Chalk Painting Our Front Porch Bench

before black bench on porch with floral pillows and after off-white chalk painted bench with floral pillows

I enjoy the transformational process that occurs when I chalk paint furniture. This post will teach you how to chalk paint a bench. We purchased this bench from Grandinroad. It is the perfect size for our porch; however, we changed our minds about the color (black) and decided to chalk paint it so it blended better with our porch.


I lightly sanded the bench to rough up the finish to ensure the paint would stick. I wiped it down with a damp rag and let it dry.

Chalk Painting the Bench

I did the sanding outside. However, I covered my kitchen island with paper and carefully painted it inside. The Alabama heat is torture during the summer! ☀️ Because chalk paint dries so fast, I try to chalk paint inside (shop, basement, garage, etc.). I have learned this the hard way in that my paint was drying before I finished painting a section and this led to brush marks.

I always start painting furniture on the bottom or underneath. This is my favorite chalk paint. I like this brand and color. Even though it is a small jar, it goes a long way. I purchased it at Home Depot, but you can also purchase it from Amazon.

In this picture, I started painting over the black. I took my time to be sure I painted every nook and cranny.  There are several crevices. 

A few more painting tips for chalk painting a bench. . .

When you paint, be sure to paint in the direction of the grain of the wood. Try to paint with long, even strokes. When you paint the edges, make sure your last paint stroke ends at the edge of the surface – – sort of letting your paintbrush finish this stroke going off (or away) from the table.

Also, check for drips. If you have a drip, go over this again with your paintbrush.

I checked it from every angle to be sure I did not miss any spots. I also interrupt Neal from working and have him double-check me. I let the first coat dry and then paint a second coat of the chalk paint to ensure even coverage.

Sanding to reveal the undercolor

Now I am ready to sand off some of the chalk paint to reveal portions of the black. I moved it outside to sand it.

I first start with all the edges. I sand all the like areas before moving to another “like area”. For example, I do all the legs, then both arms, then the back, then the seat, etc. This helps me to ensure consistency.

On some pieces of furniture, I just sand the edges and on some, I sand the edges first and then come back and sand some of the flat areas. It just depends on the look you desire. After I initially sanded all the edges, Neal looked at it and wanted me to sand the flat areas too. So I did!

Below are some closeup pictures after sanding. 

I want the spots revealed to be random (no uniform). I also try to sand the areas that would be naturally worn a little more. 

I look it over multiple times to be sure that I did not miss any section and to ensure a uniform look.


Now it is time to wipe it down with a cloth to remove the dust that occurred from sanding and prepare for polyurethane. In many instances, I use a blower before wiping it down with a cloth to remove the dust.

 Now, it is time for polyurethane. I use this Minwax wipe-on poly.

Tip: Be sure to apply the poly in the same direction as the grain of the wood. Use long even strokes in a very uniform way to give it a smooth and consistent finish. If you are not consistent, you might see smudges after it dries. If that happens, don’t sweat it, just learn from it. Over time, you will not even notice this.

I put 2 coats of poly on the bench and made sure to let it dry between coats (let dry overnight between coats). 

I carefully moved it to the porch to dry.

When the poly was dry, I added my pillows. We were pleased with the result!

Here is a picture from the fall. Welcome to our home!

Click here to see the Milk Can blog post.

Click here to see the blog post on sewing pillow slipcovers.

Check out some of my other chalk painting blog posts:

Thanks for visiting our blog! Please comment or let me know if you have any questions about how to chalk paint a bench. Also, be sure to share our post!


  1. Sannygeway on 12/11/2018 at 3:44 PM

    Nice posts! 🙂

  2. Fleta on 04/16/2019 at 2:58 AM

    Could you tell me what theme are you making use of on your web site?
    It looks nice.

    • Suzanne on 04/16/2019 at 7:29 AM

      Thanks so much! I am using WordPress.

  3. Opal on 05/14/2019 at 2:34 PM

    Thank you for another informative web site. I have a project that I’m just now working on, and I’ve been on the lookout for such information.

  4. VincentReabs on 08/04/2019 at 6:20 AM

    Hi. Good Job!

  5. How to Chalk Paint a Lamp on 09/22/2019 at 10:17 PM

    […] small, but it really goes far. I have used this color on multiple items (farm table, vintage bench, porch bench, and dresser) and I LOVE IT because it goes with anything. I describe it as an oatmeal […]

  6. Linsey Scarpino on 05/30/2020 at 7:07 AM

    Very nice article. I absolutely love this website. Keep writing!

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    […] To see other chalk paint projects using this color: Front porch bench  Dresser […]

  8. Pam Smith on 09/05/2020 at 2:54 AM

    I like how this turned out. the paint color is pretty.

  9. Brady on 09/06/2020 at 9:57 PM

    This is beautiful.

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