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What Is The Best Chalk Paint You Can Buy?

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Post updated: 8/9/2021

Are you thinking about using chalk paint to transform a hand-me down piece of furniture, a thrift store find or do you just want to give a item of furniture you already own a new look, but don’t know which chalk paint brand is the best to use?

If so, I can help you make the right choice in choosing what chalk paint to use.

After painting many pieces of furniture and decorative accessories with chalk paint, I have found out the pros and cons of each chalk paint brand firsthand. I have also tested the best top coats and sealers to use to protect the painted finish.

In this post, I will share the pros and cons of the many brands of chalk paint I have used to help you make the best decision on what brand of paint to use for your project. One brand is even very budget-friendly.

Chalk paint that is affordable

When reviewing chalk paint brands to find the best ones, I looked at these factors:

  • How easily the paint went on.
  • How the paint looked without distressing/sanding.
  • How well it distressed when sanded.
  • Adhesion and coverage.
  • How the wax absorbed and the patina it produced when buffed?
  • How easy it is to buy.
  • The range of colors offered.

What Is The Best Chalk Paint You Can Buy

DC Blue Chalk painted sideboard with clock on top

Best Overall Chalk Paint

3 colors of Country Chic Paint on top of table

County Chic Paint – I used this paint for the first time on thrift store furniture for my granddaughter’s nursery. Ever since using it, it has become my favorite chalk paint for so many reasons.

Pros:

  • They carry the best selection of paint colors from rich saturated colors to pastels. They even have an online color chart showing what colors to mix to get another color. Which removes any color “guess-work” out of choosing a paint color.
  • You can buy the paint right from their website online. No need to hunt down an approved seller.
  • They sell 3 sizes of paint – sample, pint and quart. Having the option to sample the color before buying is wonderful since choosing the right paint color can be hard. The pint size is cost saving if you want to paint something small, you don’t have to buy a quart of paint.

Cons: None

Best Budget-Friendly Chalk Paint

Affordable chalk paint

Waverly Inspirations Chalk Paint – Don’t think because of it’s inexpensive price tag that this paint isn’t any good. It is my go-to when I need a basic color like black, white, or cream. I have also used most of the other paint colors on decorating projects around my house.

Pros:

  • The paint is sold at Walmart, which makes it very easy to get if you have a Walmart near you. As someone who paints a lot, this is a great paint resource – since I can go get some and be home in an hour. It is also sold on Walmart.com.
  • It comes in 3 sizes – 2 ounce, 8 ounce and 16 ounce jars.
  • It goes on just as nicely as the more expensive brands and dries to a very durable finish and is very easy to buff wax into to get a subtle sheen in the finish.

Cons: A small selection of colors.

Best Chalk Paint to Use on Upholstery

how to paint upholstery with chalk paint

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint has the best consistency for using to paint over firmly upholstered furniture. I saw her demonstrate the paint process at a workshop I attended.

Pros:

  • The paint comes in a wide variety of colors.
  • When using the paint to paint upholstery – you need to spray the surface with water first, then apply the paint. You also may need to add a little water to thin the paint, so it brushes onto the fabric easier. When you thin this paint, it doesn’t lose its chalky-ness. It dries to a nice even finish that on some fabrics doesn’t even feel stiff.

Cons:

  • It is hard to buy this paint. You have to find an approved Annie Sloan “stockist” which is hard if you live in a small town.

Best Spray Chalk Paint

Two brands of chalk paint spray paint. KILZ and Krylon

When it comes to spray formulas of chalk paint, there are a few that I can recommend.

Pros: Fast and easy to apply a nice even layer of paint. It goes on well and the color is true to what is shown on the cap.

Cons: Small range of colors that mostly run in the pastel range. If you want to paint your piece a bold color, you may have to use a chalk paint sold in a can using a brush.

