Hands-down, my most asked question is: "What type of paint do you use?". There's no easy answer to this question other than: "All of it!" The very first piece I ever painted (The Little Blue Table) was painted with a quart of returned Behr paint (referred to as Oops! paint) found at Home Depot for the rock bottom price of $2. Since then I've used Annie Sloan chalk paint, milk paint, DIY chalk paint (add baking soda to latex paint), and everything in between. Listed below are some of my most often used paints. Severable variables go into determining what paint to use: what is the existing finish on the piece, what is the piece made of, and most importantly, what do I want the piece to look like when I'm done? The answer to the last question will ultimately determine what paint is best!
My beloved Behr paint. This is the paint that started it all and arguably my most used paint because of the array of color choices as well as the ease of access (available at Home Depot and they're open until 10 PM during the week!). I've used all types of sheens, and colors. It's been most recently used on our newly listed, Navy Blue, cedar chest pictured below. Click here to learn more about the Madison Chest!
Pro: It's a paint and primer in one, and gets impressive coverage.
Con: While you can distress it, it doesn't distress as cleanly as chalk paint.
Rustoleum (of spray paint fame) reccently introduced their brand of chalk paint called Chalked. Available at Home Depot and select specialty paint retailers, it's a fun paint! I love Rustoleum spray paints, and I enjoy working with their Chalked collection (double bonus - they make a spray chalk paint!). I've used Chalked on a couple pieces, in Serenity Blue, Linen White, and Aged Grey. Samples of pieces are below!
Pro: Beautiful chalky finish AND they offer chalk paint spray paint.
Con: Depending on the piece you may need to do more than two coats and it can be hard to find, especially in a wide range of colors.
Another chalk paint variety, this time by Folk Art. Available at Joanne's Fabrics, and AC Moore. This is a great little paint that's affordable, comes in a variety of colors, and covers well!
Pro: Distresses beautifully and comes in gorgeous color choices.
Cons: Can be difficult to work with if you're not used to the thick consistency.
*Bonus ProTip: add water to your chalk paint to thin it and make it a more workable. This will also work with chalk paint that's been opened and thickened up over time!
Admittedly, I've not used this paint frequently. Found at Michaels, I was excited to try Martha's take on chalk paint (her metallic paints are my go-to!). There were several great color choices and it covered well, but I felt like it could have been chalkier.
Pro: Pretty colors, and easy
to work with!
Con: More of a flat painted
finish vs. a true chalky finish.
Benjamin Moore makes a darn good paint. I've used several paints under the Benjamin Moore brand and they're all a pleasure to work with. If I'm looking for a matte finish, their Aura paint is what I use the most. Additionally, Benjamin Moore's paint matching capabilities are incredible. The chairs pictured below were a restoration project we did for a neighbor. The factory finish paint on these 1960's dining chairs had worn off the cane backing. I dragged one of the chairs up to my local Benjamin Moore, where the staff spent an hour making sure the color match was 100% (and they nailed it!).
Pro: True one-coat coverage if I've ever seen it, excellent durability (the buffet pictured below was created using an Aura exterior paint because it was going to live on a screened in porch!), and top-notch paint matching.
Con: It's marginally the most expensive paint on the list, and most Benjamin Moore retailers close at 5 PM, which means purchasing this paint is limited to the weekends.
By no means is this a comprehensive list of all the paints on the market; this is only to serve as an example of some of the paints I've tried. Have questions about a specific paint or color? Pay a visit to our Contact page and let me know!
The most important element that will ultimately determine what paint is right for you is the vision you have for your finished piece, as well as what you're personally comfortable with. You really can't go wrong!