Chalk-Painted Wooden Fall Table Runner

Posted by Stephanie Chan

Have you been wanting to try "chalk paint"? You may have heard of its many good qualities, such as low to no prep required, low to no odor, quick drying, easy clean-up and more. But you may have also heard that it's expensive and hard to come by. I got to try Decoart Americana Chalky Finish Paint, available right here on and I think if you've been wanting to try it out, this is a great option! Here's an easy project for your Thanksgiving table or to keep out all Autumn long: my Chalk Painted Wood Table Runner. I was inspired by the fallen oak leaves from the tree in front of my girls' school. They were scattered everywhere and the sidewalk looked so pretty.

Here's what you'll need:

Let's Get Crafty!

If necessary, sand your wood piece to remove any splinters. Otherwise, you do not need to do much prep when using chalky finish paint. This wood piece was left over from one of my husband's projects, but you can head to your hardware store and have them cut a piece for you to the size you like. My piece is 7x26 inches, good to sit in the middle of a table for six, or to stretch across a console table or coffee table.

I like to pour my chalky finish paint into a paper plate or bowl so I don't contaminate the rest of the paint in the jar. If you find that the paint is too thick, you may water it down with a spritz or two of water. Paint on the first coat, and allow to dry. Then paint another coat. Allow the 2nd coat to dry. It shouldn't take too long to dry, and it might dry a little bit lighter than when wet. It also dries to a soft matte finish.

I created my own leaf stencil. If you have an electronic cutter, you can save the image below to your computer and cut out the leaves onto vinyl. Or, you can trace the shapes onto vinyl and cut them out with a craft knife. You can also purchase a leaf stencil. You don't have to stick to oak leaves!

Position your stencil onto one end of the wood piece.

And gather your other pretty chalky finish paint colors!

Stencil the leaves randomly in the remaining paint colors. I did not have stencil brushes on hand, so I used some foam craft brushes instead, which is why I have some streaks in my stenciled leaves. Stencil brushes would have been much better. Painting on another coat helped get rid of the streaks in the end. Anyway, when you're finished with this first set of leaves, peel off the stencil and reposition it on an un-stenciled part, turning the stencil so the leaves look more random. Repeat until the entire surface is evenly covered with leaves. Or unevenly. Whatever look you're going for!

When the paint has completely dried, apply a coat of varnish with a foam brush to protect your new piece. Allow to dry completely. Varnish is very durable so you can place your decor on top without worry. The Soft Touch Varnish that I used left a sheen, but there are also finishes available to keep the more matte look if you like. All finished!

Decoart Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint is an inexpensive but high-quality option if you've been wanting to try out chalk paint. It leaves a soft texture that you can distress for a more rustic look. You can also apply it to all kinds of surfaces, and top it with all kinds of finishes. Plus they come in so many colors, and you can purchase them easily on!

More Ideas

Click here for more ideas using Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint!