Though I use everything, one of my favorite products to work with is chalk paint. For those of you who don't know, chalk paint takes the un-fun parts of refinishing and gets rid of them. No sanding required, no priming required. LOVE. Now, being the Frugal Frannie I am, I've also tried all the DIY Chalk Paint recipes... and the results? Well....eh. I get freaked out when I read the warning labels on the additives. Have you read how toxic Plaster of Paris is? If you are a weekend warrior, or occasionally AND you take the proper precautions, you'd most likely be fine, but as someone who paints EVERY DAY, I don't really want to use additives or products like those. And in my experience, the unsanded tile grout recipes have turned out lumpy, stinky and they don't distress well. Oh, and it's toxic too. Blech. Of course, adding a green product like Webster's to a non-green product like latex paint won't give you a completely green end result, but, it's an improvement over the existing DIY recipe options, & one I definitely prefer.
"WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer."
(check the side of your Plaster of Paris carton.)
So you can see why I'd love to try a product that would bring down the cost of my projects, saves me the tedious prep work, gives me back this glorious rainbow of color choices AND it doesn't kill me with it's toxic fumes, right? So here goes. My honest to goodness review of Webster's Chalk Paint Powder.
Meet my test subject. Here she is before.
Is there nothing a coat of white won't fix? I think not.
I was really impressed at how well the powder mixed - sometimes the Plaster of Paris or grout gets so lumpy, you have to sit and mash or blend forever to get a nice, smooth slurry. There was also no smell to the powder, which is great. I am really sensitive to smells and can't stand the smell of the grout recipe.
Then it was time to paint. The first coat covered so well I thought I might be able to get away with just two coats. While the second looked great, I decided to do a light third coat in some areas that needed it, since I wanted opaque coverage. It's really not bad at all for going from dark, dark wood to a warm white. I would have probably had to do the exact same with any other brand name chalk paint, especially when aiming for opaque coverage. So I was happy with that.
The paint dried faster than standard latex but not quite as fast as ASCP. It seemed to dry at about the same rate as Cece's I'd say. I really tried not to treat it like latex and wanted to "push it" to see how closely it worked like chalk paint. I distressed once it felt dry to the touch, and though it wasn't 100% like chalk paint, I really loved the results in a totally new way. It didn't seem to come off in the same powdery fashion (when you distress chalk paint before waxing, it comes off in a pure powder.) Interestingly, it came off in a way that reminded me of milk paint. Not quite chippy, but not quite the same dusty results of chalk paint. I liked it.
These photos best illustrate the "scratchier" results, which I am totally crushing on.
Finally, I sealed it with Fiddes Wax - a coat of Light first, followed by dark - "Ruggers Brown." Webster's recommends Fiddes with their product, but you can just use whatever is your favorite wax. If you haven't tried Fiddes, you can order it from Webster's HERE. (it's cheaper from them than anywhere else on the web! $18.95/can) To be perfectly honest with you, I found the Fiddes to be more challenging to work with than other waxes...it was thick and kinda hard, and I needed to dilute it with mineral spirits to make it more pliable. It dried REALLY quickly, which can be a pro depending on how you work. If you can work quickly and want something to dry quickly - this would be the wax for you. I'm a little slower, so that's why I found it more challenging. Different strokes for different folks! :)
SO - to sum it up for you - I would give Webster's Chalk Paint Powder "two thumbs up" and say you at least need to try it for yourself. I will definitely keep it in my proverbial tool bag, along with all the other milk paints and chalk paints that I have come to love so very much. I love that the rainbow of colors has opened up so vastly once again, and I really love that I can use up all my latex paints I have on hand already without using toxic crapola. And for all of you whose businesses thrive on custom work, you can dust off that old Behr or Sherwin Williams fan deck (remember those?!) and give your customers the perfect option now.
* Price! At $13.95 a bag (which makes one quart) you can lower the overhead on your projects.
* Easy to use, easy to mix.
* Nearly unlimited color options.
*Cheaper shipping on light-weight powder vs. heavy quarts.
*Gives a unique look.
*A "Green" option compared to other latex additives or "DIY Chalk Paint" additives.
*Slightly Longer Dry times than brand name chalk paints.
*Extra Step requiring mixing.
Hope you enjoyed! If you want to order from Webster's, visit their Etsy store here:
Webster's Chalk Paint Powder on Etsy
*Webster's has GENEROUSLY provided a Promo code for anyone reading this review!*
Use promo code "stellarsavings" and get 20% off your order! Pretty stellar of them!
Go "like" them on Facebook too, but make sure to tell them I sent you! (they regularly give away samples of the powder - so watch close and try to win some!)
Webster's on Facebook
Their blog also features lots of before & after projects and lots of helpful tips.
Have you guys tried it? What did you think? Let me know!