Chalk paint has prompted a real revolution in the world of the interior design, unleashing a new creative trend for DIY lovers. This relatively new product is a super versatile decorative paint that incorporates chalk in its formula and is easy to apply on a host of surfaces including metal, wood, glass, plastic and even fabric.

Used to redecorate furniture or to create attractive focal points, chalk paint comes in a rainbow of colours and types. And if this the first time you’re considering using this product, you’re perhaps wondering how to choose the best one.

To help you decide which is the right chalk paint for your project, we’ve tested and rated the most popular products for home furniture in the UK. Check out our top picks below.

chalk paint finish


Our #1 Best Pick

hemway chalk paint

Hemway Chalk Paint

Our #1 pick – a premium chalk paint for furniture, walls, woodwork and accessories.

Low Cost Option

Johnstone's revive chalky

Johnstone’s Revive Chalky

Affordable furniture paint to consider for a flawless shabby chic look.

Best Of The Rest

Shabby Chic Chalk Based

Water-based furniture paint suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint

An exceptional water-based paint for interior wooden furniture.

Ronseal Chalky Furniture Paint

Exceptional furniture paint available in 8 shabby-chic shades.


Colour has an incredible influence on our homes and lives. Alongside the colour of the walls, the colour of home furniture changes the perception of space and temperature in a room, often affecting our mood in one way or another.

Neutral colours work well in all environments. White, cream, beige and taupe create a balanced, relaxed and sophisticated atmosphere. These hues are ideal to use on traditional furniture but also on modern pieces and are easy to mix and match with bright shades and dramatic colours.

Bright or dramatic hues make an ideal choice for small accent furniture pieces. For instance, a red accent chair matches wonderfully with a cream, sand or beige décor.

Yellow, orange, green, blue, purple and fuchsia are easy to mix and match to create a pop style interior – but also to soften down the greys and beiges in a Nordic style home.

Dark colours like chocolate, navy, petrol green, anthracite, and black bring sophistication and are easy to integrate into an elegant environment. For example, navy furniture looks amazing in a lavish bedroom and pairs well with neutral colour walls.

hemway chalk paint
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Decorative matt chalk paint suitable for a wide range of projects and available in 32 colours.

Hemway Chalk Paint is a versatile and easy-to-use product for furniture, walls, woodwork and accessories. Drying to a decorative matt finish, our top pick comes in 32 colours and is supplied in 1 litre tins.

Covering up to 15m²/litre, Hemway Chalk Paint has a quick drying time of only two hours. One coat is usually enough to achieve good results although two or more coats may be needed if making substantial colour changes or when painting on bare surfaces. The feature we like best is the no-priming formulation.

In fact, the product can be painted onto most surfaces without priming or sanding. An exceptional adherence makes it easy to finish work quickly in a single painting session. Drying to a shabby chic matt finish, the product is also compatible with the paint glitter manufactured by the same company, for a stellar refurbishing of your furniture.

Another thing we like about this paint is its non-toxic water-based formulation. Having virtually no odour, the product is safe to use in enclosed or poorly ventilated environments. The paint is also suitable to use with stencils if you just want to add creative decorations to an old cabinet or wardrobe.

A 100% satisfaction guarantee ensures the quality. If you’re not satisfied with the product, simply return it and ask for a refund.


• Easy to use chalk paint is compatible with a wide range of surfaces, including furniture and woodwork, stone, plaster, brick, metal and plastic.
• The product can be applied onto surfaces that are not primed or sanded. This minimises the costs and length of the project.
• Ideal for DIYers, Hemway Chalk Paint can be used with stencils to create decorative details on your desired surface.
• Excellent coverage and quick drying time also minimises costs and the length of your project. One coat is usually enough and a litre of paint covers up to 15m².
• The manufacturer offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee and you’ll just need to return the product and ask for a refund if you’re unhappy with your purchase.
• Available in 23 neutral and dramatic colours, this paint can complement any interior design.


• Coverage power drops when making substantial colour changes. In this case, it may take two or even three coats to achieve a good quality result.

Johnstone's revive chalky

A high-quality chalk furniture paint ideal for those who don’t want to break the bank.

