What Is Chalk Paint, Anyway?

What Is Chalk Paint, Anyway?

Katie Holdefehr
Sep 13, 2016
(Image credit: A Simpler Design)

Recognized by its soft, matte finish, chalk paint is commonly used to give furniture an aged, distressed look. This popular type of paint was first produced by Annie Sloan, but other companies have developed their own versions, and Pinterest is full of DIYers who've mixed up homemade alternatives in hopes of saving the $35-per-quart cost of the real deal. Curious to see what all the hype's about? Here's everything you need to know.

What is Chalk Paint?

Originally developed by the paint brand Annie Sloan, this type of paint gives surfaces a dreamy, chalky texture, as shown on the blue dresser above from A Simpler Design. It's often used with soft wax, which seals the paint and leaves a matte finish. To produce a distressed, "shabby chic" look, some crafters like to sand the painted surface, exposing the wood underneath, while others take a more modern approach and cover the surface with a solid coat of matte paint.

For projects ideas and inspiration:

Where Do I Buy It?

Annie Sloan has the copyright on the term "chalk paint" so other vendors use slight variations on the name. When Googling, try different but similar words like chalked, or chalky, paint to find options.

(Image credit: Restored Home)

Check the Annie Sloan database for a stockist near you, or order online at Restored Home. A 32 ounce can above retails for $34.95.

(Image credit: Home Depot)

Rust-oleum sells Chalked Ultra Matte Paint at places like Amazon or Home Depot, where it sells for about $17 for a 30 ounce supply. It also comes in spray paint form!

(Image credit: Target)

If you're in a Target, you can't necessarily wander over to the hardware department and pick up a quart Valspar's Devine Color Chalky Finish Paint for $29.99. It's only available in limited stores, along with the Step 2 sealing wax. But you can order it online. Lowe's also has another Valspar product, just with different packaging, for a similar price.

There are other smaller companies like CeCe Caldwell, American Paint Company, Shabby Paints —these are a little harder to come by in stores.

Can I Make My Own Chalk-Style Paint?

There are several popular homemade chalk paint recipes floating around Pinterest, and while bloggers tend to rate them sub-par in comparison to store-bought, they're a great alternative for those on a budget.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)
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