Good grief.  There are so many chalk paint options out there it’s hard to keep ’em straight.  I’ve been asked more than a few times what the differences are in these paints.  Let me share what I know…but first a disclaimer. I’m not a professional and make zero profit for offering my opinion on products.  I’m just a girl who loves to paint and am attempting to define the differences.

CHALK PAINT has been around for many, many years. It’s a perfect product to use on furniture pieces in my humble opinion I’ll share a few reasons why.  It’s low oder with no harmful fumes.  It’s a water based paint which makes for easy clean up.  The prep is so easy- just make sure your furniture is clean and you are ready to go.  No sanding or priming is required!  2-3 thin coats and your piece should be well covered.  If you wish to distress it you can just use a damp cloth or sand paper to rub off paint on the edges where wear and tear would occur.  It dries matte, flat and with a chalky look.  There is no sealing agent in these paints so you will need to pick up the corresponding wax or sealer.   I will note that waxes dry hard and silky but does require a curing time as outlined on the product label.  Not really your friend in the South for immediate use.  You need to exercise patience.

The only downside is availability.  Many chalk paints such as Annie Sloan, CeCe Caldwell, American Paint Company are sold in boutiques which may or may not be convenient to your location.  I currently do not know of a local shop that carries any of the above in my area so I would need to drive or pay shipping.

Some boutiques and shops create and carry their own line such as locally we have the option at Black Dog Salvage.  While the price for a quart is higher than big box store brands a little truly goes a long way.  For example with one Quart I was able to paint a long dresser, tall dresser and a hope chest in our master with 2-3 coats for full coverage.  It was a complete transformation and far less expensive then new furniture if you look at it that way!!!!  I adore chalk paint.

 CHALKED PAINT is a product line by Rustoleum that I’m really digging lately.  It comes in stock colors but you can have it tinted in any color you want.  It comes in quarts and in spray paint (of the stock colors only).  The application process is the same as chalk paint above and it doesn’t contain a sealer so you will need to grab a can or quart of their sealer.  There are additional perks with this product line which were ironically the disadvantages with straight up chalk paint.

This line is half the price of boutique chalk paint and the sealer dries fast as lightning.  An economical bargain by comparison and widely available in all towns anywhere.  You can get it at Walmart, Home Depot, True Value, Amazon (no shipping fee with prime) and perhaps other places I haven’t checked.  I have previous posts sharing paint makeovers here in the Virginia house using Chalked.  I used it for our master bathroom cabinets, built-in bar (, built-in desk (, kids bathroom cabinets, our mudroom cabinets, below the chair rail in our dining room as well as on 2 mirrors. ALL that with just 2 quarts.

There are a few other big box store options like Valspar Chalky and Kilz Chalk Style which I haven’t tried yet and I am sure they are fabulous too.

CHALKBOARD PAINT is in a league of it’s own and is paint used to make a writing surface.   I’ve used chalkboard paint on everything from our kitchen table to walls, margarita glasses to flower pots.  You can have it tinted into other colors but I’m a sucker for the traditional black with white chalk.  Must be the teacher in me.


To use chalkboard paint just make sure you piece is clean and then like all of the above you are ready to go. A sealer isn’t needed.  To prepare the piece post-painting just rub over the entire surface with chalk then wipe off before initial use.  Easy peasy.


Here’s our former kitchen table.  The kids looooooooved sitting and doodling on the table- so did their friends.  Found this one morning….


awwwww.  When we sold the house the buyers requested the table as it fit the banquette.  No current chalk table for us and the boys still ask if we can “get one”.

I painted it on doors, trays and everything on between.  Love me some chalkboard paint!!!!  It’s inexpensive, widely available at Walmart, Home Depot, True Value, Amazon (no shipping fee with prime) and perhaps other places I haven’t checked.

Hope this helped explain the similarities and differences.  I also hope it will serve as inspiration for you to go paint something 🙂 . Feel free to share any questions or comments.

Happy Painting, y’all!

Laurel Dane Designs, LLC

DIY Blogger, Personal Organizer and Designer

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