Have you heard of chalk paints? Did you just roll your eyes at me? I mean, don’t do it again… they were both kind of rhetorical questions. Everybody and their brother is selling chalk paints these days, but do you really know the difference between brands? Or is there a difference between brands at all? Other than variations in color offerings, do you know the difference between the brand you can buy in Walmart and the brand you can buy in a boutique?
I’ll admit, I don’t know the difference between a lot of the brands. But what I DO know is why I decided to carry Shabby Paints and how it is different.
It’s acrylic-based chalk paint.
Shabby Paints are not made with a latex base… they are made with an acrylic base. That may not mean much to you, but let me tell you what it does. Acrylic paints dry harder than latex. It’s a fact. So when you finish a piece of furniture with an acrylic based paint, it means it’s much harder to damage that finish. In fact, Shabby Paints dry so hard that you can only distress them when the paint is still damp!
Lest you think I’m telling a tall tale, let me show you my first experiment with distressing. This piece used to be a boring sofa table in a nondescript brown finish. Until I decided to make it Hummingbird green, that is. On the table top, I used Real Milk Paint’s Chippy Paste to distress, and I still found it to be nearly impossible. On the legs, I figured I’d just distress with a sanding block. Well, that didn’t work and I ended up having to use a hand sander to do it. Live and learn!
One of the most confusing parts of learning to refinish with chalk paints is finishing with wax. How do you apply it? How do you make it smooth? How do you buff it? Oh my gosh, I remember when I went to my first chalk painting class… as it turned out, most of the class was about how to use wax, not the paints! Dark wax, light wax, clear wax, wax brushes… is your head spinning yet?
Shabby Paints has come up with a product the call VAX which means it’s a combination of varnish and wax. It goes on with a sponge (or a brush I suppose) and dries. And… that’s it. Never buff again! They also offer ReVAX which is a stain and top coat in one. You can also use it to bring out details like the dark wax used to do. When used on indoor pieces you will NEVER have to reapply the finish. (Yes, you read that right) and when used outdoors, you only reapply once a year or so. (Yes, I said outdoors.) But do you know what the best part is?
VAX and ReVAX are zero VOC!
Should I say it louder for the people in the back? Gone are the days of using nice zero VOC paints only to have to finish with toxic smelling wax. Not only do these apply and dry, but they are zero VOC just like the paints. So you truly can complete an entire piece inside without feeling like you should be wearing a gas mask for protection!
Still need another reason?
Shabby Paints are made by a small business in the USA.
And it’s women-owned to boot. They are sold via other small businesses too. So every time you buy Shabby Paints, you’re making a few people’s days. Hooray!
Do you have questions about Shabby Paints? You can always contact us to ask whatever you’d like!