My Behr Chalk Paint Review

February 12, 2019

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If you’ve been following along for a while, then you probably already know that over the years, I’ve painted several pieces of furniture and two sets of cabinets using different brands of chalk paint. There’s our laundry room cabinet makeover, my daughter’s IKEA chair, and my son’s bookshelf, to name a few. So when I heard that Behr had introduced a new line of Behr chalk paint, I was pretty curious to test it out to see how it compared to the other brands I’ve used.

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And so for the latest room refresh I worked on — the kids’ shared colorful bathroom (it’s 80% done, and you can see the before and after pics right here) — I decided to paint the bathroom vanity and wooden shelf brackets using Behr Chalk Paint, which is sold exclusively at Home Depot.

behr chalk paint
Here’s a peek at the vanity and the shelf brackets, both painted using Behr chalk paint. So pretty, right?! I love that blue! It’s called Balboa.

Before we dive into my thoughts on Behr Chalk paint, let’s get a few basics about chalk paint in general out of the way first….

What is chalk paint?

Chalk paint is, simply put, a type of paint that gives you a velvety matte finish. Not to be confused with chalkboard paint, because that’s something totally different.

Why is chalk paint so popular?

I’m sure there are plenty of chalk paint fanatics out there that’ll give you a laundry list of reasons as to why they love using this kind of paint for any and all DIYs. But here are the main ones you’ll tend to hear over and over again:

  • The finish is super matte and looks chalky — no sheen here, folks.
  • It’s easy to achieve a distressed, antique look on furniture pieces. (Shabby chic isn’t really my thing so I’ve never distressed any furniture using chalk paint, but supposedly it’s a fairly easy process.)
  • Chalk paint sometimes requires less prep work than if you’re using other types of paints. Some people claim that painting with chalk paint doesn’t require priming or sanding, although I call BS on that…but we’ll save that for a different post.
  • A DIY’er of ANY skill level can use chalk paint and get a pretty solid result. This, you guys, is my #1 reason for loving chalk paint. More on that in a minute.

How many different kinds of chalk paint are there?

Quite a few. You’ve probably heard of popular brands like Annie Sloan (the OG of chalk paint, if you will) and Amy Howard, although this post cataloged at least 26 different varieties of chalk paint. I won’t go into all the different brands here or try to compare every single one on the market — because 1) that’d be super overwhelming for both of us and 2) if you’re really curious, you can Google chalk paint comparisons and come up with plenty of reading material on the topic.

My review of Behr chalk paint 

Just so we’re clear, this post was not sponsored by Behr. I’m simply sharing my thoughts on this paint that I purchased with my own cash money. My hope is that sharing my own experience will help someone else (like you!) make a decision about whether Behr chalk paint is the right choice for their next DIY project.

When I decided to paint the kids’ bathroom vanity (the finished product is below — so pretty, right?!), I immediately knew I wanted to use chalk paint.

Why?

I’m a horrible painter.

Ironic, huh, seeing as how I’m a blogger who tackles home projects on the regular? I know.

Over the years I’ve tried my hand at painting lots of things. There were the walls in our old townhouse, the bathroom in our rental, and the failed bookshelf makeover I attempted a few years ago…and my poor painting skills every time were, well, poor. I used water-based, oil-based, and latex paints for those past projects and more, and felt so frustrated by my lackluster (and streaky, SO streaky) results that I wound up turning the paint roller over to my husband.

I’m not going to tell you to never use any other kind of paint. Many people use all the paints I just mentioned quite successfully. I’m just not one of those people.

And that’s exactly why chalk paint is the perfect paint for someone like me. It allows me — a “quick and easy” DIY’er — to complete a project quickly while still getting a great end result.

So how did it go with Behr’s new chalk paint?

GUYS. THIS STUFF IS AWESOME.

To paint the kids’ bathroom vanity, I followed the exact same process I used when painting our laundry room cabinets using Annie Sloan chalk paint. You can read the full tutorial on how to paint laminate cabinets with chalk paint right over here.

Look how pretty! This is SUCH an improvement over our builder-basic white laminate vanity.

