Chalk paint is a brilliant paint for adding a touch of ‘rustic charm’ to certain surfaces. However, quite often, chalk paint doesn’t quite come in the color that people want. As a result, many people are left wondering whether they can add some acrylic paint to it. Let’s take a look!
So, can you mix chalk paint with acrylic paint? Yes! You can definitely mix them, since chalk paint is essentially acrylic paint with a bit of chalk added to it. You do have to take the proper steps and measurements though.
In this article, we go over everything you need to know for mixing acrylic paint and chalk paint together. Let’s get to it!
Mixing Chalk Paint with Acrylic Paint
Mixing some acrylic paint into your chalk paint should be pretty easy and simple. You will want to make sure you start off with a small amount of acrylic paint, and mix it in as your pour.
This means that you should be adding some acrylic paint to the mix, however, you should only be adding it in small quantities at a time. If you add too much acrylic paint, then you are effectively ‘diluting’ the chalk. This means that the effect that you probably wanted when you bought the chalk paint isn’t going to be quite as pronounced.
The key is to try and add as little extra acrylic paint as possible. You want to add just enough to change the color. If you add too much, then you could probably restore that chalky look like a glossy paint, but it isn’t going to be ideal.
My favorite chalk paint brand is Country Chic. They’re eco-friendly and have tons of colors to choose from! I have painted a few furniture pieces with this chalk paint, and they came out amazing.
Can You Mix Chalk Paint With Regular Paint?
This depends on what is meant by ‘regular paint’. If it is just a standard water-based paint, then there should be no issues mixing the two of them up. The same rules as mixing acrylic paint and chalk paint will apply.
This means that you only want to be adding a little bit of extra paint into the chalk paint. You shouldn’t go overboard. It should be just enough to give you the color that you want.
This Arteza Acrylic Paint Set, is my top recommended pick for acrylic paints. Their colors are super vibrant, and they’re even of artists grade!
When it comes to mixing chalk paint with anything other than water based paints, it’s not really recommended. It can be a bit different when it comes to oil paints. Water-based paints and oil-based paints do not mix well at all, even though they may look like it, but they really don’t.
Over the years, the pigments from the water-based paint and the oil-based paints will start to separate. This causes a ‘cracked’ look to the paint which looks horrendous.
If you really want to combine oil-based paints and water-based paints, then you can’t mix them together. Instead, you will want to paint the oil-based paint onto a surface first. You must then wait for this to dry, and then you can use the chalk paint over the top of it.
This Arteza Oil Paint Set, is my go-to for oils. Just like their acrylics, they have tons of colors to choose from, and they’re very affordable.
You can apply the oil paint first, wait for it to dry, and then give it a chalky finish, but you can’t actually mix them while still wet. Since the two paints will never actually mix, you do not have to worry about the paint eventually cracking.
Although, of course, this does mean that you are going to have a limited amount of control over the coloring, which is probably the main reason why you wanted to mix the two paints in the first place.
What Is the Difference Between Chalk Paint and Regular Acrylic Paint?
Both chalk paints and acrylic paints are water-based paints. In fact, depending on the brand of chalk paint that you purchase, it may actually be an acrylic paint with a couple of extra ingredients added (namely chalk) to give it that ‘chalky’ look.
When the paints are dry, the look of the two is completely different. Chalk paint, for instance, is only available in a matte finish. It has that chalky, thinner look to it. This is how you get that more rustic charm when you are painting things. Acrylic paint is available in both a matte and a gloss finish.
When you are painting with chalk paint, then you will very quickly notice that you can’t really see the brush strokes in the paint. But with acrylic paint, you can see these brush strokes. This is because chalk paint tends to level itself a little bit better than acrylic. Some people like this effect, while others are not fans.
However, do bear in mind that the purpose of chalk paint is to paint furniture and other items. It isn’t really used for artwork. In the areas where you would be painting, you tend to want the smoothest and the cleanest possible finish.
Another great chalk paint specifically for furniture is this FolkArt Chalk Paint. I have used this paint in the past for a shelf, and it came out with a perfect rustic look.
One of the major benefits of chalk paint is that it is essentially self-priming. Due to the addition of chalk (or a similar substance, depending on the brand), the chalk paint can easily stick to any surface without there being a primer coat. Just paint it wherever you want. With acrylic paint, however, you will almost certainly need to have a primer coat before you start to paint properly.
If you are buying proper chalk paint, then you will need to seal the paint with wax. This is what helps to give it that final finish. Acrylic paint can be left unsealed, although most people will end up sealing it with a clear acrylic paint to ensure that it is properly protected!
For a wax sealer, I highly recommend this FolkArt Chalk Paint Sealer. It works amazingly!
Wax paint is the finishing touch you will want your rustic project to have. It seals and protects it, and also gives it that shiny but still rustic look.
Can You Seal Chalk Paint With an Acrylic Sealer?
You absolutely can seal chalk paint with an acrylic sealer. However, do bear in mind that it can cause a couple of issues with the coloring of the chalk paint over time.
The key to sealing chalkboard paint with acrylic sealer is to go very light on the seal. This means starting with a single layer, and then maybe adding an extra layer or two after that one has dried. In order to ensure a light coating, then it is suggested that you use a spray acrylic sealer.
I always use this Krylon Sealer Spray on all my projects. It gives it a glossy look, and protects the paint from chips and flaking.
If you prefer a matte finish, this Krylon Spray is the one you’ll want to go with.
It will also help you to achieve that more even finish. Remember, if you use a brush, then brush strokes will appear. This is something most people do not want when using chalk paint.
Ideally, you would go with the wax paint I mentioned above, but a lot of people choose to seal their project with an acrylic spray sealant. Using wax to seal the chalk paint will give a finish that is basically the same as using an acrylic sealer, but it’s more specifically made for chalk paint.
You absolutely can mix chalk paint with acrylic paint. However, you will likely have to ‘go easy’ on the mixing. This is because adding too much acrylic paint into the mix can undo the chalky quality of the paint. You should never be mixing chalk paint with oil-based paints.
Don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your painting Q&A’s. Happy painting!