I finished my first piece using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and wax. Now, I am always going to be honest with you when it comes to products. I am not in love with the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. There are pros of using the paint – but there are also benefits of using latex.
Benefits of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint:
Very smooth application.
Soft to the touch
Easy to sand – you can create very smooth surfaces very easy.
Easy clean up – the stuff is just like chalk, it sort of just fades off.
Sticks to anything – you can paint metal, wood, plastic… pretty much anything you want and this paint will stick.
Eliminates the stickiness of latex paint – Latex paint with polycrylic on top has a sticky quality to it. The Chalk paint feels super smooth. Its hard to describe the difference. You have to feel it.
Problems with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
Price – $39 per quart is almost 3x the amount of the nice acrylic latex paint that I currently use. Even if you consider the cost of primer as many of the Annie Sloan advocates say – you’re still looking at at least double the cost of latex paint and primer. (We will discuss wax vs. polycrylic later in the post as well).
Coverage – I had a very difficult time covering the piece I was working with. It took 2 entire quarts to get the look I was going for – which was still somewhat antiqued. To get a completely even thick coverage I would have needed to use 3 quarts on one piece. Considering how much your spending on the paint I would expect it to at least cover as well as latex paint. For a piece this large I would have used approx. 1 quart of latex paint, maybe 1 1/2 quarts plus 1/2 of primer.
In conclusion – I love the paint. Its great if your just doing one small piece it might be worth it. But I found another solution. You can actually create your own chalk paint! Here is the recipe I used to create my own chalk paint:
Chalk Paint Recipe
1 part Plaster of Paris
3 parts paint
Put the plaster of paris in a mixing container. Add water and mix until it is smooth like pancake batter. Make sure to get rid of all the lumps before adding the paint. Stir in the paint and mix. I find the best way to get it completed mixed is to put the lid on and shake it for about 2 minutes. Helpful tip: the Plaster of Paris adds a little bit of white to the color, so your paint will look just a tiny bit lighter than you expected when you are done. I haven’t tried this with dark colors yet – but I am planning to paint a dresser dark blue in the near future and I am going to try this recipe out. I love it – the container of plaster of Paris that I purchased was $5 at Jones Paint and Glass. The paint that I use – Benin Moore Regal Select was 48.00 for the gallon. Overall its a much better price than the Annie Sloan Chalk paint. Diane at In My Own Style did an experiment with 2 different types of chalk paint recipes and Annie Sloan Paint and shows the difference on a piece of crown molding. You can check that out here. I also did my own experiment because I had to see for myself. I liked the smoothness of the Plaster of Paris recipe the most, so that is what I will be using in the future.
Wax – Is it Tough Enough?
I think the biggest question with wax is whether or not its going to be as tough as polycrylic. In my opinion, the Annie Sloan wax does an amazing job. It is just as resistant as polycrylic and the finish is much easier to control. You can get an almost matte finish by not buffing the wax at all. Or you can get a pretty good shine by buffing it a lot. As i stated in Adventures in Chalk Paint Part 1 – I wanted a top coat with a little bit more control. This wax totally provides that control. I haven’t been able to try any other brands of chalk paint due to the fact that I cannot find any clear wax in any of the home improvements stores near me. Check out Perfectly Imperfects video on how to wax furniture to see the best technique for applying the wax. She does a good job at discussing the various issues some come across and how to get the best finish.