Behr Chalk Paint vs Rust-Oleum Chalk Paint

Dang that weekend went WAY too fast. Really, how is it Monday already?! We had so much fun celebrating Easter all weekend with the kids, but I wish it wouldn’t have gone so darn quick. Anyway, today I’m excited to share a side by side comparison and review of Behr chalk paint vs Rust-Oleum chalk paint. I actually just discovered the Behr paint a few weeks ago, so I thought it would be fun to compare it to my go-to, which is the Rust-Oleum chalk paint. I bought a little cabinet for $12 and painted one half with the Behr paint and one half with the Rust-Oleum paint to see how the two compare to each other. It was pretty interesting, so I wanted to share the results of my little test with you guys today!! Ok let’s start with a before photo of the cabinet I used:

For this comparison I did nothing to prep the cabinet other than clean it up and remove dust. Then I painted one half with the Behr chalk paint and one half with the Rust-Oleum chalk paint. Here’s how the cabinet looked after the first coat of paint:

Thoughts after the 1st coat of both chalk paints:

  • Right away I noticed the Behr paint was a little thicker in consistency, but it went on streaky.
  • The Rust-Oleum chalk paint offered more coverage after one coat of paint.
  • Both paints went on easily and application was a breeze.
  • They also both dried quickly as well–I’d say both sides were dry within 15 minutes.

Thoughts after the 2nd coat of both chalk paints:

  • After finishing the second coat it was obvious the Behr chalk paint didn’t give as much coverage as the Rust-Oleum chalk paint.
  • You can see in the side by side comparison–the left side (Behr) is more streaky. It definitely needs a third coat of paint.
  • The Rust-Oleum paint seemed more pigmented.
  • Both applied easily on the second coat and there was no buildup.
  • Both dried to a matte finish, but the Behr side was a bit smoother to the touch.

After the paint was fully dried I added a little distressing to both sides with sandpaper. For the sake of this review I didn’t use any finishing wax or sealers. Here’s the finished look:

Recliners linked here

Overall Thoughts:

  • For the most part I feel like these two chalk paints are very similar. Both applied easily and adhered well to the cabinet with no prep whatsoever and no primer.
  • The biggest difference I noticed was in the coverage–Rust-Oleum offers more coverage per coat of paint and it was less streaky than the Behr paint.
  • The cool thing about the Behr chalk paint is that it’s easily tintable to match almost any Behr color. There’s a dark base and a white base, which is what I used for today’s comparison, but you can tint the paint using any color you like. That options isn’t really available with the Rust-Oleum chalk paint–they recommend only mixing it with other chalk paint to make a custom color.
  • I think either one of these chalk paints make a great option, but I lean a little more towards Rust-Oleum just because it gives more coverage. However, if you want a custom color, I think the Behr chalk paint is definitely the way to go.

Well I hope you enjoyed my little review and comparison of the Behr chalk paint and the Rust-Oleum chalk paint. I love testing out new chalk paints and it’s always fun to see how they look side-by-side on the same piece of furniture. Anyway, I hope this was helpful if you’ve been wondering about either of these paints! xo

More chalk painting posts you might like:

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint vs Rust-Oleum Chalk Paint

Krylon Chalky Spray Paint Review

DIY Chalk Paint Review

Leave a Comment!


  1. Belinda wrote:

    We redid our kitchen cabinets with the Rustoleum Linen White-chalk paint. I would give it a 7 out of 10. I would not consider it a linen white, more of a bright white. Disappointed in the color, not the application or coverage. In all, Annie Sloan chalk paints are superior in my opinion, but they are more expensive.

    Posted 4.22.19 Reply
    • Dusty wrote:

      Did you use Behr Chalk base without adding tint/color?

      My understanding is that you need to have it tinted, using as is off the shelf so not recommended.

