Chalk paint is a specially formulated paint that provides a matte finish that can easily create the vintage look of old weathered boards. This amazing best chalk paint is used in a lot of do-it-yourself makeovers of furniture.
There are a lot of chalk paints available on the market now so our experts tried many different chalk paint varieties. They tested the paint to see how good it was at covering, how easy it was to apply, and how easy it was to clean up after they were through with it. They also enlisted some novice painters and asked them to try the paints to see if they were easy for everyone to use.
The following 7 chalk paints are the ones our experts say did the best job and looked the best after they were applied.
Our Top Picks
- Best for Furniture: KILZ Interior Chalk Paint
- Best Chalked Spray Can: Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint Spray
- Best for Kitchen Cabinets: Retique It Chalk Finish Paint
- Best overall: Rust-Oleum Painters
- Best for Fabrics: FolkArt Home Decor Chalk
In-Depth Reviews of Best Chalk Paint & Chalkboard Paint
1. KILZ Interior Chalk Paint – Best for Furniture
This chalk paint goes on very thick so it requires fewer coats of paint to get proper coverage. One to two coats is usually sufficient for any project.
This paint can be used on wooden surfaces that are new and aged wooden surfaces, it can be used on cast stone, concrete surfaces and on metal if the metal is properly prepared.
It dries very quickly and will normally be dry to the touch in about 60 minutes and within 2 hours you should be able to apply a second coat or a sealer if you need to.
When you are finished painting your brushes and rollers and any spilled paint will easily be cleaned up with soap and water.
Each quart of paint will cover about 100 square foot.
2. Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint Spray – Best Chalked Spray Can
Whenever you want to paint wood, metal, ceramic items, canvas items, or just about anything this is the chalk paint you want. It is in a spray can so you do not have to mix or have a special applicator to use it.
This is oil based paint so it can hide imperfections in your wood and provide a uniquely superior coverage in fewer applications. Twenty minutes after you apply this paint it will be dry to the touch and normally you only have to have one coat for adequate coverage.
You will have less preparation to do when using this paint and each can of product will cover a 12 square foot area. You have no brushes or rollers to clean after you have finished so cleaning up is a breeze.
3. Retique It Chalk Finish Paint – Best for Kitchen Cabinets
This is everything you need to create a chalk paint masterpiece. If you have been waiting to repurpose a piece of furniture then now is the perfect time because this kit has everything you need.
The paint provides superior coverage and usually one to two coats is all that you will need. You do not have to do any sanding before you apply this paint.
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The kit includes a quart of paint and you choose the color, thirteen ounces of clear wax and 4 ounces of dark wax, plus a 2” paint brush, a 1.5” paint brush and a 1” detail brush.
You can paint between 80 and 100 square feet with this kit.
4. Rust-Oleum Painters – Best overall
This paint is perfect for the majority of do-it-yourself projects and refurbishing you do. It can be used on unglazed ceramic pieces, wood pieces, metal components, plaster pieces, and masonry. It is great for use both indoors and outdoors.
It is a water based product so it cleans up with simple soap and water. One quart of this paint will cover about 120 square feet.
It will dry to the touch in about half of an hour. It has a very low odor and when dry it will resist chipping and last longer than many other paint varieties.
Before you apply this paint you will need to prepare the surface you are painting by sanding it with fine grit sandpaper and then wiping the surface down with a degreaser. Allow this to dry overnight before you begin to apply the paint.
5. FolkArt Home Décor Chalk Finish Paint
This paint provides you with the ultimate matte finish. It can be applied to wooden pieces, terra cotta items like flower pots, metal components, ceramic items, paper, glass, canvas and more. It is an all-around good paint for any of your decorative pieces.
It is water based so you do not have to worry about it being toxic, and it cleans up with soap and water. It is safe for the environment and safe to use around pets and children.
It is very easy to layer this paint and then create a distressed look on something you are refurbishing.
You get 9 -2 ounce bottles of paint in Nautical, Spanish moss, Castle, Parisian Grey, Sheepskin, Oatmeal, Grotto, and White Adirondack.
6. FolkArt Home Decor Chalk – Best for Fabrics
This is an 8 ounce container of one of the best chalk paints for do-it-yourself projects. The paint goes on smoothly and creates excellent coverage in one or two coats.
It is a water based paint that is environmentally friendly and very easy to clean up.
