What makes Chalk Paint different from basic Latex Paint? Other than the actual properties and components of the paints and without having to get all technical on matters of which I don't know a lot about...well go into the basics of why you'd want to us one over the other.
I personally love the look and finish of the chalky matte finish of Chalky Paints. So you may ask why not just go with a basic flat latex paint and call it a day. I guess it's something that is harder to explain and really something to be experienced. One thing I do enjoy about my own DIY recipe for Chalky Paint is mixture and thickness...there's more substance to it...like a clay paint. It has much more body than working with a latex paint which is what I like working with. Being that it's my own recipe I can also add as much or as little of the mixture as I like. One benefit that I see to this is the lack of brush strokes. Normally latex because of how fast it dries shows paint brush strokes much easier than apposing oil paints that take much longer to dry allowing the paint to spread out and disperse the brush markings.
With Chalk Paint I feel as thought it breaks up the paint to making it show the strokes as much. If that makes sense... however when all else fails you can always sand and well sanding it to a silk smooth finish is great! Sanding will get out all existing brush strokes if there are any and allow you to feel your way to where you have and have not sanded. Sanding is especially easy with the chalky paints and much more easier to do than latex. Reasons being with latex you get that rubbery finish where areas can end up pulling off from the surface you have painted as oppose to simply sanding off for a distressed look.
Now if you don't like all the finishing work and like a basic coat after priming latex is the way to go. Especially if you are wanting the durability of a high or semi-gloss finish without having to "wax" everything...which is my least favorite part of using chalky paints. People will argue Latex is better because of this factor of not having to put on a finishing coat where others will say Chalky Paint is better because there is not priming and very little to none prepping involved. Both have great and not so great aspects. I love that with chalk paints I can basically jump right into painting a piece other than cleaning and maybe lightly sanding down a piece. (My end result look comes much faster). What can I say I'm all about instant gratification. The ease of distressing is really what it's all about when going for a shabby chic or vintage vibe for a piece. However if you're not about this look then clearly chalky paints are not going to be for you.
One true benefit to Chalky Paints is the versatility of use. Think about Fabric, Leather and Metals. It's great for all of the above. I've tried some of these myself to be true...and even with my DIY recipe being that I've so far not found a pricy name brand of the stuff that I like or find comparable to what I like about my own mixture.
So there you have it...my own personal take of the paints. It's not technical but it's what I've learned along the way and even after reading multipule posts on this topic I've discovered the only way to really find out is to do it yourself to find out. Everyone's preferences are different...so to say one is better than the other isn't what should be asked but rather which one do you prefer?