Chalk paint is a fantastic option for anyone looking to paint wood, furniture, doors, and walls. The deep, rich, and vintage-looking chalk paint finish has made it extremely popular for furniture DIYers. The simplicity of chalk paint begins with the ease of preparation before beginning a furniture transformation. Many different chalk paints are available commercially; in this post, you’ll find a list of chalk paint best brands.
What is chalk paint?
Chalk paint was created by Annie Sloan and has a very smooth texture, looks modern yet vintage, and is incredibly easy to use. Because of the ease of use, chalk paint has become a trendy finish for most DIYers. This decorative paint has a chalky matte finish that is easy to distress. Rarely does a project need any preparations other than cleaning before applying paint. No sanding or priming? Count me in!!
Check out this incredible chalk-painted furniture makeover from a traditional cherry finish to a stunning blue coffee table with rattan.
What kind of chalk paint is best?
There are many fantastic brands of chalk paint. The answer to this question may not be the best chalk paint, but what kind of chalk paint is quickly available when needed. I decide on many furniture refinishing projects off the cuff if you’re anything like me. So, frequently, due to my waiting until the last minute, I grab what is in my garage or what I can find at a local store.
That said, there are a handful of chalk paint brands that I do recommend. Here is my list of the best chalk paint brand options.
Annie Sloan chalk paint
Annie Sloan developed chalk paint in 1990. As the inventor of chalk paint, the name and products carry a lot of weight with DIYers and professionals. Annie Sloan has 42 different colors of chalk paint. Many of these colors are very popular and sell fast. The biggest drawback of the brand is cost and finding a local retailer in your area. Depending on where you live, it could be tough to get your hands on this excellent chalk paint. The closest retailer to me is about 30 minutes away. One liter of Annie Sloan chalk paint, which is a little over 33 ounces for comparative purposes, is currently priced at $42.99.
In my experience, I have found that Annie Sloan chalk paint gives a rough feeling finish to the furniture and is thicker than other brands. I don’t think it is worth the price, but many people prefer it due to its popularity.
heirloom traditions all-in-one paint
Heirloom Traditions Paint is an online retailer of chalk paint. The company was founded by a commercial interior designer who wanted the products to focus on the painter and make the painting process as simple as possible. Products are water-based, non-toxic, and have low VOC. Besides cleaning to remove surface oils, it doesn’t require preparation of the furniture, such as stripping or sanding. The exception is painting over previously painted surfaces that are peeling or chipping as they need to be sanded until the surface is smooth. Available in 29 fabulous colors and different size options from 8 oz to a galloon, Heirloom Traditions brand is a primer, paint, and an exterior grade sealer in one. Many people use this brand due to its durability.
Type of Finish: low luster matte sheen with a buttery smooth feel
Protective Top Coat: An exterior grade sealer is already built in the paint, so no additional sealant is needed.
Price Point: A 32 oz can is priced at $24.95.
Tip: They believe in their product so much that they are currently offering a free sample. Just pay for shipping. If you have the time to order online and wait for delivery, this is an excellent option for your next project. I noticed a pop-up on the website offering a discount when signing up for texts and emails.
For a gorgeous transformation, I used Heirloom Traditions All-In-One on this chalk-painted end tables project.
Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint
Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint is a mass-produced paint that can be ordered online or picked up at your local big-box home improvement retailer. This product’s color selection is much smaller; however, the colors available are quite trendy. This chalk paint is a solid option with a MUCH lower price point, and it’s available to order on Amazon, which is a huge bonus. You can also find aerosol spray cans of Rust-Oleum. It is also easier to get your hands on locally if you wait until the last minute like someone I know.
Type of Finish: Velvety soft matte
Protective Coat: Top with Chalk Matte clear coat for protection and durability
Price point: A 30oz can is anywhere from a little over $19 to almost $25. A 12 oz spray aerosol can is $9.98
Behr Premium Chalk Decorative Paint
Behr Chalk Decorative Paint offers more flexibility in color choices. There are only a handful of premixed colors, but the great news about this product is that it is tintable. This feature opens up almost the entire spectrum of colors available. Have a favorite color you found on Pinterest? Home Depot can pull it up in their computers for custom-ordered chalk paint. It is hard to beat this option. With very little surface preparation required, you’ll need to follow up the velvety chalk-painted surface with wax, also available from Behr, for a protective finish. Behr chalk decorative is available in four of the most popular colors in a spray paint aerosol.
Type of Finish: Dead flat sheen smooth
Protective Top Coat: A protective topcoat is recommended to seal the finish. Behr Chalk Decorative paint is a 2 part paint and wax system.
Price Point: A 32 oz can of Behr is currently priced at $19.98. A 12 oz aerosol can is $6.98
DIY Chalk Paint
If all else fails, make chalk paint yourself. Yep, you can make this paint, and it is easy and affordable. The beauty of making it yourself is you are in total control of the color and the consistency of the product. There are many different ways to make chalk paint; my recipe is as follows. Grab a quart of paint plus primer in your color of choice in a flat or eggshell finish. I prefer to use paint and primer in one as pictured above, but this particular brand is not necessary. Add 1 cup of paint, 1/3 cup of Plaster of Paris, and 1/3 cup of water. Stir the paint mixture together really well and…boom! You have your DIY chalk paint.
Type of Finish: Smooth matte or eggshell, depending on the paint.
Protective Top Coat: Seal with a furniture wax or a clear matte poly. I don’t recommend using poly on surfaces that have been chalk painted a light color as it can cause it to be yellow.
Price point: 1 quart of paint + primer $9.98 (Home Depot Glidden Diamond Interior Paint) + Plaster of Paris $9.98 (available in a 4lb box)
* The quart of paint pictured is a bit more expensive at $19.98 per gallon, but there are cheaper options like the one listed above.
I used my homemade DIY chalk paint to makeover this stunning blue coffee table with rattan accents.
Should chalk paint be sealed?
Chalk paint doesn’t have to be sealed, but I prefer a protective topcoat. It will have an ultra-matte look and velvety feet if you do not seal it. However, I would suggest sealing chalk paint. The best way to seal chalk paint is with a finishing wax. A few options are Jolie Finishing Wax or BB Frosch Premium Finishing Wax. The clear wax will liven up the color and give it a little shine. You can control the amount of shine by how much you buff the wax after application and dry time.
How many coats of chalk paint?
Often you can get away with one coat of chalk paint. Potentially no sanding, priming, and just one coat! Lighter colors may require two coats, while lighter colors might only need one. Here is a helpful tip…The thicker the chalk paint, the better coverage.
Do I have to sand before using chalk paint?
Most of the time, NO! Most of the time, the only sanding is to correct any irregularities in the wood you would like not to be visible once the project is complete or if any visible areas are chipped.
Is chalk paint good for furniture?
No, it’s not good; It’s incredible for furniture! No sanding, priming, and one coat. Chalk paint is the most simple and efficient way to paint furniture. It is almost impossible to mess up using chalk paint. Don’t be afraid. Chalk paint will hide most mistakes you may make.
I hope my list of chalk paint best brands is helpful. Chalk paint is a simple and beautiful option for most pieces of furniture. There are numerous applications and many brands to choose from.
If your furniture needs stripping, check out how to strip furniture with easy off.