Tuesday, 6 May 2014

All About My "Homemade" Chalk Paint - How it Works and Why You Need Some!

If you have read my past posts, you know how I feel about the over-priced and over-rated Annie Sloan Chalk Paint...I will admit the finish is super nice, I just can't afford the stuff! Not to mention that clients don't really want to pay a premium price on their furniture for a paint that doesn't actually make a difference on the finished product.

The one main selling feature of Annie Sloan (for me) was that it was "open and go" - no mixing required, like I had to do with my plaster of paris and latex - and you could reseal and not worry about the consistency changing.

As nice as this convenience was, it still wasn't enough to make me take the hour drive to buy a $40 quart of paint. Sorry! I needed another solution.
My plaster of paris was working just fine in terms of the finish, but it took up more time than I had to mix every day, and it also wasn't something that I could offer to people as a product because the texture would become too clumpy too fast.

So, long story short, I did a LOT of reading and a LOT of experimenting, and I have found something that I think works wonderfully and is a heck of a lot cheaper than the gourmet brand!

Instead of mixing with plaster of paris, I have developed a way to mix in a boiled down calcium substance which gives the paint its classic chalky feel and appeal, and also enhances the priming qualities of the paint. Having developed this method means that I can now market ready-to-use chalk paint to clients who are looking for a more affordable way to experiment with their own projects at home!

Here is some info

What kind of paint is mixed into the "chalk paint"?
- I use all latex based paints, and can mix the calcium substance into virtually any brand of latex paint. I prefer Benjamin Moore as a premium brand, and Glidden as a more standard type latex.

Is this paint low VOC?
- After talking with the owner at one of the Benjamin Moore stores, he informed me that ALL of their lines are no - low VOC, with their "Ben" line being the least (which is what I use unless otherwise requested). VOC's are also lower in lighter colours, and disappear as soon as the paint dries. Chalk paint dries even faster than the flat paint, so the risk of any VOC's or "stinky stuff" is slim to none.

What Can I use This Paint On?
Chalk paint can typically be used on anything from wood, to metal and plastic - glass too! Even though the gourmet brand claims you don't have to sand or prime, I always recommend roughing up a surface before painting - and if you are painting glass I would recommend a latex primer as well.

Do I have to Seal this Paint?
- Yes, all chalk paint needs a sealer...either wax or poly/varathane. You can use water or oil based

Can I use this paint on walls?
- I guess you COULD, but it wouldn't be smart because it's not wipeable unless you seal it...and I don't think you want to seal an entire wall!!

How much does it cost?
- 500 ml of premium mixed paint (Benjamin Moore colours) costs $16 - this will cover approximately a medium dresser
- 500ml of a standard mixed paint (Glidden/CIL) costs $12
-Larger amounts can be mixed, please contact for pricing.

All in all I think this is pretty cool stuff!! I can mix any colour you'd like, so please feel free to contact me if you have something in mind.

Happy painting!


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