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Rustoleum Chalk Paint: A Review

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I’ve spent the last couple of weeks working on revamping my son’s bedroom and I decided to start with trying out some chalk paint! 

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Updating Furniture With Chalk Paint

He’s becoming a big boy (insert momma tears) and his room needed a bit of a refresh to a more sophisticated look. But let’s remember, he is only 6. So I was looking to accomplish three things with this revamp.

  1. Organize the chaos.
  2. Lighten up the dark accents.
  3. Simplify the “themed” elements of the room.

This is the before. Now, let’s remember that this is a judgement free blog. 😉 I literally snapped this photo out of the blue one day because this was my reality. Bed NEVER made.

His “treasured” collections (a.k.a. random rocks, two second art projects that he considers Van Gogh’s, last year’s birthday balloons and chuck-e-cheese trinkets) scattered EVERYWHERE.

Messy, messy, messy. It made my mom OCD go crazy every time I passed his room.

Before Photo Big Boy Room www.graceinmyspace.com

So I decided something must be done! And it all started with objective #2: lighten up the dark accents.

His furniture is the same set we bought when he was born (can I get a hallelujah for convertible cribs?) and still works perfectly fine. So I figured I could just paint it! FYI- I really hate painting. Like, a lot. But it is an easy DIY and affordable so I went to work. 

I’ve never before tried Chalk Paint. I know, I know. This has been around for some time now and that is why I am definitely not doing a tutorial for you. There are a ton of them out there already and mine would be subpar I’m sure.


So instead I wanted to share a quick review on the brand I used: Rustoleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint in Country Gray. (Side note: I started with Aged Gray, which is the lighter version of Country Gray. However, aged Gray is actually more tinted towards baby blue.)


I wanted a medium true gray and I didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg for it or have to go “into the city” to find it. Because we live in a small town with very limited hardware store selection and no big box stores. 

Rustoleum Paint Review www.graceinmyspace.com

So as you can see the wood is an engineered cherry wood finish. I did not want to sand this, hence the chalk paint. So I took the bed apart, with the help of my handsome hubby, and set up shop in the garage. On my card tables. Because isn’t that how all handy DIYers do it? 😉

Rustoleum Paint Review- Set Up www.graceinmyspace.com

I was highly doubtful that it would only require one coat to get the coverage that I needed. Rarely does it only take one coat when it comes to painting.

Rustoleum Paint Review- One Coat www.graceinmyspace.com

Above you can see the coverage after one coat. Now there are certain projects where a person may want a distressed look. If that is what I was going for then I could have stopped here and strategically sanded down areas to give it that look.

But I have a feeling my son is going to distress this all on his own with everyday use. 🙂 So I wanted to give it a little more durability with a second coat.

Rustoleum Paint Review- Two Coats www.graceinmyspace.com

As you can see, after the second coat there were some spots that rubbed off. But I personally think that is because I was impatient and should have given it another hour to dry. Plus, I didn’t mind the few areas that rubbed, so I moved forward with the finish coat.

This is where I wavered on what to do. I really didn’t want to do another two coats of a top-coat. Because: Impatient. But I asked around on Instagram to some of my fabulous DIY friends and they assured me I would regret it if I didn’t.

So I used Rustoleum Ultra Matte Chalked Top Coat. I added two coats of this for extra durability.


Rustoleum Chalk Paint Pros & Cons

And here is how I feel about the products I used. (Note: I’m not getting paid to review these. I didn’t get them for free and am not partnering with Rustoleum in any way. I just wanted to share my experience with you in case you’re also looking for a cheaper chalk paint option!)


  • Much cheaper than many other chalk paint options.
  • Sold in many stores and not hard to obtain. (I found mine in our local grocery store!)
  • Did stick VERY well on un-sanded furniture. And the angels rejoice!!
  • Only took two coats to cover a dark stain, whereas latex paint most likely would have taken three.
  • Leaves a nice finish that is not streaky with brush strokes.
  • Has a matte finish, which you typically want in furniture.
  • Cleans up well with water.
  • Easily sands for distressing if you prefer that shabby chic look.


  • Did not cover in one coat. But really, I didn’t expect it to.
  • Limited color options. This is not tintable so what the can shows is what you get!
  • You HAVE to do a top coat to ensure the durability of the paint. And most likely two top coats.
  • Top coat is runny and can leave drip marks easily if you aren’t watching it closely.

