This past Friday I decided to put my custom orders aside and do my own thing. I felt a ‘creative-calling’ to Paint the Town Red by SPRAYING Annie Sloan Emperor’s Silk Chalk Paint.
Although there’s a TON of on-line articles/reviews on the benefits of painting w ASCP (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint), there is limited information on how to use this fabulous paint with a spray gun. I mean, everyone claims this paint can be used in ALL applications …right? So what’s the deal with so very few people spraying chalk paint to get that flawless spray finish?
The answer is <<<F-E-A-R>>> my friends! And I speak from experience because I was feeling it!
Here’s a few examples of what I read on-line ~
- ASCP is too thick and requires watering down before spraying
- It may break your spray gun
- Recommended spray gun tip: at least 1.8mm to 2mm….
- Chalk Paint will spray gritty if smaller than 1.8mm (note to self: my Husky HVLP Spray Gun is 1.4mm)
- You may ruin a pricey can of ASCP if your sprayer has a lot of over spray OR it sprays badly
Not very encouraging… but I still had to give it a try.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you’re very attached to your spray gun or spraying unit. You treat it with love and would NEVER put it in harms way…am I right?!
Well Chalk Paint is super thick and dries super fast… two (2) ‘not-so-great’ points when trying to keep your sprayer’s best interest at hand!
So here’s how it all went down on the 2 small thrift finds I decided to experiment with.
I poured the ASCP into my cup without watering the paint down. My logic was; if the gun wasn’t going to spray properly, I could always add a little water afterwards.
NO WATER or THINNING OF THE PAINT WAS NECESSARY!
My 1.4mm tip sprayed the chalk paint beautifully. Below is a picture of how thick it looked in the paint cup and what my wall test looked like.
Yes, I use my walls to test spray. That’s the beauty of having a designated paint room where anything goes. I’m hoping my entire studio will eventually look like a Jackson Pollock original. A highfalutin Art Dealer will spot my creation on-line and offer me a huge fortune for a piece of my drywall… it could happen!
During my test sprays, (which my sister claims ‘ruined’ my Jackson Pollock and made my studio look like the Devil’s Den) I discovered 2 things.
1. To spray chalk paint, my Spray Gun requires the maximum operating pressure (40 PSI for the Husky HVLP) with the fluid control knob set to the max. I also adjusted the pattern control knob to a denser circular pattern rather than a wide spray. Why? When I tried painting with a wide spray, all it did was spit. I’m sure every sprayer will be a little different, so play and test before spray painting your furniture!
2. I’m accustomed to NOT wearing a spray mask when working with ASCP. I forgot to put one on. (My Smarticles weren’t working on Friday.) Big mistake! I should know better when working with a sprayer. Just because this paint has no VOC’s, is eco-friendly, and has natural components does NOT mean it’s safe to inhale the fine mist particles. Protect yourself!!
Here’s what the first coat looked like while it was still wet. (Sorry, not many other photos of the process because I don’t bring my camera into the paint room while spraying.)
Here’s what they looked like completely dry. To complete these 2 tables, I sprayed 2 coats for full coverage. This used 2/3 of a quart of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
So how did it all turn out? Spray painting the 2 pieces was quick and easy. I LOVED that it dries super fast. The chalk paint is dry and ready for the 2nd coat in about 20-30 minutes!
I finished the Traditional Credenza with an Ebony Minwax Stain rubbed in areas to leave the red peeking through. The Asian Inspired Table below was left au’natural Emperor’s Silk; two totally different looks using the same colour paint.
For my Asian Inspired Table I left the Emperor’s Silk in all its glory and top coated it with a soft sheen of wax. Here is the before and after and some close-ups of the sprayed finish.
So here’s proof spraying Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is not only possible, but produces a flawless gorgeous finish!
Overall, it was a very good experience with exceptional results! My biggest complaint would be the clean-up. Cleaning my spray gun was NOT fun. I was expecting easy-peasy…. just the way it is when I clean my brushes after using ASCP… but no such luck. To get the spray gun perfectly clean, paint thinners were a must and the cleaning process was frustrating.
So here are my views in a nut shell.
Pro’s to Spray Painting Chalk Paint
- Dries fast & second coat can be applied in 20 minutes to 1/2 hour
- Does not require watering down (every spray gun is different so make sure you test this before spraying your furniture)
- No priming required
- Full coverage in 2 coats
- Quick & Fast Painting
Con’s To Spray Painting Chalk Paint
- Cost per Quart… ASCP is pricey
- Still require a spray mask when spraying (unlike using a paint brush w ASCP)
- I did lose a little paint in over-spray even though I have a GREAT spray gun
- Clean up was lengthy. Do NOT expect it to be as easy as cleaning chalk paint off brushes! (It took me a considerably LONG time to get my spray gun totally clean and chemicals/paint thinners were used)
I’m curious to know if anyone has tried spraying DIY Homemade Chalk Paint. Maybe I’ll have to be the first. 😉
If you have any tips, suggestions or questions, chime in… I’d love to hear from you! If you’re my night-in-shining-art-dealer…call me!