Tuesday, September 24, 2013

DIY Chalk Paint vs. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Chalk paint is all the rage right now.

No sanding, no priming...count me in!

Only thing is, the price is booku $$$$$.

So what's the deal - do you really need to buy the expensive Annie Sloan paint? Or can you make your own with the same results?

Let's look at the pros and cons of each.

DIY Chalk Paint:


  • A fraction of the price of AS Chalk Paint
  • Large number of color choices
  • The finish often 'looks' the same
  • Low odor
  • A little goes along way
  • It has a gritty texture, not just chalky, but gritty
  • Sanding can flake bits of grit and paint off in an unflattering way
  • Sanding is toxic with the unsanded grout
  • Fibers of the lint-free cloth get stuck in the wax because of the grit, this will sometimes leave a 'fuzzy' finish
  • More work to prepare and mix

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint:

  • Super smooth finish once waxed
  • Low odor
  • No work - already mixed and prepared
  • A little goes a long way
  • $$$ - it's not cheap at about $35 a quart! 
  • Limited color choices (though mixing colors does open up other options)

Personally, I didn't want to like Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I tried and tried to make it work with the DIY recipe, trying to figure out how to get rid of the gritty finish and not have problems with the fibers getting stuck in the wax. I sifted the grout, mixed with water prior, sanded, did everything to avoid this dilemma. But finally I gave in, I splurged, and I tried the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. And honestly? I'm not sure I can go back. I am SOLD on this stuff! The finish is beautiful, the smoothness (I have texture issues, lol), and the fact that there is no work required makes it that much more appealing to me. 

But, if money is an issue, try the DIY recipe and decide for yourself. Just a quick note - do NOT get a paint & primer mix, and try to avoid Valspar paint. Both of these thicken in clumps very quickly, and even adding water doesn't quite do the trick all the time. And a quick FYI - if you get the sample sizes of paint at Home Depot, they are all pre-mixed with primer (even though it doesn't say it), so you either have to get a bigger size, or try somewhere else. At least that's what they do at my local Home Depot, so make sure you ask at your own. 

What do you think? Have you tried any DIY recipes that you like, or are you an AS fan?

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