3 Paints I Like to Use For My DIY Paint Projects

3 paints

So, you’re thinking about doing your first DIY furniture Chalk Painting Project but you’re not certain which paint to pick; I get it.


I remember my first project.  I was super excited to get started transforming my big project but quickly discovered there were many things I did not know; like picking the right paint for the project.

You may be in the exact same situation, excited to try your hand at this new DIY trend but not sure what product to even pick. Don’t give up before you start, because once you know the differences between the paint products you will be able to pick one and move forward!

So, in this article, I will be talking about the differences between Annie Sloan’s chalk paint and other chalk (like) paint and how well they perform.  I will share with you everything I have learned in hopes that it will help you make the best paint decision for your DIY Project.


First, let me start by saying there is only one true chalk paint and that is Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint. However, there are other chalk (like) paints that we will cover in this blog post.


Chalk Paint: The one and only Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint

Annie Sloan is the only true chalk paint.  It was developed by Annie Sloan in 1990 because there was no paint with the unique properties that she was looking for. She named of its chalk paint because of its flat chalky finish.

Chalk Paint is water-based, non-toxic, odor free and lead-free. It sticks to almost any surface like wood, metal, concrete, plastic and varnished or painted surfaces without priming, stripping or sanding.  Let’s stop right here for a happy dance!!! Annie Sloan Decorative paint colors can be mixed to darken or lighten. it can be thinned or thickened, used as a wash or a die.  Seals easy with Annie Sloan’s Clear Chalk Paint, Wax or her Lacquer.

Performance:  I love this product!  There is no question that this is hands down my favorite paint.  It goes on so smooth with great coverage. I have never had to prep any surface before painting with Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint and they all turned out beautiful!

Price: $34 a quart (worth every penny).  Ok, I know some of you are not breathing after seeing the price, but let me assure you a quart goes a long, long way!  You will have to see it to believe it.

If you are lucky enough to live near a retail store that sells Annie Sloan products make sure you go in and look at all the products and pieces they have painted. Each retailer goes through a rigorous selection process with ongoing training and development to ensure they are the best representation of the product and chances are the retailer will hold classes that you can sign-up and attend.  I highly recommend if you’re in South East Tennessee visiting our local Supplier Linda’s Creative Accents in Etowah.  Their shop is so quaint and loaded with wonderful finds from furniture to wreaths.  They also carry Annie Sloan Brushes which are so amazing they are handmade in Italy.  Here is a sneak peek if you haven’t been there. For information on upcoming classes visit their Facebook page here.

Chalk Like Paint Finishes:

Amy Howard – One Step Chalk Like Finish paint

I use Amy Howard on projects that I want to have a more rustic rough finish.  The paint comes in quarts and small pods.  You can easily pick up this product at Ace Hardware.  I do love Amy Howard’s Spray Lacquer.  If you want more information on Amy Howard’s products you can check out her website here.


$28 a quart and $17 a sample pod.


I do not paint big pieces with this paint.  I find that it does not go as far as Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint, but I use it for small pieces.  You must follow the instructions and turn the pods upside down for 30 minutes and then follow the shaking instructions to make sure the product is mixed properly.  If it is not mixed properly it will not perform as well.  I like the pieces I have painted with this paint but would recommend using it for the first time on a smaller project.

General Finishes – Milk Paint 

This product is a milk paint not a chalk like paint but technically according to their website, it is not actually a milk paint.  It is an old world paint with a strong mineral base.  Because of that, it performs like chalk paint.

General Finishes is an interior/exterior water-based paint that can be mixed, lightened, darkened, distressed, layered, glazed and antiqued.


$30 – $33 per quart


This paint performs very well.  Smooth finishes without multiple coats.  Paint goes a long way.  If you’re lucky you will have a retail shop near you.  That has the product you will be able to go by and see pieces painted with the product.  Hopefully, they will offer classes so that you can develop your skills with the product.

If you are in South East Tennessee you’re in luck. Because we do have a store in the Chattanooga area that you should swing by and check out.  Not only do they carry General Finishes they have retail stores filled with all kinds of wonderful finds.  Hunt & Burrow Merchantile  Here are some pictures of some of their goodies.

It’s fun bringing a piece of furniture to life again without all the hassles of sanding, stripping, priming!  All of these products make it possible for normal people to paint pieces that look great when they are finished!


If you are wanting to spray any of these paints check out our recent blog How to Make Your Most Difficult Painting Projects Easy by Using This One Tool


I hope this post helps you regain any confidence and move forward with your painting project! You will love the results using any of these products.

I hope the information in this article has been helpful to you.

Blessings from our home to yours









Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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