| |

What Is The Best Chalk Paint You Can Buy?

This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. Please Read my Disclosure Policy.

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.

You May Also Like:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

582 Comments

  1. Diane, Thank you for this wonderful review of chalk paint options. To date, I have only used Annie Sloan, but I love it. I’ve done the apron and legs of my farm table, the apron and legs of my kid’s size farm table and the base of a china hutch that we are converting into a wine bar. I tend to like a more rustic look, so have opted to use both the clear and dark wax and, in some instances, some pretty heavy distressing. But I have a question that I hope you can answer: I tried a sample of the white ASCP on the drawer of a cabinet, to compare the look to the latex paint I have traditionally used. The paint crackled, much like it would have had I used a crackle medium. Any clue as to why this may have happened?

    1. Hi Kathy – Sounds like you have been a busy painter. The most likely cause for a paint finish to crack the way you explain is probably because the surface was too glossy, or had some dirt or grease on it and the paint had nothing to grab on to. What you should do is sand it as smooth as you can and wash the surface with TSP. It will clean and prep the surface for painting. Re-apply the paint and let it dry. If it happens after you do this, then maybe it was the paint and it was not stirred enough and the bonding ingredients in the paint had settled to the bottom. Give it a good stir before using it.

  2. Hi Diane…
    After reading your first tutorial on DYI chalk paints I make my own with plaster of paris almost exclusively…I love it! I mix 1 part water, 2 parts plaster of paris, 3 parts latex paint…love it! I do love and adore Annie Sloan’s (over CeCe Caldwell) and would use that more if it weren’t so pricy. But I do have to say…Annie Sloan soft waxes are the best, I don’t scrimp there! Low smell factor and you can mix in chalk paint colors to tint your wax (not oil paints). At $25. a can it does last a long time and worth the cost…and there is no problem painting over it…unlike Briwax which is impossible to paint over.
    Thank you for your detailed and informative post…Denise

  3. Hi Diane
    I have some questions concerning 1) if I can use chalk paint on a fiber board bathroom cabinet?
    2) the inside of the cabinet, the paint has cracked, and come off of the fiber boards in some places, so the fibers have expanded. I am not sure as to what I can or can not do. Or if I can do anything at all at this point for the inside.
    Would it be a different treatment, perhaps using spray paint.
    What would you suggest I do for the expanded fiber?
    I really love the look of this cabinet.
    I unfortunately did not realize that it was made of such cheap material. But now I am a bit wiser.
    I really dislike throwing things out, I prefer to fix them if I can.
    Thank you for your emails, I love your wealth of knowledge.
    I so wish we were neighbors, and thus friends, I think we would have so much fun together. If you are ever visiting Montreal I would like you to come stay with us.
    Sincerely
    Marsha

    1. Hi Marsha – you can use chalk paint over fiber board. For the inside, I would use sandpaper to sand the areas that have peeled and chipped a bit to smooth them out as best you can. It may be impossible to get them flat, but it will help with the next step. I would apply Spackle or joint compound over the areas that have expanded with a putty or Spackle knife. Let it dry and then sand again. Repeat the process if necessary to cover the exposed wood. It may not be perfect, but since it is on the inside of the cabinet – it doesn’t matter as much. You can also seal exposed fiber board by painting over it with watered down wood glue. You would still need to sand it a bit to try to smooth it out first, then apply the wood glue over it. Since the cabinet is made of Mdf – I would lightly sand over the entire surface to rough up the smooth surface a bit. One or two light coats of chalk paint and then the wax – I think your cabinet will look amazing.

  4. Thank you for the information. I have found it be very helpful. I have made my own using plaster of paris and have been pleased with the results. I would like to try Annie Sloan, but the price does make me tremble a little. :) I also use Johnson wax and you are right……….it certainly does smell!