Chalk Paint Mirror

May 24, 2011

Yep.  I gone and done it.  Two weeks ago, I clicked the ‘Buy It Now’ button and ordered some of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint.   I had read such rave reviews, I just couldn’t take it anymore, I had to try it for myself.  So I did. 

Two days ago, my shipment arrived.

chalk paint


If the French distressed look is what you’re going for . .  this paint will do the trick.

This is ‘Paris Grey’.  It’s quite lovely. 

foyer mirror corner


I mentioned awhile back I had a thrift store mirror sitting in my garage.  I loved its shape, especially the arched cathedral top.  Since I planned to have it sit in the foyer, I didn’t want it to be dark wood because the dresser below is already a dark stain.  I saw the mirror above it in a complementary distressed paint treatment. 

Like this:

distressed corners

I paid $16 for this mirror, so it was the perfect candidate for the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint experiment. 

My review, thus far:

What I love:  This paint is very easy to use, it’s water based, has no odor, and has a nice consistency for flat paint.  I was able to cover my mirror’s frame in just one coat.  This paint goes on very quickly, I painted this mirror in ten minutes, which is a heck of a lot quicker than my traditional method (primer + latex paint).  The chalk paint cleans up with water and a little goes a long way.  According to the company, there is no primer required and the paint will stick to varnished furniture or melamine surfaces. 

There is little open time since this paint dries very fast.  I noticed that with a brush, there were visible strokes when wet due to the quick drying time, but when the paint dried they virtually disappeared.  The paint dries very quickly (in about 20 minutes), and has a chalky finish.  Once it’s dry, you can easily distress with a sanding wedge, the paint comes off in tiny dust particles.  

easy distressing


What concerns me:  This paint is very expensive: one quart cost me $39 from my closest California retailer House of Anne.  ($51 total with shipping, ouch.)  That is one pricey quart of paint.  Not gallon.  Quart.  Also, what is it about this paint that allows one to skip the primer step?  What is the special additive?  I couldn’t find the answer on the Annie Sloan website or anywhere on the internet, so I wrote to them. 

I’m always concerned about durability, you can read Annie’s answers to my inquiries in our Q&A.  I’m still curious about the formula, and want to know what exactly distinguishes this paint from all the other water based paints which allows one to skip the primer step.  Annie is keeping her ingredients a secret.

Also, this paint is available in only 24 colors, which you can mix to create your own colors, but at $30+ a quart, that adds up quick. 

chalk paint colors


To finish off my mirror, I gave it one coat of clear paste wax (Johnson’s) which slightly deepened the color.  I did not purchase the waxes from House of Anne, they are an additional $25 for each wax (clear or dark).  However, the chalk paint + Johnson’s paste wax combo looks really great up on the wood mirror, and I can say I will certainly use this paint again (after all, I have most of my quart left!)  There’s a dresser revamp I have in mind, and this ‘Paris Gray’ will be perfect for it.  I do want to see how it performs over a long flat surface that gets a lot of wear and tear. 

My first impression is a good one thus far.  This ‘Paris Grey’ chalk paint looks aged when dry and distresses exceptionally well.

paris gray chalk paint


Bottom line:  If you can stomach the cost of one quart, then I encourage you to try if for yourself.  I can’t vouch for its durability over time, but I’m loving the result so far.  If you love a flat finish and a European distressed patina, then this paint will give you the look you’re going for.  

I can’t deny my $16 thrift store mirror looks fabulous in our entry.

paris grey chalk paint top of mirror


cg foyer mirror


What say you?  Have you tried Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint?

What do you think of this brand ? 




142 Responses to “Chalk Paint Mirror”

  1. Karena says:

    Kate I haven’t tried it, however just as you say it goes on like a dream. It is pricey. I adore your mirror, and so for special pieces it may well be worth it.

    Art by Karena

    Do Come and enter my Great Giveaway from Serena & Lily! Ends tomorrow the 25th at 12 am EST

    You will love it!

