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Kilz Chalk Paint: Should you try it?

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Have you tried Kilz chalk paint? It’s fairly inexpensive, easy to find and has really pretty colors. I have used a lot of chalk paint brands over the years, so I feel qualified to give my opinion on how easy a specific chalk paint brand is to use. 

So, how did I like it? Read on for my full review of Kilz chalk paint.

Kilz Chalk Paint in Toasted Poppyseed  sitting on a table.

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My Experience with Kilz Chalk Style Decorative Paint

I’m all for saving money, but the quality of the products I use are still very important to me. This often means the kind of paint I use is key. My go-to chalk paint brands are Annie Sloan and Amy Howard. 

I’ve used chalk paint to paint furniture countless times with these brands, using multiple colors. Two of my more popular painting projects on this blog are:

But, I thought it was worth trying the Kilz Chalk Style Paint because it is so easy to find and the price is right. I’d tried it once before when painting cabinets in my basement and did not have success with it!

Read about that at Painting Cabinets without Priming: The Ultimate Amateurs Guide.

To be fair, I wanted to give it another shot to see if my initial experience was a fluke.

By the way, this is not a sponsored post for Kilz Paint! I’m just hoping to give you an opinion from a fellow DIYer!

Kilz Chalk Paint Review: My Honest Opinion

The guinea pig for this painting project was an outdated, orange wood, entertainment center we had from the early 2000’s. We had a giant floor TV that fit in between the two towers.

We managed to get rid of the television several years back, but we still had the entertainment center.

Painting an old entertainment center with chalk paint.

I tried to make it work in our guest bedroom, but it just didn’t. When we decided to upgrade our guest bed from twin to queen, we no longer had room for the entertainment towers in the bedroom.

The guest bedroom will be getting a makeover soon, too!

My out of town family members that follow along with the blog are probably most anxious for that;-)

Cleaning out a spare bedroom and painting the outdated furniture.

I determined that the entertainment towers would be great extra shelving in the main area of our basement.

But, in order for them to work, paint was definitely necessary in this update!

I used Toasted Poppyseed Kilz Chalk Paint. The prep work included cleaning the piece of all dust and debris and allowing it to dry before applying the first coat.

Painting old orange furniture with chalk paint.

Toasted Poppyseed Kilz Chalk Paint

This color is absolutely stunning! It’s a perfect neutral gray / charcoal color. For excellent coverage of the orange furniture, two coats were required, plus touch ups.

As do other chalk paints, this paint has a fast drying time of ~30 minutes after applying.

The first time I used this several months back on my basement cabinets, it was VERY grainy to the touch. I followed all of the directions for use on the can, but it was just kind of a mess with a lot of grit.

Kilz chalk paint in Roasted Poppyseed color beside a red solo cup.

This time, I did not experience the grainy quality like I did before. It was quite smooth with a matte finish. BUT, it did appear a bit streaky in nature.

Toasted Poppy Seed Kilz Chalk Paint on interior of white shelves that appears to have streaks.

To be honest, for this particular piece of furniture, I do not mind the slight streaked look. It almost gives it a little more character!

But, if this is not the look you are hoping for, by all means, take note!

Sanding is not suggested between coats, but I often find that a light sanding  with fine grit sandpaper helps reduce the appearance of brush strokes. If you do end up sanding, be sure to wipe away all of the dust between coats.

About wax

I’ll get to this more later, but I ended up not using a finishing wax for chalk painted furniture over the Kilz Toasted Poppyseed (I did with the white which you’ll see later!).

I tried it in a small area and did not personally like the way it changed (darkened) the color.

It is very common for wax to deepen a chalk paint color, but I liked the color as it was before wax. The wax made it look almost black, which was not my preference and I just used a clear wax vs dark wax.

One other thing that I noticed with the gray Kilz paint when I attempted waxing a small area… Much of the paint bled onto my brush! Keep in mind it was fully dry when I attempted the waxing.

I was concerned it would look incredibly streaked if I decided to wax the entire piece.

So, no wax! 

Since I only used this color on the inside of my shelving unit, I am hoping the wear and tear will be minimal. Fingers crossed!

Kilz Chalk Paint in White

This is a very bright white color!

My review of this particular color might be a bit skewed because I ultimately ended up mixing 50% Kilz Chalk Style Paint in White with 50% Amy Howard One Step Paint (chalk paint) in Linen.

Even after mixing these two together, I felt the white was still really white.

If you have never mixed chalk paints together, it is a great way to personalize a color to get it exactly how you want it!

