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All You Need to Know about Chalk Paint and Chalky Style Paint

Learn everything you need to know about chalk paint and chalky style paint especially if you looking for the best chalk paint for furniture.

Chalk paint seems to be the pioneer in furniture painting. Before the invention of this beautiful paint, we (mostly) could not paint over previously finished wood. Heck, we could barely paint over anything without a lot of prep work.

I shared all the history about Chalk paint and chalky style paint in my post titled “how to use chalk paint.”

In a nutshell, Chalk paint was invented by a lady called Annie Sloan. She currently has a line of chalk paint called….can you guess? Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

The one ingredient in this paint that sets it apart from others is calcium carbonate. This ingredient is what makes it “chalky” and allows it to stick to almost anything! This allows you to paint on almost any surface without primer.

best chalk paint furniture

Also, primer is not required when you use chalk paint as long as there won’t be any bleed through (old paint or stains that will bleed through the new paint). If you aren’t sure if it will bleed through, it’s best to use primer. I’ve learned the hard way on this. Make sure to read about when and why to use primer here.

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Where do you buy chalk paint?

Looking for some of the best chalk paint products? If you want the “name brand” Annie Sloan chalk paint, you need to find a local antique store or boutique. Some of these boutiques and antique stores will ship.

If you would prefer to find a big box store, there are plenty of options!

Rust-Oleum chalked paint can be found at most hardware stores. They even carry a line of chalky style spray paints!

Rust Oleum Chalked paint

Valspar chalky paint (mainly found at Lowe’s) can be tinted in 40 different colors. It also comes in a spray paint option. I used it for a table top makeover here.

Valspar chalky finish

KILZ also makes a good brand of chalky style paints.

DecoArt has a line of chalky style finish paints that are very affordable and can be found at Hobby Lobby. Walmart even carries a good bit of chalky style paint.

Ace Hardware carries the Amy Howard one step paint (a chalky style paint). They also carry the new line from Magnolia Home.

There are a handful of other “chalky style” paints that I haven’t even mentioned. I mainly wanted to share most of the brands that you can find in stores.

Best Chalk paint for furniture

This is more of a personal preference, but when it comes chalk paint my two favorite are;

Rust-Oleum Interior Chalked Paint and Annie Sloan Chalk paint.

Annie Sloan chalk paint is my personal favorite because it self levels better than any other paint I’ve tried and easily gives any piece of furniture that super smooth matte finish. The downside is that it’s hard to find and can only be purchased in boutique like store.

Rust-Oleum Chalked paint is a great affordable chalk paint that is easy to find in big box stores. It doesn’t perform quite as well as other higher dollar chalk paints, but it comes close!

You can see a few projects where I used Rust-Oleum chalked paint line here:

Painting a wall with Chalk Paint

Painting a bench and Shelf with Chalk paint for a mudroom makeover

How do you apply Chalk paint?

I won’t go into too much detail with this because I’ve created a post all about how to use chalk paint. You can also check out my how-to chalk paint video.

Now that you’ve seen how to apply chalk paint, I’ll share a few different projects I’ve completed with it.

Annie Sloan Chalk painted furniture projects;

I gave my grandparents old kitchen table a makeover with Annie Sloan old white.

Dining Room Table and Chair Chalk paint makeover

I even painted our outdoor cushions with chalk paint! And yes, if you follow a good tutorial (wink wink) they will still feel like fabric!

how to paint fabric with chalk paint

You can see how I gave a chalk painted dresser a colorful makeover with adhesive vinyl.

Colorful Furniture Makeover with Annie Sloan chalk paint

Chalky style painted furniture projects

You can see where I gave my moms dining room table top a chalk paint makeover to withstand high traffic.

chalk painted table top

I also used this line of chalk paint with a paint sprayer to give a few thrifted cane back chairs a good makeover.

chalk painted dining room chairs

I even gave an old vintage desk a beachy makeover with this chalky style paint.

chalk painted furniture

I used a Kilz chalk style paint in white for this french farmhouse dresser makeover.

french farmhouse dresser makeover with chalk paint

How about Chalky style spray paint? I used a Rust-Oleum chalk style spray paint to give a bookcase an easy makeover.

chalk spray painted bookcase

What finish or sealer do you apply to chalk paint?

There are a handful of different options for this. When Annie Sloan created chalk paint, she intended it to be finished with a wax. The wax seals and prevents the “chalky finish” from scratches and other wear and tear.

That being said, I have found that there are some better options for high traffic areas.

I’ve detailed a post about furniture wax and why and how to use it. Beeswax is also a great alternative to cover chalk painted furniture with.

Furniture wax works great on pieces like dressers that don’t get a lot use.

furniture wax and why do you use it

For pieces like table tops that do need to withstand higher traffic, there are other sealers I would suggest. I wrote a whole post about how to seal painted and unpainted furniture for a high traffic finish.

how to seal furniture for high traffic

Have I covered everything?

For those of you who are beginners to the furniture painting game, I hope I’ve given you some insight about chalk paint.

Side note; I’ve also got an informational post about chalk paint vs. milk paint too. There are definitely some differences even though both are known to be “furniture paints.”

Let me know if you have any questions. I’m here to help!


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