  2. Fiona says:

    hi Kate -Firstly I can not believe you got that mirror for $16. WOW that’s fantastic. and i love how you painted it. we can’t get annie sloan paint in australia but i’m dying to try it. actually tempted to make my own chalk gesso paint. I’ll let you know how i get on. Am really keen to see how your other followers comment about the durability of this paint. i’m always a stickler for priming….
    cheers Fiona from LilyfieldLife

  3. Kate, I haven’t used the paint but for a paint to adhere without a primer, it has to have some kind of bonding agent like a bonding primer. A bonding primer is different than a general all purpose primer. It just bites onto the surface and won’t move.

    A good ceiling paint has similar properties. I’m able to use it on woodwork and it wears like iron! I suggest try that route next on a test piece of wood without primer. It also leaves a chalky finish so it may offer you a similar outcome for a fraction of the price. I use it on lots of wood projects. BUT… it adheres so well it’s pretty tough to distress. :)


  4. Ann says:

    Oh gosh… you have no idea how jealous I am.
    I’ve been obsessing to try it out myself.

  5. Juliette says:

    The more I read this piece, the more that paint sounded just like typical German wall paint. Germans don’t ‘do’ latex (for what reasons I can’t be sure, but it’s definitely in the minority here, as is oil-based paint). My experience with German paint is that it’s also super chalky, doesn’t need a primer, dries extremely fast, and is easy to rub off.

    My experience w/German paint is that it sucks for the long haul. On something like a mirror, fine, but I would never paint furniture or walls with the stuff. I’ve actually seen it flake off walls when bumped (small flakes, but still).

    My overall impression of Annie Sloan’s paint is that they’re marketing a cheap/standard paint with a massive price tag. A PP’s comment about the ceiling paint certainly adds to my suspicions. I think somebody’s making money hand over fist on this one.

  6. Annie Sloan says:

    Dear Juliette – above – my paint is NOT a standard wall paint but it is my own unique formulation developed by me in 1991.

  7. Susan says:

    Hi Kate,
    The paint sounds like it defeats the purpose of buying cheap and refinishing at $39 a quart! I like the idea of the ceiling white… I’m going to try that. In any event, I love the mirror ! It is such a beautiful shape and the paint job looks beautiful!
    Susan @

  8. I love that mirror.

  9. I think that mirror is lovely! The paint color you chose for it is perfect. That is one pricey quart of paint!! But I bet it was worth it this one time to see how well it holds up. :)

  10. Lesley says:

    So, I have done a few pieces in the Annie Sloan paint. I have just placed my second order, mainly because I ran out in the middle of a large 4 poster bed project. Ouch. The cost is ridiculous. In fact, the cost angers me, but I decided to try it based on one person recommendations, Marian Parsons (aka Miss Mustard Seed.)

    The paint is like velvet and the finish is breathtaking, but it is the dustiest paint ever! You HAVE to wear a mask, or risk a sinus issue when sanding. It is a bear to get off for distressing purposes after the second coat. I have used a few different waxes, the Fiddles and Sons giving me the nicest results.

    I would not use this on a piece of furniture that I felt was going to see a lot of wear and tear. But, I will say that if I was going to put this paint on the top of a dresser, I would probably seal it in the very least with three coats of a wipe on polly in a matt finish. I mean, come on gals, we do this with latex paint too!

    Regardless, I am holding my breath waiting to hear the ACTUAL results from everyone out in blog land as we continue down this road. I have my suspicions too. Remember something also, the reason that the paint is so expensive has a lot to do with the US currency rates. The dollar is weak internationally and that makes a huge difference in the cost of this paint as well. If I lived in London, the pint would cost me 16 English Pounds. Just my two cents.:)

  11. JenT says:

    Hey! I just tried it for the first time myself this last week. I agree with all the pros you pointed out but the price tag is PAINFUL! I paid $89 for 2 quarts with shipping. I blew threw one already painting a big piece of furniture already. It’s fun but I don’t know how much more, if any, I’ll buy at those prices. My thrifty heart can’t take it! Your mirror is beautiful, btw! JenT

  12. J&J says:

    Beautiful mirror. I bought a quart of old white and was suprised that it was a quart. I read wrong when ordering. I am not a furniture painter, by any means, I thought it was OK. I liked the finish it left after sanding. I had some major brush strokes showing. I wasn’t going to distress as much as I ended up having to, because of the brush strokes. I have a few more projects that I’m going to be working on, I hope I get better at it.

