The Comprehensive Guide to Dixie Belle Chalk Paint: Everything You Need to Know



For those of you interested in Dixie Belle chalk paint and products, I’ve created this comprehensive guide as a handy reference tool to help you learn about the products and how to use them. If you want to grab a printable PDF of this guide, click here.

I’m Shannon.  I’ve been painting and selling furniture for 4 years now, and using Dixie Belle products exclusively for the last 2 years.  I paint about 1 piece a week on average; not the volume of full-time furniture artists, but hey I have a full-time job too!  So for my math fans out there, that’s over 200 pieces and counting!

What Supplies Do You Need?

You don’t need tons of equipment to get started painting furniture.  You can start basic, and add on supplies if you become more advanced or if you find it’s something you want to continue doing.  Below I’ve listed the items you need or may want at each level, leaving out items you’re sure to have around the house already (like soap and paper towels).

   Beginner Kit:

  • Cleaner (White Lightning)
  • Dixie Belle Mud or wood filler (if you need to make any repairs)
  • Synthetic paint brush (the “mini” is pretty versatile)
  • Chalk mineral paint (color of your choice)
beginner painting kit

   Intermediate Kit (the Beginner Kit above, plus these items):

  • BOSS (for priming, stain and odor blocking)
  • More brushes in varying sizes and shapes
  • More paint colors (for single color or blended finishes)
  • Clear Coat or Wax
intermediate paint kit

   Advanced Kit (the Kits above, plus these items)

  • Crackle medium (for aged looks)
  • Sea spray (for textured looks)
  • Patina collection (for rust, copper and iron patinas on wood)
  • Gilding waxes (for bling)
  • Dixie Dirt (for aged looks)
  • Metallics
  • Stencils
  • Transfers
  • Mouldings
advanced paint kit
advanced paint kit2

Do You Need to Sand or Prep?

You don’t have to sand, that’s one of the many benefits of chalk paints. 

   Cleaning – You always, always, always want to clean your piece well!  This is the number one thing that will make or break your final product.  

You can mix your White Lightning in a bucket, or you can scale down the amounts using the same ratio and mix it in a spray bottle.  I prefer this method. 

I spray down the whole piece, and wipe it clean with paper towels.  You also need to rinse your piece, so spray it down again with clean water, and wipe it dry with paper towels.  Don’t forget to get inside any doors, drawers, drawer boxes, underneath your piece and inside any nooks and crannies.

   Repairs – If you prefer imperfect finishes (like farmhouse, French or Old World to name a few), you may not want to repair small dings and dents at all.  That’s how I roll as well.  But acquiring pieces via Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or the thrift store, there will come a time you will need to make a repair. 

          Small Repairs –  For smaller gouges or screw holes, you can use Dixie Belle mud and a plastic putty knife to fill them.  Allow the mud to dry to a light color, and then sand it smooth.  It’s a good idea to overfill it a little initially because it will shrink a bit as it dries.

          Large Repairs –  For bigger issues, you can use Bondo.  Bondo dries so hard and durable, you can actually use it to replace whole sections of missing trim or even a leg.  Check out A Ray of Sunlight’s article for step-by-step instructions on how to make repairs using Bondo.

bondo furniture repair

Restoring Wood Finishes

For pieces or sections of pieces you aren’t painting, you can restore old wood finishes with hemp oil.  You simply brush it on, and wipe it off.  If you want to see how it’s done, you can watch Amy of AJ’s Vintage Designs video on using hemp oil.

Prepping Big Box Store Pieces

If your piece is mass-produced and has a shiny surface (i.e. IKEA pieces), you’ll want to prep by painting it with 2 coats of Slick Stick.  In addition to wood, Slick Stick is also good for glass, metal, tile and mirrors.  It grips to the shiny surface, and gives your paint something to bond to as well.  You can see a demo on using it on from Dixie Belle’s Youtube channel.  

Dixie Belle slick stick

Can a beginner do it?

Totally!  I truly believe anyone can paint a piece of wood furniture and get a beautiful result.  You’ve got this!

What is chalk mineral paint?

In general, chalk paints are made of milk protein, limestone, clay, chalk and natural pigments. 

