What causes paint to lift and how do I avoid it?

Chalk paint has the amazing ability to be manipulated. One of the ways it can be manipulated is with water! Before chalk paint is sealed, it can be removed by rubbing with a wet cloth or brush. This is highly desirable for several finishes and techniques including wet-distressing.

This means that, especially on more smooth surfaces (laminate, glass, tile, etc.), applying a second coat of paint can “lift” the first coat. Why? Because the stiffness of the brush bristles combined with newly introduced wet paint can re-activate underlying layers.

You can avoid this by making sure the first coat is fully dry. Even though chalk paint dries quickly, it can take up to a day to cure. For particularly smooth and less-porous surfaces, you may consider allowing the first coat to cure beyond the typical dry time. Additionally, when painting subsequent coats, be sure not to overwork your brush.