We talked recently on this site about chalkboard paint. Now it’s time to talk about chalk paint which, if you weren’t already aware, is a completely different thing.
Chalk paint is a tremendously popular type of paint that was invented by Annie Sloan over 20 years ago. Tired of having to do a bunch of prep work and being forced to hunt for exactly the right type of paint for each project, she invented a paint that works on virtually everything from walls to kids furniture.
It can be thinned out and even turned into a wash by adding water. Leave it open for a while to thicken it up for a heavier coat. It can be wax polished to create a shiny or plaster effect. Colors can be mixed easily to create custom shades. Really, you can do anything with it.
Even though it has been around for more than two decades, it seems like it’s only recently that the internet and home decorating/crafty media have exploded over the stuff. Suddenly everybody is talking about how great it is and how many different ways there are to use it. Why?
Probably because it really is that awesome and really does live up to the hype.
So how do you get started? There are lots of different types of chalk paint available now. How do you find the one with the best chance of success?
In terms of quality, from what I could find, most chalk paints are of a similar quality. Everybody agrees that Annie Sloan’s is the best (understandable, since she invented the stuff), but the other brands aren’t a huge step down. So, really, you can buy whatever is best for your budget. You can even make your own using one of the dozens of “recipes” on the internet (though it’s a time-consuming process).
What matters most when it comes to chalk paint is your budget. Chalk paint, sadly, is not cheap. In fact, it’s natural to have some sticker shock the first time you shop for it. Plus, it comes in quarts instead of gallons, so you’re going to wonder if the price is worth it. It is!
Consider this: For equal amounts of money, you get a gallon of latex paint or a quart of chalk paint.
Now consider this: With latex paint, you can count on having to do hours of prep and priming on your project before you can even open that gallon and get to the fun stuff. What’s more, with latex paint, you’re probably going to need at least a couple of coats to achieve the look you want. And then you have to wait (sometimes a long time) for it to dry.
With chalk paint, you get less actual paint. But you can start painting after a few minutes of prep. It’s possible you won’t need to do any prep at all. A single coat is usually enough to get the job done. It takes very little time to dry.
So yes, penny for penny you get less physical product for your money, but it goes so much farther and in less time.
Really, the only thing you have to ask yourself is: What do I want to paint today? Be careful though: Chalk painting can be addictive!
Erin Steiner writes about lifestyle, finance and culture topics from her home in Portland, Oregon…which she now wants to fill with chalk-painted furniture.