Can You Paint Acrylic With Chalk Paint?

There’s only one reason you’ve made it here, you want to paint some acrylic with chalk paint. but does this even work, can you paint acrylic with chalk paint? Well, there is only one way to know for sure, let’s test it. To test whether you can paint acrylic with chalk paint I grabbed a tin of Rustoleum chalk paint, a square of acrylic and did some painting, I then tested the results to see how well it had worked.

Painting Acrylic With Chalk Paint

The only way to start this test is by grabbing some acrylic and getting it painted. One side of the acrylic would be sanded before being painted, the other side would be left completely as is with the chalk paint straight ontop.

Acrylic sample with one side sanded
Acrylic sample with one side sanded

Then comes the time to paint. The chalk paint went on really easily

and actually covered quite well.

Acrylic sample with one side sanded
Acrylic sample with one side sanded

Here you can see that the paint looks like it has completely covered the acrylic after just a single coat. However, once you lift it up to the light you can see lots of gaps, two coats at least will be needed.

You can still see through the paint
You can still see through the paint

So let’s put another coat of chalk paint on and see what it looks like then.

After two coats of chalk paint
After two coats of chalk paint

Looking much better after two coats.

Scratch Testing The Acrylic Paint

Now, this is the real test. I will attempt to scratch the chalk paint off of the acrylic. This will let us know if the paint has actually stuck to the surface. Adhesion is one of the big problems with painting a shiny surface like acrylic and is why I have sanded one side to see if that makes a difference.

For this test, I grabbed a large price of rough-cut c16 timber and rubbed it across the melamine surface. This is a really tough test to see how well the paint has adhered to the melamine.

I feel that rough cut c16 timber is a good test medium as it is not too hard but not too soft. If I used something really hard like metal then not much would stand up to it and the test would be pointless.

On the other hand, if I used something too soft it would never scratch anything and again it would be pointless.

The Results of my Scratch Test
The Results of my Scratch Test

You can see from the scratch test that the chalk paint has not stuck to the non sanded side at all. You could completely remove this back to bare acrylic fairly easily. But the sanded side has actually performed quite well, while not perfect it has definitely adhered a lot better.

I would recommend both sanding down the acrylic and using a primer, this should help the paint stick even better. I would recommend the Zinsser BIN primer for this job. It is a great primer that worked really well in my which Zinsser primer to use article.

Shellac Base
Zinsser B-i-n Primer & Sealer 1Ltr
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10/21/2021 02:06 pm GMT
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Sam Wood

Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified, time-served, award-winning joiner with an NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery as well as an HNC in Construction. Beyond my joinery qualifications, I have also earned a degree in building surveying. I believe these qualifications make me perfectly positioned to provide expert advice on many different areas of DIY as well as share all of the tips I have picked up in over a decade working on building sites!

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