I have been really wanting to review chalk paints for a while now. I have been chalk painting since last summer (2013) when I first discovered it, and I have used both CeCe Caldwell's and Annie Sloan as well as made my own DIY chalk paint via the plaster of paris method. So I decided to conjur up some thoughts and put them together in cohesive sentences!
First up on the ole' chopping block is CeCe Caldwell's. Let me first say, I love that this paint is made in the great U.S. of A, being an Army wife, I really try to buy "Made in the USA" as much as possible, it's not always applicable... I mean I drive an import.. I can't help it.. don't judge... back to paint..
CeCe Caldwell's is all natural and green, that's huge these days, everyone wants to be enviromentally friendly, even their packaging and labels are made from recycled goods. It's non- toxic, no VOC's (which is the headache causing fumes) and no solvents. This stuff is gentle enough to paint baby furniture without worrying about the little one sticking toxic paint into their mouth.. which you know they are going to do. I've seen cribs look like they have been mangled by wild beavers.. not that I have seen tame beavers but you catch my drift. This stuff is SAFE!
So that's all great, but how does it perform? Well, I will tell you, it's really smooth, and as you probably have already heard, chalk paint can go on anything.. metal, already painted wood, laminate, fabric, glass, plastic, etc. and you don't have to strip, prime or prep!! CeCe's covers really well too, once you you get your first coat on, and usually you only need one coat, you will notice this finish is very muted and chalky like. Your probably thinking "yeah of course, it's CHALK paint" and I get why you would think that, but I have only seen this result with CeCe's. After the paint has compleley dried, you will want to seal your piece, I always use wax, unless it' a large dining room tabble top, then I poly that sucker. Once you apply the wax, your paint deepens to the beautiful rich color that was originally on the swatch or top of the can.
But here is where I have a problem, I never get an even finish with CeCe's. My first piece I sold was that Teal dresser/buffet,I did a custom blend with CeCe's Maine Harbor Blue and their green color ( I can't recall the name), the color was gorgeous but it streaked like crazy, some parts were really dark and some were light after the wax was applied. But, it was gorgeous on that dresser,and it sold like that, however, I don't want that finish on every piece I do. I decided to give it a another try, I painted at least three more projects and everytime the finish was uneven. Now I will say I have seen other people's projects and there gorgeous, but for some reason it just never works for me? IDK
Maybe you will have better luck with it?
Next up is the DIY Plaster of Paris recipe.
After spending nearly $40 a quart on chalk paint, I was desperate to find an economical alternative. I am super cheap when it comes to certain things, I will drop serious money on purses (I believe their heirlooms) and people laugh when I say that, but it's true! Anyways, I really wanted a way to lower my costs to profit margin on my painted furniture.
So, I headed to my local Hobby Lobby and bought a big ole jug of Plater O' Paris with an even bigger grin on my face, cause I was gonna make my own paint and say "shove it" to the name brand chalk paint! Unfortunately, I am firm believer of "you get what you pay for." I did the recipe just like it said and the finish turned out grainy, I could literally see the plaster in it, it doesn't wet distress like the name brand paints and if you knick it, it can and will chip off in chunks... basically what I am saying is it SUCKS! If your doing a project and it's just for you or a friend/family member that really doesn't care, and by care I mean not supper picky about the finish, then by all means use it, it really is good enough for that, it covers well, it's a good price point and you can manually sand it to distress it. But in my opinion,if you are trying to sell your pieces for more than a couple of nickles, then splurge on the good stuff. In the long run it will pay off and you will be much happier and your customer's will appreciate your standards for quality.
So last but certainly not least is Annie Sloan. Let me say I am not an Annie Sloan rep or any chalk paint rep for that matter, just an avid user....Annie Sloan Chalk paint is based out of the UK. I think it came to the US about 3 years ago? It is eco friendly, not as eco as CeCe's though. It does have a warning on the can to use adequate ventilation, but I have never had any issues with paint fumes, never the less, always you use common sense. The coverage is phenominal, I have noticed certain colors cover differently, I don't know why, I had just bought a can of English Yellow, it covers really well, but it's consistency and texture seems a little different then say Paris Gray? It's weird, maybe it was just a certain batch? Not sure. The finish is gorgeous and in my opinion you can't get any better than Annie Sloan Wax's. Once you apply the wax it slightly and I mean slightly deepens the color, unless you use the dark wax, in which case it will deepen and age the overall color. My finish with Annie Sloan has always come out even and perfect, wet distressing and sanding is a breeze, color washing is easy, layering easy, I mean honestly other then the steap price, I can't say enough about this paint. And since I mentioned the price, I bought a shipment of ASCP online last summer, I just restocked my colors last month (Jan2014)and I still have some colors left over from the summer batch. I have probably painted at least 12-15 pieces of furniture, ranging from a small side table to an 8 drawer huge dresser. So this paint lasts a long, long time!! It really is well worth your money and you can't beat the quality.
My next company to try is Webster's Chalk Paint Powder, it's suppose to be awesome and you can mix it into any latex paint. I'm hoping to try it in the next month or so and I will get another review ready.
What is your favorite chalk paint? Have you made your own?