An Honest Review of Magnolia Home Chalk Paint

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Fixer Upper fans, this one’s for you!

A few weeks ago, Magnolia reached out to see if they could send over a little goodie box o’ happy mail.  I said, uuuummmmmm does this mean Jojo and I are now besties then??  YA.  Send ‘er on over, BFF, along with my half of our split-heart best friends forever necklace, K?  😍🙌🏻❤️

(In other words, I said sure.  Could you tell I was excited?  I mean, I know they sent these kits to other bloggers, but JUST LET ME PRETEND for a minute, okay?!? 😂😉)

Inside the package (hand-addressed, I’m sure, and mailed directly to me by my gal pal Jo, NBD…) were all kinds of Magnolia goodies!  Apron, bag, chalk paint made by Kilz in “Shiplap,” finishing waxes, Magnolia paint brushes, and a signed copy of The Magnolia Story.  A book?!  Yep.  Good ol’ bestie Joey knows ol’ Er pretty well, huh?  😂

Today during kiddo nap time, I whipped out all my Magnolia supplies and got to work chalk painted the cute wooden crate they’d (ahem…SHE’d) included in the package!  Just me, my DP 10, the chirping birds, and a little crafty project to pass the afternoon.  Happy place, anyone??

First up, let me just say that this chalk paint isn’t cheap, especially when compared to brands like Rustoleum that you can grab from Walmart.  That’s probably the biggest con about the line…however.  ✋🏼  OH my word, this stuff is amazingly THICK!!  I’m talking thick like those weirdo custard places that insist on awkwardly presenting you with your ice-cream order with the cup tipped upside down to show just how thick.  😳  Ya.  It’s like THAT kind of thick.  Look, I even tipped my paint brush over for ya, a la custard-style…and no drips!  It’s the consistency of pudding, which means this stuff goes a looonnnggg way.  I barely used anything, and this little crate was covered in no time.  Therefore, even though the price tag is higher than some chalk paints you can find at big box stores, I’ve never seen anything like this consistency.  On the same token, if you DON’T want super thick coverage, you can thin the Magnolia chalk paint out with just a tiny bit of water to create more of a white wash finish…which makes the can of paint stretch that much further!

While painting, I noticed that there wasn’t much of an odor to this line, and I looked it up to check and see – yep, low VOC’s.  That can’t hurt anything, plus I loved the matte finish and perfectly creamy white Shiplap color.

(Right is one pass with one dip of the brush  |  Left is tip of brush dipped in a bit of water for white wash look)

I painted one coat, walked away for a few minutes, came back to find it totally dry.  Went ahead with the second coat (although I really don’t think it needed it.  Habit, maybe?)  Next, I used this handy dandy little wood block sander to rough up the edges and around the handle.  I like to distress pieces where one might find naturally occurring wear and tear: corners, the edges, around handles, etc.  Distressing in small areas also opens up the paint and wood grain to later receive a touch of their dark wax, further enhancing that worn-in, vintage vibe.

After sanding, I wiped down the crate and went over the whole piece with just a little bit of the Magnolia clear wax.  They recommend sealing with the clear wax before using the darker wax, and I’m glad I did.  The clear wax helped me be able to more easily wipe away excess dark wax on spots I didn’t really want darkened, and this clear wax hardly had a smell, either!

Finally, I used the tiniest bit of their Aged Finish dark wax, and I worked it into crevices, nicks in the wood, and any areas I’d roughed up with the sand paper.  Now, this stuff STINKS.  I’m not sure if all dark waxes stink, but, because the chalk paint and clear wax didn’t have much of an odor, I was taken aback by the dark wax smell.  However, once dried, the smell went away!  And note….a little of this stuff goes a LONG way.

Overall impression of Magnolia Home Chalk Paint and Wax:

–Chalk paint is on the expensive side, BUT it is extremely thick and can cover SO much.

–I like that you can add water to thin it out, but that it STARTS out thick.  You can’t make other cheaper brands thicker, so I’d rather start with that thick consistency and thin as needed per project.

–Chalk paint and clear wax hardly had any noticeable odor, however dark wax smelled during application.  Once dry, no mo’ stink!

–Kilz brushes by Magnolia were niiiiice.  Super dense, very soft, and I didn’t notice any shedding during application.

–Color range: while I can only speak to using the color “Shiplap,” Magnolia did include their chalk paint color range, and it’s pretty impressive!  It’s like all the most popular Magnolia Home paint colors converted into thick, pudding-like chalk paint.  Worth the investment, I think.

