Paint Techniques Using Chalk and Clay Paint

Our favorite technique to share and teach is one that looks very difficult, and in the past, has been an advanced process for paint artists requiring many different products.  But now, can be achieved with just one product line, American Paint Company chalk/clay/mineral paints!


It’s what we call a “Textured Clay Finish”.  This look requires more steps than just adding texture to your painted surface.  We will show you how to really ‘add the years’. This works especially well to create a consistent look when working with a piece of furniture with severely damaged veneer or other marred surfaces.
Here’s what you’ll need:
  1. Paint (only one color)
  2. Clear Wax
  3. American Grit
  4. Your favorite paint brush
  5. Metal scraping spatula (trowel)
  6. Sea sponge
  7. Paper towel
  8. Water
  9. Something to paint


Step 1:
Apply a heavy coat of paint and let dry slightly.
On this sample, a dark color was first used to simulate how an actual piece of old furniture would have a stain color already on it.  It is best to apply this technique over an existing finish.


Step 2:
Wad up some paper towel and pounce onto the wet paint surface, pressing into the paint and pulling back up to leave small stipple like bumps.


If you are working on a piece of furniture, work on one full side at a time for even texture.  After creating textured bumps, let dry completely.
As your piece is drying work on the other sides or stop to admire the ‘secret ingredient’.

It’s more than just paint with chalk.


Step 3:
Using a damp (but wrung out) sea sponge, saturate the dry paint to soften it.


Step 4:
Holding the trowel flat, drag it back along the moistened paint to flatten the stipple bumps.


You’ll find that it is now like a clay consistency.  Continue to manipulate the entire surface.


If you pull too much off, simply reapply the clay with your finger.  Adding this back to the surface, creates that authentic ‘over the years, time worn’ look. Using your finger, smooth out any bumps that cannot be done with the trowel.  Be careful not to leave your tool marks.


You should now have quite a bit of texture.


Step 5:
After your piece dries completely, wax it using Clear Wax.
The next step will include American Grit, a powder to simulate the dust of time!
Step 6:
Apply the American Grit with a small wax brush.  Simply press the grit into the damp wax, working it into the crevices.


Step 7:
Buff the finished piece with a rag or towel.


What do you think?

Now there is hope for those pieces that you thought were too damaged to be pretty again, just add some textured clay!

Post courtesy of Bungalow 47


  1. Cindy MacSuibhne says

    I love the way that looks when it’s painted and it reminds me of a story my father once told me. As a young woman in the 70s I wore blue jeans and was the style large patches what were neither blue nor well stitched. He said that during the depression his mother sewed his worn and tore pants with the tiniest of stitches as not to be perceived as poor.
    I think of the refinishing of furniture like that, time worn look yes but that look would have been perceived as poor by the owners and they might have wished for a fresh coat of paint, now we go to great lengths to make it look it like that.

  2. Will this technique work if you use polyurethane instead of wax? Thank you.

    • mm American Paint Company says

      Using the American Grit would require using the wax. Although you can effectively use polyurethane over our natural chalk and clay paint, for this technique and look, wax would be best.

  3. Marii Brunnström says

    Hej vart kan man köpa denna product?l

We Love to Hear From You


American Paint Company