How Long Should You Let Chalk Paint Dry Before Waxing?

The popularity of chalk paint is continuing to grow at a rapid pace and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon as people seem to like the unique feel and look of the paint for home decor. This has resulted in a number of beginners starting to use chalk paint for their own projects resulting in a number of people reaching out with various questions as well as starting a few debates.

We have noticed more and more people reaching out to ask how long they should let chalk paint dry before waxing it and there has been a wide range of answers on social media and forums. Unfortinatley, many of these are incorrect and will probably lead to problems if you don’t ensure that your chalk paint has correctly dried prior to applying your wax to it.

This is why we have decided to publish this article with a goal of helping as many of our readers get their chalk paint to dry correctly and prevent them from having any issues. As there are a number of variables to take into consideration when it comes the drying times of chalk paint, we will be going over them in our article below to try and ensure that you are able to apply the best information possible to your specific circumstances.

How Long Should You Let Chalk Paint Dry Before Waxing?

The majority of people should leave their chalk paint to dry for around three days before applying any wax to it. This ensures that your chalk paint has had the best possible chance to dry in the vast majority of situations that our readers will find themselves in. This helps to take into account the temperature in your local area as well as the type of surface that you have painted with your chalk paint.

This is one of the main things that we see people missing when it comes to offering advice on leaving chalk paint to dry prior to waxing. There is no exact one size fits all answer due to most people’s situations being different and the local temperature and surface you are using your chalk paint on coming into play in how long it will take for your chalk paint to dry.

Using a high quality chalk paint can help to ensure that your paint will dry as quickly as possible no matter the temperature or surface that you have used the paint on though. On top of this, a decent chalk paint wax tends to be more forgiving for mistakes when it comes to the paints drying time and reduce the chance of issues but if the chalk paint is still wet when applying even a decent chalk paint, it is highly likely that you will have problems.

What Happens To The Chalk Paint If You Wait Too Long?

When looking to apply wax to chalk paint, it tends to be better to wait longer to apply the wax rather than rushing the process and applying it sooner. The majority of the time, there is no real downsides if you apply your wax to your chalk paint a few days or weeks after it has fully dried.

Technically, there is a small chance that you may end up having problems with your chalk paint and have a slightly larger chance of it cracking if you do wait a week or even a month after the paint has dried but it really is minimal. The issues start after the paint has been dry for a month without having any protection from a wax and depending on the temperature and weather where you live, these issues can become a real problem within a year.

The most common one is that your chalk paint will crack on the surface and often be unfixable in most cases. We go into more detail on this in our article going over why your chalk paint is cracking but other issues such as flaking, peeling, and color fade can start to occur too. This is why we always recommend that you get your wax product onto your chalk paint within a month of your chalk paint drying, ideally, within a few days of it drying with our set recommendation usually being three days but always check the paint is dry with your hand first.

What Happens To The Chalk Paint If You Wax It Too Soon?

Applying your wax to your chalk paint while it is still wet will rapidly cause problems, often within days. This is not only due to the wet chalk paint not being a suitable surface for your wax but the drying process of the chalk paint under the wax causing problems with your wax curing too.

This will often lead to blotching, cracking, clouding of the wax, and potential issues with yellowing too. This is why we always recommend that our readers wait at least three days prior to applying their wax. It will give most chalk paint formulas plenty of time to dry in most situations and prevent these problems for occurring.

If you are in a rush and you do need your chalk paint to dry as quickly as possible so you are able to apply your wax to it quicker, out article going over how you can get water based paint to dry quicker is probably worth reading. Those simple tips and tricks can often help you get your chalk paint to dry quicker to allow you to get your wax applied quicker but always check the state of your chalk paint with your hand to ensure that it has dried fully prior to applying your wax to it.

How Long Should Chalk Paint Dry Before Sealing?

We usually recommend that you wait three days to fully seal your chalk paint on most surfaces. The three days should give your chalk paint plenty of time to dry no matter the local temperature or the specific chalk paint formula that you are using and prevent any problems during or after the sealing process.

Although waxing your chalk paint and sealing your chalk paint are almost the exact same process, they are slightly different with it often coming down to the amount of wax that you actually use. The waxing process of chalk paint may only apply to certian areas of a surface to protect it from just wear and tear. For example, think of a wooden chair and you only wax the seat and arms where people will come into contact with to prevent the chalk paint from coming off.

The sealing process would cover the whole chair in wax to help protect it from the elements and ensure that the paint lasts you for as long as possible. If you are looking to seal your chalk paint for outdoor use then our article going over how to seal chalk paint for outdoors is definitely worth reading. Due to the more extreme temperature changes outdoors as well as the weather and UV light from the sun, the process is slightly different to ensure that your chalk paint gets all the protection that it needs.


That brings our article going over how long to let chalk paint dry before waxing to an end. We hope that you have found it helpful and that we have been able to help you avoid some of the more common mistakes that we see people make time and time again when it comes to waxing chalk paint. We have gone over the main points of what can happen if you apply your wax to your chalk paint too early or late too in an attempt to help you actually understand the potential negative sides.

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