Chalk Paint Furniture – The Best Product Guide

If you’ve watched any renovation show in the past 5 years, you have seen the transformative power of chalk paint. Decorators and DIYers alike love chalk paint and the reasons are clear – it breathes new life into old furniture and fixings, providing a vivid finish that can be modified to any interior. If you want to chalk paint furniture but aren’t sure which product is the best one, you’re in the right place. Our product guide will help you buy the best chalk paint for the job.

Chalk paint furniture to bring old and tired up to date

Is your dresser a bit dark and depressing for your bedroom, or maybe that sideboard with all the stains and dings is starting to bum you out? With chalk paint, furniture can be revived and renewed while keeping its vintage charm. The finish is matt (it is chalk paint after all, the surface is chalky), but once sealed with a wax or varnish this will mellow out. So what else should you know about chalk paint?

5 facts you need to know about chalk paint

  1. Easy to apply – Chalk paint is the only furniture paint that is ideal also for lazy painters: removing grease and dust suffices as surface preparation and the paint doesn’t require thinners.
  2. Eco-friendly and safe – Chalk paint consists of minerals, pigments and water. It is completely free of harmful substances and therefore, safe to be applied for example to children’s rooms. Milk paint is another non-toxic paint option.
  3. Brush marks remain visible – Chalk paint always results in a textured finish. It is applied with a brush, and if not diluted with water, brush marks will remain visible.
  4. Vulnerable to deterioration and stains – As chalky furniture paint results in a breathable matt finish, it is not protected from deterioration and it is likely to absorb the smallest stains, it is not waterproof. This can be prevented by applying a layer of lacquer on it.
  5. Topcoat changes properties – If chalk paint is protected with a layer of lacquer or varnish, the paint loses its breathability and its matt appearance may become compromised depending on the used topcoat.

The UK’s most popular chalky furniture paint products

Autentico Vintage Furniture Paint

chalk paint furniture by Autentico
Clear Clouds Vintage Furniture Paint by Autentico

If you are looking for a highly porous furniture paint which is rich in colour and approved for use for children’s furniture and toys, you might Autentico’s Vintage Furniture Paint. In the UK, this paint is available in 30 shades of blue green and grey.

The Autentico Chalk products are also available in handy kits – for example if you are planning to chalk paint furniture, you could go for their Vintage Chalk Paint and Wax Deluxe Kit which includes a cleaning chemical, chalk paint, clear wax, a flat brush, a sand block for finalising the finish and a chalk paint tester pot.

Next to the Vintage Furniture Paint range Autentico offers other chalk paint products including chalk furniture wax.

Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint

rustoleum chalk paint for furniture
Chalky Finish Furniture Paint by Rust-Oleum

For a hard wearing furniture paint that creates a chalky look, you can try Rust-Oleum’s Chalky Finish Furniture Paint. This furniture paint creates a smooth surface which is pleasant to touch. As the paint is porous, it needs to be protected to make it last longer. A varnish or lacquer is usually a good option as a top coat. Rust-Oleum offers two products for finishing the chalk paint job:

  • Furniture Finishing Wax – Finishing a chalk painted surface with a wax results in a smooth finish which retains the flat matt look of chalk paint.
  • Furniture Lacquer – Using lacquer to protect the chalk paint give a slightly glossier finish. Lacquer may cause variation in the original colour and it compromises the breathability of the paint.

Shabby Chic Chalk Based Furniture Paint

Dusty Blue chalk paint furniture paint
Dusty Blue Chalk Based Furniture Paint by Shabby Chic

Looking for an easy to apply chalk paint which comes in a whole spectrum of colours? Shabby Chic is for you. This chalk paint can be applied to almost any substrate, painted or unpainted, and it is available in 36 colours including:

  • Dusty Blue
  • Winter White
  • Nautical Blue
  • Cottage blue
  • Latte
  • Anthracite
  • Antique White
  • Just Peach
  • Cottage Cream
  • Grey Embrace
  • Nautical Red
  • Olivaceous
  • Duck Egg
  • Dusky Pink
  • Rhubarb & Custard
  • Pebble Grey

The Shabby Chic range also includes metallic paints for walls and furniture.

GraceMary Chalk Paint – Chalk and Clay Paint

gracemary chalk paint
Chalk Paint by Gracemary

GraceMary’s Chalk and Clay Paint is a chalk paint for furniture and walls that is fast drying, eco-friendly, 100% natural, primer and preparation free, provides good coverage and sticks to almost any surface. The formula is made to prevent brush marks – if you are after a traditional chalk paint look, another product might suit your needs better.

This paint is available in 34 different colours including greens/blues (Sea Salt, Budapest Green, Inda, Lulworth, and Hendrik), whites/neutrals (Nordic White, Whitesands, French Grey, and Retro), and reds/pinks (Amaryllis, Paris, Veneto, and Amy Rose).

Ronseal Chalky Furniture Paint

Ronseal Chalky Furniture Paint
Ronseal Chalky Furniture Paint

Whether you are planning to spruce up some old furniture or give the cupboards a new look, you can do it all with one chalky product – Ronseal Chalky Furniture Paint. Also suitable for surfaces like cupboards and doors, this paint prevents brush marks and requires little surface preparation.

Ronseal’s furniture paint results in a smooth vintage look, but that’s not all – it is also extremely durable and protective and does not require over coating. Due to its increased resistance to wear and tear, the paint is not as breathable as chalk paints usually are, and it is also not as vulnerable to stains and water.

Available in 8 colours.

Tips for how to chalk paint furniture

Before you chalk paint furniture, you should define the finish you are after. Do you want chalky and matt, rustic and distressed, layered? The chalk paint finish is all up to you, and they can be achieved with these little tricks.

  • More even finish – add a tiny bit of water int the paint before starting and dip the brush in water every time before dipping it into the furniture paint.
  • More even finish after painting – if you are not happy with the rough texture, you can always sand it with fine sand paper to make the finish smoother. Note that the paint needs to be completely dry before sanding.
  • Old times’ worn out look – chalky furniture paint always results in a vintage look but if you want to add some more old days’ charm to the furniture, just pick a piece of fine sand paper and work on the corners of the piece of furniture.
  • Add some more colour – when you chalk paint furniture using two colours, one colour per layer, that is, you can make the finish more exciting by using contrasting colours and sanding the dry finish to reveal parts of the underlying colour.

Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before thinning or sanding. The effect may vary per brand and product.

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