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A Review of My New Go-to Chalk Paint

Chalk paint is awesome for many reasons, including no priming, low odor, and for achieving a beautiful matte or distressed finish! I really do love using it on many kinds of projects, especially when I am trying to distress wood with paint.

I’ve always used Annie Sloan chalk paint in the past because it’s really high quality and works amazingly. However the price is pretty high, usually around $35-$40 for a quart!

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more info see my disclosures here.

Recently, I finally tried Rust-Oleum’s Chalk Paint. I decided to try two colors, Linen White and Charcoal Grey, on two different types of projects. And it’s officially become my new go-to chalk paint!

I thought it would be helpful to share a Rust-Oleum chalk paint review of my experience, including the pros and cons.

Can of rustoleum chalk paint linen white and picture frame

Most importantly, although Rust-Oleum chalk paint has become my new go-to chalk paint, it’s still not my favorite chalk paint! My favorite chalk paint is still Annie Sloan chalk paint, however, you just can’t beat the price of the Rust-Oleum (less than $18 for a quart) and it has lots of other good features too.

My first project, with Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint Linen White, was a 16×20, black, picture frame.  I wanted the frame to be distressed and let the black show through.

Black picture frame before chalk paint

Before Chalk Paint

Picture Frame painted with rustoleum chalked paint linen white

After – with Rust-Oleum Linen White Chalk Paint

The second project, with Charcoal Grey, was painting my DIY Rustic TV stand. I wanted a chalky matte finish but no distressing.

Unfinished TV stand before chalk paint

Before Chalk Paint

TV Stand painted with Rust-oleum charcoal grey chalk paint

After – with Rust-Oleum Charcoal Gray Chalk Paint

Here are the pro and con observations I made after using the chalk paint:


  • Distresses easily and nicely just like other chalk paint
  • Great for distressing wood and furniture with paint
  • No priming needed, good coverage, but I did need at least 2 coats for both colors/projects
  • Lots of pretty colors to choose from
  • Best price for the quantity and quality – less than $18 for a quart
  • Very easy to find and buy, both online at Amazon and home improvement stores
  • Results in a beautiful, matte slightly chalky finish – a lovely chalk paint texture


  • It scuffs up extremely easily, even just touching it with oily fingers leaves marks.  This was more of a problem on my TV stand with the dark charcoal paint where I didn’t want any distressing. I think adding a sealant such as wax or a water based poly would help prevent this, however that does take away from the beautiful matte look
  • It’s very thin and makes handling it with a paint brush a little harder
  • Does not cover up spackled nail holes and other touch ups well
  • Dries streaky in some areas, but a second coat helps to fix this

As you can see from the cons, this chalk paint isn’t perfect. I definitely liked using it more with my distressed picture frame than on my TV stand. So, I will remember that for future projects. Still despite the cons, it has some great pros too and I will definitely be using it again!

Hope this Rust-Oleum chalk paint review has been helpful if you are planning to use chalk paint on some future DIY projects! If you have used the Rust-Oleum chalk paint before, do you have any other pros or cons you’d add to this list? Feel free to share in the comments!

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Rust-oleum chalk paint review infographic

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Thursday 14th of October 2021

Hello I just painted my night stands and they turned out so beautiful. I applied the paint with Then I sealed it with the rustoleum chalked matte clear, the color is darker and the finish is no longer smooth. I stopped after the first night stand. Is there a better way to seal these?

Angela Marie Made

Monday 18th of October 2021

Thank you, that is so exciting to hear!! To keep the matte chalk paint finish you can use a clear wax, my favorite brand is Annie Sloan. Some top coats work differently with different surface materials, so I would always try and test it out before applying to the whole project.


Saturday 25th of September 2021


I just painted a dining table with Rustoleum charcoal chalk paint. I would like to use glaze on the top part of the table. Which one should I use? If you have a picture it would be better. Thanks.

Linda weston

Sunday 10th of October 2021

@Darquise, How did your table turn out? I am going to chalk paint my dining room table amd my microwave cart . Did you put a protective coat on the table ?

Angela Marie Made

Monday 27th of September 2021

Here is a link (affiliate) to a water based poly:

Mary Lee Scray

Saturday 15th of May 2021

I do like this paint also but having problems with white marks on the grey when I sand....what am I missing? I do this better each of 2 coats then before top mate coat. Do I need to use a darker colored sandpaper?


Sunday 21st of February 2021

I was thinking about painting a night stand with the the charcoal color, but it looks like it turns out more blue than charcoal. Is that your assessment?

Angela Marie Made

Thursday 25th of February 2021

Yes, I agree it is more of a blue than charcoal black for sure.


Monday 3rd of June 2019

I just used Linen White chalk paint on an older dresser that was in great shape; not painted previously. I used 3 coats; when I applied the second coat, and even more with the third coat, it's kind of streaky and seems like it wanted to pull the paint off when applying the last coat. It's very uneven, especially the top flat part of the dresser. What can I do to even it out??

Marilyn Anne Jensen

Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

@Wanda, Make sure you stir the paint a lot.

Angela Marie Made

Tuesday 4th of June 2019

Hmm did you us a roller or brush for application? And if you used a roller, was it foam or woven? Brushes and foam rollers can cause streaking, so I would recommend using a woven roller. Also, although chalk paint typically doesn't need primer or sanding before painting, sometimes if the piece has a very slick, lacquered top coat or a laminate type of finish, it helps to roughen the surface up a little with sandpaper and it can help even more to prime it (if you are going for a full coverage paint look and not distressed) so the paint has a better surface to adhere to. At this point after 3 coats, it's tough to say what will even it out could try lightly sanding the top part to eliminate some of the streaks and then paint another coat with a woven roller and see if that helps!