Over the past year or so, I have heard everyone and their mother talk about chalk paint. It’s all the rage when it comes to painting furniture. Everyone told me that it’s the best thing ever since you’re not supposed to have to sand or primer the piece before you paint it and apparently it goes on like a dream. So I did a little research and found that everyone was saying Annie Sloan chalk paint was the best, not to mention the original. Alright, I thought, I should try it!
Then I saw that it cost around $36 per quart. So being the
cheap thrifty gal that I am, I went looking for some other options. I found several recipes to make my own chalk paint and they worked well, although I had nothing to compare it to. So I decided to bite the bullet and buy some of the real stuff for our last project. Again, it worked well and I will say, a little bit went a long way. But I couldn’t tell you if it really was better than the DIY chalk paint. What I needed was a side by side comparison. To use them at the same time and look at the results right next to each other.
I decided to add one more comparison into the mix, however. With all the work of mixing special recipes and going to special stores to buy this chalk paint, I started to wonder: could you get similar results with regular ol’ flat paint? Cuz by golly it sure is faster to spray a piece of furniture than to paint it by hand!
I started with this cute little table. I did sand the top part, because my daddy done taught me that prep is key. Even though they say you don’t need to sand the piece first, I’ve had a mishap with some DIY chalk paint and a slick piece of furniture. It wasn’t pretty.
Then I primered just the portion I would be painting with the plain ol’ paint.
3 parts Behr Premium Plus flat paint
1 part Plaster of Paris
The Annie Sloan paint doesn’t cover as well with the first coat, but they tell you that in the instructions. You’re supposed to use thinner coats. The plain ol’ paint probably covered best on the first coat, but it was over primer, so it had an unfair advantage.
After the second coat they were pretty equally covered. The biggest difference was the texture. The Annie Sloan was the smoothest and softest to the touch. The ROP a little less smooth, and the DIY paint had a slightly grainy texture from the plater of paris.
Annie Sloan Chalk paint does have something a different about it. It has a very creamy texture that the others don’t. When I asked Tony which was which, he was able to identify them, saying that the Annie Sloan paint just looks creamier. However, I don’t know that it’s enough of a difference to warrant the price. For me at least. But like I said, I’m cheap. And the closest place I can buy it is a few towns over, where as Home Depot is down the street. There are some other brands of chalk paint that have come out more recently, one that is available at Home Depot, but that’s another “taste test” all together.
The DIY chalk paint is a much less expensive option. At around $12 a quart, that’s like 1/3 the cost of “the leading brand”, if you will. When comparing the painted legs, Tony said he actually liked the look of the DIY paint better. It had a little better coverage and looked smooth. As far as the gritty texture, if I’m going to sand the edges anyway, I can lightly run my sand paper over the surface and get rid of most of that grit. And once the piece is waxed, it’s beautiful.
Aaaaaand lastly we have the regular ol’ paint. The thing that makes me lean toward using the regular ol’ paint is that I can spray it, which is waaaaay faster than painting with a brush. I’ve heard some negative things about using chalk paint in a sprayer since it can clog it. And I get a really smooth finish and still distress the edges if I want. Now sometimes the roughness of the brush strokes adds to the beauty of the finish, so in that case, Annie Sloan is very versatile, especially with different finishes. But for me, spraying is awesome and leaves you with a really smooth, professional finish.
So all said and done, I’m probably gonna stick with my regular ol’ paint 95% of the time. I’m sure others have different opinions, and I’ll admit, my experience with chalk paint isn’t as vast as others. But that’s my 2 cents!