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Can You Use Chalk Paint on Veneer? (Read This First!)

The term veneer can mean different things to different people. To some, it might sound like a material that is used in making some amazing good quality furniture.

While to some it will sound like the fake teeth we get for our grandparents when they lose the ones they already have.

A veneer can be the material that we need to make those teeth but at the same time, it just means thinly cut pieces of wood stuck to each side of a core.

A wood veneer is usually made of a natural thin layer of hardwood, that has a composite base material bonded to it.

So, if you are one of those fellas that decided to get some of this unique furniture cheap. Then you must have picked them up from different resellers or abandonware for trial.

Moreover, once we bring such furniture, they usually are in shambles or maybe the furniture you bought has a color of not match your taste. Thus, you decide to paint them thoroughly.

Keep reading below to know more about which paint to use and which paint to avoid when it comes to veneer furniture.

Chalk paint on veneer:

Chalk paint over veneer furniture is not uncommon. We can use chalk paint on the veneer easily, although we should make sure to prime it before applying. This is because the surface of the veneer paint is rather smooth. Thus, applying chalk paint alone will scratch off easily.

Veneer might be a material that is used to make fake teeth but in the case of carpentry and woodworking, the wood veneer carries a different meaning altogether.

Veneer in these cases is paper-thin cuts of wood. They are then applied to different sides of a strong core surface.

That surface could be almost any other furniture material. Usually for example we use furniture-grade MDF or substrate material. These materials rather help in stabilizing the furniture and introduces integral strengthening.

The whole point of veneer furniture is that this particular product is cheaper than traditional wooden furniture.

It is cheap but it is not weak or flimsy, it requires less wood but has the stability of the full-sized one. It is also durable and can be maintained for a long time.

We have to admit that focusing on the most crucial part of home building is the best way to approach it, and veneer furniture does fit that splendidly. Veneer products come in many shapes and forms, for example, veneer cabinets, veneer tables, and many more.

Pros and cons of chalk painting veneer:

Not everything that looks good is perfect. There are two sides to almost everything in this world. This painting is no different.

We have gone deep into the topic of this painting and found some pros and cons. Let us go through those briefly on the bullet points down below.


  • Chalk paint is easier to clean and it requires almost no prep work. Thus, making it a haven product for DIY projects.
  • Chalk paint has a better finish than most other paints. Sometimes it can look streaky but that just goes away once there has been more than one coat.
  • Chalk paint does not require sanding and thus makes the procedure of painting something all the more fluent.
  • Chalk paint dries faster thus allowing for not too much of a mess for someone new doing it.
  • Chalk paint is durable and it lasts about three or four more years before it needs to get rewaxed.


  • Chalk paint will require primer even though it does not require sanding. But due to it being painted on veneer wood, it requires a primer. Otherwise, the paint would scratch off easily.
  • Chalk paint is rather expensive but we do need a little of it. However, it does not change the fact that the price of it is pretty steep.
  • Chalk paint dries time increases between coats.
  • Chalk paint requires we wax it.

Can you paint directly on veneer?

No, you cannot paint directly on the veneer. This is mainly because of how the product’s surface is designed. Normally veneer’s surface is so smooth that if we use paint without priming the surface first, it might scratch off later on.

In some cases, you can paint on veneer. However, the fact remains that because of its shiny smooth surface, it will require primer. Especially if you have a veneer that is a shiny piece of paper that is constructed to look like wood grain.

Is sanding necessary before applying chalk paint on the veneer?

Usually, sanding is not necessary for applying chalk paint on furniture. Chalk paint’s unique features are that it can beautifully be applied to furniture without the need for primer or sanding. The application can start after a simple dusting of the product.

Therefore, we can say that it is not necessary for sanding before applying chalk paint. It is also not necessary to sand veneer furniture before applying chalk paint to it. Applying chalk paint on any type of furniture more or less is a painless procedure.

How to properly chalk paint on the veneer?

Chalk paint can be straightforward in usage. However, it might depend on the product you want to paint for the right procedure. Here’s how you can properly paint chalk on veneer furniture.

Gather tools:

Making preparations for the project ahead is the first and foremost thing we should be doing. After making sure we have all the equipment and necessary tools. We start by cleaning the furniture first before painting.

Place cloth on floor:

Then we need to lay a drop cloth on the floor so that it protects the floor from paint spilling.

We could also use a towel or piece of cardboard too. After the cleaning process, we need the furniture to be dry before going any further.

Apply primer:

We proceed to apply primer on it in this particular stage. This is important because chalk paint will scratch off easily if we don’t apply primer on it. After applying primer to it, we need it to rest and become dry.

Spritz the brush:

At this point, we start painting the furniture with chalk paint. Make sure to spritz the brush with the paint and while we paint the furniture, we need to spray the brush and the furniture with water continuously.

Apply paint:

With a damp brush we should apply the chalk paint to the furniture in a thin manner. The direction of the brushing should be in the same direction the wood grain’s facing.

Let it dry:

The last stage is the process of being patient and waiting for the product to become dry and ready again for the second coat.

It only takes about 20 minutes between each coat. Make sure to cover the brush in a plastic bag to prevent it from drying.

What kind of paint can you use on the veneer?

Painting on veneer is almost as similar as painting on usual wooden products. Therefore, there are not many paints out there that differ from the other ones.

So, to make things easier for the novice painter, we have compiled a list below consisting of different kinds of paints you can use on veneer products.

Milk Paint:

This type of paint does not have any toxicity in it. It is made from milk and lime. Sometimes there can be seen the use of pigments for the added color.

However, sometimes we might find milk-based paints consisting of borax and milk’s casein protein. The borax is there because it helps to activate the casein and also acts as a preservative.

Oil-Based Enamel Paint:

Oil-based paints are quite different from the other variants. They have many unique traits that make them enticing from the other ones.

Traits like the fact that this paint actually dries much harder and also provides amazing resistance to wear and tear over time.

Normally oil-based paints are called “Alkyd”. Enamel paints are an exceptional choice of paints when it comes to painting interior trim and doors. They are also perfect paints to use on veneer products as well.

Hi-Gloss Enamel Paint:

Have you ever seen furniture that seems to have the world’s best shine?

Well, that is because they were painted with Hi-Gloss Enamel paint. This paint has one of the shiniest appearances that resembles the glistening of glass.

The usual use of this paint is for ceilings, trim, and walls. All the gloss enamel paints are designed in such a way that they are compatible with all the other variants of hi-gloss enamel paint.

Final thoughts

You can use chalk paint on veneer furniture. Chalk paint is notorious for allowing painting without the use of a primer. However, in this case, we need to use the primer otherwise the paint will easily scratch off. This is only because the surface of the veneer furniture is already smooth.