      Posted 7.31.19 Reply
  2. Valerie wrote:

    What a cute little cabinet! I always live to see what you are doing with your little vintage nest! I am getting ready to try out Re-thunk Junk chalk paint and glaze on a little table I bought at our Humane Society store. It’s fun to try out different types of paint.

    Posted 4.22.19 Reply
  3. They both look as if they work pretty well, however Sarah I do like the rustoleum because I tend to want it done now. Lol I’ve been known to bring a piece in before it is even dry…. I am so bad. 😬 you are right about the tinting tho. Have a fun day Sarah Joy! 💕 thanks

    Posted 4.22.19 Reply
  4. Melissa Filson wrote:

    I love that cabinet Sarah! I can’t believe you snagged it for $12! 🙌🙌 Super cute! Thanks for the tips on these paints! Have a great week friend! 💛

    Posted 4.22.19 Reply
  5. Jeanne wrote:

    I love reading your blogs and seeing your decorating ideas. Have you ever tried Rust-Oleum milk paint? I had always used my own chalk paint until I was asked to review Rust-Oleum chalk vs Rust-Oleum milk paints and found that I loved their milk paint. It has a much smoother finish. I have since used it on several pieces.

    Posted 4.22.19 Reply
  6. Stacie wrote:

    So funny that this popped up in my email today! I snagged a French Provincial end table at junk store this weekend and want to give it a make over. I have never used any chalk paint before and was wondering what options were out there that I could find locally. I live in a small town. We have a Home Depot so I will be going there. I also wondered if chalk paint could be tinted and you solved the mystery for me! I’m wanting to go with red, teal, and gold. I always look forward to your posts!

    Posted 4.22.19 Reply
  7. Sarah wrote:

    First off, the cabinet is fabulous! Second, thank you for showing the side by sides. So helpful. Now knowing there is tintable chalk paint…oh my! 😊

    Posted 4.22.19 Reply
  8. Candy wrote:

    Good Morning Sarah
    I hope that you had a blessed Easter.
    I love this comparison of the two paints.
    I noticed that the Rust Oleum is the better choice for me. Did you have to put a sealer on it now?
    Have a great day!

    Posted 4.22.19 Reply
    • Janet Boucher wrote:

      Thank you for the comparisons. You led me to the Rust-Oleum product previously. It was inexpensive and available in my area. 2 coats on my girlhood French provencial headboard and I feel like a grown-up. I did not notice any odor. Now on to my crumby old dresser. Think I will splurge on drawer pulls.

      Posted 4.22.19 Reply
  9. Susie wrote:

    Hi Sarah. I just finished two book cases with Rust-Oleum white chalk paint. To be fair it was originally a dark green color…….so had to use two coats and in some places three. I am a big fan of Annie Sloan’s chalk paint, but it is very expensive where I got it from $50 for a large can……I still had to paint twice with hers……..while Rust-Oleum is much cheaper $16 for a large can of chalk paint and I might add smellier than Annie’s paint. Quality is the same……big price difference. I bought the Rust-Oleum because of your blog. Glad I tried it, I think I would get it again.

    Posted 4.22.19 Reply
  10. Susie wrote:

    Hi Sarah. I just finished two book cases with Rust-Oleum white chalk paint. To be fair it was originally a dark green color…….so had to use two coats and in some places three. I am a big fan of Annie Sloan’s chalk paint, but it is very expensive where I got it from $50 for a large can……I still had to paint twice with hers……..while Rust-O’s is much cheaper $16 for a large can of chalk paint and I might add smellier than Annie’s paint. Quality is the same……big price difference. I bought the Rust-Ol because of your blog. Glad I tried it, I think I would get it again.

    Posted 4.22.19 Reply
  11. Vicki wrote:

    Thank you for sharing this, it is very helpful for someone who hasn’t ventured yet into trying chalk paint but would like to. It’s hard to know the quality and there are so many brands available now at different price ranges.

