Best Chalk Painting Products

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These are the best chalk painting products available, with affordable options for transforming furniture and home decor!

Blue and white dresser with best chalk painting products

My husband and I started chalk painting years ago. We have very different approaches to the process!

He’s a painting contractor by profession and I’m the creative, slightly out of the box thinker.

Our first project (read all about it here) was a ridiculous way to jump on the chalk paint band wagon! A 1970’s hutch with ornate designs and tons of square footage to paint!

But we learned by trial and error and eventually I loved it so much I took over the job!

Chalk painted white dresser in kitchen with blue and red accents

Trash to Treasure Chalk Painted Dresser

What are the benefits of chalk painting?

  • You don’t need to prep or sand unless the surface is uneven.
  • It’s water soluble! If you make a mess you just clean it up with water! This is incredibly appealing to a messy painter like myself.
  • As more brands have entered the market there are many more choices in paint selection.
  • Even someone with zero experience can transform furniture and accessories.
  • It’s an affordable way to turn those yard sale finds and side of the road castoffs into beautiful home decor!
Dresser painted white and blue with chalk paint and rope handles

How to Paint Furniture with Chalk Paint

I’ve shared my best tips about chalk painting for beginners and answered the most asked questions from my readers.

Today I want to help you find the best chalk painting products so you’ll have everything you need before you start!

These are my favorite products and ones that are affordable. There are many more available on the market today but these will get you started!

(I’ve included some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.)

Best Chalk Painting Products

1. Clean first

I do recommend that you clean any surface before you paint it, especially if it’s used or a thrift store find. The degreaser and cleaner below works really well and is inexpensive.

Simple Green cleaner used on wood surface

Simple Green Degreaser and Cleaner (for cleaning furniture)

2. Types of Chalk Paint

There are many different types of chalk paint available now. Years ago Annie Sloan was the only brand and it was EXPENSIVE.

White hutch decorated with blue and red dishes

Chalk Painted Hutch Makeover

Today you can find a wide range of prices and customer reviews on brand websites.

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I haven’t tried all of them but I’ve had success with the following:

DecoArt Americana Chalky Finish Paint (one we love, is less expensive and easily available.)
Rustoleum Chalked Paint
FolkArt Home Decor Chalk Paint

DIY plank wall painted in different shades of blue and white chalk paint

How to DIY Plank Walls with Chalk Paint

3. Waxes and Finishes

Chalk painting requires a finish to seal the paint for long lasting use. You can apply a clear wax that seals the original color or experiment with a darker wax that will add the look of texture and interest.

Using old cloth to spread dark wax on dresser drawers

How to Paint Furniture with Chalk Paint

Creme Wax, Clear (seals with a transparent finish)
Creme Wax, Golden Brown (seals with color and dimension)
Creme Wax, Dark Brown (darkest of the wax finishes)
Light Satin Varnish (like polyurethane, perfect for sealing a project) 
Ultra Matte Varnish (also like polyurethane but with a flat finish) I’ve never used this product but I would definitely try it.
Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish (not formulated for chalk paint but a durable alternative for sealing.
Kilz Primer (for covering difficult stains or bleed-through)

4. Brushes

Even though there are brushes designed specifically for chalk painting it’s also okay to use standard brushes that might be less expensive.

Sofa table being painted with white chalk paint outdoors

Paint Brushes (a basic inexpensive set)
Two in One Chalk Paint and Wax Brush (specifically for chalk painting)

5. Distressing

After applying chalk paint you need to decide whether to distress or not. This is usually based on the style or look you’re going for.

If you distress your piece and don’t like the look, merely paint over and try again!

Hand sander on top of old wood surface

Sandpaper Sheets (for distressing)
Medium/Coarse Sanding Sponge (for distressing)
Palm Sander (one of our favorite tools for heavy sanding)

You can also chalk paint and distress accessories like the project below.

Old books chalk painted and distressed and tied with white lace ribbon

How to Chalk Paint Old Books

Have you experimented with chalk painting? What questions can I answer for you?

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  1. Have you tried rethunk junk paint ? I’m obsessed because there’s little to no prep work and it self levels and dries so quickly

  2. I went shopping with a friend, last week looking for a piece to set on her front porch. We were discussing what paint would be best. This post answers all the questions we had. Thanks for the tips and tricks.

    1. You’re welcome, Meegan! Glad the information was helpful! I did chalk paint a couple of tables for my front deck but there’s no covering. I should have followed my own advice and sealed with polyurethane but I didn’t!

    1. Hi, Michelle. My husband would say not to use chalk paint in the kitchen. I just think there are better and less expensive options. However, I have seen people paint their cabinets. Just make sure you put a coat of polyurethane on top for protection.

      1. I chalk painted my cupboards 2 years ago. They still look great. So glad I did it. Haven’t had any issues with it at all.

    2. Have you got Frenchic where you live? They have an outdoor finish in their range – Al Fresco – I have painted a garden shed and house window frames, and about to make a start on my wooden fitted kitchen. A great [non-shabby chic] look.

  3. I have a hutch I want to paint. I don’t want to distress. I’m not into that. Also can you use it over formica? I have a bedroom set I got fit my 11th birthday in want to paint it and it had formica tops

    1. Hi, Dawna. You can paint over formica for sure. You might do a coat of Kilz first just because chalk paint is a little bit more expensive. Hope this helps!