The 8 Best Chalk Paints of 2019

Give your furniture a decorative, rustic touch

paint-in-cans
Courtesy of Getty.
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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: BEHR White Interior Chalk Paint at Home Depot

“It adheres easily to most surfaces and dries to a smooth matte finish.”

Best for Furniture: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint at anniesloan.com

“A quick-drying formulation that doesn’t require priming or sanding.”

Best for Kitchen Cabinets: Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte at Home Depot

“Give your kitchen a bit of vintage charm without the renovation.”

Best for Walls: Amy Howard Flat Chalky Finish One Step Paint at Ace Hardware

“A great all-around chalk paint that’s perfect for large-scale projects.”

Best for Fabric: Americana Decor Primitive Chalky Finish at Home Depot

“Ideal for putting your own creative touch on furniture, upholstery included.”

Best Spray Can: Krylon Matte Classic White Chalky Spray Paintat Lowe’s

“Users write that it dries without streaks or runs.”

Best Protective Coat: Rust-Oleum Interior Protective Topcoat at Home Depot

“Adds a layer of protection that’s stronger than a standard wax topcoat.”

Best Brush: Natural Bristle Paint Brush at Lowe’s

“Specifically designed for chalk paints and waxes.”

  • 01 of 08

    Best Overall: BEHR White Interior Chalk Paint

    behr-chalk-paint
    Courtesy of Home Depot.

    Behr’s White Interior Chalk Paint is our pick for best overall because it adheres easily to most surfaces and dries to a smooth matte finish. It can be tinted to over 500 colors and is ideal for a huge range of applications, from refinishing furniture to painting cast tone—it can even be used on metal. Give it a subtle shine with clear wax or hit it with some sandpaper to give it that classic antique look.

    Behr’s White Interior Chalk Paint is sold in 31-ounce cans and covers up to 150 square feet per quart. Home Depot shoppers write that it’s extremely versatile and comes at a more affordable price point than Annie Sloan, the pioneering chalk paint brand.

  • 02 of 08

    Best for Furniture: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

    annie-sloan-paint
    Courtesy of Annie Sloan.

    We couldn’t write a list on the best chalk paints without including Annie Sloan, the original brand that started it all. First sold in 1990, it’s since taken the DIY world by storm—and it holds up as an ideal paint for refinishing furniture. With a quick-drying formulation that doesn’t require priming or sanding, along with a trademark matte finish, it’s tailor-made to make your DIY life just that much easier (and your furniture will look great, to boot).

    The brand sells its chalk paint in dozens of colors, ranging from simple whites and charcoals to dreamy blues and sunny oranges. While it’s not as easy to find as some of the better-known paint brands (it’s generally sold in specialty shops, not the larger hardware stores), it’s maintained a loyal cult following and is still one of the best chalk paints on the market.

  • 03 of 08

    Best for Kitchen Cabinets: Rust-Oleum Chalked Chiffon Cream Ultra Matte

    rust-oleum-paint
    Courtesy of Home Depot.

    Want to give your kitchen a bit of vintage charm without a ground-up renovation? Hit your cabinets with a coat of Rust-Oleum’s Chalked Chiffon Cream Ultra Matte paint, which adheres to nearly any surface has a smooth matte finish that takes well to distressing. One 30-ounce can cover up to 150 square feet, and the product has a dry time of around 30 minutes. While one coat is sufficient for some applications, the brand suggests applying a layer of topcoat to your kitchen cabinets in order to protect the finish.

    Customers write that Rust-Oleum’s Chalked Chiffon Cream Ultra Matte has a great, true white, without the hint of yellow you’ll see in some white paints. It covers well and easily adheres without any priming required—just what you want in chalk paint.

  • 04 of 08

    Best for Walls: Amy Howard at Home Flat Chalky Finish Linen Latex One Step Paint

    amy-howard-paint
    Courtesy of Ace Hardware.