They have little to no odor and they are non-toxic  (safe around kids and pets).  They are also easy to clean up with warm water and mild soap.

Why is chalk paint better for painting furniture than latex?

Coverage: Chalk paint has excellent coverage; dark colors cover in 1 coat, and lighter colors in 2 coats.  Because of the coverage, it really goes a long way.  I have painted 2 small dressers, a toy chest and 5 bar stools with one 32 ounce container of Caviar. So we’re talking less storage space too, since a little goes a long way.  Officially, Dixie Belle says that 8 oz will cover 38 square feet, 16 oz will cover 75 square feet and 32 oz will cover 150 square feet.

paint coverage

Adhesion: Chalk paint is porous, so it absorbs into your surface.  Latex paint sits on top of the surface.

Durability: Chalk paint cures thoroughly in 30 days and Dixie Belle brand is self-sealing.  You can also add top coats for different sheens, or to add water-resistance.

Finish: Dixie Belle paint is self-leveling, and it’s easy to get a smooth brush-stroke free finish.  You’ll want to use a spray mister water bottle to thin your paint slightly while you’re painting, and do a very light sanding at the end to achieve the smoothest finish.

Dry time: Chalk paint dries quickly, in about 15-30 minutes.  This means you can completely finish a piece with a couple coats in a single day.

Affordability: Dixie Belle paint costs $11.95 for 8 ounces, $19.95 for 16 ounces, $29.95 for 32 ounces and can even be purchased by the gallon.

Authentic aged look: Chalk paint distresses better than latex because it doesn’t have resins.  It powders off easily when sanded, and dries to a flat sheen.

Products

The Dixie Belle chalk paint line is unique in that all the products are water-based (with the exception of the No Pain Gel Stain), so they can all be used together and layered in any order.

White Lightning Cleaner (8 oz)

  • Used to clean and prep furniture or kitchen cabinets before painting. 
  • Wear gloves. Mix 2 heaping tablespoons in 1 gallon of hot water. Wipe furniture down using a rag. Rinse with clean warm water and wipe again. Do not allow to puddle.  Or you can use the spray-on method I described earlier.

BOSS (16 oz or 32 oz) Primer – comes in clear or white

  • Used to block odors and stains, and stop bleed thru; 2 coats will cover permanent marker, water stains, smoke odors and more
  • Use after sanding and cleaning with White Lightning Cleaner
  • Dries in about an hour
  • Easy soap and water clean‐up

Slick Stick (8 oz, 16 oz, 32 oz)

  • Allows you to paint shiny, slick or slippery surfaces
  • Apply 1 coat and allow to dry for 2-3 hours
  • Apply second coat and allow to dry overnight

Dixie Belle Mud (8 oz) – comes in black, brown and white

    • Used to fill gouges, scrapes or holes
    • Also used to make a raised stencil embellishment on a piece. Affix the stencil with tape, spread the mud with a spatula or putty knife over the stencil and scrape the excess back into the jar
    • Clean utensils with baby wipes
    • Never rinse this product down your drain
    • Dry time: 15-20 mins for a light coat; overnight for thicker applications

Chalk Mineral Paint (8 oz, 16 oz, 32 oz) 

  • Available in almost 70 colors
  • 1‐2 coats for full coverage; can thin with water if desired
  • Self-sealing (no top coat required)

Glazes (4 oz or 8 oz) – comes in black, grunge (grey‐brown), brown, whitewash, pearlescent, copper bronze, silver, gold shimmer, or sapphire pearl

  • Use to add depth and dimension to your piece
  • Glazes can go over or under a clear top coat
  • Mix well; working in 10” x 10” sections and using a chip brush or sponge applicator, apply the glaze to your taste. Wipe away excess as desired.

Clear Coat (8 oz, 16 oz, 32 oz) – comes in flat, satin, and gloss

  • Used to add extra protection to your finish
  • Allow paint to dry 1 hour before top coating
  • Brush on a very thin even layer in 1 direction (not back and forth)
  • Wait 1 hour and, if desired, add another coat

Voodoo Gel Stain (water‐based & slightly transparent) (8 oz) – comes in Bayou Moss, Tobacco Road, Black Magic, Temptress, White Magic, Denim and Up in Smoke

  • Use on painted or unpainted surfaces
  • Apply with a lint free cloth, paint brush or paint sponge/applicator
  • Start with a light coat, and build up to a darker color as desired. Test in an inconspicuous spot first.
  • Dries quickly

Easy Peasy Spray Wax (8 oz) – clear matte

  • Use to add protection to heavier‐use surfaces
  • Shake container well, mist over a 10” x 10” area, let stand for 5 seconds, and wipe with a lint-free cloth.
  • Apply 2‐3 coats for added protection.

No Pain Gel Stain (oil based full coverage) (16 oz) – comes in Espresso, Georgian Cherry, Weathered Gray, Colonial Black, Picklin’ White and Walnut

  • Use on painted or unpainted surfaces
  • Apply with a lint free cloth, paint brush or applicator pad
  • Start with a light coat, and build up to a darker color as desired. Test in an inconspicuous spot first.
  • Dry time: 1-3 days
  • Clean up with mineral spirits or toss rags or inexpensive brushes

Best Dang Wax (10 oz) – comes in Black, Clear, Brown, White and Grunge

  • Use to add protection and color/dimension to surfaces
  • Apply a very thin layer with a lint‐free cloth or wax brush over dry Dixie Belle paint
  • Allow 15‐20 minutes to set, then buff with a clean lint‐free white cloth
  • Distress if desired before or after adding wax; cures in about 1 week
  • You can use Gator Hide over the wax if desired for greater durability

Gilding Waxes (30 ml) – comes in Anastasia Red, Black, Bronze, Warm Gold, Hammered Copper, Green Patina, Sterling Silver, and Turquoise Teal

  • Apply with a brush, cloth or your finger
  • Let dry 1 hour
  • Lightly buff to increase shine

Crackle Medium (8 oz)

  • Stir well
  • Paint one coat of chalk paint and let dry
  • Apply crackle with a brush in a cross-hatch motion.  The thicker the application, the bigger the cracks will be.
  • Allow crackle to dry completely
  • Paint top coat of chalk paint and let dry 24 hours

Sea Spray Texture Additive – bag includes enough for 64 oz of paint

    • Use to create a chippy, textured and sun‐weathered look
    • Mix 2 level scoops (scoop included) of additive with 8 oz of Dixie Belle paint. Consistency should be a thick brownie‐like batter. Mix up to another ½ scoop if needed.
    • Using a paint brush to form crests and valleys, like ocean waves on the piece. Once tacky, you may gently brush down the peaks, or leave them as‐is.

Dixie Dirt (4 oz) – comes in Ash, Earth and Charcoal

You can check out Heather Marzigliano’s blog post and video from Grace on Broadway Glaze & Dixie Dirt to learn more.

  • Use to add an authentic time‐worn look
  • First, apply clear wax and allow to sit for 5‐10 minutes
  • Using a clean short‐bristled brush, dip into Dixie Dirt powder and brush over the surface, especially the nooks and crannies. Rub it in thoroughly.
  • Wait a few minutes, and brush off any loose Dirt. Using a lint‐free cloth, very gently buff your piece working gently from the middle to the edges, for an authentic time‐worn look.

Patina Collection 

    Prime Start (8 oz)  – should be used only when painting over metal

    Patina Paint (8 oz) – comes in Iron, Copper or Bronze

    Patina Spray (8 oz) – comes in Blue or Green 

    Patina Guard (8 oz) – protects your patina piece, optional, ventilation needed

  • Use to create a rustic rust finish on wood, plastic, metal, etc. Green on Iron creates the rust look.
  • Shake Patina Paint to mix metal particles throughout. Apply 1 coat and allow to dry.
  • Apply a 2nd coat of Patina Paint. While still wet, apply Patina Spray.
  • After 6 hours, you may choose to topcoat it if desired. Recommended for interior use.

