It’s taken a while, but it seems there is finally some competition in the readily available chalk paint category. We wanted to know what, if any, the differences are. We compared Annie Sloan (ASCP), Rustoleum and Behr chalk paints and the results might surprise you!
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Chalk paint was created by Annie Sloan in the 90s. At that time there were really no other paints that created that ultra matte, chalky look. As the look caught on, more companies came to the table.
Rustoleum came out with their line of similar paints called Chalked a few years ago.
A little late to the game, in 2018 paint giant Behr added a chalk decorative paint to its line up. Since we couldn’t find many Behr chalk paint reviews, we decided to try it our and report back to you!
We compared ASCP’s graphite, Behr’s classic noir and Rustoleum’s charcoal to determine whether there are any significant differences and to help us, and you, choose the right chalk paint for your next project.
1. Appearance and ease of use
All three bands don’t require much in the way of prep. For our test we used a chair that was prepped with only a light sanding and cleaning.
ASCP and the Rustoleum were similar in texture while the Behr seemed a little thinner and less viscous. However, going on the Behr seemed to coat a little thicker than it first appeared.
After two coats, all three brands had good coverage but we’d say the ASCP graphite looked most in need of another coat.
To compare the finished look we used the same wax on all three, Behr’s black wax. Looking at the final results, Behr was definitely the darkest and closest to the “black” they all claimed to be (update: ASCP now offers a true black called Athenian black which is a true black). But in terms of achieving a nice, ultra matte finish with little prep, they all performed very well.
ROUND ONE: ASCP 7/10, Rustoleum 8/10, Behr 8/10
2. Range of colors of chalk paints
Annie Sloan currently offers 42 colors but new colors are added fairly regularly. You can also find colour recipes for mixing different ASCP colours fairly easily. Behr currently offers 45 colors. Rustoleum offers 25 different colors to choose from, which can be a little limited if you have something specific in mind.
ROUND TWO: ASCP 8/10, Rustoleum 6/10, Behr 8/10
3. Price of chalky paints
In general, chalk paints cost more than regular old latex paint. Prices do vary by region but Annie Sloan in Canada retails for about $45 for 1L, while Behr and Rustoleum are both just under $30 for 1L.
ROUND Three: ASCP 5/10, Rustoleum 8/10, Behr 8/10
4. Availability of chalk paints
This category is a big deal for us. With 3 small children, we simply don’t have time to drive very far to buy paint. Annie Sloan has chosen to only make her products available through smaller, independent retailers called “stockists”. We live in a city of about 200,000 people and there is only one stockist in our city. Rustoleum is available at all major retailers including here. Behr is available at Home Depot.
ROUND Four: ASCP 4/10, Rustoleum 10/10, Behr 6/10
Final results: ASCP 24/40, Rustoleum 34/40, Behr 32/40
Going by appearance and ease of use, it’s a really close race. But when we factor in both the price and availability, Rustoleum was a clear winner. Behr is the runner up with it’s expansive range of colors. We’re surprised to say Annie came in third in our competition. With it’s much higher price tag and its limited availability, it’s hard to justify choosing it over the other options. Having said all that, the originality and exclusiveness of the Annie Sloan line is appealing to some and her devoted followers are truly amazing chalk paint artists!
Whichever chalk paint you choose, we hope this comparison is useful and maybe encourages you to try a brand you might not otherwise have tried.
There are many other smaller brands of chalky paint you can try as well. We’ve enjoyed using Country Chic Paint which, as an added bonus for us, is made in Canada!
If you want to paint furniture but the cost of chalk paint is just too much for you, don’t worry you can use latex paint (which you can read about here) and get great results too!
UPDATE (March 2020): our go to paint for furniture now is mineral paint! You can read why here!
Which furniture paint do you love? We’d be thrilled to hear from you in the comments below!