    For a great all-around chalk paint that’s perfect for a large-scale project, like painting your walls, we recommend Amy Howard at Home’s Flat Chalky Finish paint. It has all the hallmarks of great chalk paint, with no need to sand, strip or prime. It will adhere to most materials, whether your walls are wooden or made of concrete or stone. Each can contains 32 ounces of paint and covers up to 125 square feet of surface. It can be used both indoors and out.

    Whether you’re painting walls or furniture, customers rave about Amy Howard at Home’s Flat Chalky Finish paint. It dries to a flat, suitably chalky finish, giving anything it’s used on that coveted distressed look. While a little goes a long way, most recommend applying three coats for the best coverage.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Best for Fabric: Americana Decor Primitive Chalky Finish

    americana-decor-chalky-paint
    Courtesy of Home Depot.

    Paint on fabric? Believe it. The beauty of chalk paint is that it can be used on nearly any material with little to no prep, and fabric is no exception. Americana Decor’s Primitive Chalky Finish paint is ideal for putting your own creative touch on furniture, upholstery included, with effortless adhesion and a soft finish. Just dilute the paint with a bit of water, then test it on your fabric to make sure you’ve got the ratio right. Once it dries, heat seal your work by using an iron or putting it in the sun.

    Customers write that Americana Decor’s Primitive Chalky Finish paint is virtually indistinguishable from some of the better-known brands—and at $8.48 for an eight-ounce jar, it’s friendlier to your budget as well. Each jar covers up to 60 square feet, making it just the right size for craft projects, with numerous colors available under the Americana line.

  • 06 of 08

    Best Spray Can: Krylon Matte Classic White Chalky Spray Paint

    krylon-chalk-spray
    Courtesy of Lowe's.

    You don’t need to lug around a heavy paint can to get the benefits of chalk paint. Kylon sells it in a convenient spray bottle, effectively making the world’s easiest-to-use paint product even easier. Like standard chalk paints, there’s no priming needed—just spray and go. It has an ultra-matte finish and dries in 25 minutes with up to 25 square feet of coverage. The bottle is also manufactured with a push-tip that’s designed to reduce fatigue during continuous spraying.

    Users write that the Krylon Matte Classic White Chalky Spray Paint is easy to use and dries without streaks or runs, quickly covering furniture, walls and more. Generally, it only takes a couple of coats to get your project completely covered, and the dry time is reliably fast.

  • 07 of 08

    Best Protective Coat: Rust-Oleum Chalked Clear Matte Interior Protective Topcoat

    rust-oleum-protective-coat
    Courtesy of Home Depot.

    While chalk paint is notoriously user-friendly, you can still use numerous complementary products to give your work the perfect finishing touch. Rust-Oleum’s Chalk Clear Matte Interior Protective Topcoat can be applied to any chalk paint surface and adds a layer of protection that’s stronger than a standard wax topcoat. It dries to an ultra-matte finish in around 30 minutes and should cover any surface in one or two coats (it doesn’t need to be reapplied). Each can contains 30 ounces of topcoat and covers up to 150 square feet.

    Customers say Rust-Oleum’s Chalked Clear Matte Interior Protective Topcoat dries quickly and is much easier to use over chalk paints than wax. However, make sure you follow the directions and use a damp brush and thin coats to achieve the optimal results.

  • 08 of 08

    Best Brush: Chalky Paint and Wax Natural Bristle Paint Brush

    brush-for-paint
    Courtesy of Lowe's.

    If you’re working with chalk paint, you’ll want to make sure you use a brush that’s suited to the task. This oval paint brush is specifically designed for chalk paints and waxes and can be used on any wood or metal surface. Its stainless steel ferrule keeps corrosion at bay, while an ergonomic handle helps diminish discomfort during painting. It’s versatile too—even though it’s made for chalk paint projects, it can be used with any latex or oil-based paint.

    This paintbrush delivers a terrific finish with little efforts, customers write, and it’s also extremely well suited to applying wax. While it comes at a lower price point than a similar chalk paint brush from Annie Sloan, the quality is virtually identical. If you’re just starting out with chalk paint, it’s worth the extra investment—as one buyer writes, the brush you use is just as important as the paint.