So there you have it! My take on this brand of chalk paint. And now, drumroll please…..

Ever wondered if chalk paint is actually easy to use? In my chalk paint tutorial I walk you through the pros and cons on Rustoleum's Chalk Paint.

Ta-da!! This is a little sneak peek of my son’s revamped room!! I LOVE how bright and airy it feels, even though I didn’t paint the walls. Removing all the dark furniture brightened it up so much.

And on my next post, I’ll be sharing the full reveal. Including how I accomplished goal #1 and #3 above. And here’s a little hint, this gorgeous bedding has something to do with it. 😉

{UPDATED 9/2019: Two years later, this paint has held up superbly to daily hard use from a rambunctious boy! It still looks as crisp and clean as it did on day one!}

Be blessed friends! Until next time,


{Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. – Charles R. Swindoll}


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Ever wondered if chalk paint is actually easy to use? In my chalk paint tutorial I walk you through the pros and cons on Rustoleum's Chalk Paint.


  1. I’m about to use country grey on a white kitchen cart from Canadian Tires so ut would be better to put à primer first and 2 coat or chalk paint ? The cart will stay in a corner of the kitchen for some storage !

    1. Sounds like a great project! You may want to either sand it slightly or prime it since it is in a high use/traffic area. That way it will be a bit more durable.

  2. I’ve been going back and forth between Aged Gray and Country Gray so THANK YOU for this post! Definitely going to go with Country Gray to refinish my china cabinet.

    I did an entire bedroom set in my master in Navy blue using the Rustoleum Dark Tint Base. I’m not sure when they released it but you can tint it to 26 colors. It’s a bit harder to find than the pre-colored paint though.

  3. Love it – great job!
    Appreciate your review as I was about to use aged grey chalk to refinish black (wood) cabinets I use in my office. You mentioned this color is actually baby blue – is this due to the color you painted over? I’m wondering if painting over black will provide the Grey I’m wanting (flexible on tone).

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      I’m don’t think it was the under-color that was the problem. I painted over dark brown. Painting over black might give you more of a grey tone but there is only one way to find out! 😉

  4. This was very helpful! I’m getting ready to use Rust-Oleum Chalk spray paint and wasn’t sure how many coats it would take and if I should use a primer and a finish coat. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Looks terrific! I used the exact same shade today but in the spray paint, which is a little expensive, but totally worth it. The color selection is limited but all of them are wonderful. Chiffon cream is a great selection when you don’t want a stark white, as well.

    1. Just a regular brush! Though I’ve never tried the chalk paint brushes so I can’t speak to whether or not it would be more helpful to use!

  6. You will be interested to know that the Matte Clear Chalked Protective Topcoat should NOT be used on dark woods that have been painted with a light color Rustoleum Chalk Paint. I painted a small table in Devon Cream (a custom color) Rustoleum chalk paint. Three coats covered beautifully, and i was thrilled with my project. Then I applied the topcoat. What a disaster! My work is ruined. The topcoat causes tannins in the wood to bleed through , and my table has streaks and blotches of an orange-y, disgusting color all over it. I understand this will happen with light-colored chalk paint over dark wood. I’m going to have to sand the stuff off the table and paint again. I may try a polyurethane spray sealer next time

    1. Same thing happened to me this weekend. I should have stayed with my usual top coat but I was so impressed with the coverage from the chalk paint I thought I would give it a try. WHAT A MISTAKE!!!!! Lessons learned for sure.

  7. How many cans of each paint did you need for this bed? My daughter has my son’s hand me down crib now converted to a full size (same bed as yours)! I want to chalk it up to make it more girly and modern.

  8. I have read that the top coat can turn the whites yellow, have you had any experience with this?

  9. Did you sand the furniture or prep it in any way before painting? I am considering painting my bedroom set and REALLY want it to be as easy as possible. I’d rather not sand if I don’t have to!

    1. With chalk paint you shouldn’t need to sand. But if you have a super glossy finish then sanding or deglossing is always a good idea!

  10. Excellent job Momma!!! Just love it! I’ll be using this paint to redo my kitchen nook! Blessings

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