The paint shelves at the hardware store can be overwhelming with all of the choices. Krylon and Rustoleum in particular are popular options for chalk paint. 

They both can be used on a variety of surfaces, including plastic and metal, giving consumers the option to transform furniture and cupboards and create unique gifts or decor.

To determine which is a better chalk paint, it is best to consider what your needs are. Rustoleum is better if you need long-lasting and durable paint for surfaces indoors or outdoors. Krylon is a better and less expensive paint if you need it to dry quickly, and it is intended to be used on an indoor project.

Read on to learn more about the benefits and unique features of each brand of paint. This will help you become informed on which one is right for you and your projects.

What Is The Benefit Of Using Chalk Paint?

Chalk paint is good to use for a variety of projects, offering a soft, matte finish, resembling a chalky surface. DIY painters find that versatile chalk paints offer many benefits that make them easy to work with, requiring little or no prep work. 

Easy To Work With

Chalk paint is very easy to work with because it simply sprays onto the surface you are working with. The brush-on formulations are also easy to apply, leaving a smooth coat on surfaces.  

It is also easy to clean up spills with water because these chalk paints are water-based. This paint is good for beginners and professionals because it is easy to reapply, cover-up, or remove as needed.

Chalk paints also dry quickly, and therefore projects are often ready to be used the same or following day.


Chalk paint will stick to virtually any surface such as floors, walls, cabinets, concrete, plaster, glass, furniture, and metal, and comes in a variety of colors. 

This decorative paint can give projects a rustic, shabby, or vintage-style look that can work with various decors.

You can also use more than one color to create a two-color distressed look, popularly used on furniture. Essentially, this is when you paint a base color, then paint over it with a different shade. Then you lightly sand the top layer to allow the base layer to peek through.

Low Or No Prep

Unless a raw surface is rough and unfinished, there’s no need to sand it. Chalk paint can go directly on clean and dry surfaces, even if they already have paint on them. 

The paint goes on smoothly over surfaces that have cracks or detailed areas. Also, you don’t need to use a primer with chalk paint (unless desired), and often only 1 or 2 coats are needed.

Wax finishes, chalk application brushes, and more are available for DIYers to accomplish the look they wish to achieve. 

Rustoleum And Its Features 

Rustoleum paint is named after its ability to effectively cover rust to protect things from further deterioration. This brand has been around for over 100 years and has expanded its product line to include other kinds of paints, such as chalk paint.

The Rustoleum brand offers various, durable, versatile products, in a variety of sizes, colors, and finishes. 

Has Various Products

Rustoleum offers various products to meet consumers’ creative demands to improve their living spaces and accomplish projects.  

Their soft warm colors can be sanded for a distressed vintage look, or glazed for an antique appearance. These chalk paints have similar bases, meaning that they will complement and work well with each other.

Rustoleum chalk paints come in spray or brush-on versions. They offer finishes, glazes, waxes, and clear protective top coat sprays as well as application tools.

When shopping for Rustoleum products, refer to the label to see which surfaces they work on best. This is because some are formulated specifically for certain surface types.


Rustoleum paints and products can be used on virtually any surface. This includes plastic, metal, wood, concrete, and other diverse substrates. Rustoleum paint can also be used on already painted surfaces without much prep (if any). 

These convenient and versatile products can be used for protective or decorative uses by DIYers and professionals indoors and outdoors.

Since Rustoleum paints are so versatile, people often choose them to accomplish their projects because they are so easy to use, and they only need 1 or 2 coats. This saves them both time and money spent to get the look they hope to achieve for their projects.

Their custom colors also allow consumers to purchase more if needed to get the same, consistent product formulation. As a result, people can use various colors from Rustoleum’s product line to create pieces that complement or match each other.


Rustoleum products are thicker paints that offer exceptional coverage. Often this means you only need 1 or 2 coats without a primer. 

This makes it ideal for projects that need a durable finish such as high-use items like furniture. Metal and plastic surfaces also need this durable finish to prevent chipping or flaking.

Additionally, the durability of Rustoleum products means that once they are dry, they better withstand high temperatures, scratches, corrosion, and exposure to ultraviolet sunlight.

The durability of this paint provides longevity to projects, reducing the need for touch-ups.

If chalk paint is paired with Rustoleum’s protective, clear sealing spray, the project gets an extra boost of protection against the elements or wear and tear.

One potential disadvantage of this thicker paint is that drips can form. However, by applying paint with a steady hand and according to instructions you can often avoid this issue. If drips do occur, they can be easily and effectively lightly sanded off.

Varied Sizes, Colors, And Finishes

Rustoleum offers various colors for its products, including semi-transparent, pastel, smoked, or aged colors.  

These colors include, but not are limited to, the following:

  • Linen white
  • Serenity blue
  • Charcoal
  • Chiffon cream
  • Blush pink
  • Coastal blue
  • Cocoa bean
  • Farmhouse red
  • Sem-transparent aged brown
  • Tidal pond
  • Tate green

They also offer different sizes in 12-ounce spray cans or 30-ounce paint buckets. Products can also be purchased in multi-packs.

Rustoleum also offers various finishes such as stone creations, glossy, matte, satin, semi-gloss, flat, waxed, or hammered metal.

The number of options in choosing sizes, colors, and finishes truly gives DIYers and professionals all that they need underneath one brand to complete a project.  

Again these products offer the consumer the ability to buy more of the same product knowing that it will match previous work, or complementary work on other surfaces. 

Often, this makes people loyal customers to the brand, who therefore are willing to pay for this more expensive paint.

Takes Time To Dry

Since Rustoleum paints are thicker, offering durability and effective coverage, they can also take longer to dry. Often you only need one coat of paint to cover the desired surface because it is so thick.

