What Is the Best Sealer for Chalk Paint? 

 July 23, 2023

By  Dale Keese

Chalk paint is one of the easiest ways to paint your furniture, making beautifying your home a simple process. But chalk paint, just like other types of paint, needs routine maintenance especially with sealing to ensure your projects last a long time. Because of this, many wonder what the best sealer is for chalk paint.

Wax, polyacrylic, and polyurethane sealers are the most popular and effective sealers for chalk paint projects. They all leave beautiful results and protect from water as well as wear and tear. However, oils, and glaze also work well, depending on the type of finish you’re after.

Each of these sealer types have their own advantages and disadvantages. Read on below to find out which of them is best for your needs.

Best Sealer for Chalk Paint

There are many different types of sealers that you can use for chalk paint.

Here’s a summary of each of them, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each:

1. Wax

Furniture wax is the most popular sealer for chalk paint. In fact, it’s the number one choice and is considered the gold standard for sealing chalk paint.

It comes in a paste, or semi-solid formula which is applied directly onto the surface using a dry, lint-free cloth. Afterwards, it should be buffed out and cleaned also using a lint-free cloth. Wax sealers dry to the touch fast, though they don’t cure for around 2 weeks, so any projects sealed with wax should be treated as gently as possible until it fully cures.

Wax sealers come in a variety of colors to match your project, and leave a soft sheen which isn’t too far from the actual antique-looking finish of chalk paint. Since it doesn’t alter the appearance of chalk paint much, this is usually the first option for most people. If wax is going to be used on high traffic surfaces such as chairs or table tops, wax sealant should be reapplied regularly.


  • Effective water repellency
  • Moderate wear and tear protection
  • Available in many colors
  • Can be applied over polyurethane
  • Durable
  • Typically doesn’t yellow


  • Time consuming to apply
  • Heat sensitive
  • Requires reapplication more often than other sealers
  • Can’t be repainted over unless you use chalk paint

2. Polyacrylic

Polyacrylic or polycrylic sealers are the water-based alternatives of polyurethane. However, there are also oil-based versions, but water-based is always best in the case of chalk paint because oil-based formulas tend to yellow. In addition, polyacrylic sealers come in liquid and spray versions.


  • Lasts the longest among all sealers
  • Won’t yellow over time
  • Easy application
  • Several finish options available, from glossy to satin


  • Requires multiple coats
  • Can be challenging to find

3. Polyurethane

Polyurethane sealers in clear are a great topcoat for chalk paint furniture. It has long-lasting power, so this is highly recommended for projects that are exposed to water often, or high traffic areas. Polyurethane sealers can be applied using a brush or spray, quickly and easily.


  • Affordable
  • Easy to find
  • Superior water protection
  • Wide range of finish options


  • May require several coats
  • Long drying time
  • May leave bubbles or streaks if not applied carefully
  • May yellow over time

4. Oils

Though oils are usually used for sealing milk paint and not chalk paint, the correct type of oil will do a good job. Typically, high-quality natural wood oils are recommended such as coconut oil, hemp seed oil, and Danish oil. They are made from more natural ingredients so they are also less toxic for you and the environment.


  • Easy application
  • Safer and less toxic compared to other sealants


  • Doesn’t leave a smooth feel compared to wax or polyacrylic
  • Can change the color of your chalk paint
  • Yellows over time

5. Glaze

Water-based glaze can be used to seal chalk paint projects. It’s easy to apply for as long as your chalk paint has completely dried for at least 24 hours, and then let it cure for 3-5 days. For the best results, it is recommended to finish it off with a polyurethane or polyacrylic top coat.

If you are after a rustic, antique look, use one coat of chalk paint followed by a glaze because it will have a subtle impact on the color. While glaze is easy to apply and dries quickly, it doesn’t offer as much protection as the previous sealers mention. Glaze is usually best reserved for projects that are decorative and won’t be exposed to much wear and tear.


  • Many colors to choose from
  • Can paint over glaze sealant
  • Adds character and dimension
  • Easy application with a rag or brush


  • Doesn’t last as long
  • Glaze finishes are typically colored, so it will have an effect on the final color

Aside from these, there are also specialty sealers on the market that are made specifically for chalk paint projects.

Given these choices, you can now choose the best sealer to use on chalk paint based on the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Best sealer to use over chalk paint

There are several excellent chalk paint sealers available on Amazon. Here are some tried-and-tested varieties:

-   Rust-Oleum Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint Topcoat
-   Valspar Chalky Sealing Wax
-   Shabby Chic Multi-Surface Clear Sealant For Chalk Paint

Frequently Asked Questions

Does chalk paint need to be sealed?

Chalk paint is a beautiful and versatile decorative paint that is intended for use on furniture. However, it requires care and maintenance just like other types of paint projects, and the most important step you can take in ensuring it lasts long and looks good is to seal it.

Sealing chalk paint is not necessary yet it’s highly recommended to protect your paint. Many people prefer to leave the chalk paint finish as is because of its unique rustic, matte finish. Depending on the type of sealer you use, it may alter the final look.

Generally speaking, the benefits of sealing chalk paint are: 

  • Protecting it from water and wear and tear so it lasts longer;
  • Add a sheen or glossy finish though this is a personal preference;
  • Ensures that your projects are more durable and are protected from the elements.

Having said that, the disadvantages to sealing chalk paint are:

  • You risk losing its chalky finish;
  • It costs time and money to seal. 

At the end of the day, it’s all about what you want out of your chalk paint project. If it will be used regularly such as with tables and chairs, then it’s best to seal it. Though if you will be using it for decorative items that won’t be exposed to much traffic, then you can opt not to seal it.

How do you keep chalk paint from chipping?

Chipping is perhaps the most common issue people run into with chalk paint.

Here’s why chipping can occur:

  • Foregoing curing time: While it can be tempting to use a project you’ve just painted, chalk paint requires a curing time of at least 3-5 days. If you use it before it has properly cured, this will likely lead to chipping almost immediately.
  • Skipping sealer: Sealing is an important step that you shouldn’t avoid if you don’t want chalk paint to chip. Wax sealants are the gold standard for many, but other popular sealers used for chalk paint include polyurethane, polyacrylic, oils, and glaze. Sealing does a critical job of leaving a protective layer that helps the paint stay on for a longer period of time.
  • Poor quality chalk paint: Always make sure you are using a high-quality chalk paint. Poor formulas are notorious for peeling and chipping quickly.

Now that you know why chalk paint chips, you can do the steps necessary to prevent it from happening.

About the author

Hey, I'm Dale Keese.. thanks for reading.. hopefully this article can save you some time and trouble with your sealing job. I'm also in the process of making some video walk-throughs for youtube so check back soon! thanks

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