A Skeptic Reviews Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

A while ago I wrote a post called A Skeptic Asks: Is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Laced With Fairy Dust?   A lot of people have come to this blog through searches for Annie Sloan Chalk paint so I decided it wasn't fair to be a skeptic, I needed to test this paint and do a review.

So I bought Annie Sloan Provence Blue paint and clear wax from Lady Butterburg.  This paint and wax is fairly expensive, and I was too cheap to buy the dark wax, thinking I could glaze with my own paints here and then use the clear paste wax.  Or maybe I could  mix the clear wax with some oil paint.    I was wrong about that. Anyway, they came quickly. 


I chose a lowly step-stool to transform.   I did wash the stool down, but didn't sand it at all, per the paint's claim to fame.   


Above is the first coat.  It dries flat looking and streaky.  I put another coat on.  The paint color is a little lighter than I expected it to be.  I think the dark wax application must make a huge difference.  It was easy to paint on.  After the two coats were dry, I glazed it with a mix of artist's acrylic paints and glazing medium, wiping off the glaze in some spots with vigor.  I was a little too vigorous in some spots.  At this point I was wishing I hadn't been cheap and had just bought the darn dark wax.  My bad.  


I decided to keep going.  I applied the clear paste wax to my stool and then waited a few days before buffing.  Mostly because I was busy.  I think a day would have been enough.  Here's a closeup:


And here's the whole stool.  
I think I'll buy the dark wax and try it out.
I can put the dark wax on top of this clear wax attempt.  
The wax gives a nice sheen without being too shiny. 


I think the wax is key to using this paint.  And I missed out on that step.  So now I will need to do *another* step after I order the dark wax.  I even used the wax on one of my doll sculpts.  I really liked it on that!

17 comments:

  1. I love that color blue, dark wax or no. Fun experiment--thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yes it is fun. I like the stool better now anyway. I use it a lot! I'm short.

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  2. It really looks gorgeous Dixie! I haven't tried Annie Sloan yet either because of the cost and my budget but hopefully I will get some by this summer! I will make a note of your helpful hints!
    Tina xo

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    1. Hi, Tina - I'm going to try the dark wax. It is expensive. I don't think I would use this for a lot of painting (such as giant pieces of furniture or my kitchen cabinets that I hope to paint). But it was really nice on a small piece of furniture.

      I'm trying out a primer and paint in one product that Consumer Reports rately highly (Home Depot paint). In the flat finish it looks really nice and I'm hoping I can get a good skin color and then use the wax finish over it.

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  3. I bet that dark wax would look really great on your dolls as well!

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    1. Yes, I'm going to try that. It's expensive with the shipping, though. I wish I'd bought it the first time around b/c now I'm paying for shipping, too.

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  4. Thanks for the cool idea .I just picked up an old childs school desk wood top with mettal legs ..I think this is the makeover it needs.

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    1. Heather - it's fun to try new things and media - sometimes they can transfer to doll making, too. :-)

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  5. There is another product out there, No Sand, No Prime, No Sanding - I rep a paint called Caromal Colours, you can google it or go to BushWoodArt.com and see it. Or better yet- FabulouslyFinished.com my friend Patty has a way better blog than I do. I sell a lot of this paint to vendors at antique shops, for upcycling furniture, also have had customers paint kitchen cabinets and counter tops with it.

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    1. Hi, Lucy's Baby - I had seen Caromal colorso - even watched some videos on Youtube about them. I am looking to paint my kitchen cabinets, so thanks for the tip. I'll keep it in mind. But I'm not so sure about the texture it leaves. Patty's Fabulous Finishes site is interesting. If there were a source near me that I could see in person I would like that. Ordering these things over the internet to ship to Maine is expensive!

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    2. Hi Dixie - nice to meet you via blogland! The Caromal paints dont have to leave a texture - the textured basecoats are thicker, you wont find a more versatile DIY paint on the market - it can be thinned down or layed heavier, or stippled chunky - endless uses and finishes - and by far superior in durability - cant scrape it off with a finger nail. The REclaim is even thinner and rolls out so its the easiest of the lines to apply, both lines are like Jan said, no priming, no stripping, no sanding -

      Hi JAN!!!!!!

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    3. Hi, Patty - Thanks for visiting. I would love to see paint companies like Annie Sloan Chalk Paints and Caromal Colors offer testers.

      I haven't tried the Caromal Colors, but being an artist would love to see how it compares. I'm planning to paint my kitchen cabinets, which is one of the reasons I did a little test of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. The Caromal Colors look interesting, but I can't find a good independent review of them online

      $44 for a quart of paint is a lot of money - and then add in shipping costs and that's an ouchie (for me at least). If it really meant no sanding/priming, etc it might be worth it. The jury is out for me. If there were a tester size of Caromal Colors Reclaim paint I could get (like you can get at Benjamin Moore Paints) I might try it out.

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    4. Actually, I sell the 8 ounce sampler sizes of the Caromal textured basecoats and the Reclaim paint as well. they range from 12.95 - 15.00.

      Regarding independent reviews, I've posted many many posts from homeowners that have used the paints and have shared their photos and experiences. I'm not just a blogger, promoting something just so I can make money off it, I am a decorative finisher, and run a thriving business hanging off clients walls and ceilings - my credibility is always on the line. I love the Caromal paints because they are THE most durable DIY paints on the market. I've used the AS paint, lovely paints, but the finish doesn't come close to the durability of the Caromal ...

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  6. Thanks so much for sharing on my first ever LINK party! Be sure to come back next week!

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    1. You're welcome. It's the first link party about house things that I've submitted an actual piece of furniture. :-) So it's a first for us both.

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  7. Hi Dixie--
    After my ASCP experience, I think my money is better spent on other products. So far to paint my desk from a darker walnut finish on an old oak desk, it took 4 to 5 coats for coverage. I've had problems with cracking paint, and I've noticed paint pulls over really easily in places ie with an object sitting on top of the drying desk or with painters tape I used to block off an area I painted a different color. I advise anyone out there to try a sample before commiting to the whole piece. I spent about 100 dollars on a quart, 2 small tubs of ASCP, and clear wax and ended up having to spend even more money on sandpaper, primer and latex paint later to fix my piece. I don't know if anyone else out there has had as many issues as I have had. This paint may not be for all types of rehabs. Any advise would be appreciated.

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  8. Sounds like a lot of folks buying the best paint possible and then having no instruction in the application, which is the easiest in paint-dom. Wash the surface, if mahog, pine or oak, one coat of shellac(a natural and even edible product, to seal in the tannins in those woods and then paint away, 2 coats on most pieces in most colors, 3 in Pure white. Wait about 20-30 mins between coats, Clear wax(about the same price as Briwax, brush on evenly, wipe back excess, let dry overnight and buff as easy as a pair of shoes-voila, a museum finish. I find that people with little to no paint experience do better than those that need to to 'unlearn' their prior paint experience/expertise. Using other brand's products will foul up the chemistry between Annie's paint & wax which bonds together to the point that you can paint over the wax if desired. As to cost, Chalk Paint® costs 35-40/qt for 150' of coverage. Cheap latex is 12/qt, decent latex, 18 and that covers 76-80'. Add in plaster(wear a respirator!), stripper, primer, sandpaper etc and Annie's paint is cheaper. After 45 years in a major antiques importer in NY and FL and 40 years of Benj Moore on thousands of big pieces, if there was a better paint in the world, we'd be using it AND selling it. Watch Annie's vids for simple instruction and inspiration.

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