A side-by-side comparison: mineral paint vs. chalk paint

Ted Slater
January 8, 2024
Mineral Paint Chalk Paint
Ideal for Furniture, fabric, crafts, home decor Furniture, fabric, crafts, home decor
Prep work Always: clean and sand 

Some surfaces: ultra grip primer

Most companies claim no prep, but most users clean and sand
Strength when cured Most brands are incredibly strong and need no top coat Incredibly week; needs a topcoat even for minor scratch resistance
Water resistance Fully water resistant Not water resistant without top coat
Formulation One highest-quality acrylic resin, solvent, water, mineral pigments Varies, see note below
UV resistance Mineral pigments have natural UV resistance and won’t fade Varies; some brands have good UV resistance in the paint other brands require a topcoat for UV resistance
Finish Described as a modern matte finish; smooth (not chalky) Chalky matte finish; often described as country matte finish

Note on the Formulation of Chalk Paint

While mineral paint manufacturers are open about what is in their product, chalk paint manufacturers are generally not as open. I looked at all the most popular chalk paint brands and was unable to find basic formulation information like which resins, pigments, solvents, and chalk were used.

A basic chalk paint recipe is a latex paint (usually made from a variety of acrylic resins, artificial pigments, and a water-based solvent) and a chalk product (usually plaster of paris or pure calcium carbonate). While most manufacturers claim to have improved on this DIY recipe in some way, they do not specify how.


Q: Is Fusion Mineral Paint the best mineral paint brand?

A: Fusion Paint, originally a milk paint brand, seems to be the “Annie Sloan” of mineral paint, being the first brand to launch a comprehensive collection with colors, brushes, finishes, and lots of videos and tips for how to use their products. This brand is also more open than any other about what goes into the paint and how it’s made.

While there are other brands selling quality mineral paint, Fusion has set themselves apart with a strong selection of colors, a large selection of complementary products and instructional videos, and transparency through the manufacturing process. This is definitely the brand I would recommend.

Q: Are chalk mineral paint and mineral paint different?

A: Chalk paint and mineral paint are different products. However, some brands call their chalk paint “chalk mineral paint”. This product is still just chalk paint; however, it is likely to be pigmented with mineral pigments instead of synthetic pigments.

For example, Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint is the original Dixie Belle paint line. They’ve included the word mineral in the name, but it isn’t mineral paint; it’s chalk paint.

Q: Does Dixie Belle sell mineral paint?

A: Yes! This Dixie Belle mineral paint line is called Silk All-In-One Mineral Paint. It has a limited range of colours, all inspired by the sea. Dixie Belle’s chalk paint is still far more popular than their Silk line.

Q: What makes mineral paint colors different from other paint colors?

A: It’s all in the name! Mineral paint is colored with natural mineral pigments while most paints today are made with synthetic pigments. There is nothing inherently wrong with synthetic pigments, but mineral pigments have properties that the synthetic ones don’t.

Mineral pigments are naturally UV resistant and will not fade over time. This makes them perfect for outdoor application like a picket fence or piece of furniture for a patio.

These pigments are also full of character and bound to make a statement. Colors like midnight blue contain the richness and depth of deep space; cathedral taupe anchors a space with earthy tones; raw silk is creamy and luxurious. While some paint made with synthetic pigments are shallow and bland, this will never be true of paint made with mineral pigments.

Q: Can I use mineral paint for furniture?

A: Absolutely! It is perfect for furniture, especially statement pieces. It’s especially nice to use on large pieces of furniture since it has a built-in topcoat! This will save you lots of time on bigger pieces.

However, since the paint is affordable and high quality you can use it to enrich any piece with a pop of colour. Maybe you need some homestead blue on the edge of a picture frame; maybe you want an edge of black on your colorful tabletop. From cabinets to dressers to fabric, this paint is perfect for any application.

Final Thoughts

While mineral paint and chalk paint are used for similar applications, they are very different in formulation and features. These days, I only reach for chalk paint if I specifically want a chalky finish. Otherwise, the quality and ease of use that mineral paint provides is exactly what I need!

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