It’s not a secret that I’ve been a big fan of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for many years. I’ve used it on over 100 projects, from large furniture pieces to small decor. I wrote a detailed post about How to Chalk Paint Furniture here, and used ASCP on 24 of the projects in my book Amazing Furniture Makeovers.
So you might be a little surprised to learn that I finally tried a competitor for the first time: Rustoleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint. In today’s post, see how I updated a thrifted cabinet and read my honest Rustoleum Chalked Paint review. I purchased all the products myself, and this post is not sponsored by any company.
I spied this piece on a local thrift store’s Facebook page and thought it was interesting, and then of course forgot all about it! A couple days later I was wandering through that store looking for a project for Furniture Fixer Uppers day (today), and remembered this quirky cabinet. It was marked $40 and then 50% off = only $20!
It’s solid and sturdy, and has 2 drawers (a top one and then a second deeper drawer) – and this spinning piece was added by the previous owner. I assume they wanted to set a TV on top and angle it in different directions…?
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First, the spinning top had to go. It was kind of a clever addition, but unlikely that the new owners would want to keep it anyway. There was a bolt, nut, and washers holding it in place.
Next I removed the hardware from the drawers. I planned to replace the pulls, but kept the bolts to reuse.
Then I taped over the backs of the holes and filled all the unwanted holes with wood filler and let it dry. After a while I sanded over it for smoothness.
I planned to use some extra copper cup pulls from this project earlier this year. So I measured new spots on the drawers to center the pulls (measure twice, drill once)…
and then drilled the six new holes with my handy drill/driver combo. I believe this is oak which is pretty hard wood, and my arms felt it afterward!
Rustoleum Chalked Paint Review
Initially, I decided to give Rustoleum Chalked Paint a try because I really wanted to paint the cabinet light green. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint doesn’t come in light green, and I didn’t feel like mixing paint colors. Also, I needed the paint quickly and just wanted to buy a can and use it the same day. When I saw that there was a Sensible Sage color in Rustoleum Chalked, I was excited!
Here are a few quick facts about Rustoleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint:
- It gives a smooth, matte finish
- No priming required
- There are 6 popular premixed colors you can buy off the shelf or even on Amazon
- Besides the premixed colors, you can choose either a Light Tint Base which is tintable to 12 specific colors or a Dark Tint Base which is tintable to 15 colors (Sensible Sage is a Light Tint Base option) – must be tinted at a paint counter
- Some of the colors are available as a spray paint (I’ve tried the Linen White color before in the spray paint and honestly did not like the coverage)
- There are also two decorative glaze options and a protective topcoat to use
Prepping for Rustoleum Chalked Paint
There isn’t much prep work required for Chalked paint, but you should lightly sand glossy surfaces before painting. That’s pretty much the same guideline as Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. However, as an experienced painter I know there are some types of furniture that will always need extra prep work. Learn how to properly prep furniture for painting here. Since I wasn’t concerned about this cabinet bleeding through, I went straight to my Purdy paint brush and got busy.
(I did tape inside the new drawer holes so the paint wouldn’t drip through and make a mess.)
The coverage seemed pretty good. I did two full coats and then some smaller areas again as needed. The paint is thicker than latex but doesn’t seem quite as thick as ASCP.
After the paint was dry, I sanded it smooth and distressed it with 320 grit sandpaper. I was pleased with how well it distresses (I usually like a slightly worn look, not heavy distressing).
I didn’t buy the Rustoleum Chalked Protective Topcoat – I plan to apply Annie Sloan’s clear wax instead. I’ve had so many bad experiences with topcoats yellowing even when they’re not supposed to, that I just stick with furniture wax to be safe.
Here’s how the cabinet turned out…
I’ve wanted to try a light green color for ages! However, this isn’t the color I had in mind. It was hard to tell the true color on a little one-inch swatch in the pamphlet at the store. This is Sensible Sage and it leans more toward the Duck Egg Chalk Paint color that I’m used to. And I didn’t plan on it being so pale… but it definitely is a pretty color.
- Rustoleum Chalked is almost half the price of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
- It’s available at major home improvement stores and even here on Amazon
- The coverage is decent and it distresses easily (at least for this specific color and type of wood finish cabinet)
- It has a similar matte finish like ASCP
- Clean up was easy with soap and water (including my arm and a small drop on my carpet)
- I’m not sure if Chalked Paint can work on as many surfaces as ASCP, which can be used on almost any surface imaginable
- Limited color choices, similar to ASCP
- ASCP is only sold at approved small retailers, who are highly trained to guide you in whatever your Chalk Paint project is – unlike the Rustoleum paint (but you can find video tutorials online)
Verdict: Overall I was pretty happy with Rustoleum Chalked Paint. I will always love Annie Sloan Chalk Paint because it’s the original (and the best in my opinion), but I can definitely see myself trying another color of Rustoleum Chalked. It’s also great if you have a lower budget or don’t have any ASCP stockists locally to buy from. If you’ve tried it before, I’d love to know your thoughts! – Jen
Now it’s time for Furniture Fixer Uppers day again. Let’s see what my blogging friends are up to this month…
Below are the Before photos – visit the links underneath to see the creative Afters and to learn how they did it: