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!
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).
Intermediate Kit (the Beginner Kit above, plus these items):
Advanced Kit (the Kits above, plus these items)
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.
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.
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.
Totally! I truly believe anyone can paint a piece of wood furniture and get a beautiful result. You’ve got this!
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.
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.
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.
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)
BOSS (16 oz or 32 oz) Primer – comes in clear or white
Slick Stick (8 oz, 16 oz, 32 oz)
Dixie Belle Mud (8 oz) – comes in black, brown and white
Chalk Mineral Paint (8 oz, 16 oz, 32 oz)
Glazes (4 oz or 8 oz) – comes in black, grunge (grey‐brown), brown, whitewash, pearlescent, copper bronze, silver, gold shimmer, or sapphire pearl
Clear Coat (8 oz, 16 oz, 32 oz) – comes in flat, satin, and gloss
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
Easy Peasy Spray Wax (8 oz) – clear matte
No Pain Gel Stain (oil based full coverage) (16 oz) – comes in Espresso, Georgian Cherry, Weathered Gray, Colonial Black, Picklin’ White and Walnut
Best Dang Wax (10 oz) – comes in Black, Clear, Brown, White and Grunge
Gilding Waxes (30 ml) – comes in Anastasia Red, Black, Bronze, Warm Gold, Hammered Copper, Green Patina, Sterling Silver, and Turquoise Teal
Crackle Medium (8 oz)
Sea Spray Texture Additive – bag includes enough for 64 oz of paint
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.
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
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
Howdy-Do Hemp Oil (8 oz)
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.
Moonshine Metallics (16 oz) – comes in Deep Woods, Pacific, Caribbean, Gold Digger, Rozay, Silver Bullet, Steel Magnolia, and Wedding Belle
Brushes – clean with warm water and mild soap
Paint Fabric (any color of Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint)
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.
Linda from Q is for Quandie has such a great style, and she is not afraid to apply a transfer to just about anything!
Do of Do Dodson Designs has some of my favorite creative staging ideas ever, and she also has this great tutorial on using patina.
I’m pretty sure Brandy of Brushed by Brandy is the undisputed queen of blending. Check out a video of her blending tips here.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Here are some styles that are popular. Again, these looks were all created with Dixie Belle products.
I recently stumbled on Krista of Texas Gypsy and it was love at first sight! She does boho beautifully.
Tracey from Tracey’s Fancy (love that name!) is a whiz at all things whimsical. Stripes, harlequins, pop art, you name it.
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.
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!
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.