With several types of paint out there, it’s becoming difficult to know when to use chalk paint and when to use mineral paint.
This article will dive into detail about both paints, their make-up, and when to use them. You’ll also get a few tips to know which of the paints will suit your task.
Let’s dive in. First, let’s check out chalk paint and its uses.
Is Mineral Paint The Same as Chalk Paint?
A lot of DIYers ask this question. So I decided to chop this in. Mineral paint is not the same as chalk. Mineral paint has no chalk or plaster in it. Also, chalk paint doesn’t have a built-in top coat. So both paints are different.
Mineral paint is a product mainly designed by Fusion while chalk paint is designed by Annie Sloan. Milk paint however is more similar to chalk paint.
What is Chalk Paint?
Chalk paint is a water-based paint. However, it doesn’t just contain water and paint pigments. Chalk paint also contains dehydrated gypsum or plaster of Paris. The presence of these substances in the paint coating gives the finish a vintage appearance. It also gives the paint good adhesion.
Chalk paint already is a water-based paint which means it can be used on any material. But the presence of a plaster (dehydrated gypsum or plaster of Paris) in the coating gives it improved paint adhesion. Plasters are powerful bonders used to hold material together. Plaster of Paris especially is used while making sculptures and casts.
The presence of plaster in the coating coupled with the fact that chalk is water-based makes the paint stick well to virtually all types of material, even without priming first.
However, when compared to other paints, chalk paint is relatively new which is an irony in terms of its finish. The chalk finish doesn’t look new but aged. The finish is a dry matte and colorful layer which is why chalk paint is common for reviving old furniture.
Chalk paint is very colorful with brands having up to 40 different color shades of the paint. You can even mix colors to make your own chalk paint. Chalk paint is also very absorbent meaning that it soaks up liquid easily. This makes it super easy to seal chalk paint or apply multiple coats of the paint.
One reason for this absorbent nature is because chalk needs at least 2 coats to produce a standard finish.
Chalk paint however has a flaw. The paint isn’t very durable when compared to other paints like enamel and mineral paint. Speaking of mineral paint, let’s check it out next.
What is Fusion Mineral Paint?
Mineral paint is also known as Fusion mineral paint is an acrylic water-based paint. The paint is common for its smooth, colorful, and durable finish. Mineral paint is also a relatively new paint.
Like other water-based paint, mineral paint has good paint adhesion. The paint can also be applied to several types of material with a guaranteed smooth result. One of the reasons for this is because Fusion mineral paint is self-leveling. This means the paint is specially designed to level out or produce a smooth silky finish when dry.
Mineral paint is used to cover furniture, plastered walls, and plastics. The paint is common on furniture that requires a fine finish like cabinets, desks, and drawers.
Mineral paint unlike many other paints is designed with its own top coat and the best part is this top coat is built in the paint coating. So mineral paints don’t need sealants. This means mineral paint is very durable.
Mineral paint also has improved paint bonding. The paint will adhere to even glossy surfaces. For all these benefits, it’s almost impossible to believe that mineral paint is not toxic. The biggest advantage of the paint is that it doesn’t contain volatile chemicals that can produce fumes or cause harm if inhaled.
Mineral paint also comes in several colors with Fusion having over 50 color shades to choose from. This makes mineral paint a good finish. But how good is it compared to chalk paint? Let’s find out.
Chalk Paint vs Fusion Mineral Paint?
For this comparison, we’ll use the features of both paints. Since both paints are water-based, let’s start with durability.
Mineral paints are more durable than chalk paint. This is because mineral paints are designed with a built-in top coat. The top coat in the paint coating makes it extra strong and resistant to moisture and chipping.
Chalk paints on the other hand don’t have a top coat and the paint coating is not thick enough to withstand heavy use and moisture. DIYers that use chalk paint know not to use it in high traffic areas. If exposed to heavy contact or moisture, chalk paint will smear off.
In terms of paint application, both paints can be applied in the same way. What differentiates them is the prep work required before painting.
Chalk paints usually require light sanding before being applied. This is to allow the finish to come out fine and smooth. For glossy areas, you’ll need to also prime before applying chalk paint.
Mineral paints usually don’t require any prep work. Mineral paints are ideal for fresh surfaces even without priming. This is because the paint has superb adhesive qualities.
