So tell me...if you have two dressers, side by side...and one was painted in Annie Sloan's "Old White" and the other was painted in a random off white by CIL and handmixed with plaster of paris...is one better than the other?
Is one worth more than the other?
This is a trend I am seeing in the painted furniture realm and it really grinds my gears; if you are truly a good painter, it does not matter WHAT medium you use, it is your eye and your technique that will produce a beautiful end result.
I think the gourmet paint brands have done a wonderful job of "branding" their paint products just as clothing labels do - "who are YOU wearing?" could conceivably be said to a piece of furniture and it would kind of make sense!
We are drawn to this fictitious idea that painters who only use "gourmet" brands are somehow better than those who choose not to spend ridiculous amounts on overpriced paint, and then somehow feel entitled to price their pieces much higher because of this (generally speaking).
In my opinion, there is an "elitist" attitude among those who subscribe to one paint company and allow themselves to be branded.
But this is what I don't quite understand....
If using a super expensive brand makes you a great painter, then why are you only limiting yourself to 30 stock colour options? That would totally hamper my creativity! (yes, I know you can mix them and make other ones, but still - I have 1000's of stock options with Benjamin Moore!)
Again, if using gourmet paint makes you a great painter, then why aren't you aware of all the tried and true methods and products that may work better in certain instances than your limited gourmet brand?
Is this offering the best product to your customers?
Similarly, how do you know how great your gourmet brand is, if you haven't tested out the other "lowly" options on the market to be sure on where you stand?
I have said it before and I will repeat it now - I do not think Annie Sloan (or similar paints) are BAD - I think they are just fine, but I also think they have their time and place and you need to know how to utilize other options. I am horrified at the amount people spend to purchase paint, brushes, wax, etc just because the clerk at the store told them that is the only thing they can use.
I love seeing the look on client's faces when they come in to the store and we strike up a conversation about chalk paint, Annie Sloan etc...they are shocked to learn that:
-You CAN use any latex paint you want because you can mix the chalk paint at home
- NO, you don't have to buy a $35 round brush, a decent $5 brush from the hardware store has served me just fine!
- Paste Wax is sold at Home Hardware. For $13!
- Same as above, fancy dancy wax brush NOT needed
- You aren't limited to Paste Wax as a top coat.
It really blows their minds sometimes, because they have been encouraged to believe otherwise. And hey, that's super smart for the paint companies, because if people believe it, they make more money!
My advice to other painters?
Make your piece worth it.
Don't but a few coats of Paris Grey, distress, wax, and slap a $300 price tag on it. Go that extra mile and experiment, set yourself apart from the cookie cutter pieces I see every day!
You have an imagination, use it ;)