Best Outdoor Chalk Paint

best outdoor chalk paint to use

ColorPlace Exterior Latex Paint – When you want to paint something outside that is on a porch, patio or deck, chalk paint can be used. It works best on vertical and textured items like brick or cinder block walls. It will wear off after a season or two on most other items that stay outside.

I found that when you add this DIY chalk paint recipe to exterior paint like I did to paint resin herb planters 5 years ago, the finish will last for a long time. My chalk painted planter’s color is still vivid and they look as nice now as they did when I first painted them.

Best Chalk Paint for Laminate Furniture

corner cabinet painted with DIY chalk paint using two colors

I know the title of this post stated chalk paint to buy, but when painting very shiny and slick surfaces, the best chalk paint for laminate furniture is the DIY chalk paint recipe I mentioned above. It uses both calcium carbonate powder and Plaster of Paris. You do have to buy these ingredients. :-)

Pros: This DIY mixture of chalk paint sticks to anything and wears like iron.

Cons: Mixing up your own chalk paint is an extra step and can be messy.

Honorable Mention

Magnolia Home Chalk Style Paint and Clear Wax

I do want to note that I have used other brands of chalk paint and they all work well – you really can’t go wrong with any of them. So if you have your eye on a color a chalk paint brand sells, go with it.

One that I like and is worth mentioning is Magnolia Home Chalk Style Paint.

Pros:

  • Goes on smooth and is easy to sand. Wax goes into the painted surface well and is easy to buff to a subtle sheen.
  • Is easy to find since it is sold at Target, Ace Hardware and online.
  • Made by KILZ. A paint brand I use a lot in my home and trust.

Cons: Only comes in muted and neutral farmhouse colors.

chalk painted bench sealed with Johnson Paste Wax

I hope this information helps you figure out what the best chalk paint is to use to paint your furniture.

If you have any questions about chalk paint and painting with it, just let me know by leaving me a comment.

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582 Comments

  1. I have wanted to try chalk paint for a while. There are so many options and I had no odds where to begin. Thanks for all of this great info Diane. :)

  2. What a wealth of knowledge. Thanks so much for taking the time to document your experiments. Recently bought a sample jar of “Duck Egg” Annie Sloan paint and plan to use it on a frame. Thanks to your great instructions, I will definitely try the grout formula. Also follow and enjoy your Pinterest files.
    Marilyn

  3. Thanks Diane for sharing your knowledge and testing results-that’s awesome. My question is about the hardened paint you sometimes get with the non sanded grout recipe. Are you able to salvage the paint by adding more water? Or is it ruined?
    I am trying an experiment with ASCP and the Benjamin Moore tinted chalkboard paint. I’ve painted 1/2 of each onto a cupboard door sample. They both went on well. I will try waxing them and see what happens. This is my first attempt with chalk paint of any kind. Any suggestions of what to watch for to determine if the BM paint works?

    1. Hi Jan –
      Love to hear that you are experimenting – that is the best way to see what works for you. You can add some more water to to help the paint that has hardened, but it may not help. I wish I could tell you why it hardens sometimes and other times it does not. I am assuming it could be the brand of paint that mixes with the grout, but is most likely the fact that grout and plaster are supposed to harden when mixed with water. I would use the Calcium Carbonate – that does not harden. As far as the BM chalkboard paint. Since it is a name brand – it will probably adhere well. That is what I would look for – good adhesion that does not chip off or can be scraped off with a finger nail. Let it cure before deciding as it can take up to 3 weeks to cure. Once cured rub your fingers over it and your finger nail. You also want to make sure that there is no previous color/wood tannin seeping through the paint. If that happens – you will need to seal it first with clear shellac. If the paint does not come off – you have good adhesion. When waxing – depending on how porous the paint is – you may need to add more than one coat to get the protection and shine you want.

      1. Thanks Diane. You’re the DIY chalk paint guru! Love reading other posts and seeing what other’s are trying and experimenting with. I will let you know how my BM paint holds up.