Wipe-On Poly Tips and Tricks

Wipe on poly is an awesome product to use to add a layer of protection to your painted furniture. It’s easy and fast to apply, easy to clean up, and relatively inexpensive. There is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to wipe on poly, so I’m here to s with you the tricks I’ve learned along the way to make your experience a little better. (Scroll down for a video tutorial demonstrating how to apply wipe on poly.)

Oil Based v. Water Based

Does it ever seem like this is a never ending question?

Wipe on PolyAs usual the issue with oil based is that it oils over time, and oil based wipe on poly is no exception… There are benefits to it though -it’s easier to apply than its water based counterpart because it stays wet much longer – also its a little bit cheaper and easier to get a hold of. So if you are going to be working on something that is painted a medium to dark color, or its stained or natural wood – use oil based.

Water Based Wipe On Poly

If your going to be working on a white or light-colored piece of furniture. Even some really light natural wood – use water based. It doesn’t yel over time, so your color will stay truer. (I say truer because just like wax, it darkens the color just a bit – so plan for that.) The problems with water-based wipe on poly are that chalk paint soaks it up like a sponge – so to get a clean smooth finish your going to want to dilute it with water. I use a 50: 50 ratio for water and wipe on poly. (You can also do this with oil based wipe on poly if you’re having streaking issues – just substitute the water for mineral spirits or lacquer thinner.) This solves the issue so that it stays wet long enough to work it in and avoid streaks – but you might find that you need to put on another coat to get the protection you’re looking for. The other problem with this stuff is that its only available in California…. wait what? Yes, this product is only distributed to stores in California. So if you want to purchase this product outside of California – you will need to do so online. I bought mine through amazon for about $17 including shipping for a pint. A pint goes a long way – Generally I can get 3 large pieces with one pint because I dilute it down.


Water based wipe on poly is a little bit harder to work with in the beginning and takes some practice, but its a good alternative to wax for light colors. (I still use wax by the way, just not when I’m glazing – find out why!)


Hope this information is helpful!





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Dresser Before and After

What’s better than one beautifully refinished dresser? Two of course! I just refinished these stunning dressers. I love them so much I actually ended up keeping one, but the other is listed for sale in the White Pearl Shop. I found both of these from an awesome family on KSL that was right around the corner from my house. It was such an easy thing. I went to get one dresser and ended up leaving with both. I kept the original hardware on both pieces because I thought they were so perfect, but just not the right color. So I spray painted them black with Rustoleum’s black satin metal spray paint and voila! Perfect!

Here’s dresser # 1 before the make-over. She had been left outside all summer and the top was really worn down and it had spider webs everywhere!

before 1before 2


You can somewhat see the second dresser behind this one, but unfortunately I forgot to take before pictures of the other one. Just imagine she was in a very similar state before the redo.

After 3This one was refinished in a classic white color on the bottom, with black hardware and a dark walnut stained top. She is currently listed for sale in the White Pearl Shop for $325After 1HardwareAfter 2

The second dresser that I picked up sort of last minute turned out amazing as well. I kept this one just because it was a bit larger and fit perfectly behind my couch.

Dresser 1Detailed Dresser 1Hardware 1


I love all the detail on these dressers with the carved out drawers and the middle cabinet. I wish I could find more like these!






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Chalk Paint Remix

Here is the information I promised on my comparison of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, my own DIY Chalk Paint and Benin Moore’s Regal Select 100% Acrylic paint. I started my little experiment by purchasing a gallon of Ben’s “white linen” paint at Jones Paint and Glass. I tried to match the color as closely as I could to Annie Sloan’s Old White color. I think I got pretty close, its just a tad bit lighter than Annie Sloan’s…


Here are the supplies that I used.I bought a big bucket of Plaster of Paris for around $5.00 at Jones Paint and Glass. The Polyblend Non-Sanded Grout was purchased for $13 at Home Depot. I have a glass of water, my acrylic paint, Annie Sloans Chalk paint. Two scrap boards that I found and 2 containers to mix my experiments in. I separated the two boards in half and labeled each side. 

I painted the annie slaon paint with my spray gun right onto the board. No priming, no sanding. Next I mixed my Plaster of Paris recipe and my Non-Sanded Grout recipe that I got from In My Style:

Plaster of Paris Recipe:

1 Part Plaster of Paris

3 Parts Paint


** Update: I’ve revamped my preferred mixture for Chalk Paint and have a new post with tips and tricks on how to use it.  Here is the new and improved recipe.

Chalk Paint Recipe

I started by adding  water to 1/2 cup of Plaster of Paris. I wanted my mixture to be really thick and chalky so I only put in enough water so that the mixture was similar to pancake batter. I got all the lumps out so it was really smooth.

Once the mixture was smooth, I mixed in my paint. I used 1 1/2 cups of paint…

I repeated the same steps for the Non-Sanded Grout version with this recipe:

Non-Sanded Grout Recipe

1 c. Non-Sanded Grout

3 c. Paint


I don’t know if you noticed – they are the exact same recipe as the Plaster of Paris just worded differently. I didn’t like the way the non-sanded grout turned out. No matter how long I mixed it it still had chunks of like rocks in it. It didn’t go on very smooth. It was basically the consistency of grout – not pancake batter. I don’t recommend this method based on my experience, but others have been more successful with it. Here are the results:

Can you see the difference? I didn’t think so… here are a couple of close up images of the different paints. I don’t have a close up on the latex paint, but just imagine that it looks exactly like the Plaster of Paris. You can’t tell a difference in the way they look – only the way they feel.

There literally is no difference that I can see in the Annie Sloan and the DIY Chalk paint using Plaster of Paris. If I had to make a comparison I would say that the Annie Sloan Paint has just a bit more chalkyness to it, but I would also say that using the DIY Plaster of Paris paint – it covers much better. I use a spray gun, so I have not compared the two when painting with a brush, but I can’t imaging a huge difference.

The non-sanded grout as you can see in the picture, did not come out very smooth. Again this could be because I did something wrong, but why mess with it when I’ve got the Plaster of Paris recipe right at my fingertips and it was much cheaper anyways. I did put a coat of the Annie Sloan wax on all of these. Even with the wax the latex still feels more sticky… Its not nearly as smooth as the chalk paint. I actually prefer the Plaster of Paris in smoothness after the wax goes on. It feels softer to the touch.

So good news for all you people out there who don’t want to pay $38.00 per quart on your painting projects. For a quart of the Plaster of Paris paint you are looking at approx. $14 per quart. Much more reasonable, and this is using the expensive Benin Moore Regal Select Paint. If you were to substitute for something like Behr that only costs you about $25 per gallon, you would be looking at around $7-8 per quart. I don’t recommend Behr paint only because it doesn’t lay as flat as Benin Moors Paint. Although Ben’s paint doesn’t claim that it was made for furniture as Annie Sloan’s does, I have spent hours and hours researching different paints. I’ve tried every brand I can find and I really can say its the best out there for this. Its strong, flexible, easy to work with, its water-based, no to VOC, and the paint lays perfectly flat. I mean – perfectly! I really do love this stuff. If you do purchase – make sure to do the Regal Select, not just the Regal – there’s a big difference!

One more benefit of this version over Annie Sloan – you can choose from thousands of colors. Annie Sloan has around 30 colors to choose from and yes you could mix the colors to come up with something you are looking for, but why bother when you’ve got thousands right at your fingertips? These are just my opinions – I don’t get paid for it – and you might have a different experience…

Hope you found this useful!


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