Chalk Paint vs. Chalkboard Paint

Chalk Paint vs. Chalkboard Paint

It’s time to play a game I like to call “What’s the diff?” where we learn how two similar things we’ve been mistaking for one another are actually not the same thing at all.   For instance: a sports bra is not the same thing as a shirt.  I’m talking to you, Miley Cyrus.  I think the rest of us know the difference there.

But what about chalk paint vs. chalkboard paint?  Did you know those are also not the same thing?  It’s true!

Chalk paint is thusly named because of it matte, chalk-like appearance.  Super easy to use, and doesn’t require you to sand first.  It also distresses easily and can be given different finishes with wax and glaze. Here’s an example from Sandi at I’m A Yarner.  She used Annie Sloan chalk paint in Louis Blue on this buffet and finished it off with a dark wax.  Lovely!


Buffet makeover ideas - chalk paint AND chalkboard paint!  Featured on

Buffet makeover ideas - chalk paint AND chalkboard paint!  Featured on

Chalkboard paint, on the other hand … or buffet … does exactly what it sounds like: turns your surface into a chalk board.  What better use for it than on a fold-out buffet like this? It’s perfect for hosting a party and labeling all your treats and drinks right there on the top.  Heidi at Heidi Schatze used Rustoleum chalkboard paint here, but there are also recipes out there to make your own, and in different colors too!

And now you know the diff!

Buffet makeover ideas - chalk paint AND chalkboard paint!  Featured on

Buffet makeover ideas - chalk paint AND chalkboard paint!  Featured on



  1. September 25, 2013 / 3:01 PM

    My heart just stopped when I saw that black Mozart bust! I have the same exact one, but it’s so sentimental I could never paint it. I love how you integrated it, though.

  2. MareePSasja
    September 25, 2013 / 3:04 PM

    Sooooooo gorgeous. That chalky blue is just perfect for the shape of the buffet. And who would have thought of using chalkboard paint on a buffet?! Great for a commercial venue but also a great idea if you entertain at home a lot.
    There are some clever people out there… 🙂

  3. Jenna
    September 25, 2013 / 3:16 PM

    As obvious as this should have been, I am glad you explained it. I always thought you could use chalk paint as chalkboard paint.

  4. September 25, 2013 / 4:23 PM

    Both of those pieces look so cool! I just bought chalkboard coating that I plan to put on the desk I painted for my kids room. They don’t seem to care, but I’m excited.

  5. September 25, 2013 / 5:14 PM

    Heh heh the Miley comment has me laughing still!

  6. Catherine Dvorak
    January 3, 2017 / 9:48 AM

    I’m working with a company that doesn’t want to paint a wall with Chalkboard paint, specifically, and would like me to work on the wall that is already up. I believe it’s a plain black matte paint. Do you know if the chalk would still respond the same on non-chalkboard paint? I’m only doing one piece on this wall so I don’t need to worry about the staining problem; I want to make sure I’d be able to remove the bulk of the chalk before they have to paint over it and that the chalk will adhere to the wall.

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