Monday, June 6, 2011

My First Experience with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

My First 11 Quarts of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!

Here's my first 11 quarts of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  My first impression?  Dreamy colors and awesome creamy textures.  I couldn't wait to try them out! 

I looked through my stash in the basement and picked out a small brass basket.  Next, I had to choose a paint color.  Hmmm, decisions, decisions...  I was torn between Provence and the Duck Egg Blue and went with the latter. Checking the time, I dipped my brush in the paint and, wow - it spread like soft butter - definitely creamy.  In no time at all, I was done.  Only 11 minutes had passed. Nice.

Brass Basket in Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint

Still going with the Duck Egg Blue, I worked on one of our 10 dining room chairs  next.  My 7yo came along and I handed him a brush.  Delighted he pitched in and painted most of one side while I painted the other. How cool is that!  With no fumes I was happy to include him in the experience.

This time around, the paint seemed to be a bit thicker.  However, later I read that if you leave the lid off, the chalk paint becomes like a thick impasto.  (That's what was going on.  I had left the lid off while painting the brass basket.)

To counteract the thickness, I just dipped my brush in some water and began painting.  It began to run, but I knew immediately it was because there was too much water in the brush.  I squeezed it out on a paper towel until it was just damp and then the paint went on like a creamy dream, as before.  After dampening  my son's brush, I drizzled some paint on the paint lid and we loaded our brushes from there.

Forty minutes later we were done.   In that time, I noticed the brass basket had already dried.  I also noticed that the top of the chair (where we had first started painting) was dry to the touch by the time we had finished the whole chair.  To me that is pretty fast drying, compared to the latex paints I'm accustomed to using.  I think it's important to note that the drying didn't interfere with my painting. I had plenty of time to work on each part of the chair with the paint providing plenty of maneuverability.

I checked back an hour later and the chair was completely dry!  No tacky residue, no brush marks.  Just a smooth, flat texture. 

My Duck Egg Blue Dining Chair (1st coat only)

Here's another chair from the same set  to give you an idea of a "before" pic since I forgot to take one!  Notice that the 2nd chair has primer that was painted on it years ago - yes, they've been long overdue for a makeover!

Duck Egg Blue on left - Old Coat of Primer on Right
(just before I did my 2nd coat)

I will say I broke a golden rule and we painted in poor light.  It was getting towards dusk and we were painting in the dining room instead of my brightly lit studio so it wasn't until the next day that I decided it needed a 2nd coat.  Second time around, I didn't need to dampen the brushes and it only took 30 minutes to apply.  I'm really happy with the results so far.  I just want to test the wax on it (coming in the mail) and then need to shop for new fabric. 

Okay, something I want you to see.  Look at the can below.  We hardly used any paint!  Like I said, I just dribbled a bit at a time on the paint lid and we loaded our brushes  from that. Same method for the 2nd coat.  Except for some telltale signs where the paint dripped down the can, you wouldn't even know any paint had been used.  I'm wondering just how many of my 10 dining room chairs I could paint with one quart!

Duck Egg Blue still full after painting brass basket & 2 coats on dining chair!

Another point - this paint is very easy to use and there were no annoying runs or drips (except when I put too much water on my brush).  Also, the brush clean up was a cinch.  Pre-chalk paint, besides the prep work and sanding between coats, cleaning the brushes is probably one of the most dreaded chores of painting.  This time, all I had to do was hold my brushes under a running faucet for a few minutes and they were clean! Holy schmolly, I love that!

My final thoughts on these first 2 projects is that I'm really enjoying Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and absolutely love that it is easy to apply and dries quickly without leaving any brush marks or drips.  It's a wonderful bonus that it didn't have any smell because  I'm chemical sensitive and often get "paint headaches" in my work.  Not this time!  Of course, my favorite part was that  I could include my son in the process which I've hesitated to do with past paint projects.

I also have to throw in a comment about the color - Duck Egg Blue leans more toward a green tint, than a blue, but if you like vintage, cottagey colors like me, you'll love it! 

I know this isn't a full review since I can't comment on the wax yet, but so far so good - I'm very pleased.  I've several more items lined up to paint and I've already ordered more colors.  And, I've already started painting more goodies with the Provence.

I'll let you know how it goes!

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