Tuesday, 15 April 2014
Why I Don't (typically) use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is a MIRACLE paint! (claim the makers and many users). No sanding, no priming, perfect application every time.
Sounds pretty awesome, eh?!
When I started painting I was mixing my own paint using latex paint and plaster of paris - I would mostly buy mis-tinted paint from the hardware store in whichever brand was sitting there, as long as it was some form of flat-eggshell latex.
Then I would see other painters showing off their Annie Sloan Chalk Paint "ASCP" pieces and the finish looked beautiful....I must be missing out....
I had a severe case of paint envy.
I checked online and saw that the closest location to purchase ASCP was at least an hour drive. Not to mention one QUART (not gallon, people!) was upwards of $40.00!
So, one quart, in one colour, would cost me like half a tank of gas PLUS $40.00?? Hmmmmm, worth it?
I still needed to know! I thought maybe this magic paint would miraculously make my pieces brilliant.
So I made the drive and purchased a sample pot because I couldn't swallow paying $40 on a paint I haven't tried. Mind you, the SAMPLE pot was still $16!!
I couldn't wait for it to completely change my life as soon as I opened it.
Right away I got my brush out and went to work. I used "Florence" a beautiful rich turquoise colour. The coverage was excellent, I was very impressed by that. But....
...that was it. Really? Good coverage is all I get for spending 2 hours of my life driving to get this paint?
This is when I started experimenting with alternatives that would rival ASCP's actual paint quality. I will spare you the many many details of my different experiments, but essentially I have come to the concrete conclusion, that (for myself) using a premium latex paint mixed with plaster of paris is AS GOOD or *gasp* BETTER than using ASCP. There, I said it.
My main go-to is Benjamin Moore (Regal line in ulti-matte). This paint is high quality and has the same finish as the ASCP paint in my opinion. The BONUS of using Ben Moore compared to ASCP is that I find Ben Moore to be way more durable in the long run - sure, it takes a bit more muscle to sand down my home made variety of chalk paint, but it still sands off beautifully and at the very least I know it must be a darn good paint because it won't even come off when I WANT it to!
But what about the "miracle part"? Isn't ASCP worth the extra money because you don't have to sand or prime? Well, let me tell you...this is a secret all the chalk paint proponents won't tell you...
You SHOULD sand, and you SHOULD prime, no matter which paint you use.
Do you HAVE to? Well, not necessarily. When I started I believed all those people and didn't do either. And I learned. Now I won't sell a piece that hasn't been at the very least sanded, and if it's a metal, plastic, shiney surface, I prime it as well. I now ALWAYS sand and prime dining tables.
So, if I am going to do that extra work anyways, why on earth would I turn around and jack prices of my furniture to compensate for this over-priced, over-rated, non-miracle brand paint? I figured my customers would thank me if I stuck to the "inferior" Benjamin Moore line which costs exactly half of what a quart of ASCP does.
So, all in all, I actually do like ASCP as a paint....I just won't go out of my way to purchase it, nor do I believe that painters who exclusively use ASCP have any better quality work than those who don't. As long as you do your proper prep work, and use a high quality paint, I think one is just as good as the next.
Using ASCP doesn't make you a good painter - creativity does ;)
Thanks for reading!