Ideal drying conditions are when a painting project is done in low humidity, warm temperatures, and in an area with air circulation.  

In these conditions, Rustoleum paint can dry to the touch in about 20 minutes. The project can be fully handled and moved in about 1 hour. It will typically be cured, fully dried, after 24 to 48 hours.

A second coat, if desired (or if you are going for a distressed look), can be applied at the 1-hour point. However, if you have time, consider waiting a full 24 hours. Clear protective coats can be applied in the same fashion.

An exception to these drying times is if you are using it on plastic. Maximum adhesion, and curing, are typically achieved after a few days. 


Some formulations of paint may dry faster or in less time depending upon the colorants and additives used. Refer to the paint can for application and drying recommendations. This will ultimately ensure that your project has long-lasting results.

Since this paint takes about a day or two to fully cure, plan out your projects accordingly. If you are gifting a painted project or wish to use it on something such as furniture, you should wait to make sure it’s ready to be handled or used. 

Keep in mind that the overall drying times of Rustoleum paint is comparable to other types of “regular” paint.

If you are unsure if the paint has fully dried, you can touch a painted surface in an inconspicuous spot to make sure it does not come off.

Krylon And Its Features

Krylon paint came about in the late 1940s with clear protective coating brush-on products. 

Soon after that the company owner, Howard E. Kester, was inspired by DuPonts’ aerosol technology and their introduction of nylon. As a result, aerosolized Krylon products were created, using “K” and “r” from Kester and “-ylon” from nylon. 

Krylon went on to expand its products to offer high-quality, attractive colors that go on smoothly and dry quickly.

Has Attractive Colors

Krylon comes in a variety of attractive colors such as the following (not all-inclusive):

  • Waterfall
  • Morning sky
  • Mink
  • Misty gray
  • Slate
  • Anvil gray
  • Classic white
  • Antique ivory

These water-based paints come in spray or brush-on forms, however, there are only three brush-on premixed colors available. These are misty gray, anvil gray, and classic white. 

The Krylon chalk paints are durable, have excellent adhesion, and can be used on a variety of materials. These include wood, plastic, laminate, wicker, ceramic, glass, and metal.  

They also offer the following types of products to get the color and overall look you desire:

  • Chalky finish tint base
  • Finishing wax
  • Antiquing wax
  • Clear sealing wax
  • Clear spray sealer

Dries Quickly

Krylon is a thinner paint. Consumers will state that they typically need a few coats to get good overall coverage. So while it may dry quickly, you may also need to use more paint overall.

In ideal conditions that consist of warm temperatures, low humidity, and air circulation, Krylon paint is dry to the touch in as little as 8 to 20 minutes. 

After 1 hour it is ready to be handled and used. However, you can spray paint additional coats of paint after only 1 minute or so of dry time.

Check the label for specifics for the type of paint you use on the average drying times.

Since Krylon is a thinner application it is often used for indoor surfaces or projects that do not need extra protection, such as walls or trim. 

Its quick-drying capabilities allow you to use the painted workspace without as much interruption to your day.

Has Smooth Spray

Krylon paints have a specially designed spray nozzle to offer smooth and consistent spray. The easy-to-use big button tip allows the user to spray at any angle, including vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. You can even use Krylon spray paint upside down. 

This allows a person to get fast and even coverage on their projects without wasting paint or missing hard-to-reach spots.  

Remember to allow each coat to dry before applying a new one. Regardless of how many coats you put on, the top layer will have a smooth finish.

Often Krylon sprays look best when you use a compatible primer and sealer.  

To use a Krylon spray product, do the following:

  1. Shake the can for 1 or 2 minutes before using it.  
  2. Hold the can 8 to 10 inches away from the surface of your project.  
  3. Spray in sweeping motions at any angle, slightly overlapping the painted areas.  
  4. Wait at least 1 minute before applying a second coat.

Sensitivity To The Environment

Krylon products have labels that state that consumers will get the best results when they use the paint in ideal conditions. 

These are when the temperature is between 55°F to 75°F, and the humidity is before 60%. The final finish or adhesion may be negatively impacted when drying outside of these conditions. 

This can be limiting depending on where you live since many parts of the United States have periods of high humidity or cold temperatures.  

In general, Krylon products are not recommended for use on projects that will be exposed to ultraviolet light from the sun or high temperatures. The paints can peel, change color, or crack.

Final Verdict On Rustoleum Vs. Krylon 

Rustoleum and Krylon chalk paints each come with their own set of advantages. 

Krylon dries much faster than Rustoleum. Yet, Rustoleum’s thicker application is durable and typically requires fewer coats. 

This makes Rustoleum ideal for outdoor projects due to its protective features against the elements. Rustoleum paint can be used in many versatile applications for unique looks.

Krylon is ideal for projects that do not get a lot of traffic or usage, and preferably for those indoors. Krylon gives consumers the ability to get projects done quickly with some bold color options. The unique nozzle on Krylon spray paints also makes them easy to apply.

DIYers and professionals alike use Rustoleum and Krylon, and Rustoleum often comes out as the winner. It may cost more, but it gets the job done with fewer coats of paint on a variety of surfaces both indoors and outdoors.


It can be hard to choose the right chalk paint for your project.  

So, before choosing your paint, consider what color and finish you want, the surface you are painting, and whether it is indoors or outdoors.

If you want durable, long-lasting paint that is suitable for indoor and outdoor surfaces, then Rustoleum is the right choice.

Krylon is an excellent choice for indoor projects because the paint dries very quickly. Krylon also offers bold colors and can be applied in hard-to-reach spots due to its special nozzle.

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