Chalk Paint: A Comparison of Annie Sloan’s VS DIY

30 Jun

We’re gearing up to FINALLY replace the Living Room ceiling and by gearing up I mean I’m just waiting for Brian to return with the lift and for the Lowe’s truck to deliver the drywall. It’s a matter of an hour or so before we get to it. This hot weather has been the kick in the pants we needed so yay for some real progress in the Living Room!

As I promised in my last post, this post is dedicated to my new found love, Chalk Paint. Let’s start of with Annie Sloan’s description of the paint:

Annie Sloan developed her now famous Chalk Paint to answer the need she had for a paint which would have many uses from acting like limewash to looking like old painted furniture and that had a good range of colour that could be extended by the user. This paint is very easy to work with and allows people to be creative as one doesn’t get involved with the technicalities of preparation and it also allows you to change your mind without hassle.

Chalk Paint is a very special paint for very many reasons

1. It’s the BEST paint for painting furniture by a long way
2. No need to prime or prepare
3.Extremely low VOCs so it is good for the environment
4. You can use it on any surface, indoors and out ( the outside of our shop was painted in it- perfect!)
5. You can use the paint by diluting it with water to make a wash to show the wood grain
6. The colours are mixed intelligently and the web site shows how you can adapt your colours for your use
7. It’s a girls’ paint, but boys can use it too.
8. It’s flexible so you can be creative and change your mind
9. It allows your walls to breathe so it is perfect for cottage walls
10. You can use it as an impasto ( thickly) – leave the lid off to thicken
11. We’ve been making it since 1990 so it’s tried and tested

Here’s how I’d describe it:

A thick but creamy paint that goes on like a dream. It covers most items completely with just one coat and you don’t need a primer. It works beautifully when sealed with a wax and lends itself to distressing and antique type finishes very well. The consistency when rubbed between two fingers is very similar to clay mud if you’ve ever played with making pottery. It dries super fast meaning you can have a project complete start to finish in just a few hours.

As I said in my last post, I’d been seeing so many posts on Chalk Paint on blogs and Pinterest so when I snatched up those end tables at the thrift store, I knew they’d be the perfect experiment. I stopped by the local shop here who carries Annie Sloan’s paint on my way home with the tables and once they were cleaned up had them painted in less than an hour.

My local shop had a paint chart as well as trim pieces that were painted so that I could see the true color with a clear wax and with the dark wax. I felt like Country Grey was a great neutral so that’s what I got and I’m still in love with it.

Image via Homeroad

After using the paint on the end tables, I was itching to use it again so when it came time to paint the bed frame for the Guest Room I thought it’d be a great experiment for the DIY version of the paint I’d found on Pinterest.  I grabbed up some Plaster of Paris from JoAnn’s, used a 40% coupon of course, and the big box ended up costing me about $5. There’s enough in that box to make all the Chalk Paint I’ll need for the next few years…

So here’s the full on review:

Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint DIY Chalk Paint
Pros: The consistency is a dream. The colors are all beautiful. The formula has been tried and tested for 22 years. A little bit goes a long way. (I painted the end tables, the base of our new dining table, and the base of our new dining table benches and still have a half a qt left). The finish is so smooth. I felt like Annie’s had a smoother finish and went on creamier. It accepted the wax finish without needing sanding. Pros: It’s inexpensive. The bag of plaster will last forever and you can mix up a qt for under $10, less if you don’t use a premium paint. It covers well. You know what color your getting rather than mixing your own color and hoping for the best.
Cons: It’s expensive. I paid $36 + tax for my qt. There’s only 24 paint colors and although you can mix them, I’d think it’d be hard to get an exact color match mixing yourself. Cons: It didn’t go on as smooth as Annie’s. The coverage was a little less smooth but that could be because I needed to add more water. It needed sanding before the wax because the wax got caught in some plaster “bumps” which I was able to remove with sandpaper…

So here’s my take away:

I’ll continue to make my own DIY paint for small projects that I don’t mind spending the extra few minutes sanding and for ones that I want an exact color match for. For big or detailed projects I will use Annie’s because there’s less prep work and my results will be predictable. When you consider how far that little $36 qt of paint goes, I think it’s actually quite cost effective plus I’d rather have a few qt’s of paint than a bunch of gallons laying around like we do now. I won’t go back to priming then painting furniture with plain ole’ latex, that’s for sure. Chalk Paint is my new go to whether it’s DIY or Annie’s. I leave it to you to make up your own mind and I suggest you give both a try as well. I promise, you’ll be looking for things to Chalk Paint once you’ve tried it!

I used Minwax Wood Wax to seal both projects and I’m looking forward to trying Annie’s Clear and Dark wax because they appear to be easier to apply because you apply them with a brush. Should you choose to use Mimwax’s Wood Wax here’s how I found it to work best:

  1. Open the can and use a plastic knife or putty knife to cut a chunk of wax out of the can.
  2. Place the chunk between four layers of cheese cloth, two on top & two underneath.
  3. Rub the covered chunk over your Chalk Paint surface. It will temporarily look darker but will dry clear and look the same color.
  4. Once dry, 15 or 20 minutes, polish the waxed surface with dry cheese cloth.

The finish will be a matte surface that protects your project!

Here’s the recipe I used for my DIY Chalk Paint.

Happy Chalk Painting and I’m off to install a ceiling!


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