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The 10 Best Chalk Paints of 2020

Best Chalk Paint

Photo: 4undes.com

If you are thinking of breathing some new life in your old furniture or any other wooden structure, you should start by shopping for the best chalk paint.

Chalk paint is a specialized paint type that leaves a chalky appearance and feel on a surface. This texture and appearance give old and worn-out furniture and new lease of life and a more upcycled look.

Although it is a registered trademark of Annie Sloan, this paint is now available in several variations from almost all leading paint manufacturers. In this piece, we help make it easier to choose the best with reviews of some good options and a detailed buying guide.

10 Best Chalk Paints – Review

IMAGE

​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

Rust-Oleum 285140

1. Rust-Oleum 285140 (Best Overall)

  • Adheres to a wide variety of surfaces
  • Low-odor formula
  • 30 minutes dry time
  • Velvety smooth finish
American Crafts 366867

2. American Crafts 366867 (Best Cheap)

  • More affordable
  • Usable in different surfaces
  • Odorless and non-toxic
  • 30 minutes dry time
Krylon K05223000

3. Krylon K05223000 (Best for Chalkboard Surfaces)

  • Smooth and slate-like finish
  • Works on different materials
  • Simple brush-on application
  • Writable and erasable
FolkArt 34151

4. FolkArt 34151 (Best Brand)

  • Top quality paint by a leading brand
  • Durable matte finish
  • Easy layering/distressing
  • No priming or stripping required
  • Works on many surfaces
Retique It Renaissance

5. Retique It Renaissance (Best for Furniture)

  • Adheres well to furniture and cabinet
  • Zero VOCs and non-toxic
  • Silky smooth finish
  • Hypoallergenic
Dover's Chalk Paint Mix

6. Dover's Chalk Paint Mix (All-Natural Formula)

  • All-natural formula
  • No sanding or priming required
  • Does not clamp or harden in storage
  • Easy mix and use
Dixie Belle DB YankeeBlue

7. Dixie Belle DB YankeeBlue (Top Rated)

  • Easy application
  • Zero VOCs
  • Flat rich finish
  • No sanding or priming needed
Rust-Oleum 302595

8. Rust-Oleum 302595 (Super-Fast Drying Spray)

  • 20-minute dry time
  • Excellent adhesion
  • Ultra-matte finish
  • Minimal prep
Heirloom Traditions Paint Mediterranean

9. Heirloom Traditions Paint Mediterranean (All-in-One)

  • All-in-one formulation
  • Adheres to most materials
  • Requires minimal prep
  • 140 square feet coverage
Amitha Verma BB04

10. Amitha Verma BB04 (Thick & Creamy)

  • Thick 1 coat coverage
  • 20-minute dry time
  • No prep work
  • Low-odor paint

PRODUCT

1. Rust-Oleum 285140

(Best Overall)

Rust-Oleum 285140
  • Adheres to a wide variety of surfaces
  • Low-odor formula
  • 30 minutes dry time
  • Velvety smooth finish

2. American Crafts 366867

(Best Cheap)

American Crafts 366867
  • More affordable
  • Usable in different surfaces
  • Odorless and non-toxic
  • 30 minutes dry time

3. Krylon K05223000

(Best for Chalkboard Surfaces)

Krylon K05223000
  • Smooth and slate-like finish
  • Works on different materials
  • Simple brush-on application
  • Writable and erasable

4. FolkArt 34151

(Best Brand)

FolkArt 34151
  • Top quality paint by a leading brand
  • Durable matte finish
  • Easy layering/distressing
  • No priming or stripping required
  • Works on many surfaces

5. Retique It Renaissance

(Best for Furniture)

Retique It Renaissance
  • Adheres well to furniture and cabinet
  • Zero VOCs and non-toxic
  • Silky smooth finish
  • Hypoallergenic

6. Dover's Chalk Paint Mix

(All-Natural Formula)

Dover's Chalk Paint Mix
  • All-natural formula
  • No sanding or priming required
  • Does not clamp or harden in storage
  • Easy mix and use

7. Dixie Belle DB YankeeBlue

(Top Rated)

