing necessary protection to your prized furniture piece.
  • Drying Time: It dries quickly and buffs to a high sheen, offering a distinctively smooth, hand-rubbed final look.

5. General Finishes Flat Out Flat Topcoat

A product that promises “flat out” the best final touch is undoubtedly something worth considering. The General Finishes Flat Out Flat Topcoat truly stands true to its name, rendering a super flat sheen that beautifully complements the rustic appeal of chalk-painted furniture.

Noteworthy Features:

  • Absence of Glossiness: Unlike traditional topcoats with glossy finishes, this topcoat offers a very low sheen that accentuates chalk paints’ matte luster.
  • High Durability: Despite its lack of shine, it does not compromise on wear resistance, marking high on the durability scale and ensuring protection from everyday wear-tear.
  • User-Friendly: Easy to apply using either a brush or roller —and works particularly well when sprayed.

6. Polycrylic

Switching gears from waxes and varnishes, we enter into the world of water-based protective finishes —the versatile Polycrylic —a viable choice due to its easy application while proving challenging against abuse over time.

Noteworthy Features:

  • Water-based Option: As water-based (rather than oil-based), it offers faster drying times and won’t add an amber hue over time as some oil-based products can.
  • Highly Durable: It forms a protective barrier atop your painted surfaces that is resistant to damage from water stains or scratches.
  • Available in Different Finishes: Polycrylic offers several finish options— gloss, semi-gloss, satin, matte —empowering you to pick one that suits your aesthetic best.

7. Glossy Polyurethane Top Coat

For those drawn towards shimmery-glam finish enlivening their space – behold the radiant charm of the Glossy Polyurethane Top Coat. Offering robust protection and radiance—this top coat undoubtedly merits consideration for high-traffic pieces needing a full-out glam shield with extra gloss.

Noteworthy Features:

  • Gorgeous Shine: Trust this top coat if you want your furniture to reflect light beautifully while keeping its elegance intact.
  • Durability Matched by Flexibility: Glossy polyurethane is not just challenging—it also flexes with seasonal changes (like variations in humidity), which helps reduce the risk of cracks caused due to expansion or contraction.
  • Ease of Application: With brush-on versions being the most popular, it’s also available as both spray and wipe-on formats providing sure-shot convenience depending upon project constraints.

Armed with these insights into such a magnificent product range at your disposal—one thing stands clear—no matter which road you choose for coating your labor of love, only dazzling beauty lies ahead.

8. Satin Finish Top Coat

Reimagining your furniture with chalk paint and doubling its appeal using a top coat harnesses the potential to yield awe-inspiring creations.

A classic Satin Finish Top Coat is an example—imparting a subdued lustrous finish that falls perfectly between matte and glossy counterparts.

Noteworthy Features:

  • Subtle Sheen: Satin finish top coats bestow your piece with a soft sheen that exudes elegance without being overly glossy.
  • Durability: These are typically tougher than their wax alternatives, providing an efficient guard against potential physical damage.
  • Versatility: Ideal for light and dark-colored pieces, its impartial sheen enhances the vibrancy of various hues without distorting their original tones.
  • Ease of Maintenance: The hard-wearing nature of satin finishes makes cleaning routines hassle-free; easily wiped clean with a damp cloth.

Certainly, opting for a satin finish top coat can serve as your go-to solution if you’re looking for something versatile, durable, and chic without leaning toward extremes.

9. Vintage Antiquing Glaze

If your style leans more towards an authentically vintage or rustic aesthetic, Vintage Antiquing Glaze could answer your top coat needs.

Perfect over chalk paint, it enhances shadows and contours while leaving an antiquated richness that’s much coveted.

Noteworthy Features:

  • Depth and Dimension: The dark tint of antiquing glaze accentuates details in your piece, adding depth and complexity.
  • Aging Effect: It offers a time-worn effect lending authenticity to vintage designs or rustically themed furniture.
  • Compatibility: While working exceptionally well over darker colors for more pronounced effects, it can also impart subtle old-world charm when applied over lighter hue profiles.

Armed with a vintage antiquing glaze, your DIY projects can evoke an alluring sense of nostalgia that never goes out of style.

10. Distressed White Wax

Finally on my list is another treat for vintage enthusiasts–Distressed White Wax. As the name suggests, this product adds subtle white accents to enhance texture and elevate chalk-painted furniture from simple to stunningly timeless.

Noteworthy Features:

  • Charming Aesthetic: It adds whitewashed highlights to transform simple articles into rustically lovely pieces.
  • Accentuation: While effectively adding depth to intricate carvings or relief work, its utility emphasizes spots artfully distressed during prepping steps.
  • Versatility: This wax works beautifully on light-tone surfaces and darker hues—where white accents tend to pop even more visually._

Indeed, with distressed white wax, anyone can inject a characterful quirk into their refurbished items transmitting significantly authentic antiqued effects.

Ultimately, choosing which product is ideal for you requires consideration of both functional requirements and the aesthetic you aspire to achieve; rest assured knowing there’s a perfect top coat out there waiting just for you, no matter what vision you nurture.

FAQs About Coat Options for Chalk Painted Furniture

Why is a top coat necessary on chalk-painted furniture?

A top coat provides additional protection for your furniture, enhancing its durability, allowing easier maintenance, and adding appeal to the final finish.

Can I use any top coat on my chalk-painted furniture?

Absolutely! However, the type of top coat you use can alter your piece’s final appearance and durability. Choose one that aligns with your aesthetic preference and requires toughness.

How do I choose the right top coat for my furniture?

This depends on desired characteristics like sheen (e.g., satin or gloss), strength (e.g., varnish or wax), and special effects (like antiquing or whitewashing). Also, consider application ease.

Is it necessary to apply a top coat if I have already used chalk paint?

While not mandatory, it’s highly recommended. Top coats protect chalk paint’s porous nature from stains, wear and tear while adding aesthetic depth or desired effects to your piece.

How does a satin finish top coat differ from a glossy finish?

Satin finish imparts a soft sheen falling in between matte and gloss finishes. Compared to glossy finishes that reflect more light—and thus appear brighter—a satin finish offers subtlety with elegance.


Chalk painting is truly an incredible technique to breathe life back into your furniture. The nuanced charm it brings can turn any piece from dull and outdated to chic and alluring.

However, choosing the right top coat is the cherry on top that seals the deal—both figuratively and literally.

A choice that is sometimes overlooked but, in reality, holds the power to elevate your DIY project from just good to absolutely remarkable.

Whether you’re a fan of subtle sophistication offered by satin finishes, are seeking hardcore durability via varnishes, wish to create time-worn illusions with an antiquing glaze, or dream of a snowy accentuated detail through distressed white wax — I can’t stress enough the role a fitting top coat plays in fulfilling your furniture transformation vision!

Indeed, unlocking this final layer of wonder extends your work’s lifespan —helping it fend off everyday wear and tear with grace— and expands your creative options exponentially! So take this guide, find what suits you best, and open new doors for chalk paint finishes dazzling enough to turn heads.

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