Gator Hide Top Coat  (16 oz, 32 oz, 1 gallon) water‐based water‐repellent polycrylic

Learn more from this How to Use Gator Hide video tutorial by Crys’Dawna of Belle Renovare

  • Smooth feel; low sheen
  • Use to add durability on high traffic table tops, cabinets or outdoor furniture
  • For painted surfaces, wait 1‐2 days before applying. For gel stained surfaces, wait 3‐4 days before applying.  For waxed surfaces, wait a week before applying.  
  • Apply with a sponge applicator
  • 3 light coats are recommended. Allow to dry 2 hours between coats, and 2‐3 days when complete before using the piece.

Howdy-Do Hemp Oil (8 oz)

  • Apply over raw wood or chalk paint with a chip brush or applicator pad. You can also “sand” it in with a finishing pad in circular motions.
  • Allow 2 hours to dry
  • Wipe excess after 12 hours

Big Mama’s Butta (4 oz, 10 oz) comes in Orange Grove, Suzanne’s Garden or unscented

Learn more about when and how to use Big Mama’s Butta from this tutorial by Bianca at Lotus Theory Design. 

  • Water‐resistant wax top coat or use for re-conditioning wood
  • Contains all natural hemp seed oil, coconut oil, beeswax and carnuba wax 
  • Protects against mildew and insects; blocks odors
  • Cures in 1 week

Moonshine Metallics (16 oz) – comes in Deep Woods, Pacific, Caribbean, Gold Digger, Rozay, Silver Bullet, Steel Magnolia, and Wedding Belle

  • Use with a base coat for a more opaque finish, or without for more transparency

Brushes – clean with warm water and mild soap

  • Synthetic high end professional paint brushes; the filament is a mixture of polyester and nylon which provides a slight stiffness, spring back and easy release of paint to the surface.  Always dry your brushes hanging by the handle.
    • Oval Small – 1 ¼”
    • Oval Medium – 1 ¾”
    • Round Small – ¾”
    • Round Large – 1 ¼”
    • Flat Small – 1″
    • Flat Medium – 1.5″”
    • Flat Large – 2″
    • Mini – 2”
    • Mini angled – 2”
  • Natural
    • The Belle Brush – tapered & comfortable in the hand; maintains shape
    • French Tip – tapered tip for detailing; plastic handle
    • Premium chip brushes – a great quality chip brush that will last; great for painting, waxing and glazing
    • 2” Chip brush – for rustic finishes

Paint Fabric (any color of Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint)

  • Spray fabric lightly with water
  • Brush paint over fabric, paying special attention to crevices
  • After 24 hours, sand gently with 220 grit sandpaper
  • Wipe off dust, and wax with Best Dang wax

Techniques

While I could never list every single painting technique here, I’ve chosen to highlight ones that are either trending now or classics. All these projects were created with Dixie Belle paint.

Whitewash

See how Denise from Salvaged Inspirations white washed this adorable little plant stand.

White-Washed-Wood-Plant-Stand-Salvaged-Inspirations

Furniture Transfers

Linda from Q is for Quandie has such a great style, and she is not afraid to apply a transfer to just about anything!

suitcase transfer

Patina

Do of Do Dodson Designs has some of my favorite creative staging ideas ever, and she also has this great tutorial on using patina.

patina example

Blending

I’m pretty sure Brandy of Brushed by Brandy is the undisputed queen of blending.  Check out a video of her blending tips here.

blending example

Metallics

Check out this blog post from Leah Noelle Design Co for tips on using the metallics.  She has such a positive attitude, I love watching her videos!

metallic example

Wet Distressing and Dry Distressing

Dixie Belle has a great blog post on how to do each type of distressing and the differences between them.

wet and dry distressing

Stenciling

Christy from Confessions of a Serial DIYer has been a favorite blogger and furniture painter of mine for years.  She has an adorable stenciled project in this blog post.

stencil example

WoodUBend Mouldings

Solly Jo founded this wood applique company and we are going straight to the source to learn how to use them.  See her demo these heat bendable mouldings in this video.

woodubend example

Moulds (with Modeling Material)

Brooke from Heartland Vintage Market got a little crazy with moulds on only her second use.  She was brave and it paid off beautifully!

mould example

Crackle

All Things New Again teaches us how to use crackle medium in this video.  Their shop is located in Leesburg, VA. I know it’s not for everybody, but I love a chippy finish so hard!  

crackle example

Sea Spray Texture Additive

Meleah of Mustard Tree Market shares this video on how to use sea spray and create her signature romantic grunge style.  I love how she creates authentic aged looks on new pieces.

sea spray example

Styles

Here are some styles that are popular.  Again, these looks were all created with Dixie Belle products.

