The 9 Best Chalk Paints of 2020

Give your furniture a decorative, rustic touch

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Our Top Picks
"This collection includes 16 beautiful colors, all with excellent coverage."
"It adheres easily to most surfaces and dries to a smooth matte finish."
"A quick-drying formulation that doesn’t require priming or sanding."
"Give your kitchen a bit of vintage charm without the renovation."
"A great all-around chalk paint that’s perfect for large-scale projects."
"Ideal for putting your own creative touch on furniture, upholstery included."
"Users write that it dries without streaks or runs."
"Adds a layer of protection that’s stronger than a standard wax topcoat."
"Specifically designed for chalk paints and waxes."

Best Color Selection: The Spruce Best Home by KILZ Chalky Finish Paint

Refurbish your furniture with The Spruce Best Home Chalky Finish Paint! After years of trying different paint, we decided to formulate our own version for all of your home improvement needs. Whether you’re painting dining room chairs or refinishing an old dresser or table, this chalky finish paint is a fantastic option—and we're thrilled to share it with you!

The Spruce Best Home Chalky Finish Paint can be applied over most surfaces, including wood, stone, concrete, and even metal. The concentrated formula provides excellent coverage with just one coat, but it can be thinned out with water too. If you want the texture of the wood to shine through, use one coat of paint and buff it out with fine grit sandpaper for a rustic, weathered look. Our collection includes 16 beautiful colors that range from soft neutrals (like warm linen) to deep blues, so you can’t go wrong with any color.

After you’re finished, apply The Spruce Best Home Clear Sealing Wax to protect the color and make the finish feel smooth. Another bonus? It only takes one hour to dry. The end result will be a one-of-a-kind piece that you will cherish for years to come!

This all-new paint is available exclusively on Amazon.

Best Overall: BEHR White Interior Chalk Decorative Paint

Chalk paint is a latex-based paint that gives furniture and walls an ultra-matte finish that's easy to distress. Whether you're trying chalk paint for the first time or you're an expert DIYer, Behr’s White Interior Chalk Paint is a top-rated option for all skill levels. It adheres easily to most surfaces and dries to a soft matte finish. It can be tinted to over 500 colors and is ideal for a huge range of applications, from refinishing wood furniture to painting cast stones. 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.

Best for Furniture: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

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 formula 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.

Best for Kitchen Cabinets: Rust-Oleum Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint

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.

Best for Walls: Amy Howard at Home Light Base Latex One Step Furniture Paint

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 the 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.

Best for Fabric: Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint

Paint on fabric? Believe it. The beauty of chalk paint is that it can be used on virtually any material or surface 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 (including upholstered pieces), 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 right ratio. 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 it's more budget-friendly 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.

Best Spray Can: Krylon Chalky Finish Aerosol Spray Paint

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.

Best Protective Coat: Rust-Oleum Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint

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.

Best Brush: Valspar Chalky Paint and Wax Natural Bristle Brush

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.

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