You can use this paint on canvases, fabrics, plaster items, wood, metal, unglazed ceramics and more. It is very versatile and will add the ultimate finish to whatever project you have in mind.
The paint has a creamy consistency that is perfect when you are blending and shading an area. The finish will be matte but for a glossy look you can seal the object with polyurethane.
7. Rust-Oleum Interior Chalked Paint
This is a low odor paint that can even be used indoors. It is a latex paint that can be cleaned up with soap and water so you will not need any chemical components during clean up.
You will do very little prep before applying this paint and will receive excellent adhesion to your surface. It can be used on almost any surface material.
It dries to the touch in 30 minutes and the container will provide you with enough paint to cover about 150 square foot.
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The finish will be a creamy white matte. It is very easy to distress this finish and make your piece look like a vintage piece.
It can be applied with rollers, brushes or rags for the look you desire.
Benefits of Using Chalk Paints for Furniture
One of the biggest benefits associated with chalk paint is the surface area you are painting will need very little prep work. You will do very little sanding and scrubbing before applying this type of paint.
The paint goes on very smoothly even when you are applying it to a surface that has previously been painted. When you want to refinish a piece of furniture you do not have to strip the old paint away before you can apply the chalk paint. At times the old paint layers create interest when the paint is applied and dried so it makes the item look more vintage.
Chalk paint has a thick consistency that is less likely to drip than other paints. You have less drips and messes when you use this paint so it can be used indoors or outdoors with few worries.
Chalk paint is water based so it cleans up with soap and water. It is not harmful to the environment and you do not need to wear protective eye goggles or equipment while applying the paint.
Being water based paint means that children and pets will not be harmed by being exposed to this paint.
Best chalkboard paint buying guide for beginners
Chalk paint is a decorative paint and you want to make sure that you choose the best substance for the particular project you are doing. Consider the following things about this substance and you are sure to find the one that is right for you.
Consider the Top Chalke Brands in the Market
One of the major considerations you will have when you go to buy chalk paint is the different brands that are available. All brands of chalk paint have some characteristics, like increase durability, water clean-up, or fast drying, that make them preferable to other brands.
You should buy paint according to the brands you know, or ask other people who have used the different brands what they thought of the paint, how easy it was to apply, and how long the paint lasted.
Read the manufacturer label and determine the average durability of the paint brand you are buying. Sometimes we see a brand of paint that is a lot cheaper than the other brands and too late we discover that the paint that was so cheap does not last as long, or cover as well as the slightly more expensive brands would have.
Consider the Types
Chalk paint does not have a lot of different types, but you can buy paint that is applied with a brush or paint that comes in an aerosol can. You can buy water based paint and oil based paint.
Water based paints are environmentally friendly and are not harmful to pets, plants, or children. Many people prefer the water based because of that and other people like the water based paint because they can clean up using just soap and water.
Some chalk paints are designed to be used on specific surfaces. You want to make certain that the paint you purchase will adhere to the surface area you are painting. Ceramic surfaces, wood surfaces, metal objects, glass, and plastic are some of the most common surface types. You can also find paints that will allow you to paint canvas and fabrics.
Read the container label carefully to see what surfaces the paint is recommended for and to discern whether you have to do any preparation work prior to painting.
Some chalk paints do not require you to do any preparation to the surface prior to painting. You do not have to strip existing paint, sand, or degrease the items before applying the paint. You want to read the label and see what preparations the manufacturer suggests before you decide on which paint to buy and use.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most popular chalk paint color?
The most popular chalk paint color is white. The white paint is desirable for making some of the distressed pieces of furniture and decorative items.
What kind of brush do you use for chalk paint?
When you are applying chalk paint you have the luxury of using natural brushes, synthetic brushes, sponges, cloths and more. Chalk paint is very thick and forgiving so you can apply it in a number of ways using any applicator you like.
How do you make chalk paint shiny?
To give your chalk paint a high gloss you need to wax the paint after your final application. Waxes and finish sealers are the only way to add shine to your matte chalk paint finish.
Best chalk paint can allow you to take an old end table and turn it into a vintage looking piece that enhances the beauty of your home. Many people have taken pieces of furniture that was being thrown away and applying chalk paint to create a new piece of furniture that is beautiful.
Chalk paint is easy to use and forgiving of mistakes. You can apply this paint using several different application processes. It is a decorative paint that anyone can use and the only limitations on this paint are the limitations you place on your imagination.