We’ve got nothing against a high-gloss finish on a statement piece or an accent wall, but we have to admit that we love the velvety matte texture of chalk paint. Chalk paint was invented by Annie Sloan in 1990, who remains a world-renowned giant in the paint industry (via the Annie Sloan website). Chalk paint is unique in that its powdery base allows it to easily adhere to a variety of materials, such as wood, plastic, and metal. That makes it well suited to furniture refinishing projects and has an aged, vintage quality.
Chalk paint is not the same thing as chalkboard paint — it typically contains talc and calcium carbonate, which dries to a chalky finish. On the other hand, chalkboard paint is used to create a surface you can actually write on with chalk. So if you’re looking for matte chalky paint and don’t want it to be used during craft time, be sure to double-check the label. We’ve put together a list of our favorite shades of chalk-finished paint that will have you reaching for your paintbrush.
1. Sherwin-Williams Mount Etna SW 7625
In a chalky matte finish, Mount Etna, part of Sherwin Williams 2023 Colormix Forecast collection, is a rich but moody blue-hued neutral that’s well-suited for walls and cabinets.
2. Benjamin Moore Summer’s Day
Sage green hues have dominated home design trends, and Benjamin Moore’s Summer’s Day is the perfect chalky shade for refinishing vintage pieces of all varieties.
3. Annie Sloan Emile
Inspired by the artistic and decorative works from bohemian Paris, Emile is a beautiful chalky lilac shade. It pairs beautifully with Annie Sloan’s Paris Grey chalk paint.
4. Behr Matte Grey
The Matte Grey paint from Behr is so classic it can elevate antique pieces that have seen better days to their original glory. We love the less-than-smooth finish it gives, allowing for more painterly vibes.
5. Dixie Belle Colonel Mustard
Chalky finished paints don’t need to come in cozy neutrals — choose a punchy shade of yellow, like this Colonel Mustard tint from Dixie Belle, for a stunning statement piece.
6. Retique It by Renaissance Cherry Blossom
We love chalk paints for soft feminine shades like this Retique It Cherry Blossom pigment. The velvety matte finish perfectly compliments delicate pink shades — it looks great on cabinets, furniture, and walls.
7. Kilz Toasted Poppyseed
Toasted Poppyseed is a true gray with no blue or purple undertones, which makes it a great neutral in a matte finish. It can be paired with almost anything, but we love a cozy mustard yellow against it.
8. Dixie Belle Collard Greens
For a deeply earthy chalk paint, try Dixie Belle’s Collard Greens. This forest green has black undertones that are moody but not as stark as a true black or gray.
9. Rust-Oleum Blue Harbor
We can’t think of a more elegant shade than the green-tinged French blue of Rust-Oleum’s Blue Harbor. It’s a gorgeous shade that we love with some distressing on dressers and vintage furniture pieces.
10. Annie Sloan Old Ochre
Finding a classic off-white can be intimidating, but Annie Sloan’s Old Ochre is perfectly warm but not overpowering. It would look just as great on a kitchen wall or in a powder room.
11. Behr Classic Noir
If you have a flair for drama, consider a deep black in a matte chalk finish like Behr’s Classic Noir. It can be used as an accent shade or moody wall color.
12. Dixie Belle Barn Red
Is there anything more quintessentially Americana than old red barns? Take that classic shade into your home with Dixie Belle’s Barn Red chalk paint. Great with neutrals and deep shades of green.
13. Retique It by Renaissance Chalk Finish Terre Verte
Deep sage green looks great in almost all finishes, but we especially love it in matte chalk paints. It’s gorgeous and very on-trend for cabinets but would be well-suited as a wall color to create a zen zone.
14. Dixie Belle Holy Guacamole
Dixie Belle’s Holy Guacamole is a gorgeous but groovy nod to ‘the 70s avocado green. We love it paired with brass details that make it look impossibly warm.
15. Annie Sloan Napoleonic Blue
Finding a dark but preppy and soothing color can be tricky, which is why we love Annie Sloan’s Napoleonic Blue. Pair it with poppy flamingo pink, canary yellows, or chalky grays.