I have to be honest, I’m not a big fan of chalk paint. I know it’s the latest craft trend and has been for a few years, but it’s not something that excites me.
Also, just to clarify I’m talking about Chalk Paint, not Chalkboard Paint. By no means am I trying to convince you not to use chalk paint, I’m just explaining why I choose not to use it. I’ve heard both good and bad feedback from the customers that shop in my paint department.
I only carry Amy Howard’s line of Chalk Paint, because we’re an Ace Hardware and they have partnered together. Therefore, I have much more experience using Amy Howard’s line of products, than I do with other brands like Annie Sloan. However, chalk paint is chalk paint. They’re all made up of relatively the same ingredients, or they wouldn’t call it ‘Chalk Paint’.
6 Reasons I Don’t Like Using Chalk Paint
1. It has a Flat finish
A Flat finish is next to impossible to clean. Sure, you can disinfect the surface but don’t expect those dirty marks to come clean. It’s impossible to clean without potentially damaging the finish. Unless you plan on repainting it several times, and you’re cool with that. Sometimes people enjoy repainting things often because they like another color or have fun trying different things. This product is perfect for those that relate with the previous sentence.
2. One step does not mean one coat
Why is chalk paint so popular? Because you don’t have to do any prep work other than cleaning the surface. However, it requires multiple coats. You’ll wind up painting at least 3 coats. While the one step claim is true in a sense, you’re still putting in the same amount of time you would if you were to use a primer and 2 coats of latex paint.
3. No sanding or priming claim
This claim gets me everytime. Even though sanding and priming are not required when using chalk paint, doing so will help with adhesion and you won’t use nearly as many coats of chalk paint.
In my opinion, cleaning, sanding and priming are all basic requirements of painting if you want a nice finish, without having to apply 3 or more coats.
4. It’s expensive
But it goes so far, they say! Sure, but so does a quart of latex paint and it’s a lot cheaper… Even a high quality paint wouldn’t cost that much. One quart of chalk paint will cost an average of $30-$35, while one quart of latex paint will cost an average of $15-$22 and it goes just as far as chalk paint! Also, if you’re really set on using chalk paint, it’s really easy to make yourself and you’ll save yourself some money because it’s basically water, and plaster of paris.
5. It’s not durable
Chalk paint will easily scratch or chip unless a top coat is applied. The most popular topcoat to use with chalk paint is wax. I’m not a big fan of waxes. I find it difficult to know when I’ve applied enough. The only time I use wax is when I’m working on a piece that I want to have an antique finish, but even then it’s rare that I’d use wax instead of another product.
On another hand, some people like the fact that it isn’t very durable because it’s easy to distress. However, milk paint is easy to distress as well and in my opinion is a much better product.
6. Applying wax over the chalk paint is tricky
At first, I thought I was the only one having trouble applying wax over chalk paint. It didn’t look even, and the more I tried to fix it, the worse it looked. The only reason I was using wax was because I wanted the mirror frame I painted with the chalk paint, to look a bit aged. Eventually, I gave up and painted it with Beyond All-In-One Paint.
Options to consider instead of chalk paint:
- General Finishes Milk Paint:
- Easy to distress
- Great durability even without a top coat
- Perfect for cabinets and furniture
- Price per quart: $28.99
- Benjamin Moore Advance:
- Oil Modified: Dries to an oil finish with soap and water cleanup
- Hard enamel finish in addition to the durability of the oil
- Self leveling: No brush marks
- Perfect for trim, doors, cabinets, furniture etc.
- Price per quart: $22.99