I try to stick with 50 – 50% mixes because otherwise, it is incredibly hard to match should you ever need to do a touch up some time down the road!

Mixing Amy Howard One Step Paint in Linen with Kilz Chalk Style Paint white.

As you can see below, the white portion of the furniture is very white!

It took three coats to fully cover this particular furniture with the white chalk paint. This is fairly common when using a lighter chalk paint color. More paint is needed for good coverage with light paints.

Using a good quality primer with white paint is helpful in reducing the amount of paint and you could likely get away with just a second coat and save a little money.

The texture of the white was nice. Smooth (not grainy!).

I’m not sure if this is because I mixed it with the Amy Howard paint or if it is just a different texture than the Kilz gray chalk paint.

As I mentioned, coverage was very comparable to other chalk paints I’ve used previously.

White chalk paint and kilz tchalk paint on orange furniture in gray basement.

How did the Kilz Chalk Paint work with sealing wax?

I had some Valspar Sealing Wax on hand, so that is what I used to seal my pieces. What I typically use to seal furniture after using chalk paint is the Amy Howard clear wax or if it will be getting a lot of heavy use, I like Minwax Polycrylic in matte.

But, my Mom had recently purchased the Valspar wax and didn’t plan on using it again. SO because I don’t like to waste, I thought why not!

Valspar Sealing wax to seal chalk painted furniture.

I applied a VERY thin coat of wax, working it into small sections at a time.

You can see below how the wax deepens the color.

Furniture with chalk paint with and without furniture wax.

I applied two coats of wax, allowing a couple of days between coats. It would have been ready for another coat after 24 hours, but I did it when I had a free moment!

RELATED: Is There a Problem With Using Paint that Smells Sour?


It was just ok.

I felt as though I had to work much harder for it to look good, specifically the Kilz Toasted Poppyseed. As I mentioned, the color was gorgeous. But, the Kilz brand just wasn’t as easy to work with as some of the more popular, well-known brands.

If you have never used chalk paint before, just know that the brand can make a big difference in your overall experience.

Many of the chalk paint brands have small sizes for purchase. I would highly recommend starting with that and experimenting on a small piece of furniture (that you don’t love!) before diving in to work with a really special piece of furniture.

Upcycling furniture can be addictive, so getting the right products is so important.

What Chalk Paint Brands Do I recommend?

#1 Annie Sloan

#2 Amy Howard

There are lots of other brands out there, but those are the brands I find to be tried and true every single time!

Annie Sloan can be a bit challenging to find. I tend to order mine from The Purple Painted Lady, a retailer online. I have had an excellent experience with each purchase from her!

Amy Howard One Step Chalk paint is a bit easier to find in my neck of the woods. Use their store locator to find a location near you.

Here is a look at the complete AFTER of the entertainment center towers:

Painting entertainment center towers with white and gray Kilz Chalk paint.
Kilz chalk paint in white and gray on shelves beside french doors leading to bedroom.

Have you tried Kilz Chalk Paint? If so, leave your comments below! I would love to hear your experience!


Can you chalk paint with Kilz?

You can chalk paint with Kilz. It is a readily available paint with a lot of different color options.

Do I need to seal chalk paint?

You should seal chalk paint with a top coat or sealing wax. The Kilz line does carry a Kilz clear sealing wax made specifically for Kilz chalk style paint.

What happens if you don’t wax chalk paint?

If you elect to not use a wax or top coat to chalk painted furniture, it will be significantly less durable. The wax provided a layer of protection for scratches and bumps while providing a slight sheen.

Can you use Kilz chalk paint on glass?

Yes, chalk paint can be used on glass. Painting mason jars with chalk paint is a popular was to paint glass. Seal glass with an acrylic sealer or top coat of choice for added durability.

If you love painted furniture, take a peek at some of my furniture before and after posts:

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  1. It turned out so beautifully! I had no idea there was a sealing wax for chalk paint! That changes so much!

  2. Thanks for your honest thoughts; always appreciated. I’ve never tried chalk paint but I love the idea.


  3. I have been toying with the idea of painting my kitchen table. You make it look so easy, I really need to look into this further!

  4. This looks like such a fun project! This would be neat to do down in the basement in my daughter’s play corner.

  5. Your transformation looks amazing! I’ve been wanting to try chalk paint but was unsure about the final look. I have heard of Annie Sloan and I’m glad you also recommend it. I’ll have to keep an eye out because I have three chairs I want to redo!

  6. Like your honest opinion and that it was just ok. This would help when thinking about purchasing chalk paint.

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