Dixie Belle DB YankeeBlue
  • Easy application
  • Zero VOCs
  • Flat rich finish
  • No sanding or priming needed

8. Rust-Oleum 302595

(Super-Fast Drying Spray)

Rust-Oleum 302595
  • 20-minute dry time
  • Excellent adhesion
  • Ultra-matte finish
  • Minimal prep

9. Heirloom Traditions Paint Mediterranean

(All-in-One)

Heirloom Traditions Paint Mediterranean
  • All-in-one formulation
  • Adheres to most materials
  • Requires minimal prep
  • 140 square feet coverage

10. Amitha Verma BB04

(Thick & Creamy)

Amitha Verma BB04
  • Thick 1 coat coverage
  • 20-minute dry time
  • No prep work
  • Low-odor paint

1. Rust-Oleum 285140 – Best Overall Chalk Paint

Rust-Oleum 285140

Photo: Rust-Oleum

  • Coverage: Up to 150 sq. ft.
  • Dry Time: 30 minutes
  • Number of Colors: 12
  • Volume: 30 ounces

The fact that you can use the Rust-Oleum 285140 on a wide variety of surfaces from wood and metal to ceramic and canvas is what makes it out best overall product as it will be very useful to have around.

However, this paint also dries much faster as it will be dry enough to the touch in just 30 minutes, and it has decent coverage as one quart will give you up to 150 square feet coverage.

Also, this is a low-odor water-based paint, which besides not producing any unpleasant smell is also quick and easy to clean with soap and water. And it will also leave a nice, velvety surface which you can also easily distress if you want a more classic look.

Because this paint is only ideal for indoor use only, some users might find it a little restrictive, but this should still not be the deal-breaker.

Pros:

  • Ideal for use on different surfaces
  • Does not have unpleasant odors
  • Easy to clean up
  • Leaves a nice and smooth finish
  • Relatively shorter drying time

Cons:

  • Good for indoor use only

2. American Crafts 366867 – Best Cheap Chalk Paint

American Crafts 366867

Photo: American Crafts

  • Coverage: Not specified
  • Dry Time: 30 minutes
  • Number of Colors: 1
  • Volume: 16.5 ounces

The American Crafts 366867 is an inexpensive option for anyone looking for the best chalk paint but it is still highly effective and useful. What’s, more this paint will adhere to different surfaces, which makes it highly versatile.

This chalk paint is odorless and non-toxic which not only makes it safer to use but also means it will be more eco-friendly.

Application is fairly easy as there is no priming or stripping required as a clean surface is all you need. And once you have the paint on, it will only take 30 minutes to dry to the touch.

The instructions recommend the use of a foam roller, which is a little misleading as rollers can make the application more uneven. However, a paintbrush should give you great results. And because the paint dries quite fast, you should not have any difficulties applying several coats.

Pros:

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Safe to use
  • Can be applied on different surfaces
  • Easy to apply
  • Dries quite fast

Cons:

  • Misleading instructions
  • Several coats required

3. Krylon K05223000 – Best Chalk Paint for Chalkboard Surfaces

Krylon K05223000

Photo: Krylon

  • Coverage: Not specified
  • Dry Time: 1 hour
  • Number of Colors: 4
  • Volume: 29 ounces

If you are looking for a simple but effective way to put an ugly cabinet side or even wall to good use, this chalk paint will be a good buy. With this paint from Krylon, you can transform the surface to a chalkboard surface for various uses.

This paint is fairly easy to apply, and it will provide a long-lasting surface that will remain intact for a long time to come to minimize the need to keep applying more coats.

Besides wood, you can also use it on several other surfaces including plaster, metal, glass, and ceramic. And users will also appreciate that it creates a smooth, slate-like surface. This surface can be easily written on and erased.

You will need to apply several coats of this paint to get good coverage, but given that it dries quite fast, this should not be a big concern.