    Posted 4.22.19 Reply
  12. Kyla wrote:

    So interesting! I’ve seen that chalk paint in Home Depot and wondered how it compares to the Rustoleum, also my go to. I’ve been happy with Rustoleum every time so I’ll probably stick with that for the next project. But I do wish the colors could also be customized like the Behr.

    Posted 4.22.19 Reply
  13. Jessica wrote:

    Oh thanks for this post! I always have used rustoleum but I did not know you can color the behr!!!

    Posted 4.22.19 Reply
  14. Carol Holtorf wrote:

    Thank your for sharing your experience using the two different chalk paints. With the picttures you definitely could see the difference.

    Posted 4.22.19 Reply
  15. This is very good to know! It looks like the Behr chalk is much like mild paint which does not cover well. I use to order my chalk paint on line, I am so happy to know that you can get it at a hardware store. Thanks!

    Posted 4.22.19 Reply
  16. Audrey wrote:

    This is so helpful, Sarah, thank you so much!! I love these side-by-side comparisons. I am surprised how different the coverage is, but I like the idea of customizing the color. Tricky decisions!

    Posted 4.22.19 Reply
  17. Jane Hayward wrote:

    Thanks so much for providing this comparison; it is so helpful to understand the new products via a demonstration!

    Posted 4.22.19 Reply
  18. Kathy wrote:

    I always love it when you do your chalk paint comparisons! I didn’t even know that Behr had come out with a chalk paint. We don’t have a lot of options in our town so it’s great to know that I can get an affordable option nearby, not pay shipping and have a lot of color options. That cabinet you painted is adorable! Thank you Sarah!

    Posted 4.23.19 Reply
  19. AlSanford wrote:

    I’ve used both paints. Rustoleum is a cheaper go to chalk oaint for white, black or gray. It’s coverage is just ok but sands nicely. The Behr paint was horrible. It was as thick as glue and I had to add a lot of water. It left paint brush marks even with a spray bottle. Most of all it had a strong paint smell which true chalk paint does not. I will never buy it again.

    Posted 4.23.19 Reply
  20. ANNA KENNEL wrote:

    I’m still using homemade chalk paint & am happy with the results. The little table is darling but I’d like to ask for the source of your chair. It has the features I’ v been looking for: neutral color, tufted, nailhead trim!!!

    Posted 4.25.19 Reply
  21. Nora wrote:

    Did you have the Behr tinted white? Behr chalk paint recommends you sand the piece first.

    Posted 5.18.19 Reply
  22. Charlie Christian wrote:

    I agree with the Rust-oleum version. However, how about with cloth…like a upholstery chair? Have you tried that? Thank you.

    Posted 6.19.19 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      I haven’t tried that yet Charlie, but I need to.

      Posted 6.19.19 Reply
  23. Jan wrote:

    Other than the added cost, would it be ok to use Rust-Oleum for the first coat and a tinted Behr for the second coat?

    Posted 9.4.19 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Yeah I don’t see why there would be a problem with that!

      Posted 9.5.19 Reply
  24. Bpb wrote:

    Are the two compatible?…rustoleom over Behr marquee base?

    Posted 11.6.19 Reply
  25. claire spooner wrote:

    HELP! I just put two coats of Rust-Oleum Chalked paint (White) over my large china cabinet. Wood finish, no paint on it. The second coat looks much like the lst coat (not covering smoothly). I had cleaned the cabinet with
    TSP before starting the project. What do I do now!!!

    Posted 11.27.19 Reply
  26. alejandra cruz wrote:

    Has anyone tried combining Behr and Rustoleum? I like the more color options that Behr has to offer and then mixing it in with Rustoleum.

    Posted 4.30.20 Reply

Hi, hello! Sarah Joy here. I'm a self-proclaimed home-body + lover of all things cozy. I'm sarcastic, overly caffeinated + usually at Target. This blog is my happy place, where I enjoy sharing fun things like home decor tips, affordable fashion, + life as a mama of three.