Tag: Chalk paint

A Little About Chalk, Mineral and Clay Based Paint.

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…

Okay, so it depends on what kind of look you want to achieve. My favorite kind of paint is DecoArt Americana Chalky Paint brand and you can find it at Michael’s. It cleans up with water and you don’t have to sand or prime. It adheres really well (even to the center console of your car if you are not careful). The bad part is after it is dry it will not wipe off with water so if you want to distress it you have to use sandpaper. You can’t layer your colors and wipe with a wet rag like you can with the brand American Paint Company, CeCe Caldwell & Annie Sloan. The other good thing is you can thin it with 1/4 water and use a sprayer and it goes on so smooth. it doesn’t come in a lot of colors so I have had to mix colors and be creative. They do have a handy mix chart on their website.
I layered paint on this stool and rubbed it off with a wet cloth. I also used Elmer’s glue and a heart gun to give it a crackle look.
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Let me get side tracked for a minute with the sprayer. Jenny at Little Green Notebook blogged about about this Critter Sprayer and it was only $40 on Amazon so I decided to try it. It was the best thing I have ever bought for painting furniture.
It hooks up to my air compressor and you put your paint in a mason jar. It is really easy clean up. (This is in my sing song voice) I lo-ove it!!
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Here are the before and after of a dresser and nightstand set I painted. I used APC Dollar Bill for my first coat and Dollar Bill mixed with 1/2 white (not sure which one) for my second coat. I used a wet rag to distress. I finished it with clear wax (it was before I discovered Soft Touch).
Here is the rundown on 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!


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Let’s talk about waxing versus varnish. I used to wax everything but now my favorite thing to do is use the Soft Touch Varnish by Americana. you can get it at Michael’s. With waxing you let your paint dry, brush on your wax and let that dry, and then later (they say 24 hours) you buff the wax to a sheen. Way too much work! With the varnish you wait for your paint to dry and then you paint it on with a brush (or spray it with your Critter sprayer). It gives it a finish that looks just like wax. I can’t tell the difference. Some people are worried about the smell. There is almost (if you have vampire smelling capabilities you will smell it faintly) no odor. It cleans up with water and it dries quick. No buffing! I have tried other top coats and varnish and they all say low sheen or satin and they still have a slight shine. The matte ones are too matte. This Soft Touch is like velvet.
For those of you who want all natural then you better stick to the wax. At least you will get a good workout. If you want a wax recommendation. I like APC & CeCe Caldwell. I have heard Annie Sloan wax needs to be re-applied over the years. I got smart and bought a brush attachment for my power drill and I use that to buff my waxed pieces.
Now dark wax is a different story. I love dark wax for aging and the antique look. You MUST clear wax or varnish your piece fist or the dark wax will go on REALLY dark and sometimes look dirty.

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.

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Here is the haps on the wax:
  • 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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

Last thing…

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.

It is chalk and mineral paint, not chalkboard paint.

I took a chalk and mineral paint class a few weeks ago and it was so fun. I was hooked. This paint is not “chalk Board” paint, it is chalk paint. If you use 3 coats on a piece and you don’t seal it, then yes, you can write on it with chalk.


nighstand-beforeAnyway, I bought this dresser and nightstand at the thrift store. It was pretty dated (some people call that vintage!) and I decided to give it a little face lift (some people call it upcycle).

You don’t have to sand and prep your piece but since it was my first attempt I did.


  • I painted on a darker blue color called Dollar Bill by American Paint Company.
  • I then mixed in equal parts Linen by Cece Caldwell (white color) into my Dollar Bill paint.
  • My next coat was my mixed color.
  • I let it dry and then used a wet rag to wash it down and distress it the way I wanted.
  • I let that dry and then waxed it with Cece Caldwell’s cream wax.
  • I used American Paint Company Clear Coat on the top. I have been told to use that on high traffic surfaces.
  • 24 hours later I took my buffer brush attachment on my power drill and buffed it all (not the top with the clear coat) to a nice satin sheen.

I just listed my two pieces for sale! Contact me if you are interested.4-16-2014 015