So, you’ve got a great piece that you’d like to paint, but you’re not sure which paint is the best for your particular project. You’re not the only one! We often get questions from our great customers about the best uses of all of the different paints out on the market. So, read on to learn our thoughts and tips about some of today’s most popular paints: Chalk-style paint, milk paint and latex paint!
WHAT IS CHALK-STYLE PAINT, AND WHY SHOULD I USE IT?
First, we need to talk about the name CHALK and the name PAINT. CHALK in this instance is any kind of alkaline substance added to paint in order to break down the elasticity of the paint but increase its ability to stick to surfaces. This can be any number of substances from calcium carbonate to plaster of paris and so many other ingredients in between. When you use any of the million formulas available on the internet together you can create your own CHALK + PAINT. I even host a class on this fun DIY process.
Due to trademark issues with the aforementioned paint (you can read my rant here), I will refer to the chalk-style paint as CP just to make life easier on us all. You can use CP on almost all surfaces. It works best on wood, but you can also use it on metal and laminate. CP works better than standard latex paint because the alkaline additives in the paint allow it to harden and stick to these surfaces better than standard household paints. CP is also best when you want to create a rustic, weathered look. It may sound contradictory, but the paint sticks better to surfaces overall AND allows you to sand off parts you want to look distressed. Ever try to sand off latex paint? It will just roll and peel off. CP will sand off where you want it to, but stay put where you want it to as well. The trick is that you need to seal CP with a wax, oil, or poly coat which you don’t need to do with latex paint.
Bottom line: If you want a rustic, matte, or distressed look, use your favorite CP or just make your own. That’s what we do at Tanglewood Works, and we’d love to show you how.
WHAT IS MILK-STYLE PAINT, AND WHY SHOULD I USE IT?
Milk Paint (not trademarked so I can use the proper name) is a natural powder pigment made from milk proteins. It must be mixed properly and also must be sealed to ensure longevity.
Milk Paint goes on almost like a creamy stain which makes it the perfect choice for raw rood. It gives a rustic old-world look that is perfect for a vintage decor. The bonus of Milk Paint is that it gives a great chippy look which add to the rustic charm. The only drawback is that the paint controls the chippy-ness, not the artist. It chips where it wants, and there isn’t much you can do about it. I have a few tricks that have worked for me, which I am happy to teach you in my advanced paint technique class.
Bottom line: This is a great paint for raw wood, children’s rooms (completely non-toxic) and pieces that you want to get a flaky/chippy look.
WHAT ABOUT REGULAR LATEX PAINT? WHY SHOULD I USE IT?
I’ve already alluded to where latex paint won’t work above. Where latex paint is best is where you want a solid color with no distressing. It is also best if you want a satin or gloss finish. You can buy the paint with this finish already built in, and no topcoat will be necessary. Regular latex is also available in every color you can imagine, unlike commercial brands of CP. If you want to learn how to take ordinary latex paint and turn it into CP come take one of my many Renegade DIY CP classes.
Bottom line: Not looking for the vintage or chippy look? Then, this paint is for you!