There ya have it!  While I did receive this package o’ Magnolia yumminess for free, I think I’d be ready to drop the cash for another color in Joanna’s (my bestie….duh) chalk paint line.  Like I said, that thick consistency spells C-O-V-E-R-A-G-E for days, making the money worth it, in my opinion.  The waxes were a nice addition to the line, however I didn’t notice anything all that crazy different about their quality or coverage.  The aged finish wax DID go a long way, however.  Overall, I was impressed with the paint and would use/buy again!

Hope this helped if you were considering ordering some Magnolia Home Chalk Paint by Kilz in the future!  Have any of you tried this brand of chalk paint and/or wax?  What did ya think?
Have a happy Wednesday, buddies!

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  1. Sandee says:

    I’m so jelous that you and Jojo are besties now.
    😂😂😂 seriously, I’ve been wondering about the chalk paint line. Super glad you got to try it out.
    I’ve been wanting to paint my dining room chairs for some time. Wanted the paint to be high quality.
    I’ll have to save up for it but sure sounds worth it. 😉😊
    Enjoy the rest of your day.

  2. Carla says:

    Might try some now. I need to find the color chart. Maybe a bright pink. Tha KS for sharing.

  3. Kelsey says:

    I’m happy I’m not the only one that dreams of Jojo being my bestie. 😅

  4. Lindy says:

    Looks lovely! I am blown away you were able to get this whole project/pictures/post completed during nap time! Our youngest insisted on nursing their entire nap time😰, so much for that nap time to do list! Oh, I wanted to crack a joke. It was you, the birdies, and your neighbor’s wind chimes right?😂 Or perhaps not, perhaps a non- windy day? I hope!💕

  5. Bekah says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I’m a total Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Girl, but I love me some Chip and Jo so I plan to get this version as well! It’s so helpful reading a review about it first! Thank you again for sharing! LOVE all that is Cotton Stem!💜

  6. Bekah says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! I’m a total Annie Sloan Chalk Paint girl but I also adore Chip and Jo and all things Magnolia so I plan to try it out! Reading your review was super helpful! Thanks again!💜

  7. Piper Ellis says:

    So jelly of your new bbf 💕💕. I need to get a color swatch and pick some out to try!

  8. Jodi says:

    I wondered what it was like. Thanks for trying it out…you can’t let down your besties right?! 😉 Getting excited for tomorrow’s creep

    Happy fall!


  9. Brenda says:

    Erin, have you used Annie Sloan products? I’d like to know how it compares. I have and it sounded like you were describing Annie Sloan. Same three products used in the same order.

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      I have used it once or twice, and it’s great! Hard to find around here, but I liked it! Magnolia’s stuff is just so much thicker and covers more.

  10. Jan Riley says:

    I am glad I’m not the only one wanting her to be BFF!! But watching and reading your Instagrams I feel you would b an awesome friend and you always make me giggle and smile watching you !!! Thank you !! ❤️💕❤️
    Stay you always ❤️💕

  11. Elizabeth Johnson says:

    Forget Jojo, i just dream that you and I are besties!!

  12. Maria says:

    Is the waxing steps a necessary step. New to this so want to do it right! Thanks so much for the review. ❤️ Your blog!!

  13. We can buy kliz paint in Canada, but I don’t think this is coming here. I’ve bought Annie Sloan once (not in my city as it’s only sold in select stores) and I almost fell over when she told me the total! Rustoleum it is!!! (easy choice when you don’t have one lol).or *milk paint and mineral paint it is…

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Yep, I love Rustoleum, too! Totally different consistencies and coverage amounts, but I’ll never diss my love of the cheapies! 😉

  14. Faby says:

    Loved your review!

  15. Faby says:

    Loved your review! Thanks.

  16. Annie says:

    I’m so glad you did a review for this… and I’m slightly jealous! Haha LOVE Jojo! I think I’ll definitely be checking out some of the other colors. Thanks for your review! 💕

  17. Chelsia Rief says:

    So cool! The price of the Magnolia paints have always been the crutch for my husband and I. I’m so happy to see that it is worthy of the investment and maybe my hubs and I will shell out the dough one day to give it a whirl! 😉

  18. allison says:

    I’ve been wanting to try this, but I can’t find it when I go to the Magnolia Silos! I wonder if it’s only online?

