Chalk Paint, Milk, Mineral or Latex—Which Paint is Best for Your Refinishing Project?

The rise in popularity of chalk-based refinishing paints has made it easier than ever to take on a paint project at home. But with so many choices, how do you know which paint is the best fit for your project?

paintTeresa Odland

Which Paint Should You Choose?

Chalk paint, milk paint, mineral fusion paint and latex paint all have different qualities that make them easy to use, but some work better than others, depending on your project. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the different paints using a trim board, sanded and tested for durability and scratch resistance.

chalkTeresa Odland

Chalk Paint

  • Occasionally needs light sanding prep for best adhesion
  • Thick, 1-coat coverage
  • Wide range of colors, some can be custom-tinted
  • Versatile for distressing, layering and glazing
  • Porous, needs a finish coat for ultimate durability

milkTeresa Odland

Milk Paint

  • Powder form, mixed with water
  • Range opacity from solid to stain
  • Must mix thoroughly or lumps and bubbles persist
  • No primer, but needs bonding agent for some surfaces
  • Environmentally friendly, contains no VOCs
  • Chippy, textured look
  • Porous, needs a finish coat for ultimate durability

mineralTeresa Odland

Mineral Paint

  • No prep needed
  • Built-in topcoat
  • Self-leveling, smooth finish
  • Low VOCs, low odor
  • Must distress before completely dry
  • Acrylic resin as base, non-porous

latexTeresa Odland

Latex Paint

  • Prep and primer needed
  • Thick, smooth coverage
  • Infinite tintable colors
  • Variety of finishes from matte to high gloss
  • Chips or peels without proper priming
  • Acrylic base, does not need topcoat

Paint ChartTeresa Odland

Comparison Chart

Use this chart when considering your options.

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