Chalk Paint Brand Review: Which One is Best?

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Wondering which brand of chalk paint to use on your furniture? Read my chalk paint brand review for pros and cons of each!

When I first started refinishing and painting furniture I mostly used spray paint. You can read more about transforming furniture with spray paint here. Chalk paint was just starting to become popular, but we lived in a smaller city where it wasn’t available, and ordering it online was still kind of a newer concept.

Fast forward a few years and we were living in Omaha, NE and chalk paint was more readily available. It was also easier to purchase online and have it delivered. I decided to give it a try.

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Benefits of Chalk Paint

Painting with chalk paint has many benefits. It’s easy to work with and the paint is very versatile. There is rarely any sanding or priming involved and you can get away with 1-2 coats.

You can choose to leave the finish for a matte look or wax it for a satin feel. You can use different waxes to achieve different looks and it dries so fast you can finish a piece in one day!

Which Brand is Best?

There are tons of different brands of chalk paint available these days so how do you know which one is best?

I’ve tried several brands so keep reading for my chalk paint brand review pros and cons and to find out my favorites PLUS the ones I’ll never use again! 

Country Chic Paint

Country Chic Paint is an all-in-one chalk-style paint and currently the #1 selling chalk paint on Amazon. 

It’s run by the husband and wife team, Jan and Rosanne, and when they reached out to ask if I would be willing to try their line the answer was an emphatic yes! I love that it’s a family affair and supporting small businesses is so important! 

They offer a beautiful variety of colors and I chose a few different ones to try out. It was perfect timing because my husband just built a new entryway table for me and I planned on painting the base of it with chalk paint. 

chalk-paint-colors

I landed on the color Lazy Linen, a really light gray, for the table.

They also sent me a brush and I can honestly say it’s the best chalk paintbrush I’ve used. It’s not the typical round shape that you usually find with chalk paint companies. It was full but rectangular and perfect for getting into the corners and hard-to-reach places.

Gray chalk paint with brush

PURCHASE THE BRUSH HERE

I started on the table and was immediately impressed by the coverage of Country Chic Paint. Usually, a light color going onto a dark surface takes multiple coats. It was almost complete coverage. This means you can get more projects out of one can, saving money. I like that! 

painting a table

The paint also dried really fast. By the time I finished the first coat, I was able to start back at the beginning and just give a second coat where needed. 

The chalk-style paint distressed really easily. I just took a piece of fine-grit sandpaper and distressed the edges lightly.  

close up of table base
Table painted in Country Chic Lazy Linen.

PURCHASE COUNTRY CHIC PAINT HERE

Overall I loved this paint! I can’t wait to try some of the other colors I received on some projects I have coming up. And I have a few more shades I’d love to try (hello “Hollow Hill“!) and will be purchasing soon! 

entryway with decorated table

Magnolia Home Chalk Style Paint

Fixer Upper’s Chip and Jo released their own version of chalk paint through the Magnolia Home brand a few years ago. It comes in a can you can brush on and is also available in Magnolia chalk spray paint.

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Magnolia Home Chalk Paint

They offer 44 different hues to choose from. Magnolia chalk paint colors include some of their most popular shades like Shiplap, Ella Rose, Blackboard, and Emmie’s Room.

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Olive Grove by Magnolia Home

According to the product features, the Magnolia Home Chalk Style Paint is formulated to be rich and concentrated. Providing excellent hide, it covers minor surface imperfections and minimizes the need for surface prep.

It’s low VOC/low odor and is ideal for furniture and cabinetry.

I recently used this paint for the first time on the potting table my husband built for our greenhouse. I chose the color Olive Grove, a rich green with blue undertones.

I was very impressed by the smooth application and incredible coverage of this paint! You can see in this picture how the table looked after just one coat of paint.

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I added a second coat in a few key places, but it really didn’t need it. The beautiful green hue looks amazing on my potting table!

You can also purchase a clear or dark wax from their line if you want to seal the finish of your project. I chose to leave mine with the matte finish.

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Magnolia Chalk Paint on Potting Table

Magnolia chalk paint runs close to $40 a can so it’s on the higher side, but it’s definitely a high-quality paint for the money.

Magnolia Home Chalk Paint FAQs

Where can I buy Magnolia Chalk Paint?

You can find this line of chalk paint at your local Ace Hardware. You can also order it online from the Magnolia Home site.

How long does Magnolia chalk paint take to dry?

It dries super quick – under an hour. I was able to immediately start applying a second coat once finishing the full first coat.

How do you use Magnolia chalk paint?

You can use the chalk paint brush from their line if preferred. I used an angled trim brush and dipped the brush about a half inch into the paint can then brushed the paint on with the grain of the wood. Apply a second coat if needed and seal with wax, if desired.

Annie Sloan

The mother of all chalk paint, Annie Sloan is the most expensive brand of chalk paint, but so worth the money you’ll pay. I waited to try it because of the cost but once I did, I was sold.

First of all, the paint goes a long way. I could paint several pieces of furniture with just one can. So even though the initial cost was more, it stretched far.