Farmhouse

I started out doing mostly farmhouse furniture like this buffet at Wise Little Owl Furniture, and I still do quite a bit.  Say what you want about this trend, but it’s as popular as ever!  If you’d like to get my free download 6 Elements of Farmhouse Style, sign up here.

Boho

I recently stumbled on Krista of Texas Gypsy and it was love at first sight!  She does boho beautifully.

boho example

Whimsical

Tracey from Tracey’s Fancy (love that name!) is a whiz at all things whimsical.  Stripes, harlequins, pop art, you name it.

whimsical bed

Classic

It might seem simple to paint 1-color finishes, but to do them this well is not easy.  Trust me!  Jo from Click to Restore is a total pro.

simple finish example

Old Hollywood Glam

Rebecca from Chic and Shabby Furniture by Rebecca describes her style as feminine and timeless.  I can relate to her because she also has a fulltime job that isn’t furniture painting like I do!

hollywood glam dresser

Where to Buy

You can check for a local retailer at this link: https://dixiebellepaint.com/find-a-dixie-belle-paint-retailer/ or purchase online at my affiliate link.  (If you found this article helpful and you decide to purchase online, please use my link.  I appreciate it!)

Trouble-shooting

Paint is Peeling or Chipping Off

Chalk paint adheres well to wood and lots of other surfaces.  Make sure you clean your piece really well to avoid adherence problems.  Also use Slick Stick for shiny laminate, glass or mirror surfaces.

Weird Pink or Yellow Color Coming Through

That’s called bleed-through, and it comes from the tannins in the wood.  Try to anticipate when this could happen.  It’s generally older pieces with Cherry or Mahogany finishes.  Use BOSS to prevent it.  However, if you haven’t used BOSS first, you can still use it over your first coat of paint, and it will prevent bleed-through on the second coat.

I Hate my Project

Paint over it!  You can paint over any of the products, since they are water-based.  You can even paint or re-stain over No Pain Gel Stain if you let it fully cure first.

Dried Paint in my Brush

Soak in warm water at least 1/4″ down from the ferrule (metal part). Use mild dish soap or Scrubby Soap. If the brush is deformed in any way, then hot water and a blow dryer will activate the molecules inside the filaments and they will return to normal.

For easy access to this guide, please Pin! Leave me a Comment and let me know if I missed anything.

guide to dixie belle chalk paint
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25 thoughts on “The Comprehensive Guide to Dixie Belle Chalk Paint: Everything You Need to Know”

  1. Connie says:

    Thank you for such an incredibly informative guide! My question is, we are painting our bedroom furniture from an oak color to Caviar. Would you recommend sanding lightly between coats and what would you recommend sealing it with? Already have one layer on but not impressed with the flat finish. I’ve only used light colors in the past (Fluff, Cotton, Manatee and the bluish duck egg) and used Satin Clear Coat. Thank you so much in advance!

    1. Shannon says:

      Hi Connie,
      Yes, I’d recommend a light sanding between coats and make sure to remove the sanding dust with a microfiber cloth before the next coat. I like to seal Caviar with either the Satin clear coat or with black wax. Both are water-based, so they are pretty easy to use and clean up. With the satin, I’d do 2 thin coats. Bella Renovare has a recent Youtube video on getting a super smooth finish over black with Satin, so I’d highly recommend watching that before you do it. Good luck and have fun! xo, Shannon

  2. Theresa says:

    Wonderful FAQs for a beginner, thank you! Is there a chart that shows the paint minimum dry time before applying Satin Clear Coat or Voodoo Magic Gel Stain? I’m not sure if the Satin Clear Coat or Voodoo Gel can be put on the paint when it’s first dry in an hour or should I wait 24 hrs? Any advice would be helpful, thanks!