  19. Chris Deleon says:

    After reading your blog, I was surprised that the paint was so practical. Actually, I always wanted to refresh my desk. I think I should try it. I hope the new desk will bring me good luck.

  20. Renee says:

    I’m so excited to read your comments on the paint. I have my moms very oak dining set that I couldn’t get rid of so I thought I would paint it. Are there consise instructions on the can? Must I finish with the wax???

  21. Anna says:

    I just got a free sample size yesterday of Magnolia Home paint so I can’t give a full review since I’ve yet to try it on my project.

    Howevvvvvvverrrrrr……. I was disappointed to find that you can ONLY get this paint in her colors!!! You cannot have any other color from another brand (say Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, etc.) mixed into her paint. Now I find that rather disappointing because if I did like her paint but was set on another color from another brand, I’m out of luck.

    Sure Magnolia Homes has some beautiful colors but I was hoping to try her paint (to see how it worked) but using a color of my own choice (in this case I was hoping to color match an Annie Sloan color).

    If sticking to the selection of paints she’s got is OK for your project, then this isn’t an issue 😉 But if you’ve got hopes of color matching to any other brand….that’s a “no go”.

  22. Kara says:

    I’d really love your advice/opinion or whatever comes to mind. LOL! I chalk painted a large dresser, and I’m using their Magnolia Home clear wax as a sealer. I’ve looked at Youtube tutorials and everything, but I am just not pleased with the outcome. I see that it doesn’t have any kind of gloss to it, which is okay, but it also just doesn’t feel sealed or protected. For example, I just barely scuffed the edge of my nail on the front of one of the waxed drawers, and this white line appeared (similar to a faint chalk streak if you saw a streak on a piece of wood.) Now, I’ve got 2 nightstands that I sealed with a craft furniture sealer that also said it was wax, but it was a liquid, and that never happens to those pieces. What am I doing wrong here? Should I just keep adding coats of the clear wax until it feels slightly smooth and glossy? I’m clueless and also tired from all the work!

  23. Kat Rockwell says:

    I’m about to paint my kitchen cabinets with Magnolia Home Chalk Paint. I’m not planning on using a dark wax, just clear. Do you feel like the clear wax has good coverage? Also, is there a more affordable brand you would recommend that would still work great?

  24. Dana says:

    I’m having the same issues as Kara; I painted my kids closet shelves in this beautiful teal chalk paint by Magnolia Home and finished it with the clear wax, but have multiple spots that just scraped right off with the knick of my nail or when sliding the shelves back into place. I’d love some advice on how to further protect the chalk paint.

  25. DiB says:

    $32 is not expensive for chalk paint . There are more expensive ones that I use on the market.
    I read another review of the paint, It said that there were little clumps through out the paint and that the paint does not painty evenly- it left variations through out her piece.can you comment on this-

  26. DiB says:

    $32 is not expensive for chalk paint . There are more expensive ones that I use on the market.
    I read another review of the paint, It said that there were little clumps through out the paint and that the paint does not painty evenly- it left variations through out her piece.can you comment on this-

  27. Naushin says:

    Would you use it to cover faux leather dining chairs? And does the wax come off? Sorry, dumb question but I’m new to chalk paint and wondering if the chairs need to be sealed another way? Thank you!!

  28. Painter says:

    I was interested in using Magnolia Homes paint line for my next home project, and came across your great blog post.
    Jo Jo won’t disappoint! Look at the packaging details too! Even the paint brushes looks great when Jo Jo designs them. The quality of the paint brush has always looked great in picture but hearing from an actual experience makes it even more appealing!
    Thank you for this review!

  29. DiB says:

    I heard that the paint finishes blotchy.
    it s not convenient to purchase,

  30. Cierra Schneider says:

    Hi there! Since using the Magnolia Chalk Paint in white, have you used it again and if so any particular colors? Debating on using one of the grays!

  31. Shelley says:

    I have a stained piece to paint do I need to sand it before or can I just paint

  32. Linda says:

    Love me some chalk paint. Spend my time looking for things to paint. If somebody in the family wants to change their colors whether it be metal, ceramic or glass I just get out out my brushes and chalk paint and go to town. They are amazed. Did everything in daughter and daughter-in-laws living room. Did daughter-in-laws dining room set. Huge one. Gorgeous! Going to try JoJo’s brand. Been using Renaissance and love it but will try hers. Thanks

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