5 Alternatives to Chalk Paint

Chalk paint is one of the hottest trends in home decor. Chalk-painted furniture can add an element of charm and character to any living space. 

However, chalk paint isn’t necessarily the best choice for all projects. 

Fortunately, there are many alternatives to chalk paint with similar qualities that you can use instead. 

This post breaks down the pros and cons of each option so that you can decide which one is right for you!

5 alternatives to chalk paint chart

Mineral paint

Mineral paint is essentially paint made with natural earth minerals. As you can imagine, mineral paint often comes in an array of warm, natural colors. What makes mineral paint a great chalk paint alternative is it has a similar-looking soft matte finish. Just like chalk paint, mineral paint is considered a specialty paint for furniture.

One great trait of mineral paint is it’s easy to clean up if needed. Because mineral paint is water-based acrylic paint, a bit of soap and water is all you need to wipe up a spill.

Unfortunately, one of the downsides of mineral paint is it’s not available everywhere. Chances are your local hardware store won’t have it down the street. Many mineral paint brands are only available at specialty paint stores or you can order directly online in some cases. Some brands, like Fusion Mineral Paint are found on Amazon

Additionally, because mineral paint is a specialty paint, the color selection for most brands isn’t as extensive as it is for latex paint.

Related: Chalk Paint vs Acrylic Paint for Furniture

Milk paint

Just like mineral paint, milk paint has a soft matt finish that makes it look very similar to chalk paint. Furthermore, it distresses easily, allowing you to easily create the rustic, farmhouse finish that chalk paint is so popular for.

Milk paint is made from ingredients such as milk protein (casein), clay, and lime. One of the greatest benefits is this natural paint is very environmentally friendly. It doesn’t emit super strong fumes, and you don’t need to worry about contaminating your backyard if you spill a bit.

Milk paint has many of the same qualities as chalk paint, but like most paints, milk paint is not nearly as thick as chalk paint. That being said, you don’t need to worry about thinning the paint with water to sufficiently spread the paint along the surface you want to cover.

Just like chalk paint, milk paint is a specialty paint that isn’t as accessible as regular latex paint. Consider ordering milk paint directly from a milk paint brand.

Latex paint

Latex paint is one of the most common paints. Not only is it used for painting furniture but also for interior and exterior house painting. After all, the paint is easy to use and very durable as well.

Latex paint is available at practically any hardware store since it’s so versatile and widely used. Additionally, popular brands of latex paint offer a vast color selection. Some brands offer hundreds of color variations, so if you have a very specific color in mind, chances are that exact color is available. Chalk paint on the other hand has a relatively limited color selection. Even the most popular chalk paint brands only offer a few dozen different colors.

Another huge advantage of using latex paint over chalk paint is it’s relatively more affordable as well. Chalk paint is certainly one of the most expensive paints for furniture and in contrast, latex paint is one of the most economical.

You can get latex paint in a few different finishes, but to make the paint look as similar to chalk paint as possible, a matte finish is recommended.

Alkyd

Alkyd paint isn’t nearly as popular as chalk paint, but nevertheless, it’s a great alternative to chalk paint.

One of the greatest benefits of Alkyd paint is it’s super durable. As a result, people often use alkyd paint for furniture. Since furniture is generally susceptible to considerable wear and tear, alkyd paint is an excellent way to protect your furniture. Aside from furniture, alkyd paint is often used on other interior surfaces that are used often such as doors and kitchen cabinets.

Alkyd paint’s durability is one of the qualities that sets it apart from chalk paint the most. Generally, chalk paint isn’t very durable unless a wax top coat is applied.

Another quality that sets Alkyd paint apart from chalk paint is the finish. Alkyd paint generally has a somewhat glossy finish while chalk paint has a matte finish. That being said, if you want a chalk paint substitute that looks extremely similar to chalk paint, milk paint, mineral paint, or matte-finish latex paint would be your best bet.

Related: Chalk Paint vs Mud Paint

Acrylic

Acrylic paint is another water-based paint that is commonly used on furniture. Acrylic paint often comes in vibrant colors with a smooth finish. Because of the bold colors that acrylic paint often comes in, the paint is great for accent furniture pieces or accent features on furniture. Often acrylic paint comes in a matte finish, similar to that of chalk paint.

Compared to chalk paint, acrylic paint is relatively more affordable. Additionally, as water-based paint, acrylic paint is very easy to clean up with soap and water if you happen to spill some.

Acrylic paint is also relatively durable. As a result, acrylic paint is often used on outdoor furniture. On the other hand, chalk paint isn’t best for outdoor furniture, so if you’re thinking about painting your patio furniture set, opt for acrylic paint. 

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