With the blog world a buzz with Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint (ASCP), after much thought I ordered my first quarts. With so many wonderful trusted bloggers posting about it, many of you have also ordered. However, some of you are still contemplating your first order. Understanding how cautious I was about ordering, I thought I would share my every thought on this infamous paint.
First, I don't know if you caught it or not, but in the first few sentences I stated "my first order". Yes, I the ever cautious designer/painter/skeptic will be ordering several quarts very soon! Having said that, I feel there is much to know about this paint before spending the $34.95 a quart. Please let me elaborate.
The piece I painted first had a mirror finish and was in impeccable shape. (It was almost a sin to paint it!) Due to the fact it was in such good shape provided a perfect surface to test the stickibility of ASCP. It stuck! AND when I used a foam roller, the roller did NOT slide! It rolled the paint out perfectly. I was very impressed~
Foam roller...Yes, the directions, along with many of you, have talked about using a brush. I have small hands and have a hard time brushing an entire piece even if it is just a small table. Using a brush for the detailed areas and corners worked perfectly. I then followed with the foam roller on the flat surfaces. The finish was a little mottled...which made me wonder if the paint was really going to hold up the my high expectations and the rave reviews from so many trusted bloggers! After the second coat, yes 2 coats, the finish evened out and covered nicely.
A few bloggers have made the comment that it dries fast and the workability window is narrow. I did not find that to be true. Please keep in mind, I am in northern Illinois where it was cool and rainy today. Humidity is ALWAYS a factor in any painting project. Getting back to workability...personally I cut in only the area I can paint within a minute or two with my roller. I find this prevents shadowing and with good ol latex paint, pull off. (paint is pulled off the wall/furniture by the roller)
With two coats, I did feel the need to sand the finish smooth. There's just something about the feel of ultra smooth paint! Sanding is not required if you are going for a more uneven look...Now please understand. When I say "uneven" I don't mean goopy, gloppy, drippy runs nor do I mean shadowing. The consistency of this paint is perfect to me! What I mean is when using a roller, you will have the roller finish just as you would when painting a wall with flat paint. There will be subtle texture. If an ultra smooth or even a smoother finish is desired, then you will need to sand. The up side to sanding is it sands beautifully and effortlessly! I used 150/200 grit to even out the surfaces and 100 for the distressing. When sanded, the paint turns into a super fine powder. I used a commercial grade shop dust collector (because they are sooo quiet! Really!) while sanding to keep the powder from spreading to other areas of my studio. It worked perfectly and kept the air nice and clean. (any dust/vacuum/shop vac would work just more noise)
Speaking of air, I would suggest wearing a dust mask. Though the dust is super fine, it's probably best not to breath it!
Once I achieved the smooth finish I was looking for, I used the wax to seal the paint and give it a nice shine. I used Minwax clear and applied it with a soft natural brush. After buffing it with a soft cloth, painting the original hardware (with spray paint) reattaching them, and attaching the stained top, the piece was complete.
I completely finished this table in one day! ONE DAY! And that was including sanding, staining, waxing the top. If I had not been so cautious, I could have painted at least 2 additional pieces and had them nearly ready to finish (wax and re attach hardware) in one day. That would make 3 pieces of furniture ready to sell in ONE DAY!
Using other primer and paint, the quickest I could have finished this one piece would have been 2 days...pushing it, 3 more realistically. After I put the night stand/dresser away, I counted how many other pieces I could have had done if I had this paint sooner! Can't beat myself up over my cautious nature!
For myself, it all comes down to dollars & sense. Kelli over at Re-Store Interiors said that you can get 3 pieces of furniture per quart. That averages to about $12.50 per piece of furniture. If you are buying smart, then time saved and $$ spent on the paint should still give you a nice return on your piece. (I do not know if Kelli applies 2 coats or one)
As with most everyone one living in the world today, I am more than just a blogger.. I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, business owner, chef, taxi, accountant, calendar, maid, laundress, and the list goes on. Some of these things I love being..while others...well let's just say the laundry is one of the last things one my to-do list and it never seems to-done lol~ Regardless, my time is worth something, even when it's not spent working on something I will make a profit on. So, I saved 3 days of work. That, is priceless. Especially considering summer vacation is nearing, I'm going to be opening another shop, and my kids are officially teenagers!
In closing, this review is mine...and was not influenced by freebies (if I could only get so lucky!:). I felt like there was more to this paint then what many were saying, and for me there was. Like I've said before, I'm very cautious, and am probably the most frugal person alive! Spending $34.95 + shipping on a quart of paint is unheard of for myself...my husband said I must of been sleep shopping lol! Having said all that, this paint is well worth the investment and I am a believer!
I am beyond pleased with this piece, and impressed with Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint. Next on my list to order is Arles, Paris Grey, Louis Blue, Graphite...well probably at least one of each color...two of some basic staples like Old White! lol~
This piece is going directly to the shop where I'm sure it won't last long!