Pros:

  • Creates a smoother finish
  • Easier to apply
  • Long-lasting finish
  • Can be written on and erased
  • Applicable on different surfaces

Cons:

  • Several coats required

4. FolkArt 34151 – Best Brand Chalk Paint

FolkArt 34151

Photo: FolkArt

  • Coverage: Up to 16 sq. ft.
  • Dry Time: 2 hours
  • Number of Colors: Assorted
  • Volume: 8 ounces

FolkArt 34151 is a top-quality chalk paint from a highly reputable brand that has been making a wide variety of products for arts and crafts for more than 4 decades. Hence, you can be confident that you are getting premium quality paint thanks to the brand reputation.

This chalk paint will also impress many users with the durable matte finish that it leaves behind. Also, layering the paint is quite easy, and you will not need to put in a lot of effort to distress the surface.

You can also use this paint on different surfaces as it will adhere well to everything from wood to metal, canvas, and plaster. To ensure you have an even easier time, you will not need to do any priming or stripping when applying this chalk paint.

The jar opening seems a little on the smaller side and hence making it harder to fit some paintbrush sizes. However, you can easily work around this by pouring it on a paint tray or even another clean container with a larger opening.

Pros:

  • Top-quality product by a reputable brand
  • Adheres well to different surfaces
  • Leaves a pleasant matte finish
  • Quick and easy layering
  • You will not need to do any priming

Cons:

  • Smaller jar opening

5. Retique It Renaissance – Best Chalk Paint for Furniture

Retique It Renaissance

Photo: Retique It

  • Coverage: Up to 100 sq. ft.
  • Dry Time: 30 minutes
  • Number of Colors: 44
  • Volume: 32 ounces

Retique It Renaissance is purposely formulated for furniture and cabinet. This paint is just what you need to give your old furniture a more upscale look, and it will be perfect for contemporary, chic, and vintage styles.

The finish is also smooth and chalky, which is just what you want from your chalk paint. And because this is a non-toxic paint that will not contain any VOCs, it will also be safer to use.

No priming or sanding will be required before you can apply this chalk paint, and it will only take around 30 minutes to dry.

The scent that this chalk paint produces is quite strong, but you should be okay if you keep the room well ventilated. Also, it is lighter than expected, but a few extra coats should provide good enough coverage.

Pros:

  • Excellent adherence to furniture
  • Nice and smooth chalky finish
  • Does not require any sanding or application
  • Non-toxic and does not contain any VOCs
  • Dries relatively faster

Cons:

  • Strong scent
  • A little lighter than expected

6. Dover's Chalk Paint Mix – All-Natural Chalk Paint

Dover's Chalk Paint Mix

Photo: Dover's Chalk Paint Mix

  • Coverage: Not specified
  • Dry Time: 30 minutes
  • Number of Colors: 1
  • Volume: 1 gallon

Dover's Chalk Paint Mix is an all-natural product that is made from non-toxic ingredients to ensure it will be safe for both the user and the environment. And this is also an easy mix and use chalk paint that will give an easy time even if you are a first time user.

This product will not harden or clump when in storage, which means you can use as little of it as you want and then store the rest almost infinitely.

You will also not need to do any sanding or priming before application, which saves you time. And once dry enough, this paint will live behind an exceptionally smooth surface.

If you are planning to wax the surface afterward when using this chalk paint it seems to take a little more effort. However, you should still be able to do it well with a little patience.

Pros:

  • Includes all-natural and non-toxic ingredients
  • Quick and easy to mix
  • Allows you to make as little paint as you want
  • Sanding not require before application
  • Exceptionally smooth finish

Cons:

  • Waxing can be a pain

7. Dixie Belle DB YankeeBlue – Top Rated Chalk Paint

Dixie Belle DB YankeeBlue

Photo: Dixie Belle Paint Company

  • Coverage: Up to 38 sq. ft.
  • Dry Time: 40 minutes
  • Number of Colors: Assorted
  • Volume: 8 ounces

The top-rated Dixie Belle DB YankeeBlue is an easy and quick chalk paint to apply, and it will also adhere perfectly to furniture to ensure you have a long-lasting coating.

No priming or sanding will be required before applying this chalk paint, which means it will save you a lot of precious time. And while the 40 minutes dry time is not the shortest on our chalk paint reviews, it is still good enough.

This chalk paint does not contain VOCs, and it is also non-toxic, which makes it safe for the users and the environment. For the finish, you get a flat rich finish that you can easily distress to get the look that you want.

Some of the colors are not exactly as they appear on the package and description, but they are close as it gets with any paint.

Pros:

  • Easy and quick application
  • No priming/sanding required
  • Contains no harmful compounds
  • Leaves a rich finish

Cons:

  • Colors seem a little off

8. Rust-Oleum 302595 – Super-Fast Drying Chalked Paint Spray

Rust-Oleum 302595

Photo: Rust-Oleum

  • Coverage: Up to 12 sq. ft.
  • Dry Time: 20 minutes
  • Number of Colors:1
  • Volume: 12 ounces

You will not have to wait for long to apply the second coat when using the Rust-Oleum 302595 as it is a super-fast drying chalk paint that will be dry enough to the touch in just 20 minutes.

Besides drying fast, this chalk paint will also adhere perfectly to the surface to ensure the paint lasts long enough. And apart from wood, the paint can also adhere to various other surfaces like metal and canvas.

There will be minimal preparation required when using this chalk paint because no priming or sanding is required. Many users will also love the smooth ultra-matte velvety finish that this paint will create.

This paint is quite thin and can hence be a little running, but provided you apply it correctly and do not put too much on one spot, it should not run.

Pros:

  • Dries relatively faster
  • Adheres perfectly to surfaces
  • Minimal preparation requires
  • Leaves a nice velvety finish
  • Ideal for a variety of interior surfaces

Cons:

  • Can be a little runny

9. Heirloom Traditions Paint Mediterranean – All-in-One Chalk Paint

Heirloom Traditions Paint Mediterranean

Photo: Heirloom Traditions Paint

  • Coverage: Up to 140 sq. ft.
  • Number of Colors: 25
  • Volume: 32 fl oz

The all-in-one formula of the Heirloom Traditions Paint Mediterranean is what makes it a good classic home chalk paint as it will contain the primer, wax, and topcoat all in one product. What this means is that you will not need to buy several products when working on your furniture or cabinet.

When applying this chalk paint, you will not need to do a lot of prep work as no sanding or priming is required because a good cleanup with soap and water is enough.

The 32 fluid ounce container provides a wider coverage of up to 140 square feet, which means just one goes a long way. And this will also be a versatile paint as you can apply it on a wide variety of surfaces.

When you compare this chalk paint to others on our list, it seems a little pricier but the extra cost stems from the fact that it also provides relatively wider coverage.

Pros:

  • Formula contains a primer, was and topcoat
  • Require very little preparation before applying
  • Can be used on a wide variety of surfaces
  • Provides a wider coverage

Cons:

  • A little pricier

10. Amitha Verma BB04 – Thick and Creamy Chalk Paint

Amitha Verma BB04

Photo: Amitha Verma

  • Coverage: Not specified
  • Dry Time: 20 minutes
  • Number of Colors: 10
  • Volume: 4 ounces

Amitha Verma BB04 comes in a thick and creamy texture that will ensure that even 1 coat will be enough for you, which reduces the amount of product you need and the time you spend on the product. Better yet, the paint also dries to the touch in just 20 minutes.

There is almost no prep work that will be needed when using this chalk paint as it does not require any sanding priming or striping.

You can also be confident that the results will be pleasant enough for you as this paint will leave a smooth and flawless finish. And because this is a low odor chalk paint, you will not have to worry about annoying smells during application.

There is little product in the container as this paint comes in a 4-ounce jar, but the good news is that a little of it does a long way.

Pros:

  • Thick and creamy enough for singe coat coverage
  • Faster drying time
  • Does not require a lot of prep work
  • Leaves a smooth and flawless finish
  • Produces little odor

Cons:

  • Little product in the container

How to Buy the Best Chalk Paints

How to Buy the Best Chalk Paints

Photo: Retique It

1. Surface Suitability

Because chalk paint will be typically used on wooden furniture, it is easy to assume it will be good only for painting wood, but this could not be further from the truth.

There are different types of chalk paint, which will be ideal for different surfaces besides wood. You can get something for leather, laminate, fabrics, brick, stone, and a wide variety of other surfaces.

