I have been experimenting with different paint options for my furniture painting endeavors and have finally completed several paint trials, so I thought I would share my reviews...
First there is the regular ol' latex paint that I have used on tons of projects and have always been pleased with the results.
To get the best results with standard paint you will definitely need to spend quality time with your piece of furniture. It requires patience...sanding, priming, painting and then painting again. I always recommend using a paint conditioner to mix in with the paint to prevent brush strokes. Latex paint is your cheapest option, but will also require the most amount of effort.
DIY Chalk Paint~
I used Liz Marie's recipe to make my own chalk paint.
I was very happy with the results of these chairs, but I definitely did not enjoy the grittiness of this paint. It required quite a bit of sanding to smooth it out. It did distress beautifully and gave a very unique finish though. This was a perfect solution for these chairs, but I will not be going this route on a dresser or table - I wouldn't have the patience to get rid of the grittiness. However, the effort is worthwhile to save a bit of money to come out with a beautiful piece of furniture.
Now for the real Annie Sloan Chalk Paint...I was actually surprised how difficult it was for me to get the hang of this paint. Being that I was so used to regular latex paint, it was a real learning curve for me to get used to the thick feel of the chalk paint. It is definitely great not having to sand and prime, but the actual painting itself took me a bit longer than it would have using regular paint. I am sure the ASCP experts out there are much quicker at getting their pieces finished. Overall, I definitely recommend ASCP for the beautiful finish it creates, but I certainly need some practice with it.
CeCe Caldwell's Paint~
The most recent paint that I have tried is CeCe Caldwell's Paint and I have to say that I am in love!!
This paint compares in cost to ASCP and I thought would be very similar, as the finished product has a similar chalky and unique finish. This paint requires no sanding or priming, but unlike chalk paint it goes on just like latex paint. I love that it is thinner and easy to work. Another great feature is that it has no VOC's and no odor. I was really shocked at how quickly it dried and it comes out looking completely different than when it was wet.
All in all, CeCe Caldwell's paint is my paint of choice for the moment. It makes re-doing a piece of furniture a cinch and I absolutely love the color choices. It does cost a bit more than standard latex, but I find that a can seems to go quite a bit further and there is no need for the additional expenses such as primer and paint conditioner.
Although I would choose CeCe's over ASCP, I definitely would not rule out the use of standard latex. There is something about pouring blood, sweat and tears into a piece that make the results seem that much sweeter :-)
Hope this was helpful to some of you wondering whether or not to invest your money in one of these other paint choices on the market today.
In the end, it is a completely personal choice and will depend a lot on the look that you are trying to achieve.
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