How To Guide: CeCe Caldwell's Chalk + Clay Paint

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How To Guide:  Paint with CeCe Caldwell's Chalk + Clay Paints 




  • Scrape off any flaking or chipping finish or paint remaining on object and remove hardware, drawers, doors, etc… (you can sand your piece if you like but CeCe’s Paints do not require a sanded surface)  If you do sand your piece you do not have to use a degreaser or TSP substitute to clean it--just wipe with tack cloth or damp micro fiber cloth.
  • Clean thoroughly and dry completely. I like to use TSP Substitute as it cleans off any oils and old cleaners and also dulls the finish so the paint sticks nicely even without sanding.
  • Stir well (2-3 minutes). The pigments and minerals in the paint need to be reincorporated. You will notice the paint ‘loosening’ as you stir.
  • We recommend transferring some ‘working’ paint to a different container (disposable, plastic food containers work great). This protects your can of paint from cross contamination, air and fatal spills while you work. You can replace any remaining clean paint after your project is complete. You may thin your paint with water or floetrol depending on desired result and personal preference. When using a sprayer we have found thinning the paint with water results in a more even layer and a happier nozzle.
  • Apply paint with any brush you like. Best results are achieved with a high-quality synthetic or natural bristled brush. Many furniture painters really like using rollers and these also work well.  Be sure to get something for trim or a mohair roller.  Sprayers are also a great way to apply paint— especially to chairs!
  • Allow to dry completely before applying subsequent coats and/or a finish. Paint will lighten as it dries and will darken back up when a finish is applied.
  • Once your project is thoroughly painted and dry you can burnish with a piece of brown kraft paper (or ink-free portion of a paper grocery sack) or sand with a finishing sponge or fine grit sandpaper before and/or after your final finish.  I like to sand down my paint into a perfectly smooth surface with 220 grit sandpaper but most people just do a quick sanding with a finishing sponge or kraft paper before sealing and finishing.
  • Your finish can cure for up to 30 days, setting and hardening. Don’t display heavy items (especially if they are in the same place all the time) on finished surface for a month. Light decor could be safe after a few days, especially if it is moved often.
  • For even more tips and instruction visit the How To Guides at Vintage Bette. Reorder at Email questions or comments to
  • Share your work on Facebook/vintagebette or on Instagram @vintagebette.