Chalk paints are the best things that happened to DIYers in the past decade and for good reason.
It is simply the best solution to take when you are not that skilled but have a great perception of design and crafting, and you feel if the odds are in your favor and can renew all your home furniture yourself.
Chalk paints made all that possible. With its ease of use, anyone can pick up a can of chalked paint and without priming or sanding; it will get the job done. It may not be a decent one, but it sure is worth it.
If you are still a newbie when it comes to chalk paints, allow us to demystify it.
Chalk paint is first and foremost a registered trademark of the Annie Sloan brand, who is a designer with international acclaim, she invented the product in 1990 and has continued to improve the formula ever since.
Since its advent, several other manufacturers have produced and distributed varying types of products. This is where we come in, to bridge the gap between the worthwhile products and the trash that abounds.
It is worthy to note that chalk paints are not all hype, they offer some genuine advantages that no other paint offers, which is why they are generating all the fuss.
They are a great option if you are looking to renew some old furniture or produce a risqué antique look.
Whatever decision you make, you can accomplish it with chalk paint.
They can also be used to distress wood and do not require priming or sanding, although you can choose to opt for those former prerequisites if you wish.
We have put together the best chalk paints available in the market right now, these are the products we feel you should consider before you make a purchase, most especially if you aren’t purchasing Annie Sloan, you will want the most bang for your buck.
10 Best Chalk Paints
#01. Rust-Oleum 285140 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint 30 oz
This chalk paint offered by Rust-oleum has the accurate touch of chalky texture you will need when renewing old furniture.
On application, the paint creates a refined matte finish which is smooth to the touch. The finish can be easily distressed if you wish as we found and will give your piece a shabby chic, antique look.
If you are worried about priming and sanding, rest easy, the paint will adhere to any clean surface.
You only need to clean with a damp cloth. In terms of durability, this chalked paint is okay on its own but for more protection, as recommended you can preserve the coat with wax.
Our analysis shows the paint is of great quality and it has good coverage, but it seems the protective coat is not compatible with some types of wood and after application will give off a certain yellow hue.
You are better off with wax. Overall if you want to do a quick DIY this chalk paint will cover all your needs and give you the transformation required.
#02. FolkArt 34150 Home Decor Chalk Furniture & Craft Paint
This product creates an ultra-matte look on your furniture that adheres evenly on varying surfaces including; wood, metal, ceramic, terracotta, and plaster among others.
On application, the paint layers easily and is also easy to distress, and as expected you don’t need priming or sanding to get your surface ready.
We tried this product on several test surfaces and it turned out beautifully.
The paint is as functional as they come.
With just about two coats and a wax seal, the paint was as durable as the first finish, it was resistant to all our repeated normal handling and the surface did not show any visible cracks or discolorations.
The wax coat maximizes the matte finish and gives it a smooth matte seal. If you want a glossy finish you can use a polyurethane seal to achieve that result.
#03. Retique It by Renaissance chalk finish furniture paint
This paint not only has a spectacular name, “Retique it” but it is spectacular in use as well.
The product is touted to contain real wood, in other words, it is made of liquid wood and from our findings, we support that claim.
On application, this paint looks just like a newly polished strip of wood. The shades have a marked depth to them and will leave the surface of your old furniture sparkling new.
Apart from having a chalk base, which means you don’t need to necessarily strip or sand old finish, the product feels like you are applying a new wood surface to your furniture because it is.
In terms of its functionality, the paint is consistent and offers good coverage with a great texture. In the durability department, it holds its own too.
We found that after curing the finish is tough and will resist ordinary wear and tear.
If, however, the furniture would be in daily use like a chair or desk you can opt for more protection with a wax coat.
#04. FolkArt Home Décor Chalk Finish Paint Set
Small and chalked, this chalk paint lives up to its expected claims, it sticks unto furniture surfaces without priming or sanding and leaves a high-quality smooth finish.
The paint is perfect for small projects and will look impressive on all your set pieces.
One great thing about this product is that you don’t need to mix colors to get the accurate touch, the variations of ready-made colors are in their multitudes so you can get the perfect color for your project.
