What Is Chalk Paint® and Why Do We Like It So Much? (How to Paint With Chalk Paint®)

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We get daily questions on what Chalk Paint® is, and what it can be used for-- which is a great thing! The more questions the better, and the better that we can help you with your projects. However with so many types and brands of paint out there in the world, it's easy to feel overwhelmed with choices. Besides talking about what Chalk Paint® is and why we recommend it, we'll also talk about why it stands out from imitation paint lines. 

When we opened up our shop, we made the commitment to stock reputable, eco-friendly brands that anyone can work with (you heard that right, anyone!). Our stock is curated so to speak, with high-quality yet accessible options, and Chalk Paint® is one of those. Well then, what is it? Chalk Paint® is the brand founded by Annie Sloan in 1990, focusing on painting with one's own style and with a minimal-prep process. Chalk Paint® decorative paint is water-based and comes in 35 GORGEOUS colors in the USA, and Chalk Paint® waxes come in 4 colors/styles. Why is 'chalk' in the name? Well, that speaks to how the paint feels when it first dries in that it's super dry and porous, causing it to absorb its wax seal well. 

How cool is it that the Color Cards come with swatches printed with REAL paint? These are very informative and accurate in helping you make your color choices, giving information about the history behind color names too.

How cool is it that the Color Cards come with swatches printed with REAL paint? These are very informative and accurate in helping you make your color choices, giving information about the history behind color names too.

Chalk Paint® decorative paint, waxes, lacquer, and other items are:

  • low and no-VOC, and absolutely lead free
  • non-toxic and eco-friendly
  • certified 'Toy Safe' in the UK where the line was invented
  • able to create silky smooth, modern finishes
  • able to create highly textured finishes (like distressed or 'shabby-chic' looks)
  • cleaned up with soap and water off brushes
  • applied with a brush or roller (depending on technique)
  • able to be sanded 
  • highly customizable, changeable, and able to be painted over to keep upcyclng
  • little or no prep prior to painting- never needing to strip (prep can depend on your surface, and some techniques might require certain kinds of prep)
  • able to hide surface flaws
  • fixable for any unintended mistakes during the painting and waxing process
  • suited for interior and exterior projects
  • able to be mixed and layered with plasters, gilding leaf and waxes, crackle serums, and MORE
  • suited for furniture, flooring, walls, decor, painted upholstery, stenciling
  • applied to wood, metal, veneer, laminate, plaster, stone, brick, concrete, fabric, manufactured finishes (like from Ikea and Pottery Barn), glass, and MORE

Totally transforming a piece of furniture or space is still a process. This paint is not a miracle, but does help you to leave room for your design intuition to come through with playfulness, without having to worry about absolute perfection or "will this even stick to my surface?!". What's hand-painted has character, and can uplift any old piece and space!

Watch our little video demonstrating the absolute basics of applying your favorite color!

Also, there is only one Chalk Paint®. There are many alternate 'chalky-finish' or 'chalk-type' paints on the market, and there are recipes to 'make your own,' however none of these options are the same as Chalk Paint®, and they are usually acrylic or latex with additives. They do not have the same properties. Let's face it- if you're painting with an acrylic or latex, it's still just acrylic or latex (and all that plaster of paris mixing in 'make-your-own' recipes is actually quite toxic to breathe in, yuck!). There is a reason why we carry and use the Annie Sloan brand after trying many styles throughout the years. When we work with it, we are trying to get our look (or your look if we're helping you to customize your project), not just a matte/flat 'chalky' finish. 

What we do encourage is that your DIY creative process be about learning new skills while leaving room for your own creativity to come through- and to make connections with others! Happy Painting xo