Is Chalk Paint Waterproof? Uncover the Facts

If you’re considering using chalk paint for your next project, it’s important to understand its features and limitations. One common question that arises is whether chalk paint is waterproof or not. In this article, we will dive into the facts about chalk paint and its water-resistant properties to help you make an informed decision.

Chalk paint is known for its unique matte finish and easy application. It is a popular choice for furniture makeovers and DIY projects due to its ability to adhere to various surfaces without the need for extensive prep work. However, when it comes to its resistance to water, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

Key Takeaways:

  • Chalk paint is not waterproof, but it is water-resistant.
  • Prolonged exposure to water can cause chalk paint to chip and peel.
  • Outdoor projects and surfaces exposed to moisture may require additional protection.
  • Consider using a chalk paint lacquer or other protective coatings for better durability.
  • Preparation is key – ensure the surface is clean, dry, and smooth before applying chalk paint.

Using Chalk Paint Outdoors: Tips for Success

When it comes to using chalk paint outdoors, there are some important tips to keep in mind. Chalk paint offers numerous benefits, including its durability and water-resistant properties. Whether you’re working on a garden furniture project or painting the exterior of your home, following these tips will help ensure a successful outcome.

Preparation is Key

Before applying chalk paint outdoors, it’s essential to properly prepare the surface. Unlike traditional paint, chalk paint doesn’t require sanding or priming. However, you should remove any old peeling paint or rust, as these can affect the adhesion of the chalk paint. Additionally, wiping away cobwebs and dirt will create a clean canvas for your paint application.

Protect from UV Rays and Water Damage

To protect outdoor furniture and surfaces from the elements, it’s recommended to use a chalk paint lacquer. The lacquer acts as a protective barrier against UV rays and water damage, making your painted surfaces more durable. For garden furniture and surfaces that will be touched often or exposed to sunlight, applying a suitable chalk paint lacquer is beneficial. However, vertical surfaces like shed walls and fencing generally don’t require lacquering.

Applying the Lacquer

When applying the chalk paint lacquer, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Applying two coats of lacquer is typically recommended for maximum protection. Allow sufficient drying time between each coat and ensure the paint and lacquer have dried completely before exposing them to water.

Tips for Using Chalk Paint Outdoors:

  • Properly prepare the surface by removing old paint and dirt.
  • Apply a chalk paint lacquer to protect from UV rays and water damage.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the lacquer.
  • Allow sufficient drying time before exposing the painted surface to water.

By following these tips and utilizing the water-resistant properties of chalk paint, you can create durable and beautiful outdoor projects that withstand the test of time.

Is Chalk Paint Suitable for Outdoor Furniture?

Chalk paint is a versatile option for transforming and reviving outdoor furniture. It can adhere to various surfaces such as wood, metal, plastic, cladding, brick, stone, and even glass. Whether you have an old wooden bench or a metal garden table, chalk paint can give your outdoor furniture a fresh and stylish look.

One of the key features of chalk paint is its water-resistance. While it may not be completely waterproof, it can withstand light exposure to moisture. Some brands even incorporate additives that help prevent the growth of mold, making it a practical choice for outdoor use.

To ensure a successful application of chalk paint on outdoor furniture, it’s essential to prepare the surface properly. Here are a few tips and considerations:

  1. Smooth, Dry, and Clean Surface: Before painting, make sure the surface is smooth, dry, and free from dust, dirt, and any other contaminants. This will ensure better adhesion and longevity of the paint.
  2. Remove Loose Paint: If you’re painting metal furniture that has flaking or loose paint, it’s recommended to remove it before applying chalk paint. Use a scraper or sandpaper to gently remove any loose paint and create a smooth base for the new paint.
  3. Prime if Necessary: For wooden furniture, check if any wood is coming away from the surface. If so, it’s advisable to prime those areas to ensure a solid foundation for the chalk paint.
  4. Consider Surface Grip: For surfaces like porches or decks where grip is important, use sandpaper to slightly scuff up the surface once it’s dry. This will help the paint adhere better and prevent any potential slipperiness.

By following these guidelines, you can achieve a beautiful and long-lasting finish on your outdoor furniture with chalk paint. It’s a fantastic way to breathe new life into old pieces and create a unique and personalized outdoor space.

How to Protect Chalk-Painted Outdoor Surfaces

To ensure the longevity and durability of chalk-painted outdoor surfaces, proper protection is essential. There are several effective methods and coatings available that can help seal and safeguard your chalk-painted projects. Here are some options to consider:

1. Acrylic Paint Coating

An acrylic paint coating can be applied as a top coat over your chalk paint. Acrylic paint is known for its water-resistant properties and can provide an additional layer of protection against moisture. It is suitable for various surfaces and can enhance the durability of your outdoor projects.