    1. Shannon says:

      Hi Theresa,
      It’s safe to apply Satin Clear Coat or Voodoo Gel Stain after the paint dries for an hour. Awesome idea to create a chart; I’ll do that at some point! Thank you! xo, Shannon

  3. Nikki says:

    Hi! I bought a small container if dixie bell paint about a year ago and only used a little bit if it. I just opened the container of the remainder and it has completely dried up. Is there anyway to reconstitute it and make it usable? Thanks

    1. Shannon says:

      Hi Nikki, That’s a bummer! It is water-based, so you can try adding water. You may want to pick up a strainer at the dollar store and get any dried bits out if you’re able to get it back to a watery consistency. Good luck!

  4. Laurel Ashmore says:

    Wonderful guide. Thank you so much.

    1. Shannon says:

      Of course! It’s due for an update with the new products that came out recently, so it’s coming soon.

  5. Nicole says:

    Excellent guide, thanks!

    1. Shannon says:

      You’re welcome!

    2. Debbie says:

      Thank you so much for your very informative article. I do have a question though. Are Dixie Belle paints colored with natural (of the earth) or synthetic tints?

      1. Shannon says:

        Hi Debbie,
        Thanks for your question! I have to confess I don’t know the answer. I will find out and let you know. Thanks!

      2. Shannon says:

        All the oxide colorants are natural earthen tints. For example, red oxides, raw umbers, titanium dioxide, etc. The bright vibrant colorants are synthetic/man-made colorants. Hope that helps!

  6. Kathy says:

    Thank you so much for putting all this helpful info together. I just started my first piece! I have used white lightning and boss and then painted 2 coats. I also added a stencil with paint. I am trying to get close to my dining room table which is a bit rustic and has streaks of white in it. My question is should I use white wax? If so how long do I have to wait after the second coat to put the wax on? Also I was going to use the satin clear coat to give the piece a subtle shine. Does that go on before or after the wax? Thank you

    1. Shannon says:

      You’re welcome, Kathy! Glad you found it helpful! You can totally use white wax. Since it’s Dixie Belle, it’s water-based, so it can be used before or after the satin clear coat. I’d recommend the clear coat last if the piece gets a lot of use. You can apply the wax when the paint is thoroughly dry. I would wait a few hours or overnight. Then buff the wax 15 minutes after you apply it. Good luck with your project! xo Shannon

  7. Melanie says:

    Hello,
    I love seeing your furniture and posts! This guide is fabulous! I am about to redo our bedroom furniture. It is dark with laminate on top. I am painting it Fluff. Would you recommend BOSS and Slick stick? Or do you use one or the other? Getting ready to lace an order through your Etsy store.

    1. Shannon says:

      Hi Melanie, So glad to hear you like the Guide. For a laminate top, you’ll want Slick Stick. For the dark wood, since you’re going cream, I would recommend the white BOSS. It’ll save you extra coats of paint in the long run. I don’t actually carry the paint in my Etsy store, but you can order from Dixie Belle using my link http://www.dixiebellepaint.com/?aff=81 and that supports my small biz. Thanks so much!

  8. You really rocked this guide! I’ve been using Dixie Belle paint (and some of their other products) for a few years now. My favorite color is Fluff! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm –pinned! xo Kathleen

    1. Shannon says:

      Thanks, Kathleen! I love Fluff as well, and just used it on my latest project. Thanks for stopping by the blog!

  9. Michelle says:

    This is such an amazing guide! I’m pinning this!! It seems like everyone is using Dixie Belle chalk paint on everything now. I’ll be referring back to this post time and time again.

    1. Shannon says:

      Thanks, Michelle! That’s the type of resource I was hoping to create. I will be adding the option to download a PDF of the Guide soon as well. Thanks for leaving a comment and making my day!

      1. Kathy Thompson says:

        Very helpful!! Thank you. I am a beginner and seem to have so many questions I want to learn to blend so will look at Brandy’s video!

        1. Shannon says:

          You’re welcome! Blending is fun; it just takes practice.

  10. Wow!! This guide is amazing!! Seriously so good!!!!

    1. Shannon says:

      Thank you Crys’Dawna for the kind support!

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