Not to be confused with chalkboard paint, chalked paint has become very popular in recent years. It is a water-based paint originated by Annie Sloan (trademark name is Chalk Paint) and marketed by many other companies today under different but similar names. Chalked paint comes in both brush on and spray on applications. In most cases, you can paint right over any surface without sanding and prepping first.
Chalked paint creates a soft, flat, chalklike finish that many people like and it takes distressing easily. These features are very popular with people who refinish old furniture and buyers of that furniture love it. It does require a wax top coat to protect the chalked finish.
In the case of old wood pieces which may bleed color through the paint, and raw wood, you may need to apply a couple coats of shellac sealant before painting. Check out this web site for instructions: http://www.thepurplepaintedlady.com/2012/05/what-to-do-about-water-stains-or-wood-grain-bleeding-through-paint/
Chalked paint is thick, doesn’t require primer, requires fewer coats, and dries quickly. It glides on for great coverage and is easy to apply. With the wood preparation (i.e., shellac sealing), painting, light sanding, and wax finish, it can be a little time consuming. The wax finish is necessary because the paint chips easily without the wax.
Your furniture piece needs to start with a good cleaning with soap and water. Then fill any dents, divots, or scratches with wood filler. Paint two coats, sanding lightly between coats (third coat if you want it), let dry completely and coat with wax.
This web site has very good directions for using chalked paint.