Investing in the best chalk paint gives you an exciting way to refresh anything from old, worn furniture to your exterior garden fence and will leave your guests and neighbours in awe.
While chalk paint has only recently come to the fore, it’s quickly established itself as one of the most creative paints for interior deco enthusiasts and eco-conscious DIYers alike.
With that being said, choosing the wrong paint could leave you with something that is too thick to apply, cures in the wrong colour and a finished product that could be easily peeled off with your fingernail.
Fortunately we’ve tried and tested a fair few different chalk paints and have put our favourites in this handy guide. Keep reading to discover our best chalk paints available in the UK.
Best Chalk Paint Overall: Rust Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint
If you’re looking for the best chalk paint overall, you don’t have to look much further than Rust Oleum. Revered by many interior design enthusiasts across social media, this classic smooth touch flat matt chalk paint brings a new lease of life to tired, worn-out objects.
While branded as a furniture paint, Rust Oleum’s chalk paint is suitable for use on a variety of interior surfaces including wood, stone, plaster, and primed rigid surfaces such as metal and plastic. This means that anything from old cabinets to yellowing stone fireplaces can all be revived and refreshed using this paint.
The coverage of this paint is exceptional while being easy to apply. As a water-based paint, it has just the right amount of thickness to ensure you’re getting an even spread when using a brush and in most cases will only need a single coat.
The only thing we would say it be extra careful with chalk paint when painting protruding areas as they can be particularly prone to paint build ups. Like most chalk paints, this one has minimal VOCs and as such little to no odour.
It’s also been known to be very durable which is ideal for use on surfaces that either see a lot of traffic or get touched a lot.
In terms of colour, our test showed that the colour (duck egg) was the same as shown on the tin. It’s also helpful to know that this paint comes in a variety of over 15 elegant colours, giving you more than enough choice. You can also create a distressed look by combining two contrasting coloured coats followed by sanding the surface down.
- Is highly durable
- One of the quickest drying paints on the market
- Low odour and low VOC making it more eco-friendly
- Comes in a variety of different colours
- Suitable for use on most interior surfaces
- Great value for money
Runner Up: Ronseal Chalk Paint
Ronseal is our runner up overall with their Chalky Furniture Paint that comes in a dead flat matt and helps spark new life into anything from shelves to cupboards.
Like Rust Oleum, this is branded as a furniture paint but in reality works perfectly well on a variety of surfaces and objects including cupboards, shelves, drawers, doors and skirting boards. This versatility allows you to create interesting and elegant interior themes.
The water based paint has a nice consistency to it and is easy to apply although it’s not going to win any awards for it’s coverage which is around 9m²/L. Like other chalk paints, it’s safe to work with indoors, has low VOCs and very low odour. Unlike Rust Oleum, it will need a couple of coats but it’s quick drying and can be re-coated after about 4 hours.
The durability of the paint is a bit so so. It protects well against wear and tear and is tough enough to protect against knocks although it’s probably not worth using in high traffic areas as it can be prone to chipping.
It comes in a nice selection of 8 stylish colours such as English Rose and Midnight Blue, giving you enough choice to choose something that suits your style.
- Is durable and can be cleaned
- Can be re-coated after just 4 hours
- Low odour and low VOC making it environmentally friendly
- Has a nice selection of contemporary colours
- Once fully cured, it looks really great
- Less durable than Rust Oleum
Great Durable Option: Johnstone’s Chalk Paint
If you’re after something that looks great but also has high durability, you don’t need to look much further than Johnstone’s Chalk Paint. Not only does it set in an attractive matt, it’s been specifically formulated for use on any surface without the need for preparation.
Due to the special formula, this paint can be used on a variety of household surfaces or objects, giving you the freedom to transform anything including furniture, fireplaces, tables and even bed frames. The low VOC and low odour makes it ideal for use within children’s bedrooms too.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of this paint is its durability. While matt finishes are typically associated with durability issues, Johnstone’s Chalk Paint gives you nothing to worry about. It’s highly resistant to scratches and scuffs and more importantly doesn’t give in to wear and tear.
Application of the paint is simple due to its wonderful consistency which results in a decent coverage as well as an even spread. All you need with this paint is one coat although we would recommend doubling down with Johnstone’s Finishing Wax which will ensure longer-lasting protection. For a shabby chic look, we’d recommend using a brush but if you want a smoother finish it might be worth using a roller.
While Johnstone’s chalk paint is great overall value for money, it does have its limitations. In this case, the colours are lacking some diversity. It comes only in a selection of 4 colours including Duck Egg and Antique Sage which for us is a real shame. If the colours suit your interior decor however, this might be the best chalk paint for you.