2. Lacquer Paint Coating

Using a lacquer paint coating is another effective way to protect chalk-painted outdoor surfaces. Lacquer provides a strong barrier against moisture and can help prevent water damage. It is especially recommended for surfaces that are frequently exposed to water or high levels of humidity.

3. Wax Coating

Applying a wax coating can make chalk-painted surfaces waterproof to some extent. While wax is not as durable as acrylic or lacquer coatings, it can provide a temporary water-resistant layer. Keep in mind that the effectiveness of wax may diminish over time, especially in outdoor settings exposed to harsh weather conditions.

4. Varnish Coating

Using a varnish coating can provide an additional layer of waterproof protection for your chalk-painted surfaces. Varnish is a clear, protective finish that can help seal the paint and provide durability. It is important to choose a varnish suitable for outdoor use and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.

5. Polyurethane Sealants

Polyurethane sealants are another option for sealing chalk-painted outdoor surfaces. These sealants provide a waterproof barrier and can enhance the longevity of your projects. However, the effectiveness of polyurethane sealants may vary based on the specific product and environmental conditions.

When selecting a coating or sealant for your chalk-painted outdoor surfaces, consider the specific needs and requirements of your project. Factors such as the level of exposure to water, weather conditions, and the desired level of protection should be taken into account.

Remember, proper surface preparation and cleaning are essential before applying any protective coating. Ensure that the chalk paint is completely dry before applying the chosen sealant or coating. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions for the best results.

By taking the necessary steps to protect your chalk-painted outdoor surfaces, you can enjoy their beauty and longevity for years to come.

Coating/Sealant Waterproof Protection Durability
Acrylic Paint Coating Provides water-resistant protection High durability
Lacquer Paint Coating Offers protection against moisture High durability
Wax Coating Temporary water resistance Moderate durability
Varnish Coating Provides a waterproof barrier High durability
Polyurethane Sealants Offers varying levels of waterproof protection Durability varies based on product and conditions

The Difference Between Water-Resistant and Waterproof

When discussing chalk paint, it is important to understand the difference between water-resistant and waterproof. While chalk paint is water-resistant and can withstand occasional exposure to water, it is not completely waterproof.

Water-resistant means that the paint can repel or resist water to some extent, but it may not hold up if the object is submerged or exposed to prolonged moisture. Chalk paint’s water-resistant properties make it suitable for projects where occasional water spills or splashes may occur, such as outdoor furniture or kitchen cabinets.

However, if you are looking for a paint that can withstand heavy exposure to water, such as submersion or constant contact, you may need to consider a different type of paint. Water-resistant chalk paint is not designed to provide complete protection in areas where continuous moisture is present.

Waterproof paint, on the other hand, is specifically formulated to provide a barrier against water and moisture. Waterproof paints are commonly used in areas that are consistently wet, such as bathrooms, swimming pools, or boats.

Understanding this distinction between water-resistant and waterproof helps in managing expectations and choosing the appropriate protection for your chalk-painted surfaces. While water-resistant chalk paint can offer some level of protection against moisture, it is essential to assess the specific needs of your project and determine if additional waterproofing measures are necessary.


In conclusion, chalk paint is a popular choice for transforming outdoor surfaces due to its unique features. While it is not completely waterproof, it does offer water-resistant properties, making it suitable for withstanding occasional water spills and splashes. However, it is essential to note that prolonged exposure to water can cause damage to chalk paint, leading to chipping and peeling.

To ensure the longevity and durability of your chalk-painted outdoor projects, it is highly recommended to apply a top coat for added protection. There are various options available, such as acrylic paint coatings, lacquer paint coatings, wax coatings, and varnish coatings. Each option provides different levels of waterproof protection, allowing you to choose the most suitable one based on your specific needs.

By selecting the right top coat, you can enhance the water resistance of your chalk-painted surfaces, prolonging their lifespan and maintaining their aesthetic appeal. Consider the specific requirements of your outdoor surfaces and choose a protective coating that offers the level of waterproofing you desire. With proper care and maintenance, your chalk-painted projects can withstand the elements and continue to impress for years to come.


Is chalk paint waterproof?

No, chalk paint is not waterproof, but it is water-resistant. While it can withstand occasional water spills and splashes, prolonged exposure to water can cause the paint to chip and peel.

Can chalk paint be used outdoors?

Yes, chalk paint can be used outdoors. It is suitable for various surfaces, including wood, metal, plastic, cladding, brick, stone, and glass.

How do I protect chalk-painted outdoor surfaces?

To protect chalk-painted outdoor surfaces, you can apply an acrylic paint coating, lacquer paint coating, wax coating, varnish coating, or polyurethane sealant. Each option provides varying levels of waterproof protection.

What is the difference between water-resistant and waterproof chalk paint?

Water-resistant chalk paint can repel or resist water to some extent but may not hold up if submerged or exposed to prolonged moisture. Waterproof chalk paint, on the other hand, can completely repel water and is more resistant to moisture.

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