Friday, November 8, 2013

Product Reviews: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint


Last week I reviewed American Paint Company chalk paints. This week, I wanted to give my review on the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP ) brand.

I know. Most of you have heard of this product and have also probably tried it, but since this is the paint I  use most for my furniture up-styling and really the standard I compare others too, I really needed to give it a comprehensive review.

For over 10 years I have been painting furniture and always with a latex. In the last year I have discovered, along with so many others, chalk paints and in particular ASCP. It completely changed painting furniture for me. 

With ASCP painting became easier, quicker, and ...fun. I have, for the most part, completely stopped using latex. While some people may still like it, I think latex takes too long to dry, often leaves drips, can sometimes peel up when sanded and is basically...not fun.

When I first started using ASCP, I spent some time on the website learning about the product and from there I followed the links to a local retailer. I found there was one nearby and the next day I made my first purchase. This product was a dream to use. And other than getting some basic pointers, I found it virtually fool proof.  

While I found the website a little tedious to navigate, there is a lot of good information and good links to tutorials. I especially liked the Annie Sloan Youtube channel here.


Annie Sloan French Linen

Working With the Product
Working with the ASCP is a joy. I painted one of my first pieces in French Linen, a darker neutral gray. I opened the can and with no priming, began to paint. The product was thick, yet still,creamy and easy to apply. And even over a dark stained wood piece, only 2 coats were really needed. It also dried quickly, within half an hour. So, in less than a day, I was able to apply two coats and sand to distress!

Great coverage even after just one coat.
And talking about sanding, Annie Sloan recommends waxing and then sanding, to help with the dust. I prefer to sand first and wax only after I am sure I like my distressing. It does create some dust so you may want to do this outside. 

Easy to sand and smooth….but lots of dust!

While it sands easily to distress, sanding does seem to leave some sheen differences. With the Fench linen, it seemed that where I sanded, the color became lighter and I spent some time trying to lightly sand everything to get a smooth and consistent color. However, I may have obsessed over this more than I needed.

Waxing
Annie Sloan wax comes in two colors, clear and dark. These were the first furniture waxes I ever used. Now, let me start by saying I love waxing way more than applying polyurethanes. It gives a natural look while most polys I find to look like plastic.

It is also forgiving. You can remove it with mineral spirits if you need to and if a stray pet hair would land in the finish (and when hasn't that happened!), there is plenty of time to pick it out. In poly, that sucker will dry in there for good.


Overall, Annie Sloan's waxes are good, but they are not my favorite.
As I have experimented with more waxes, I found Annie's to have strong fumes, remain tacky longer, and take some time to get a finish that looks "even."

It is really important to apply evenly, with long strokes and to remove excess. Again, maybe I obsess here. View The Purple Painted Lady's great tutorial here for tips,
www.thepurplepaintedlady.com/2012/08/how-to-apply-clear-wax-video/

Here's a rundown of Annie Sloan products:

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Point of Difference
From her website,  "HOME of the BEST PAINT in the WORLD!".  "Annie Sloan developed her signature range of decorative paint, Chalk Paint®, in 1990, she revolutionized the way we see decorative painting. She called her paint Chalk Paint® because of its velvety, matt finish. And if you add Annie Sloan Soft Wax, you can achieve subtle sheen as well as protection and durability
With a colour palette inspired by 18th and 20th Century decor and design, you can easily mix the colours together to extend the range. Chalk Paint® is eco-friendly too. It contains extremely low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and has no odor. 

Price Point (varies)
Paint $36.95 per quart and $11.95 for 4oz samples
Wax $24.95

Where to Order
Website www.anniesloan.com and click on American Shops for local retailers in the U.S.
My favorite online www.thepurplepaintedlady.com
Near me in Maryland/Virgina try www.shop.catfishcreativefurnishings.com. This shop is run by Celeste, one of the nicest and most talented stockiest I have had the pleasure to meet.

Best Annie Sloan Advice and Instruction 
Check out Annie's own youtube channel at www.youtube.com/user/AnnieSloanOfficial
Also check out www.thepurplepaintedlady.com
Her tutorials and posts are really thorough!

Color Palette Review
Annie sloan has a pallette of thirty shades and honestly, every color is drop dead beautiful. They give furniture the quintessential French chick look and her shades are the most requested by my clients. 


My favorites so far…this is a tough one because they all are amazing…
French Linen
Paris Grey
Old Ochre
Aubusson Blue
Duck Egg Blue

Chalk Paint Application Review
It has a nice smooth consistency and I love that it gives such great coverage making it last long. So far it is creamier and requires less coats than my last review for American Paint Products. As with other Chalk Paints, for the smoothest application, I recommend doing your second or a light third coat with ASCP thinned with water. 

Wax Review
While I still use Annie Sloan's waxes, they are not my wax "go to" wax (see my review on American Paint Products here to read what wax I am using now).  Overall, there are other waxes  that have no fumes and are easier to apply. 

Also, the dark wax must be applied over clear wax or you will stain the paint and not be able to remove "it." Some dark waxes can be applied without clear wax, which saves time and money.

Annie also offers great brushes for waxing. While they are a little pricey, I recommend buying at least the large one. It will last you forever. I usually don't use much dark wax so I apply dark wax with an inexpensive chip brush.

What I loved Best
Smooth and easy application 
Great coverage
The best colors

Favorite Tips
How to get a smooth chalk paint finish by The Purple Painted Lady, www.thepurplepaintedlady.com/2013/04/basic-tips-on-painting-laying-the-paint-video/
How to clean your wax brush by The Purple Painted Lady,
www.thepurplepaintedlady.com/2012/08/how-to-clean-your-ultimate-wax-brush-and-wax-information/
How to keep your chalk paint from drying out,
http://tweakandstyleblog.blogspot.com/2013/09/three-ways-to-protect-preserve-and.html
Also check out here….great answers to so many questions.. on Annie Sloan Unfolded
www.anniesloanunfolded.com/faqs

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

So Debbie, What is your favorite wax to use?

Anonymous said...

So Debbie, What is your favorite wax to use?

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hi can I use the paint on my parquet floor, it gets a lot of stick and now looks grubby

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Unknown said...

I am painting my kitchen cabinets and after some trial and error am thinking I need 3 coats to achieve the look I want instead of two. Some of the cabinets are already waxed maybe a week with ASSW. Do you think I can still get it if with mineral sslts? And what kind? Thanks,
Courtney

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