Here’s what I loved so much about Behr chalk paint:

  • The quality is on par with other, pricier chalk paints I’ve used. Annie Sloan and Amy Howard are like the Porsche of chalk paints. And in terms of quality, Behr’s paint was just as easy to use and the results were just as fabulous as those I’ve gotten when using the other two brands I mentioned.
  • It’s less expensive than some of the “boutique” brands. Behr chalk paint is $19.98 per quart, while many of the other brands out there can be as expensive as $40.
  • It comes in hundreds of colors. Here’s what I love most about this chalk paint: It can be tinted in ANY of the colors Behr offers. Yep, that’s right — all those walls of swatches you see can be made into a chalk paint. This is a huge deal, because many of the other chalk paint brands come in maybe 30-40 colors. Sure, you can lighten them or tint them or play around with the shade, but that gets time consuming and can be an annoying process, especially if the color doesn’t turn out exactly as you’d hoped after experimenting.

There weren’t any noticeable cons when I was painting our vanity. I know, I know…you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking there must be something I’m not telling you.

I promise you: I’m not holding back! And if I’m being totally honest, I think I was skeptical about the quality of Behr at first only because of the price point, especially since I had paid an arm and a leg for other similar paints in the past. So as soon as I discovered that Behr quality was just as good as my gals Annie and Amy (yes, we’re on a first-name basis like BFFs now), I pretty much wanted to shout all of this from the rooftops.

Have you guys used chalk paint before? If so, what brands have you loved (or not loved)? And have you tried Behr? I’d love to hear your two cents in the comments!

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42 Comments

42 Comments
  1. Thanks a million for this review – it was very helpful! I’d been contemplating giving Behr chalk paint a go on a vintage Duncan Phyfe-style dining table but was hesitating. I’m going to buy some today!

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    • Bridget, I’m so glad this was useful to you! Good luck with your paint project — let me know how it goes.

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  2. have you found when washing/scrubbing the cabinet that the paint comes off?

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    • Hi Brad — I haven’t had to scrub the bathroom vanity yet. I typically use Method spray cleaner and lightly clean the drawers, and I do this about once a week. I haven’t noticed any issues with the paint coming off. Is this a problem you’ve run into before?

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  3. Thanks for the information. I purchased Behr- classic noir today. I was sick of the outrageous cost of Annie Sloan, as I am doing a dining table. Will let you know about final product when completed.

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    • Let me know how your project goes, Laura!

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  4. This is a fantastic review and it gives me confidence to buy some, I had been thinking about it for a few weeks since the color I need isn’t available from Annie or Amy. Thank you very much!! Did you seal it with wax or another sealer? I usually use General Finishes for my tables and such.

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    • Hi Brittany — Awesome! Yes, Behr’s chalk paint color selection is excellent. Much broader than what Annie Sloane or Amy Howard offer. I did not seal the bathroom vanity yet. I have not personally used General Finishes wax but I do know other bloggers and DIYers who have had great experiences with it. Good luck with your project!

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  5. Hi there! Did you also use their wax?

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    • Hi Debbie – I didn’t use wax on the bathroom vanity I painted.

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  6. So happy you loved this paint. I didn’t read your review until after I bought it. Now I’m excited to try it!

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    • I’m excited that you bought Behr chalk paint! And I hope my feedback was helpful. I’d love for you to stop back by the blog once you’ve completed your project and tell me about your experience with the paint. Happy painting!

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  7. Thanks for the info! I used Rust-oleum chalk paint to redo my kitchen table and wasn’t at all thrilled with the quality. I’m going to use Behr for my next project and hope it works out well!

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    • Andie, I’m sorry to hear you didn’t have a good experience with Rustoleum’s chalk paint. I hope Behr gives you results that you’re happier with!

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    • Andie, I also used Rust-oleum chalk paint (on a small dresser and a door), and I wasn’t happy with the quality, either. Maybe Behr is the answer.

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      • Thanks for this insight, Lisa! Can you share more about why the Rust-oleum chalk paint didn’t meet your expectations? I’ve never used that brand so I am curious. I’ve had good luck with Behr, Amy Howard and Annie Sloan.

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  8. This is my first time using Behr chalk paint and so far not a big fan. I’m painting an old piece of furniture I removed the stain and sanded it good. The paint is showing brush marks and not covering good the stain is bleeding through. And I am a good painter. Hopefully coat 2 works better.

