Can Chalk Paint Be Used On Metal? (It Depends!)

Chalk paint is excellent, isn’t it?

Whether you are looking to up-cycle a beloved piece of furniture or add a splash of color to a beige-themed room, chalk paint is your white knight on his way to save the day! 

Chalk paint is an excellent option for budding DIY-ers and crafters alike, thanks to its versatility.

Chalk paint can be used on various surfaces, offering a cheaper alternative to purchasing a new bed or chair; simply paint it with chalk paint! 

But what materials can it be used on? Many of us often ask the question, can chalk paint be used on metal?

A popular material used for beds, table legs, or a stylish unit, many of us now have metal in our homes and are after personalizing it. 

So, can chalk paint be used on metal? In some circumstances yet HOWEVER...

Keep reading to find out when chalk paint can be used on metal, when it can't, and some tips on using it! 

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What is chalk paint?

Before we get into it, let’s take a recap for any paint virgins in the room. Chalk paint is a type of color that can be used on a range of materials.

It is a water-based paint that, thanks to its consistency, drips less than regular paint for a cleaner painting experience, it is a water-based paint. 

Chalk paint offers a chalky appearance once dried and is popular for those looking to create aged and distressed appearances.

It tends to be odor-free and non-toxic, too, so you can use chalk paint worry free!

Chalk paint has been trademarked by Annie Sloan, although countless brands offer paint with a similar consistency.

It is widely available and ranges in price, so there is sure to be chalk paint for every budget! So can you use chalk paint on metal? Let’s find out! 

A women painting metal with chalk paint

Can chalk paint be used on metal?

So, can chalk paint be used on metal? You will be pleased to know that you can indeed use chalk paint on metal!

Thanks to its versatility, you can use chalk paint on practically any material.

Chalk paint can be used on metal inside or outdoors too. Unlike other paints, you usually don’t need to use a primer or prep the area when using chalk paint.

This saves a lot of time and potentially money on other products. Usually, you only need one coat of chalk paint, too, depending on the color you are painting over. 

Chalk paint can be distressed once it has dried to your metal surface, with scouring pads or sponges.

Sanding is another excellent way to distress the chalk, but you will need to be mindful of the dust and wear protective eyewear to ensure your safety. 

Distressing chalk paint on metal surfaces can be a fun activity to do, but you will need to be sure to seal the paint with wax or a spray.

The downside to excellent chalk paint is, even on metal surfaces, it can flake off.  

This flaking occurs mostly when distressing the paint or if it is left unsealed. Sealing the paint does add time to your task but will ensure your newly styled metal surface’s longevity.  

Factors to consider

When it comes to using chalk paint on metal surfaces, a few factors need to be considered. 

Although you do not need a primer underneath the paint, we recommend some form of treatment to the area first.

If the surface is uneven, it is good to give the metal a light sanding to even the surface area.

Sanding can also help remove any unwanted paint or treatment to the area that might impact the paint's ability to stick to the metal. 

Once sanding, using a cloth to ensure the area is dry and free from any sandpaper particles is also a good idea.

The cleaner the space is, the easier your job of painting it will be! 

After using the paint, as we mentioned before, you can use a sponge or sandpaper to create the distressed style on the metal furniture.

Once this is done, it is best to seal the chalk paint to ensure the distressed style is not compromised. 

If you do not seal the paint after use, chalk paint can flake easily. Your distressed, vintage look will soon be ruined as the paint falls off.

Don’t let this put you off using chalk paint, though! Sealers for chalk paints are widely available and reasonably easy to use. 

There are waxes and sealant sprays available to help you achieve this. You will need to take care when working with sprays and ensure that the area is well ventilated, as some have a powerful smell. 

Sealing wax is often a better option, although be careful where you apply it, as it can leave some residual marks on other surfaces, especially fabrics.

It is best to ensure your painting and later sealing is done in a clear area with anything of worth removed, so you do not damage it. 

Generally speaking, you will only need one coat of wax or sealing spray to ensure your chalk paint’s longevity.

Some users will seal the paint, distress it over the wax, and then seal the paint again to ensure it is locked in place.

This can be a successful method, although messier, as you are removing paint and wax from the surface.

Distressing your chalk paint on metal might be a learning experience and one of trial and error to find the best method for you! 

Final word 

As you can see, chalk paint can indeed be used on metal surfaces! It is important to remember that sanding the area beforehand can help the color and sealing the paint after drying. 

Sealing the chalk paint is perhaps the most vital step to ensure a flake-free finish that will stand the test of time.

After all, who wants to spend an afternoon painting their furniture to see its results fading in a few weeks?

Chalk paint is excellent for creating a distressed, vintage-style to your furniture or walls. Why not distress your metal bed or chair today and have a unique piece of furniture in your home?