Some of these chalk paints will be formulated to adhere to various surfaces, while others are only good for a specific surface. Hence, you need to keep what you want to paint in mind when picking your paint.

2. Colors

Like any other paint type, the chalk paint will be available in several colors, and so as you are choosing one you need to also choose your preferred colors.

Some models will only avail their products in one color, which can be a little restrictive. But, others like the FolkArt 34151 will come in assorted colors to make sure there is something for everyone and any project.

That said, the right color for you will depend on your personal preferences, and other things like color scheme throughout your home. But the good news is that you can get almost any color you can think of, just like with other paint types.

3. Coverage

The best chalk paint for you is one that will provide good enough coverage to ensure you will not need to buy too much of it, which is expensive.

In many instances you will need to apply more than one coat, and so if the chalk paint you choose does not provide wide coverage, you will end up having to buy several containers.

For an 8-ounce container, a chalk paint that provides at least a 10 square feet coverage should be good enough.

4. Drying Time

When you are applying several coats or are working on something that you want to use immediately, then you need a chalk paint that dries faster.

A fast dry time is also favorable if you will want to apply other things like wax over the chalk paint as it will speed up the job for you.

Most of these paints will be dry enough to the touch anywhere from 20 minutes to over 24 hours, but the best ones are those that will provide a dry time of under 2 hours.

5. Adhesive Qualities

Any chalk paint that you choose also needs to have good adhesion properties to serve you well. Good adhesion means it will stick well on the surface and also last long, which eliminates the need to keep reapplying it often

While it can be a little hard to know the adhesion qualities of chalk paint before using it, reading customer reviews and feedback should give you some idea.

Also, the type of chalk paint matters because those with an acrylic base tend to have superior adhesive qualities when compared to the latex-based ones.

6. Eco-Friendly

A good chalk paint should also be Eco-friendly to ensure its use will not have any adverse effect on the environment or even the user.

For this to be so, it should not contain any toxic materials or produce any odors that can pollute the air in the house and the surroundings.

Something all-natural and non-toxic like the Dover's Chalk Paint Mix is an example of an Eco-friendly chalk paint that will be a good buy for an environment-conscious buyer.

How to Use Chalk Paint

How to Use Chalk Paint

Photo: Amitha Verma

Anyone into home improvement will agree that using chalk paint can seem quite a daunting task at first, and it is also quite intimidating.

However, this is only so before you master it because, once you know how to do it, the job is as easy as applying regular paint. Here are the easy steps to follow when applying chalk paint.

Step 1: Clean What You Want to Paint

The first step of the job should always be to clean the piece you want to paint. A dirty piece not only creates an unsightly finish but also affects adherence. Soap and water are often enough for this step.

Step 2: Apply Chalk Paint

Once the piece is clean and dry, you can now proceed to apply the chalk paint. Here you can use either a paintbrush, paint gun, or roller depending on what you find most comfortable. Rollers are faster and hence ideal for larger pieces, while paint guns are perfect for thinner paints. When using paintbrush be careful not to leave unsightly brush strokes in the piece.

Step 3: Sand the Piece

After applying the chalk paint, you need to give it enough time dry before you apply another coat. And once all the coats are dry, you should then sand it lightly. Sanding will help create that distressed look, but make sure you do not apply too much pressure.

Step 4: Cleanup

The next step is to clean up the piece. Here you should use a damp towel to remove the dust that will be left behind after sanding.

Step 5: Apply Wax

Lastly, you can apply wax to seal and finish the surface. Applying wax waterproofs the surface to prevent water damage for your piece and ensure the chalk paint lasts long. But, some pieces will not need any waxing and some chalk paint types also do not require you to wax afterward. And so you can skip this step.

Conclusion

With the best chalk paint, you will have a simple but effective way to revamp old, worn-out furniture, and you can be sure there is an option that will work for you on our list.

Overall, the Rust-Oleum 285140 takes our top spot as it is a high-quality and low-odor paint that will adhere to different surfaces and leaves a nice velvety finish.

And if you are looking to save a few bucks, the American Crafts 366867 will give you a good deal as it is one of the cheapest options on our list.

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