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Guide To Cleaning Chalk Paint Furniture: Easy And Fast

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Painting furniture with chalk paint is a great way to add a unique and personalized touch to any furniture project. Not only does chalk-style paint allow you to customize the look of your furniture, but it can also be straightforward to clean. 

Whether you’re dealing with dust, dirt, or stains on your chalk-painted furniture, you can take some simple steps to clean it while maintaining the matte finish and shabby chic look effectively. So, how do you clean chalk-paint furniture?

To clean furniture painted with chalk paint, wipe away dust or dirt with a clean, lint-free cloth. For a deeper clean, use a damp cloth to wipe away stains.

How to clean chalk paint- using microfiber cloth on kitchen table.

Here are a few easy steps that will give you more tips to clean chalk paint furniture.

Learn more: what is chalk paint for furniture.

Is Chalk Paint Easy to Clean?

A piece of furniture painted with chalk paint is easy to clean. The best way to clean the furniture piece is by using a dry lint-free cloth to wipe away any dust or dirt.

A dry cloth is an easy way to take care of everyday dusting without harming the painted surface.

If you need deeper cleaning, use a small amount of warm water on a soft cloth. Use a slightly damp cloth to wipe the entire surface. This should remove the majority of debris and give your furniture a nice shine.

Wiping in the direction of the brush strokes is a good idea and will give you the best results.

Make sure and wipe the hardware as needed too.

Why Can’t I Use Furniture Polish on Chalk Paint?

Never use harsh chemicals to clean painted furniture. This includes furniture painted with chalk paint, traditional paint (aka latex paint), or any type of paint.

Save the furniture polish for wood furniture. 

Pledge, Old English, and other oil-based cleaners are meant to clean and protect sealed wood surfaces, not paint. They can also leave behind a sticky residue.

Old English furniture polish is not to be used to clean chalk painted surfaces.
Do NOT use wood furniture polish to clean chalk paint furniture.

Many pieces of painted furniture will have a topcoat of either clear wax, dark wax, white wax, polycrylic, or polyurethane.

Regardless of the sealer used (i.e., poly or wax), furniture cleaners can potentially damage these topcoats.

What Other Chemicals Should I Avoid When Cleaning Chalk Paint Furniture?

As mentioned, the easiest way to clean painted furniture is by wiping it with a dry microfiber cloth. 

But there are cleaning agents you want to avoid using on your chalk-painted surfaces. 

Chemicals to avoid when cleaning chalk painted furniture:

  • Vinegar (apple cider or white vinegar)
  • Degreaser that has not been diluted
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Bleach
  • Mineral Spirits

While those chemicals can be great to have in your cleaning arsenal for the rest of your home, they could damage the top coat or layer of wax on painted furniture.

How to Clean Stains on Chalk Painted Furniture 

One of the best things to use for cleaning tough stains or grease from the surface of painted furniture is clean water and a little bit of dish soap.

Dawn is my personal preference. It is a mild soap that is a fantastic degreaser and will remove oils, makeup, and other debris from the furniture with relative ease. 

It is excellent to remove smudges and fingerprints around drawers and knobs.

Dish Soap and Water

The best option for tough stains is dish soap.

Just dip a clean cloth in soapy water, remove excess water, then wipe away the stain with the damp rag or sponge!

This works to clean pieces of furniture that have been painted with regular paint or chalky paint.

Krud Kutter

Another great way to remove oil stains from painted furniture is diluted Krud Kutter.

I would not use this to clean furniture with a chalk paint finish on a regular basis. I would also not use it to clean the entire piece. 

But it is a great option if you have a small area on your painted furniture that needs extra attention. 

I would only opt to clean painted furniture with diluted Krud Kutter when warm soapy water cannot cut through a stain.

How to Fix a Damaged Area

If you notice small sections of your painted furniture have scuffs, chips, or other marks you can not remedy with basic cleaning, you have ways to fix this!

The most common way to fix damaged areas on chalk painted furniture is by giving it a light sand with fine-grit sandpaper. 

Frequently this will be enough to make the scratch disappear while not ruining the smooth finish. I have done this on my kitchen table a few times, and it works nicely.

If needed, use a thin coat of paint over the old paint. Multiple coats of paint are likely not needed. Let coat dry thoroughly, then apply a thin layer of clear wax (with a wax brush or clean rag) for added protection.

Sometimes scuffs can give a vintage piece a beautiful distressed look! Depending on the paint colors used, you might decide to leave it.

Distressed coffee table with sanded paint as well as layered paint.

My old coffee table has thin coats of several decorated paint colors. Each different color adds more depth to the piece. So, the great thing is scuffs and marks add to the character.

Get more tips for painting here.

Final Words

Cleaning chalk paint furniture with a dry cloth and a bit of water can keep your painted furniture looking beautiful for a long time. 

For tougher stains, use dish soap and water to clean them. A popular choice for soap is Dawn.

Keep your furniture makeover in good condition with these easy cleaning techniques. Chalk paint is durable and perfect for a beginner just getting started with furniture painting.

No priming is needed with this water-based chalk paint, AND it’s easy to clean. Sounds perfect for furniture painters of all skill sets!

Happy cleaning!

Learn more:
Get more in-depth tips: what is chalk paint for furniture.

Yield: 1 clean chalk paint furniture piece

How to Clean Chalk Paint Furniture

cleaning chalk painted furniture with dry cloth-loveourreallife.

Tips to safely clean chalk paint furniture without damaging the surface.

Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost under $5


  • Water
  • Mild dish soap
  • Krud Kutter


  • Microfiber cloth


  1. For daily cleaning: use dry, clean lint-free cloth to wipe away any dust or dirt on chalk painted furniture.
  2. For deeper clean: use slightly dampened clean cloth to wipe away any debris.
  3. For tough stains: Use small amount of dish soap (Dawn) and water to gently scrub away stain using lint-free cloth.
  4. For oil-based stains: Should dish soap and water not remove stain, consider using Krud Kutter (diluted) to remove stain.


Avoid using harsh chemicals such as bleach when cleaning chalk painted furniture. Click here for more information about chalk paint for furniture.

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