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    • I’m sorry to hear that, Becky! In my experience, all chalk paints I’ve used require 2-3 coats to actually cover a surface. Good luck — I hope coats 2 and 3 produce results you’re happy with.

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  9. I just finished 2 large desks with the Behr chalk paint! It is amazing! I also used the dark wax. It was by far, the easiest wax I have ever used! I highly recommend it! I have used multiple brands too. Behr is now my favorite!

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    • Leann, this is great to hear! And thank you for the feedback on the dark wax — I haven’t used Behr’s waxes yet so this is helpful to know.

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  10. Hi Kate! Found your site today when searching for reviews on Behr Chalk Paint (a gal at church mentioned it to me this morning). She finishes her furniture with several thin coats of matt polyurethane & loves the results. Thanks so much for the encouragement to try this product, as I’ve used AS & Mud Paint thus far, but am embarking on several pieces of furniture … I have a BEAUTIFUL medium oak French Country Buffet that “fights” with my new plank floors … thinking about a white or gray WASH, so to try to keep some of the wood grain. Any experience with painting with watered down chalk paint? Thanks!!

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    • Hi Marsha – Your plan for the buffet sounds like a great one! I haven’t used watered down chalk paint so I’m afraid I don’t have any advice to offer on that front. Good luck with your project!

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  11. This was helpful. I’m a rookie at furniture painting and bought the Behr chalk paint yesterday and started my project yesterday (8 dining room chairs, dining room table and large china cabinet). So far I’m very happy. Doing the 2nd coat today but since I’m a newbie I wasn’t sure if Behr was a good product (because of the price) and glad to see my initial thoughts were in line with yours.

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    • Hi Melissa! I’m so glad your project is off to a great start. My bathroom vanity that I painted using Behr Chalk Paint is holding up nicely. Good luck with your painting!

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  12. Typically you should seal chalk paint with a polycrylic. Once it’s sealed you won’t have a problem with paint coming off or even water marks

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    • Thanks for the tip, Tom!

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  13. I previously used Annie Sloan on 2 projects and just purchased Behr and dark wax. Cant wait to start my new dresser project. Thanks sp much for this review.

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    • Good luck with your project, Ellen! I do love Behr but am a big fan of Annie Sloan too.

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  14. Hi! I am trying to figure out how to paint my vintage laminate kitchen cabinets. Do you think chalk paint would be a good option for me?

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    • Hi Kelly! Kudos to you on wanting to paint your kitchen cabinets. My husband and I just finished painting ours (although I haven’t posted about the process yet!) a few weeks ago. I know several bloggers who have chalk painted their kitchen cabinets and have been happy with the results. However, my personal opinion — and the route I took for my own kitchen cabinets — is that it’s best to use a paint that’ll withstand more wear and tear than chalk paint will. For this reason, we painted our refaced wood cabinets using the Benjamin Moore Advance paint line. I can’t say enough good things about this paint. The painting process itself was a bit tedious but the cabinets are holding up beautifully and any spills wipe right off. I don’t have experience using that Benjamin Moore paint with laminate cabinets, but I recommend you go to a Ben Moore store (if you have one nearby) and get an opinion about using that type of paint on laminate. Good luck with your painting!

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  15. So glad I stumbled across this post.mi usually use Rustoleum chalk paint but the colors are limited.
    Yesterday at my visit to Home Depot I saw the Behr chalk paint and such a nice array of colors. I’ll give this a try on my next project.
    My question is would I be able to use the Rustoleum stain over Behr paint? I love their stain.

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    • Hi Kathy! Thanks for stopping by and for reading this post. I hope you love the Behr chalk paint as much as I did. I’ve never used Rustoleum’s wax so I don’t have insight as to whether it would work well with the Behr paint. Maybe try the wax in a small, inconspicuous spot and do a test before covering the entire piece of furniture with the wax. Good luck!

