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 an 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, antiques 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.
Criteria I Used for Reviewing Chalk Paint Brands
To find the best chalk paint products to use to makeover furniture, I looked at these factors:
- How easily the first coat of paint went on.
- How the paint looked without distressing/sanding.
- How easy any brush strokes were to sand smooth.
- 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.
Is All Chalk Paint the Same?
Yes and no. Yes, that all brush-on chalk paint is water-based, low odor with low voc. They are all matte finish paint that requires no primer, little prep work and soap and water clean up. Once dry, all chalk paint can be sanded to create a distressed look or left alone for a more modern finish.
After application and once the paint is cured and dried, it will not chip and is quite durable once sealed with poly, water-based varnish or sealing waxes.
Is Chalk Paint Better Than Regular Paint for Furniture?
I think so for many reasons. Best of all it can be used various surfaces and materials, from wood, metal, glass, laminate, and even canvas or upholstery fabric. You can read more about it in this post: How to Paint With Chalk Paint
Does Chalk Paint Hold Up On Furniture?
I have chalk painted dressers, coffee tables, end tables, sideboards and more with all brands of chalk paint. All of these pieces have held up beautifully.
For the painted finish to become durable, it needs to cure and be sealed. I sealed a few of my pieces with a topcoat of polyurethane, but I sealed most with a wax finish using both clear wax and dark wax when I wanted to achieve a vintage look on the finish.
Chalk paint isn’t only for furniture, it can also be used on kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities providing a beautiful long-lasting finish.
What Is The Best Chalk Paint For Furniture?
Since there are many chalk paints on the market today and all are good, the choice may come down to color selection and price.
Some brands offer only a few colors in their paint line, while other have dozens of colors that can be customized. Prices for a quart can range from $14 to $40.
Best Overall Chalk Paint for Furniture
County Chic Paint – I used this paint for the first time on thrift store find furniture for my granddaughter’s nursery. Ever since using it, it has become my favorite chalk paint and overall best furniture paint for so many reasons.
- 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 shades. Which removes any color “guess-work” out of choosing a paint color.
- You can buy the paint right from their website online or on Amazon. 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.
- It goes on super smooth finish and if you use their chalk paint brush – the paint glides right on.
Best Budget-Friendly 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 red, black, white, or cream. I have also used most of the other paint colors on decorating projects around my house.
- 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 which is nice when you only need a small amount for a small piece of furniture.
- It goes on just as nicely and full coverage is achieved after 2 coats just like the more expensive brands. It 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
Annie Sloan is the inventor of chalk paint when her line, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint was the first chalk paint ever. She made the paint and the the shabby chic look to painted furniture popular. You can’t go wrong using this paint on wood or laminate furniture, but I like it best on upholstery.
It has the best consistency for using to paint over firmly upholstered furniture. I saw her demonstrate the paint process at a workshop I attended.
- The paint comes in a wide variety of colors that can be mixed together to come up with many different 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.
- It is hard to buy Annie Sloan paint. You have to find an approved Annie Sloan “stockist” which is hard if you live in a small town.
Best Spray Paint Chalk Paint
When it comes to spray paint colors of chalk paint, there are a few that I can recommend.
- KILZ Spray Chalk Paint – comes in 10 pastel colors.
- Krylon Chalky Finish – has a wider selection of colors.
Pros: Fast and easy to apply a nice even layer of paint. It is what you need if you want to chalk paint a wicker basket as the spray gets into various texture of the surface. 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
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
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.
I do want to note that there are other best chalk paints for furniture I have used and they all work well – you really can’t go wrong with any of them. So if you have your eye on a certain color a chalk paint brand sells, go with it.
One that I like and is worth mentioning is Magnolia Home Chalk Style Paint.
- 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.
Frequently Asked Chalk Paint Questions
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 on this post.