Johnstone’s is renowned for its excellent paint deals, combining high-quality products with exceptional prices. And the Revive Chalky Furniture Paint doesn’t disappoint. Providing a tough and durable finish, this product is formulated to resist scratches and to protect surfaces for a long time.

But as one might expect, a great price comes with certain compromises. With this paint, unfortunately you must compromise on colours. Johnstone’s proposes five attractive but neutral shades that dry to a contemporary ultra-matt look. So if you’re looking for a bright or dramatic hue, you’ll need to search elsewhere.

Colour range aside, this product stands out for its ease of use. Forget about surface preparation. This paint can cover almost any surface that was not primed or sanded. For an effortless smooth finish, we recommend applying the paint with a roller instead of a paintbrush.

The paint has a good level of coverage power although it may take two coats to achieve a flattering result. A finishing wax coat over the paint increases the product’s resistance to scratches and seals the colour, although this step is not essential.

We also liked the quick drying formula. The product dries to the touch in only half an hour and a second coat can be applied after two hours. This helps you complete the project without hassle and in no time.


• Designed to revive the look of old furniture even on a budget, Johnstone’s chalk paint comes at a more than affordable price.
• Tough and durable finish protects the surfaces from scratches. The ultra-matt finish disguises minor surface imperfections.
• Available in five colours, the paint is ideal to use for shabby chic projects or to help refurbish your furniture in a contemporary neutral shade.
• The product is easy to apply with a paintbrush or roller and has a good adherence on unprepared surfaces.
• Ideal to use on multiple materials (including wood, plaster, metal, and more).
• Coverage of up to 12m²/litre and a quick drying time of only half an hour allow you to complete projects in no time.


• It takes two or more coats to get a satisfactory result. The coverage power drops even further when the product is applied over a darker shade.
• A coat of finishing wax improves the resistance of the paint, but this is an additional cost.

shabby chic chalk based furniture paint
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Chalk paint formulated to create shabby chic style furniture in one simple easy step.

Shabby Chic chalk-based paint is another product that stands out from the crowd. Coming in 36 shades and covering up to 12m²/litre, this paint dries to a luxurious matt or metallic finish that enhances the beauty of vintage furniture – and the product can be used on un-primed surfaces.

This water-based paint has a low odour and can be used in enclosed spaces. But Shabby Chic can be used outdoors too. It adheres to wood, metal, plaster, brick, plastic and stone, and it can be used to revive every aspect of your indoor and outdoor furniture and accessories.

According to the manufacturer, the product can even be used to create a distressed look by applying two coats in contrasting hues and sanding the top coat when dry.

Although we didn’t try this, we tested the Winter Grey colour which dries to an elegant matt finish that hides minor surface imperfections. The product was easy to apply with a roller, but a paintbrush is also ideal for the purpose.

We liked the product’s viscosity and the fact that you can apply a second coat after only 15 minutes; in fact, there is no need to wait for the first coat to dry completely, which is awesome. Once you have achieved full coverage, just wait for two hours before handling the object. The paint is fully set and dry after about three hours.


• Shabby Chic chalk paint is suitable to use on indoor and outdoor furniture and it is easy to apply with a paintbrush or roller.
• Water-based formula is non-toxic and odourless. The product can be used in poorly ventilated spaces.
• Thirty-six colours and two finishes add versatility. Choose between neutral and dramatic shades and matt or metallic finishes.
• A second coat can be applied after only 15 minutes even if the undercoat is not completely dry. It takes about three hours for the paint to fully set.


• Colours are slightly different than pictured and inconsistent. The coverage power is also low and it may take over three coats to gain full coverage.
• This product is supplied in 250ml tins and is quite expensive. However, considering its number of applications, we feel it’s good value for money.

rust-oleum chalky finish furniture paint

Ideal for wooden furniture – a classic smooth touch and flat matt finish give new life to worn-out objects.

Give a new lease of life to worn-out interior furniture with Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish. This water-based product is suitable for interior use only and can be used in poorly ventilated environments thanks to the non-toxic formulation and low odour.

Providing an exceptional coverage with just one coat, the paint requires no priming or sanding of the surface. A litre of paint covers up to 14m² and the product is supplied in 125ml or 750ml tins.

One thing we liked a lot is the colour versatility. Chalky Finish paint is available in 31 shades which can be used on their own or mixed and matched to create a distressed look.