We also found the colors to be impressive with accurate depth and tone, so if you are going for a colorful look, this paint aces that department, the only issue here is that the paint is a little too small for big projects, but regardless it is a good starter set.
If you want to get the feel of the colors before you purchase then you can get this product as it comes with numerous varying colors.
#05. KILZ 00004404 Interior Chalk Style Ultra Flat Decorative Paint for Furniture
Apply to any old or new wood, plaster or metal surface this chalk paint will add some flair and character to any project you may have.
The paint is excellent when it comes to covering indoor pieces, it up styles your furniture with a smooth and even finish.
The coat is thick and offers enough coverage, so in just one or two coats your furniture will have enough depth before adding a protective seal.
In terms of durability, the paint will stick and adhere to most surfaces with just a little piece of cleaning.
But for more adhesion and durability it is best you lightly sand the surface before applying the paint, and as far as durability goes applying the KILZ clear sealing wax your new chalk paint in the best pristine condition.
Another plus is that this paint is also water-based so cleanup is very stress-free.
You can clean all your tools and paintbrush with just water and soap. No need for spirit minerals.
#06. Rust-Oleum 302595 Chalked Paint Spray, 12 oz,
This product takes the ease of applying chalk paint to a whole new level. It is chalk paint in a spray can!
While this innovation goes against the traditional way of applying spray paint, not only does it make the whole process easier, especially for those who are new to crafting and DIY.
It is also very easy to use. The paint is durable as it comes, and if you need more durability then our recommendation is to coat it with another layer of wax or polycyclic.
Overall, it is a welcome take on an easier way to apply spray paint, because with this product you don’t even need a paintbrush.
In terms of the overall functionality, it works just like a traditional spray paint with some added benefits.
It makes penetrating crevices on furniture easier; you don’t need to fiddle with your paintbrush before you get a coat on that hidden nook or cranny.
This is a viable solution if you are dealing with complex pieces.
#07. Krylon K05223000 Chalkboard Paint
Although this product is not traditionally advertised as chalk paint but chalkboard paint.
Because there are some differences in the base, but since this particular product is made up of the same base we decided to test it out and found it is worth a shot if you are looking for some more chalky colors with a deeper depth.
Offered from this manufacturer are solid sets of deep colors with a suitable tone.
The paint can be used both indoors and outdoors on furniture, walls, metal, plaster among others. In terms of sanding and priming, while this paint can be applied without these prior processes, we recommend you sand lightly before application for the best results.
Its durability is excellent, even without the application of a coat of wax, the paint will adhere to the surface even after repeated use and some rough handling so you have little to worry about.
#08. Chalk Finish Paint Mix by Dover’s
This product offers a solution to solve the quantity problem of chalk paint.
As expected, chalk paints are quite pricey and most times even two cans of chalk paint are not enough to finish one job, especially if you are trying to deviate from the original coat.
This product is a 100% chalk paint mix that offers more bangs for the bulk.
The best thing about this product is that after you get the right consistency it works just like the original, you can get the same texture, finish, smoothness like a ready-made chalk Paint and even more thickness depending on the mix.
In terms of how functional it is, the product functions as traditional chalk paint. Priming and sanding are not necessary and they can be used on a variety of surfaces.
#09. Mediterranean, Heritage Collection All In One Chalk Style Paint (NO WAX!)
This chalk paint packs all the punch in one package; the coats and wax are all mixed in together to create chalk paint that you only need to apply without any care for another protective coat. But does it work?
After our analysis, while we can verify that it works it has its gripes.
Looking at this product from the primary perspective; as chalk paint, it works as great furniture paint. It easily restores and renews furniture without the need for priming and sanding.
It comes in varying colors and the base is concocted in such a way that the paint will stick to almost any surface without hassles.
In terms of durability, the paint slightly struggles in that department, while it is durable enough for it to be on this list, due to the inbuilt wax the consistency if the paint falls behind and it is not self – leveling.
Although these issues can be resolved by adding another layer of wax, this defeats the purpose the product was created on. It still serves as a worthwhile shot.