I love the finish. Straight out of the can, the paint goes on smooth and velvety. If you want it to go on thicker, you can leave the lid off for a period of time to thicken up.

You can also add small amounts of water if you want it thinner. It only takes 1-2 coats, depending on the look you want to achieve.

Desk painted in dark blue
Desk painted in Napoleonic Blue by Annie Sloan

Annie’s site is so informational with tons of tips and techniques on how to achieve the look you’re going for.

I love to layer dark wax over Napoleonic Blue for a textured navy look. My hubby loves the combination of Old White with brown wax. Duck Egg Blue is another favorite from this line!

Where to Buy Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Annie Sloan chalk paint colors are available to purchase at a retailer near you! A lot of times you can purchase it on their website and have it shipped, also.

To find the closest retailer in your area, simply go to the Annie Sloan site and enter your zip code to pull up a list of local stockists!

Annie Sloan chalk paint prices are a little higher, a pot will cost you about $40. But it is excellent paint and you won’t be disappointed with the lasting finish.

buffet pulls and knobs
Buffet painted in Annie Sloan’s Old White.

Valspar Chalky Finish Paint

Valspar released their version of chalk paint a few years ago and it’s another one I really like to use. It goes on very smoothly. If you’re not a fan of the brush marks chalk paint can leave, you’ll love the finish on this paint.

Vanity with mirror
Antique vanity painted in Beaded Reticule by Valspar Chalky Paint

I really like the Valspar wax, as well. It’s easy to apply and looks great.

My favorite colors in this line are Her Dainties, which we used on our dining room table, and Beaded Reticule, which we used on my daughter’s antique dresser.

UPDATE: Since the writing of this post, Valspar Chalky Paint has been discontinued. I loved this paint, so it’s disappointing. But I highly recommend another paint by them for furniture: Valspar Cabinet and Furniture Enamel Review.

Farmhouse house table painted with chalk paint
Farmhouse table painted with Valspar Chalky Finish paint.

Wise Owl Chalk Syntheses Paint

Wise Owl is another brand of chalk paint I’ve tried. I purchased the color Blush to use on my daughter’s dresser that was previously painted in Beaded Reticule by Valspar Chalky Paint.

We’re in the middle of giving her room a makeover and the teal no longer matched the color scheme. 

We were shopping at an antique mall and saw the Wise Owl Chalk Paint. I love trying new products so I decided to give it a chance.

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Overall I liked the paint itself. It went on nice and smooth. I did give it a light sanding to make the brush marks not stand out as much. 

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I have two complaints about this paint. First of all, it didn’t go very far. I had to go buy a second can of paint to finish her dresser. I’ve never had to do that before when I’ve started with a full can of paint.

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At $25 a pop, it ended up costing more than I wanted to pay, especially when I could’ve purchased a can of Valspar Chalky Paint for the same amount and had a lot of paint leftover. 

Second, when you got toward the bottom of the paint can, there were little clumps of paint that wouldn’t mix in and they made the last little bit unusable. 

For those reasons, I will not purchase this paint again. 

Rustoleum Chalked Paint

This has been one of my least favorite brands of chalk paint that I’ve encountered. I just don’t like the finish of it. In my experience, it took more coats to get the look I wanted and the gray dried in a shiny finish instead of the usual matte.

When I first tried Rustoleum Chalked paint they didn’t have a wide variety of colors either, but they’ve since released more options.

I felt like it was difficult to get a smooth finish with this paint and it was just all around harder to work with. It was one of the more affordable choices so I wanted to give it chance, but I’m not a fan.

Debi’s DIY Paint

I was introduced to Debi’s DIY Paint when I had a booth at The Brass Armadillo in Omaha, NE. There was a gal who stocked their paint and I used it sometimes when I was refinishing furniture.

According to their website, they “use only the highest quality NO VOC pigments in the industry.  DIY Paint ™ is velvety soft, lusciously creamy, and creates luxurious color dimension you have to see to believe.  DIY Paint ™ is eco-friendly containing only (9) nine total ingredients, all natural clay and chalk based paint.”

Unfortunately, I sold all of the pieces I used this paint on so I don’t have any pictures to share. But, like other chalk paints I’ve discussed, they’re a one step paint that doesn’t require sanding or priming.

Something I really like about Debi’s DIY Paint is that it’s available in multiple sizes so you don’t have to buy a large can if you’re working on a small project.

Other chalk paint brands only have one size and you can end up having a lot left over. If it’s not a color you plan to use often, this can be a waste of paint and money.

A downside, in my opinion, to Debi’s Design Diary DIY Paint was that it seemed like it took more paint to cover than others. A litre of Annie Sloan goes farther than a 32 oz. can of DIY Paint. But it was more affordable than Annie Sloan and worked good when I was in a pinch. The finish always turned out nice.

You can choose to use their wax finish as a topcoat or leave as is. You can find a local retailer by going to their website.

I will continue to update this post as I try more chalk paint brands. I would love to try Behr’s line of chalk paint soon!

Chalk Paint Brand Review: Which One is Best?

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2 Comments

    1. I need to try theirs! I’ve heard great things about it. I’ve tried their gel stain and it’s amazing! Thanks for the suggestion!

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