Friday, October 3, 2014

Let's Talk Paint

I get asked all the time what kind of paint I use, or what kind of paint I think you should use. I myself, use several kinds. I like to try everything, just in case I might be missing out on something I like better. I figure I will share my likes and dislikes about each paint with you, and that way, you can decide for yourself.

Latex Paint.
This is the paint you can buy at any big box  home improvement store. It is probably the least expensive, and you can pretty much achieve any look you want with it, if you choose the right options (flat, eggshell, sating, etc...). You can pair it with glazes and clear coats of your desire, and  achieve almost any finish.

The pros are definitely price, ease of acquiring, and infinite color options. The cons are the VOC's, and the prep work. Always sand, clean thoroughly, and prime. For best results, wait 24 hours between priming and painting, and 24 hours between painting and sealing.

Boutique Paints (More commonly known as Chalk Paints)
I have grown to really love these paints. They were made specifically for painting furniture, although you can paint anything with them. They cost more, but a little goes a long way, and they save you a lot in prep work. There are a lot of different options, so I will tell you about the ones I have used.

Annie Sloan. (Research for yourself here.)
This is the most well known, and the most expensive. You can buy from approved stockists which you can find online. There is one in each county here in Utah.  The only prep necessary is a thorough cleaning. No sanding or priming necessary, and you can paint anything. Even laminate. The paint goes on matte, and very smooth. Has very low VOC so it's safe for indoor use, and no odor. The colors are limited, but they can be mixed together to make almost any color you want. I love the paint... All of the pieces I have shared so far on this blog, or on facebook have been painted with Annie Sloan.

 However, it has to be sealed, and it is recommended that you use the Annie Sloan soft wax. There is a clear wax, and a dark wax. I am not a fan of the wax. There is a definite learning curve, and even after a lot of practice, and really trying to love it. I just don't. It is hard work. I feel like you are trading the prep work for the same amount of work in waxing. The wax has a strong smell, and is not recommended for indoors, and should not be used by pregnant women. Waxed pieces will not hold up outdoors because the sun will melt it, and it takes 4 full weeks for wax to cure.  You can get a nice look with wax (once you have mastered it), but all in all, I'm not a fan.

***I should note that there are many people who love and swear by the wax. I have seen some beautiful waxed pieces, and even accomplished some very nice ones myself. I just haven't mastered it, and it is hit or miss for me. You can take a class, which I have not done, and you might just love it too! Classes are offered and Drab 2 Fab, which you can find at the link below.***

I buy mine here.

Rethunk Junk. (Research for yourself here.)
Personlaized Quart
This is another chalk paint. I also really like this one. This one has it's own prep. You spray it on your piece, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it down and you are ready to paint. The prep is the key to the paint adhering. Again, you can paint almost any surface. This paint is also odorless. The cool thing about this paint is that you do not have to seal it. They sell a sealer for extra protection, along with glaze, stain, and a tough top for things like table tops. I have only used the paint. I do like it a lot. I also like that it is made in the USA, and it is about $10 a quart cheaper than Annie Sloan.

I buy mine here.

Shabby Paints. (Research for yourself here.)
Okay, if I have to pick a favorite, this is it! They sell shabby paints, which are awesome, along with a lot of really cool products to go along with them. Their sealer is what puts them above the rest for me. It's called VAX. It is much easier than wax, but gives the same look. It is more durable (can stand up to outdoor use, floor use, anything), less expensive, and it is 100% VOC free and non toxic. All Shabby Paints products are. Also, Vax cures completely in 3-7 days. Along with their chalk paints and VAX, there is ReVAX (which is tinted VAX that can be used as a glaze) in black, hazelnut, and white, there are shimmer paints and glazes, a crackler, and a really cool product called texture which you can use to make appliques, or aged look. I LOVE these products. They are also about $11 cheaper per quart than Annie Sloan. Also made in the USA.

 I buy mine here.

Basically, depending what color I am looking for, I may still use other brands of paint, but VAX is my go to sealer no matter what.That is why I haven't even tried Rethunk Junk sealer. You cannot beat the ease of use, price, and end result of VAX and ReVAX. It's amazing. I did just buy a jar of Fairy Chalk Mother's paint to try out, but haven't used it yet. o

I should also note that many people are making their own chalk paints. You can find your own recipes online. I have not tried this, and I probably won't. The appeal is that it is cheaper, and you can make any color you want by combining latex paint with plaster of paris and some other ingredients. I read somewhere that eventually, latex will begin to act like latex (which is thin plastic), no matter what you mix with it, and if you haven't done the proper prep work that you would do normally for latex paint, it's just going to start peeling off. I don't want to take the risk, but that's just me. 

Also, regardless of which brand I use, I always do a light sanding. It isn't supposed to be necessary, but it gives me peace of mind. There are also a lot of helpful tutorials on youtube for both Annie Sloan products, and Shabby Paints products. (Search Shab to Fab for Shabby Paints)

Along with chalk paints, I also like gel stains, shellac, spray paint (for handles and hinges), and more. I can give tips if you need them=)

Hopefully this helps someone. I am happy to answer questions!


  1. Thank you for sharing this interesting and informative article, painting with airless spray gun will be faster and more interesting!

    Airless Spray

  2. Just as an fyi,for anne sloan outdoor painting you don't wax it, you paint it and leave it. We live in Chicago and our bench has made it great being outside in the snow and really cold weather. I agree with the wax, I haven't mastered it either, but she does have a lacquer that you can put over the chalk paint. I haven't tried it yet.

  3. Thank you for your comments. I did know you don't have to seal for outdoor use. Most everything I paint goes indoors, and I sometimes still wax smaller items, but I just don't love wax. I do, however, like the lacquer, and use it from time to time. I tend to lean most towards water based polycrilic these days, just because of preference. Happy painting! =)

  4. Thanks for the information. I just wanted to clarify that Rethunk Junk paint is NOT chalk paint. It is a different type of paint formulated by her husband.

  5. Just started following your blog! Great info :) Rethunk Junk by Laura paint is NOT a chalk or milk paint....what sets it aside as different is a couple great things 1. NO waxing or sealing 2. NO priming or sanding first The paint has a sealer in it and also a leveler! NO brush strokes! Finish comes out smooth and beautiful :)

  6. Do you use the sheer Vax sealer over Annie Sloan Chalk Paint? I too am not a fan of Annie Sloan wax, although I've done it many times, I am a bigger fan of saving time. Interested to hear if you've used that combo.