Can You Use Chalk Paint on Outdoor Furniture?

Chalk paint is a popular alternative among DIY enthusiasts for revitalizing worn or outdated furniture. Its beautiful matte finish has made it a popular choice mainly for interior furniture, but can chalk paint be used on outdoor furniture? 

Can a chalk paint finish weather the elements outside for an extended period of time? 

In this post, we will examine chalk paint’s durability and weather-resistant qualities. You will learn the best techniques for getting long-lasting results with chalk paint on outdoor furniture. 

Can chalk paint be used on outdoor furniture?

Ultimately, chalk paint can be used on outdoor furniture. However, chalk paint alone isn’t durable enough to resist the weather. The chalk-painted piece must be sealed with a top coat to protect it from the elements.

Without a top coat, if exposed to the outdoors the furniture can get easily scuffed. It would likely get grimy quickly and rain and snow can wash off the water-based paint over time. It’s fine to chalk paint furniture and avoid using a top coat if the furniture will remain inside and is unlikely to get scuffed.

By sealing the chalk paint, you provide an extra layer of protection that improves its resilience to water, UV rays, and normal wear and tear. For instance, polyurethane, polycrylic, lacquer, and spar urethane are all great top coat options.  

Related: Is Chalk Paint Washable

How to seal chalk paint for outdoor use

To seal chalk-painted surfaces for outside usage, use a durable exterior topcoat finish that protects against UV rays and moisture. For indoor furniture, applying wax to chalk paint is popular. However, wax doesn’t hold up to the elements super well. Lacquer is a much better top coat for outdoor furniture and it’s quite popular for this purpose. 

Lacquer is a super durable, water-based polyacrylic varnish. It’s essentially shellac dissolved in alcohol that creates a hard protective coating when dried. Suffice to say, it’s makes for a great defense against the elements. 

To apply lacquer, open your can and be sure to mix it thoroughly. 

Dip a clean brush or roller into the solution and apply it to your finished furniture. Be sure to strain your brush or roller slightly so that it’s not dripping with the solution. The goal is to only apply a thin coat. 

Brush or roll the lacquer over the entire piece of furniture. Any areas of paint should be thoroughly covered with the lacquer. 

For maximum durability, you should apply a second coat of lacquer. Allow the finish to dry to the touch (usually takes around 24 hours or less), before applying the second coat. 

Does chalk paint fade in the sun?

Chalk paint may fade when exposed to intense sunlight for a long period of time. While chalk paint is well-known for its lovely matte finish, it lacks the UV protection that some other paints have. If chalk paint is exposed to direct sunlight over time, the pigments may fade or lighten gradually.

The amount of fading is influenced by the following: intensity and duration of sun exposure, the quality of the paint, and the specific colors used on your furniture. Darker colors can appear to fade quicker than lighter colors, especially those with a high concentration of organic pigments.

A coat of lacquer can work wonders to protect your chalk paint furniture from sunlight and preserve its original color. 

Related: Is Chalk Paint Heat Resistant

How to maintain chalk-painted outdoor furniture

To maintain the aesthetic and durability of chalk-painted outdoor furniture, you should provide care for your furniture on a regular basis. Here are some pointers for efficiently maintaining chalk-painted outdoor furniture:


Clean the painted surfaces regularly to remove dirt, dust, and debris that can build up over time. Gently clean away any grime with a slightly damp cloth.

For stains (food stains, makeup stains, grease stains), add a few drops of dish soap in a small pale of warm water and mix the components together. Soak a clean cloth in the solution and gently dab the stain to remove it from the chalk painted surface. Avoid using harsh cleansers or cleaning too aggressively, since you might end up removing some of the chalk paint. Learn more about cleaning your chalk paint furniture here


Evaluate your furniture for indications of damage, chipped, or peeling paint. If you detect any areas that require repair, fix them immediately to prevent future damage. Touch up with matching chalk paint after lightly sanding the damaged area. When the paint is dry, add a protective topcoat or wax for added durability. 

Mind the seasons

If you live in a warm and sunny climate, it might be perfectly fine to leave your chalk-painted furniture outside year round. However, if you live an area that experiences harsh winters with snow and sleet, you may want to consider bringing your chalk-painted furniture inside for the winter months. Snow and ice can wreak havoc on a paint finish, and you likely won’t be using your furniture outside in the winter anyway. Shelter your furniture in garage or shed until winter is over. 

Best chalk paint for outdoor furniture

There is no such thing as “exterior chalk paint” unfortunately. If there was, it would certainly make the list below. 

The best chalk paint for outdoor furniture is simply good quality chalk paint. The three chalk paints below are excellent choices: 

Country Chic Chalk Paint

When it comes to DIY furniture and home décor projects, Country Chic chalk paint is a game changer. Country Chic chalk paint comes in a variety of beautiful colors that look amazing on furniture. This brand of chalk paint is more durable than others, however, for outdoor projects, you should seal with lacquer no matter what. 

The best part is it’s available on Amazon, which makes this product very accessible compared to other chalk paint products. 

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Annie Sloan chalk paint is the first chalk paint brand, having trademarked the word “chalk paint” in 1990. Annie Sloan is one of the most renowned and regarded brands in the industry, with a tradition of quality products. It’s likely the most popular chalk paint product on the market due to it’s incredible reputation. 

Annie Sloan chalk paint, which comes in 42 different hues, is popular for furniture makeovers and even accent wall painting. People also often use this unique chalk paint on decorations made from anything from metal, to glass and laminate. 

Dixie Belle Chalk Paint

Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint has a strong reputation and a devoted fan base among DIY enthusiasts. This brand is notable for its extra-thick consistency, and an array of rich color choices.

Dixie Belle chalk paint isn’t available at Home Depot, Lowes, or any other big box hardware stores. Similar to Country Chic chalk paint, Dixie Belle paint can be purchased on Amazon. 



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