However, it’s advised to sand very rough areas before applying mineral paint. Next, let’s check out the…
Both paints cost averagely the same. A quart of chalk paint will cost you about $40. Fusion mineral paints only sell in pint containers. A pint is $20 but there are two pints in a quart so if you were to buy a quart of mineral paint, you’ll need to buy two pints ($20 each = $40).
Both paints are water-based and so aren’t too thick but chalk paint has a thicker consistency than mineral paints. You might even need to thin your chalk lightly before using it. Mineral paints are very thin and smooth. The thinness of the paint makes it hide brush marks better.
Another thing to check out is the paint bonding. For this, mineral paints have better adhesion when compared to chalk paints. Mineral paints stick better to porous and non-porous surfaces.
With dry finishes like chalk and mineral paint, paint distressing is a huge factor. A common way painters use to achieve that antique look is by distressing the paint. This means sanding or buffing the finish after it has dried with sanding sheets to give it an old appearance.
Chalk paint can be easily distressed. This is because the paint is not very durable or strong so it’s easier to sand off some of it. Mineral paints however make distressing a bit tedious.
Though you can distress the finish with sanding sheets too, you’ll need to put in some extra effort. This is because mineral paints are designed with a built-in top coat to prevent the paint from coming off. So to remove some of the paint, you’ll probably need a palm sander.
Chalk paints are not water-resistant. Though the paint will not come off in the event of an accidental splash or spill, you will ruin the chalk finish if you try to wash it. Mineral paints however are water-resistant. This is due to the presence of a built-in top coat in the paint coating.
How does their water resistance translate in terms of paint clean-up?
Both paints are super easy to clean. You can get rid of stains easily on chalk paint. In most cases, all you need is a clean rag and water.
Mineral paints however can be cleaned with just a wipe. You’ll hardly need to deal with any stain if you use Fusion mineral paint. This is because the top layer of the paint is also stain-resistant. This doesn’t mean it won’t get stained. It just means that stain will not etch, discolor, or penetrate the mineral paint finish. Since the paint can’t penetrate or stick, it can be easily wiped off with a cloth.
Also, chalk paint will wear off if cleaned frequently. So it’s not ideal for surfaces that’ll need regular cleaning and disinfecting.
A common practice after using water-based paints is to seal the finish with a top coat to prevent it from damages. For chalk paint, a sealant will be needed if the paint is used on high traffic areas or heavily used furniture.
Mineral paints however already have a sealant or top coat on the finish. So you don’t need to seal or buy an extra top coat for the finish.
The finish you get from mineral paint is smoother than chalk. Chalk has a textured and dry finish while mineral paint has a smooth and silky finish. Again, this is because mineral paint has a built-in top coat.
So now you know the differences between both paints. So which of the two do you need for your task. To answer this question, you’ll have to consider a few factors. Let’s go deeper.
Should I Buy Chalk Paint or Mineral Paint?
Before making your decision, consider:
Your Painting Experience
Though both paints are easy to apply, mineral paints are easier to use than chalk paint. Mineral paints require very light or no prep work at all and the paint is self-leveling so you get a smooth finish.
It’s almost impossible not to get a clean finish with mineral paint. So if this will be your first painting gig, I’ll advise you to for mineral paint.
However, if you have some painting experience or you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, then you can have a go at chalk paint.
Distress or Not?
If you want a distressed finish, I’ll recommend you go for chalk paint. This is because chalk paint is much easier to distress and buff than mineral paints. Mineral paints can also be distressed but it will take some time due to the thick top coat.
If you are painting a high traffic area or heavily used item, you should also consider the paint clean-up. Both paints are easy to clean but constant cleaning will wear chalk paint. Mineral paints however can take constant cleaning.
Sealant or Not?
If you want to seal the paint to get a clear or glossy finish, you should go for chalk paint. If you plan on using any sealant, go with chalk. Chalk finish is textured and dry so sealants will sit well on it. Mineral paint however has a topcoat so sealing will be extra work.
Interior or Exterior Use?
Will you be painting an interior material? Then go for chalk paint. For outdoor furniture, pick mineral paint.
Mineral paints are more durable and ideal for surfaces that will see much action.
Only go for paint that you can afford.
Related Read: Chalk vs Latex Paint?
Overall, mineral paint and chalk paint are both great paints. The main difference between both is that mineral paints are more durable due to the top coat designed with the paint coating.