How to Get a High Gloss Finish with Chalk Paint

How to Get a High Gloss Finish with Chalk Paint

If you want to make your old furniture look expensive, high-gloss finish is the option to go for. Using chalk paint, you can achieve the finish with zero to little painting experience.

Once you figure out how to get a high gloss finish with chalk paint, you can apply the painting method on both indoor and outdoor projects as the procedures are pretty much the same.

The method doesn’t require any fancy accessories and tools related to painting. Using basic and most commonly used tools, and chalk paint, you can give new life into your old looking furniture.

How to Get a High Gloss Finish with Chalk Paint

Why Choose Chalk Paint for High Gloss Finish?

Apart from providing a glossy finish on applied surfaces, this formula doesn’t require priming. So, priming is optional here.

Also, you will hardly need to sand the surface. However, you can still sand for an even better finish. It can deliver quality finish without sanding for most cases.

Using a finish coat, you can easily manipulate the looks of the surface you will paint on. If you end up finishing with one particular paint, you can further paint it for a glossier finish over the same applied paint. No need to sand the surface.

How to Get a High Gloss Finish with Chalk Paint – Step by Step Guide & Tips


To achieve your expected finish, you will have to follow some tips to make it easy. Along with chalk paint, the procedures and tips are the same for all water-based paints.

Removing Previous Coats

If you are working on a workpiece which is in a bad shape or peeling, it’s highly recommended that you remove the previous coats for best chalk painting results.

Once you get rid of the old finish, be sure to lightly sand the workpiece. Don’t make the surface too smooth, leave a bit of roughness for the paint to grip properly.


If you prefer a two-tone finish on the furniture or whatever surface you want to paint, it’s recommended that you stain the surface first.

Stain the surface for a couple of times, and then let it fully dry.

To proceed with painting, prepare the surface by tapping any stained area to make sure it’s ready to paint.

Tools for Chalk painting

If you are starting new, try to get the suggested tools below. Otherwise, you can still apply chalk paint using tools that you are currently using.

  • Paint Brush

When it comes to chalk paint brush, you have both natural and synthetic options to choose from. Natural ones are more delicate and very pleasant to work with. However, synthetic ones are less prone to damage like natural brushes.

  • Roller

Depending on the surface you will be applying chalk paint, you might have to use a roller as well. For a smooth and great looking finish, most DIYers as well as professionals rely on white foam rollers. If you are to paint cabinets and trim, this is the best option to pick.

Brushing Technique

Although brushing is quite easy, and anyone with zero experience can do it, there are techniques to get the best painting results.

First, loading the brush with paint, which sets the standard or paint quality. Dip the ⅓ or ½ of the brush on chalk paint. If you do less than that, there will be drag marks and visible brush strokes on the workpiece.

Once you’ve loaded the brush with paint, brush in continuous and long strokes. Be sure not to over brush the surface. As chalk paint dries as soon as it touches the workpiece, over brushing will have brush strokes on the surface.

Also, keep in mind that you have no choice but to use the brush on hard to reach and narrow areas.


When it comes to loading paint on the roller, make sure the paint is saturated. It shouldn’t drip at all.

Opposite to what we usually do with rollers on walls, roll in long strokes on your workpiece. Pull it back, and then roll the final stroke.

If the project isn’t too large, be sure to cover its full length. It’s a much better and efficient way to paint than doing it in smaller sections.

Get a High Gloss Finish with Polycyclic Chalk Paint

Keeping the techniques in mind, you are good to proceed to the painting part.

Whether you are painting modern or old pieces, gloss finish goes perfectly with these projects. In fact, most modern pieces have gloss finish on them.

For different sheen levels, you can use minwax polycyclic. Unlike polyurethane, it’s a water-based finish that doesn’t get yellow over time. Also, it applies a protective layer on the workpiece.

For two-tone or tri-color projects, you can also apply polycyclic over stain as a finish coat.

Now, it’s better if you stick to the brush for painting. Brushing 2-3 coats will do the job pretty nicely. Rolling this kind of paint won’t bring the expected results.

Brush the paint in long and even coats. Usually, you will have to apply two coats. If you still want to get a glossier finish, be sure to apply the third.

It’s important that you allow the project to dry in between coats. In case you find any brush strokes, sand the area in between finish coats using a 220-grit sandpaper.

High Gloss Finish with Polyurethane

If you are painting on furniture that takes a lot of wear and tear, you better try applying polyurethane.

Once you are done with re-staining the workpiece, and it’s completely dry, you are ready to apply high-gloss finish.

Stir the paint slowly to make sure there’s no bubbles into the poly. Apply a light coating of the paint using a brush. Paint slowly to prevent air bubbles from coming out.

If you are an expert, and did a lot of painting and stuff, you can go with the pouring method. Pour a small amount of polyurethane at a time, and use a brush to spread it. A foam roller can also do the trick. The spreading should cover evenly.

High Gloss Painting Tips

  • For a second coat of polyurethane, be sure to sand between the coats. Sanding will allow the second coat to adhere more securely.
  • Protect the surrounding surface by sitting on a drop cloth.
  • Open windows or paint outdoors to ensure adequate ventilation.
  • Don’t paint using old varnishes. Using a new paint will make the furniture look much better. And it’s a healthier practice of painting as well.

Final Words

That wasn’t as tough as you thought, was it? Now that you know how to get a high gloss finish with chalk paint, if someone asks you regarding this matter, you can suggest a money saving way of doing it.

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