There are a lot of blogs and things on Pinterest about chalk and clay or mineral based paints.
I feel like I’ve watched every YouTube video there is on it. There are so many paints now to choose from where do you start?
Here are just some of the techniques and products that I have used. This is just what has worked for me so use your own ideas and go crazy.
First thing… I know they say you don’t have to sand and they are right. When I do pieced for myself, I don’t sand. But when I do a piece to sell, I lightly sand it. I mean barely rough it up. It doesn’t need much. This paint sticks like crazy. After I sand I clean my piece really well with TSP.
Now the paint…
- My favorite is Americana from Michael’s. Vintage is my favorite color from Americana. I have a feeling it is acrylic, like the Folk Art Brand, but that doesn’t bother me as long as it adheres well. I used it to paint my bathroom cabinets and they look beautiful!
- I use American Paint Co. (let’s call them APC) because I can buy it close to my home. I buy APC from my friend Janine at Thank You Dear Heart (she also does classes). What is great about APC is you can paint on as many different colors in layers as you want and when it’s dry you can take a wet rag and wipe it down to give it a distressed look where all the different colors show through (you cannot do this with Americana). It comes in a bunch of different colors but I still have had to mix my own before. It goes on a little thick and I sometimes thin it with water. I always thin it with water when I use it in my Critter. I have even had to strain it before putting it in my Critter. If you don’t, your sprayer will clog. They make a great clear wax and I use their dark wax all the time.
- I love CeCe Caldwell paint. I don’t use it as much because I have to order it online or drive 30 minutes to buy it. I like to use it in my Critter because it is really smooth and creamy. I do thin it with water for the sprayer (I usually don’t have to strain it) but no thinning when I brush it on. I love CeCe wax also.
- Annie Sloan is the original and she has the trademark on the “Chalk Paint”. It is a nice paint and her Robin Egg Blue is mega popular. I have to drive way to far to get it and that is the main reason I don’t use it. Annie Sloan wax needs to be re-applied every 6 months to a year.
- Joann is now carrying Folk Art Chalk paints. They are acrylic based but act just like chalk paints (no sanding or priming). I have used their clear wax (I had a coupon) and it worked pretty well. It was a little grainy when applied (not greasy smooth like CeCe or AMP) but it buffed out nicely. You cannot distress this paint with a wet rag, you have to sand to distress.
- Martha Stewart has a line of chalk paints at Michael’s. I am going to try those next!
Here is the rule: You can wax over varnish but you CANNOT varnish over wax.
It took me quite a bit of research and trial and error to figure this out. I couldn’t find any bloggers or websites that really talked about it. They talk about waxing with clear before you dark wax but no one talks about varnishing and then waxing. I am telling you it is possible. I have done it a lot.
I found a guy that talked about waxing and varnishing his boat and he gave me more info than any chalk paint website I went to. I would give him some props but I can’t remember where he was.
- Americana makes a clear wax and I have not tried it. It was too liquidy in the bottle. I just figured it would be too messy and why not use varnish if it was going to be drippy. I accidentally bought their dark wax thinking it was brown paint (I was in a hurry). It didn’t work like the dark wax from APC or CeCe. it was almost like a glaze. I am not a fan.
- APC makes a great clear wax. It is greasy and goes on smooth. It reminds me of coconut oil when it is solid. It buffs out beautifully. I use their dark wax all the time. You only need a few ounces and that will last you for years. A little goes a long way.
- CeCe makes a great one too. Pretty much the same as APC.
- Annie Sloan wax is fragrance free and safe (so is APC and CeCe) but I have no tried it. I have read that it needs to be reapplied over the years to keep the finish.
- Folk Art clear wax was HORRIBLE. It went on grainy and looked like I had rubbed paper towel all over my black paint. I had to use denatured alcohol and wipe it all off. I even sanded it a little and then repainted. I was pretty upset.
This white Dixie Henredon French provincial set I picked up at an estate sale. I didn’t take many before pics but it is the set we all had if we were little girls in the 80’s. Dude had the canopy bed to go with it and I thought it was so cool.
I sprayed it with Americana. The color I used is called Vintage. I finished it with Soft Touch. I then distressed it with dark wax. Just a little in the cracks and creases to make it look antique. I custom painted these for a customer. When she came to look at my furniture she backed over the fire hydrant near the bottom of my driveway. It was pretty exciting. I think that might be a blog for another day!
Delaney liked to use this table for a lemonade stand. She really wants to keep it but I think it needs a new home. It is for sale. Contact me if you are interested. I used APC color Mama’s Kitchen for the green (I think I might have used some white to lighten it) and used a wet rag to distress it. I used Americanas Pink (mixed 1/2 with white) for the top and legs. I used sandpaper to distress it, then Soft Touch Varnish to seal it.
I can’t forget to show you my bathroom cabinets. Here are the before and after. I bought a wood appliqué at Lowe’s and attached it with wood glue. I then painted with Americana Vintage, then Soft Touch Varnish. I then used APC dark wax and buffed when it was dry.
I bought two kinds of drawer hardware. They didn’t match so I spray painted it all with an oil rubbed bronze spray paint and used a bronze acrylic paint to give the handles a vintage rub and buff look. The handle on the top is the finished product the gold and the one below the gold were the handles I bought on Ebay. I made a how to video but I have to figure out how to edit it before anyone can see it!
I also have known people who have made their own chalk paint. You can get a recipe on Pinterest. I think it is acrylic paint with plaster of paris or something. The trouble I have had with homemade is that you have to sand it smooth between coats. Time is money and I would rather pay a little more for a pre made paint. I don’t have the patience to sand. I don’t love sanding and that is one reason I love these pre made paints.
So there is my run down of paint. Happy painting! Sorry about the typos. I am exhausted and my friend really needed this info. I am sure my mom and Dude will let me know where I made mistakes and I can edit this later! ha!
Another day in my life.