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  16. Hi Kate…thank you for this post. I just attended a class on how to use Annie Sloan chalk paint (I’ve never used chalk paint before)…and I plan to redo all my kitchen cabinets. Annie does not offer the color I am looking for, so I either have to find a color in her line or use another brand. I saw Home Depot sold the Behr brand and I am considering using it because of color options. With all that being said, my kitchen cabinets get a ton of wear. I have three kids and we are constantly wiping them down. Which brand do you think would be the best for my needs? Thanks a million

    Reply
    • Hi Tara! That sounds like a great class…and I am a big fan of Annie Sloan as well as Behr. Speaking of painting kitchen cabinets, my husband and I just did this (we haven’t had a chance to write about it just yet) and we opted to use Benjamin Moore Advance paint. The quality is fabulous and the painted cabinets are SO easy to wipe clean — not to mention they hold up surprisingly well to my toddler banging forks or cars or trucks or whatever against them. I know some people who have used chalk paint on their kitchen cabinets and they’ve been happy with the results, but with a busy household I’d recommend something like Ben Moore Advance. Great quality and lots of color options. Good luck with your painting!

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  17. I bought Behr Chalk paint for a antique piece I am turning into a coffee bar in my kitchen area and had it color matched to my kitchen cabinets. I love the outcome !! I did sand the piece and put 3 coats on, because I was doing white over a darkish red. It looks great !! I am not sure what to seal it with though !! I read reviews on Rustoleum sealer, and comments said do not put it over white because it will yellow it ! So… may try the Behr clear wax. Any suggestions ?

    Reply
    • Sherilyn, it sounds like your project turned out perfectly! I have never used any of the chalk paint brand waxes so I’m afraid I can’t offer advice here, although I do know that using any kind of wax will slightly darken the color of your project. Let me know what you decide to use — and good luck!

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  18. Behr chalk paint coverage is not good. Painted White over an off white base. Took 5 coats to not have too streaky a base. It may be cheaper than other brands, but you’ll use 5 times as much, and take 5 times the time.

    Reply
    • Alicia, I’m sorry to hear you had such a negative experience with Behr chalk paint. Did you sand and prime the piece before painting as well? I used a pale blue Behr paint for a bathroom vanity and I wound up using three coats of paint. I don’t have first-hand experience using their white chalk paint.

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  19. There is a recipe on pinterest for making your own chalk paint using Behr paint and calcium carbonate, water, and flat latex paint. There is also another pinterest posting that gives Annie Sloan paint colors compared to Behr paint colors. Amazing!

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    • Thanks for sharing!

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  20. Thanks for the info on the Behr paint. I like Behr paint for painting all the trim in our house, it works well because it is thick and if you prep the trim correctly prior to painting, it will last for years with minimal wear. I use Sherwin Williams on my walls and ceilings however, it is far superior to Behr. Again, the Behr is thick and tends to get streaky on large surfaces being painted with a brush. Three and half inch trim is perfect for Behr paint. So I am writing this information to you because I recently purchased Behr Chalk paint, color Noir. It is thick just like the trim paint I use. I got heavy brush marks all over the dresser we are refinishing so I sanded all the paint down again with 320 grit paper on an orbital sander. I tried to thin out the paint adding an ounce of water to just over a half quart of paint, but I still got a lot of brush marks. This product seems to dry to quickly and if you are painting any significant amount of area you are sure to get significant brush stroke marks. I have just sanded this piece with 320 for the third time and used a small foam roller to apply the paint. The results are better but I don’t like the look of the roller strokes. I prepped the heck out of this piece before we even started refinishing it. I think the issue with the Behr paint is that it is not self leveling. I have seen several projects on line of furniture pieces being refinished with chalk paint. Obviously I can’t see the finished product up close but I have to wonder if all these furniture pieces I see have significant brush strokes. I am looking for a self leveling paint going forward. I am not a fan of Behr chalk paint and am curious how or if you are avoiding such significant brush strokes on large painted areas such as the top of a dresser. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Dave – Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with Behr Chalk Paint. I have used several brands of chalk paint now, and Behr is fairly comparable to what you’d get with other brands. Chalk paint in general has more of a chalky, rustic finish…meaning that yes, you can see a few more brush strokes than if you refinished a piece of furniture with, say, latex paint. When I painted my kids’ bathroom vanity using Behr chalk paint, I primed the surface and then did three coats of chalk paint, letting each layer of paint dry in between coats. There are some small brush strokes on our vanity but 1) I expected that and 2) the brush strokes don’t bother me with this particular piece of furniture. But I completely understand that not everyone loves the appearance of chalk paint.

      Reply

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