- Is very durable
- Resists scuffs and scratches
- Low odour and low VOC makes it ideal for use in children’s bedrooms
- You’ll only need one coat for most surfaces, saving you time and money
- It only comes in a few different colours
Best Shabby Chic Chalk Paint: Rainbow Chalk’s Furniture Paint
Choosing the best shabby chic chalk paint has the ability to give your interior decor an antique, opulent feel and our favourite paint for achieving this is Rainbow Chalk’s furniture paint.
This paint is ideal for upcycling old interior furniture such as coffee tables and cabinets and is best used to create a welcoming, cosy atmosphere. It’s also suitable for use on a variety of different surfaces such as bare metal and plaster so really, the only thing limiting you is your imagination.
It goes on very nicely with a brush and because the overall finish is shabby chic, you don’t need to pay too much attention with every brush stroke. This usually makes painting with shabby chic incredibly fun. This particular paint needs a couple of coats but if you’re using a lighter, neutral shade on a dark surface you might want to consider a third coat.
The two or three coats you apply should give this paint sufficient strength and durability from unwanted scratches and bumps but in order to give it maximum durability, we’d recommend using a protective furniture wax.
One of the best things about this paint is the fact that it comes in a huge range of colours, allowing you to create any look you want. Colours like Nautical Blue, Nautical Red and Antique Gold are perfect for creating that feature piece that starts conversations or alternatively go for more artistic colours like Olivaceous, Antherite and Liquorice which are dark and mysterious.
- Comes in a variety of conversation-starting colours
- Sets in an opulent shabby chic
- Low odour and low VOC makes it more eco-friendly
- Can be used in conjunction with a protective furniture wax for added durability
- Easy to clean up with warm water
Best for Interior Walls: Frenchic Chalk Paint
If you’re looking for a premium chalk paint for walls that combines quality with durability, we’d recommend Frenchic. Their practical chalk wall paint is luxurious as well as washable.
While this paint has been formulated for use on interior walls, it’s toughness and durability makes it useful to apply on anything from tiles to concrete floors. In fact, it’s so durable that it’s achieved an ISO11998 Class 1 Wet Scrub rating.
When using a 10″ roller, this wall paint becomes a breeze to apply due to its thick, creamy consistency. This thickness also means that you should be able to cover the surfaces of your walls with just a single coat and it can also be applied over existing paint. It has a low VOC and odour meaning that once you’ve painted your rooms you can use them safely use them within hours of the paint drying.
In terms of colours, you’re almost spoilt for choice. Frenchic’s range of 15 different colours includes everything from a simple Whiter than White to the more elegant Velvet Crush. The variation in colour means there’s an option for any room in the home.
- Is very durable and can even be scrubbed clean
- Comes in a variety of creative colours
- Low odour and low VOC makes it safe for use in children’s bedrooms
- It doesn’t yellow over time
- It’s rather expensive
Well Reviewed Choice: GraceMary
GraceMary’s chalk and clay paint is one of the highest rated chalk paints by consumers with its one coat and zero VOC formula proving particularly popular.
This paint is a mix of clay and chalk and is made up of completely safe, natural materials making it one of the most eco-friendly paints currently available in the UK. It’s suitable for a variety of surfaces and with tin sizes of 250ml or 1L is great for small and larger projects alike.
GraceMary have put a lot of research into their chalk paint with a particular focus on making it super easy to apply. The result is a paint that even the most amateur DIYer can achieve even results with. The paint has been designed to minimise brush strokes and to stop paint buildup in corners or protruding areas. For the best finish, we recommend adding a second coat if the first doesn’t totally do the job.
This chalk paint comes in 23 different colours including charcoal, grey oak and neo mint, providing you with a great palette to choose from.
- Dries really quickly ensuring you’re not spending all day on it
- Looks great after just one coat on most surfaces
- Zero VOC makes it the most eco-friendly paint on our list
- There’s 23 creative colours to choose from
- It doesn’t leave any brush marks or glooping
- Risk of colour change once set if not used in conjunction with a protective wax
Chalk paint is becoming very popular in the UK and for good reason. It offers a stunning matt finish and can be distressed to create an antique look. It’s perfect for upcycling old furniture and is one of the most environmentally friendly paints currently on the market.
If you’re a DIYer with a penchant for renovation, you should definitely give this paint type a go!
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Want to learn more about different paints? Feel free to take a look at our recent “best paint for plastic” guide!