Hey there! Today I thought I’d share with you my experience with different brands of chalk paint!
When I first started refinishing and painting furniture I mostly used spray paint. You can read more about that here. Chalk paint was just starting to become popular, but we lived in a smaller city where it wasn’t available and ordering online was still kind of a newer concept.
Fast forward a few years and we were living in a bigger city where chalk paint was more readily available. It was also easier to purchase online and have it delivered. I decided to give it a try.
Benefits of Chalk Paint
Chalk 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!
The first brand I ever tried was CeCe Caldwell. It didn’t take long for me to be hooked! You could do as many or as few coats as you wanted depending on the look you wanted. And distressing was easily done with fine sandpaper or even a damp paper towel. You could layer different colors for more depth and add clear or dark wax for contrast.
CeCe Caldwell is made in America and is eco- and health-friendly. Their products are free from all harmful toxins which make them a great choice if you’re painting indoors or have children to consider. I also love their containers! The paints and stains come in recycled plastic containers so they won’t rust overtime.
I also recommend their line of stain + finish in one. The top coat is built in to the stain so you only have one step and the finish is beautiful. It also holds up well to wear and tear overtime! I have a piece I stained in the Walnut Grove 3-4 years ago and it’s still beautiful despite my children leaving their cups with water rings on it!
TIP: If you do get a water ring on your stained finish, use mayonnaise to buff it out!
CeCe Caldwell paint goes on thick and leaves brush marks, but you can always thin it out with a little water for a smoother finish. It’s just great paint!
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.
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 a brown wax. Duck Egg Blue is another favorite from this line!
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 smooth. If you’re not a fan of the brush marks chalk paint can leave, you’ll love the finish on this 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.
This has been my least favorite brand 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. When I first tried it 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.
I would love to try the Magnolia line of chalk paint, as I’ve heard really good things about it. I’d also like to try General Finishes. Their gel stain is awesome so I imagine their chalk paint is probably really good.
I hope this has been helpful whether you’re just getting started with chalk paint or wondering if a certain brand is worth trying! Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have in the comments, I’ll be happy to help!
Seasoned chalk painter? What’s your favorite brand?
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