In terms of the ease of use, this paint can be applied with a paintbrush or roller. We recommend the latter, especially on large surfaces. Due to the significant viscosity, the product can even be applied with a paint sprayer.

We weren’t overly enamoured with the drying time. The paint touch dries in an hour, but a second coat can be applied only after four hours when full hardness is achieved. Although this isn’t a very long time, most chalk paints dry in less time and can be recoated after fewer hours.


• Water-based and odourless chalk paint is safe to use in enclosed and poorly ventilated spaces. This product is suitable for interior furniture only.
• Exceptional coverage power makes it possible to achieve great results with just one coat. A second coat may be necessary if the product is applied over a darker colour.
• Rust-Oleum chalk paint covers up to 14m²/litre, depending on surface porosity and application method. We recommend applying the product with a roller.
• The wide colour range makes it possible to mix and match shades to create a distressed look. All colours dry to a smooth flat matt finish.


• A thick formulation makes it difficult to apply the paint with a brush without leaving unflattering marks.
• Colours dry to shades lighter or darker than expected.
• The finish is not scratch resistant and it may be necessary to apply a coat of protective wax over the paint.

Ronseal chalky furniture paint

8 contemporary colours and a flat matt finish make this product ideal for most furniture restoration projects.

Ronseal Chalky Furniture Paint is another product that impressed us. Available in 8 shabby chic colours, the product is ideal for use on wooden furniture but also on doors, cupboards or kitchen cabinets.

Resisting scuffs and scratches, this Ronseal paint protects the furniture from wear and tear and revives all aspects of worn-out objects. A fantastic product adherence makes it impossible to rub the product off on touch and there is no need to apply an overcoat to protect the surface.

The variety of pastel colours also make it easy to mix and match shades to create a distressed look. All shades dry to a contemporary matt finish that disguises minor surface imperfections.

Another great characteristic is the quick drying time. It takes only half an hour for the paint to touch dry; a second coat can be applied after only one hour and two coats are usually sufficient for complete coverage.

We weren’t overly impressed by the coverage. A litre of paint is enough for up to 6m², depending on surface porosity and application method. Given that the paint is supplied in 750ml tins, this product is definitely more suitable for small restoration projects, especially if you’re on a strict budget.


• High-performance furniture paint protects surfaces against wear and tear and it doesn’t rub off on touch. No protective topcoat required.
• The product has a brilliant adherence and there is no need to prime or prepare the surface before application.
• Flat matt finish and the variety of pastel colours make the product ideal for most furniture restoration projects.
• This chalk paint touch dries in half an hour and can be recoated after one hour. Two coats are sufficient in most cases.


• The product covers up to 6m²/litre and is supplied in 750ml tins. This makes it an expensive choice for large projects.
• It may take three or even four coats to get full coverage when applied on darker colours.
• Like most paints, Ronseal Chalky Paint dries to a shade slightly different than you might expect from the tin.



• Chalk paint
• Sandpaper
• Caulk
• Painter’s tape


• Paintbrushes
• Roller
• Roller tray
• Putty knife
• Caulk gun


Step 1 – Surface preparation
Most furniture chalk paints available on the market require no surface preparation and no priming. So while you can skip priming, we recommend to at least clean the surface before applying the paint to improve adherence.

Remove old flaking or peeling paint too. Old paint won’t affect chalk paint’s adherence, but it can prevent you from applying a level coat of new product. A light sanding is usually the only surface preparation required.

Before applying chalk paint, make sure the surface is clean and dry. Some products won’t adhere to greasy surfaces, so make sure to remove any grease or oil stains if present. Clean the surface with a degreaser and let it dry completely.

Cover with the painter’s tape all surfaces not to be painted then proceed to the next step.

Step 2 – Paint the surface
Open the tin of paint and stir vigorously. Use a paintbrush or roller to apply the product to the furniture, following the natural pattern of the wood. If the furniture is made of another material, apply the product in unilateral strokes, one section at a time.

Let the first coat to dry as instructed and apply a second coat using the same procedure. Remove the painter’s tape and let the product dry and cure as instructed.

Only handle the object when the paint is fully dry and avoid touching it excessively in the first 24 hours after painting.

For the best results, we recommend using chalk paint indoors, applying it with a natural, bristly paintbrush or cotton roller.