#10. Chalky Chic Chalk Finish Paint
This product is as functional as the name sounds so will you get that chalky chic look? It’s a yes! While it is not perfect, it is good enough to make this list.
This chalk paint will adhere to most surfaces with ease, no priming or sanding required.
It is also durable to withstand regular wear and tear, but for the best results, we recommend you add a protective layer of wax.
Another great feature of this paint is the finish after it dries and cures. It has a smooth matte finish and additionally it is very easy to use and clean up.
Benefits of Using Chalk Paints
No prep required
Normally, if you were going to apply latex paint, you would need to prime, strip and sand in most cases. With chalk paint, you don’t need to do all that, the paint will stick to the surface as long as it is not dirty, you just need to clean it up.
After the paint is dry it gives a refined matte finish; the chalky look. This is the reason why it is generating all the buzz among DIYers.
Quick and easy clean up
After you finish painting with chalk paint, you will only need to clean your tools with soap and water, and that is all there is, you don’t need to bother with mineral spirits to clean your brush and paint compartments.
Chalk paint will get dry to the touch after one hour, it is really quick. With this advantage, it is quick to see what your new paint job looks like and helps to ascertain what the paint looks like
Renew old furniture
Chalk paint can be used for some other things but first and foremost it is a furniture paint and at that, it excels. It works excellent when used to renew old furniture, it will adhere strongly to the surface and will get into grooves and crevices to give your furniture a uniform look.
Q1: Do I need to prime and sand before applying chalk paint?
No. It is not necessary. The whole science behind the chalk paint formula is that it requires no sanding or priming for the paint to stick to a surface. All that is required is to ensure the paint is applied on a clean surface. However, if the surface you are renewing is covered with rust, loose particles, or debris, you can use consistent sandpaper to prepare the surface.
Q2: Can I use a spray to apply my chalk paint?
Yes, some manufacturers have alternate spray versions of their product, but if you can’t get your hands on it you can get any other spray equipment for your paint. Chalk paint will adhere evenly with a good spray mechanism.
Q3. What is the best way to apply my chalk paint?
Chalk paint can be applied in different ways if you are an adventurous painter, but typically chalk paint is best applied with a brush. The bristles of the brush can also leave brush lines which can sometimes be a part of the look.
Q4: Is there a particular type of brush I should use?
Our recommendations are for you to use a brush with natural bristles for the best effects. Your brush should be flexible and soft, it should hold enough paint at a go so you can get the best expressive look. The idea is to get a brush that flows well with ease
Q5: How long will it take for my new chalk paint finish to cure?
Chalk paint takes as quick as one hour to dry, and 30 days so you can feel your new surface in no time after drying, however, it is recommended that you space out the subsequent coat applications.
Q6: What is the best way to preserve my new finish?
Furniture painted with chalk paint dries up quickly but may take as long as thirty days to cure. As such you should avoid piercing the paint surface with any sharp objects and spilling alcohol on it. However, to add another layer of preservation, you can wax the surface for more resistance to wear and tear.
Chalk paints like all products have their shortcomings but notwithstanding they are one of the best things that have happened to personal home-improvement in years.
If you are considering whether you should get a chalk paint over a latex-based one, our advice to you is that it is worth a shot.
In the end, it is you who would decide whether or not it rocks your boat.
- 10 Best Chalk Paints
- #01. Rust-Oleum 285140 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint 30 oz
- #02. FolkArt 34150 Home Decor Chalk Furniture & Craft Paint
- #03. Retique It by Renaissance chalk finish furniture paint
- #04. FolkArt Home Décor Chalk Finish Paint Set
- #05. KILZ 00004404 Interior Chalk Style Ultra Flat Decorative Paint for Furniture
- #06. Rust-Oleum 302595 Chalked Paint Spray, 12 oz,
- #07. Krylon K05223000 Chalkboard Paint
- #08. Chalk Finish Paint Mix by Dover’s
- #09. Mediterranean, Heritage Collection All In One Chalk Style Paint (NO WAX!)
- #10. Chalky Chic Chalk Finish Paint
- Benefits of Using Chalk Paints