Choosing a Chalk Paint for Your Furniture Projects
What Chalk Paint Should You Buy?
There are many, many chalk paints to choose from in today’s market, for those of us who have been painting furniture for some time will know that Annie Sloan was one of just a few but the market exploded as upcycling became very popular and we saw paints like Frenchic absolutely take off.
You’ve got to find a paint that works for you, I’d strongly advise trying as many as possible as they are all very different. I use different paints depending on my project, if painting anything outdoors then, I use Frenchic Alfresco or Dulux Multisurface Paint. If I’m painting kitchens cupboard fronts then I would also use likely use one of these because of the water-resistant properties.
I also take into account what I am wanting to do with the finish of the piece I am working on, will it need polishing, is it a pristine finish or am I going to apply a distressed finished, so many factors will be considered before deciding what paint to use, very often I will simply choose a basic emulsion paint which can be just as good.
Do you need to buy expensive brand chalk paint?
No is the quick answer, as stated above, it really depends on what you are painting and the finish etc. I am not a paint snob, I will use anything, however, there is one really important factor and that is time! It will depend massively on how much time you have to paint a piece of furniture, if you are undertaking a lot of commission work and you need to get it done as quickly as possible then I strongly advise that you a premium product
Benefits of a Premium Chalk Paint
- Self Priming – This will save the time of priming but also, you don’t need to heavily sand your pieces, a good chalk paint will only require a light key.
- Coverage – Premium paints will have better coverage per litre
- Opacity – Paint pigments are important because you’ll be able to finish a piece with fewer coats required
Whilst undertaking vast amounts of commission work, I found that using the best paints saved so much time, it was more effective to spend more on premium brand paint. If you charge £500 to paint a customers bedroom suite, you could buy the paint for £20 from a DIY store, regular emulsion or cheap chalk paint. You would then need to spend the time to prepare, you’ll need to at least a couple of hours the additional sanding, a couple of hours to prime. If the final two coats take four hours, then that is a total working time of 8 hours, however, most chalk paints and especially emulsion will need a topcoat, usually a varnish or wax. This means another two hours to the time, which is 10 hours. Let’s allow £3 for the primer and £5 for the sealer.
Now, if you’re going to invest in a premium self-priming chalk paint, a simple key will take 30 minutes, then straight to the two top coats and if it is a paint that doesn’t need any sealer, you are done. The two coats taking 4 hours. If that paint cost you double the price at £40, you are still saving money/time!
Complete Project With Basic Chalk Paint/Emulsion = 10 Hours
Total Cost of Materials – £28
Profit = £472
Profit Per Hour = £47.20
Complete Project With Premium Self-Priming, Self Sealing Chalk Paint = 4 Hours
Total Cost of materials – £40
Profit = £460
Profit Per Hour = £115
“By spending twice as much on paint, you are actually making more than twice as much per hour”
It couldn’t be any clearer, that is for those of you that are charging for commission and value your time, if you are time rich and/or this is a project for you, then, absolutely go for a cheaper paint, every circumstance is different.