  13. The mirror looks fabulous! Glad you gave chalk paint a try. It’s almost all I use now and I can safely say I will never put latex on a piece of furniture again.

  14. SheilaG says:

    The mirror is beautiful! But the price of the paint is just too much for me. I’m glad Donna from FJI mentioned ceiling paint- I would have never thought of that and will probably try it first! I wonder if ceiling paint can be tinted- would the tint formulas work right?

  15. Kate says:

    Your mirror looks fabulous! I think i am going to try the chalk paint.


  16. megan says:

    Love the mirror! I found someone in Dallas who sells it, so I wouldn’t have to pay shipping. I still think it’s pretty pricey!

  17. Love getting the scoop on this… I might spring for a quart for a project or two, but would be hard pressed to justify using a lot of it. I do love the look and the mirror looks wonderful in contrast to the chest in your foyer.
    Thanks, Kate, for the low down!

  18. Wendy says:

    I’ve never heard of chalk paint before, but my guess is that it’s a water-based type primer with chalk added. Or maybe plaster. And pigment. When I Googled what chalk was made of, I learned that “Chalk is primarily calcium carbonate (CaCO3) or magnesium carbonate (MgCO3).” I know that Annie Sloan’s information about this paint says it took years to develop it, but it sure would be fun to monkey around with some cheapo ingredients here and see what we all could come up with!

  19. Whytney says:

    I love ASCP. I have used Chateau Grey on several pieces and a little goes a long way. For those of us who are impaitient, it makes painting instantly gratifying.

  20. shannon says:

    I haven’t tried the chaulk paint. I tint the water based Zinnser primer with paint tints and use it as the base and the finish coat. It dries fast and looks the same as chaulk paint for a whole lot less. Your mirror is gorgeous! Great find at a great price. Love that!

  21. Arlene says:

    I really liked Juliette’s post and I am going to give the ceiling paint a try since I already have that. Your mirror looks very nice and I think I will try it on a vintage mirror that my neighbour gave to me.

    I just read Wendy’s post, I will have to try that as well. I certainly have a lot of chalk dust around with a 9 year-old :-)

  22. L.Duncan says:

    Wow Kate, you really got me wondering now! I was going to “save up” and purchase some (ha!), but now I’m wondering if ceiling paint would do the same! I am glad that you are questioning the paint a little. That way others can think more about something themselves. hmmm…very interesting. I’m going to come back and see what other commenters have said…

    Oh and before I forget, That mirror is the BOMB, girl!!! For 16 bucks??? Look at it now…Wowza!!!

  23. Tia says:

    I havent tried this pain but your project makes me want to. I never find goodies like this in my area … ot is it that I dont quite have the vision you do to see to make the miracles you do. I love this piece and cannot wait to get DIY’ing.

  24. Narelle says:

    I will try ceiling paint before paying for this chalk paint. I also looked up after seeing it on Martha yesterday painting terracotta pots.. This one comes in powder form and you mix with water.. cheaper also and wondering if this is worth trying.

  25. Blair says:

    Hmmm… I have never played around with chalk paint and while it does look beautiful. I do not think I could stomach the price, I wince when paint is 10 dollars a quart. Also, I love the Paris Gray color, I believe it was Real Simple a couple of months ago did a piece on grays, and they had this beautiful room painted all gray and the designer swore this was the gray every Paris apartment was painted and it looked gorgeous much like your mirror!


  26. Laura says:

    Oh, I use it all the time. You can see some of the projects on my blog. I think it’s wonderful and I plan on using it again. You did a wonderful job! It’s a beautiful mirror and the amount of distressing is perfect! Thank you for sharing XOXO Laura at

  27. Love, love, love it! I tend to work with a somewhat limited color palette, so only owning 3-4 quarts of this stuff goes a long way for me depending on the size of the pieces I’m working on. The biggest thing for me is that Chalk Paint actually makes me WANT to paint. None of the crappy prep + prime that I used to go through. If you think about the time and money you save by skipping those steps the higher price tag seems much more reasonable {time is money}! Now it’s just me and my brush {and of course a few sanding blocks}, but I’m really enjoying it. Oh, and I can’t forget, your mirror turned out FABULOUS Kate!


  28. Judy says:

    I’m waiting for my shipment right now. It should have been here yesterday…hopefully today. I bought two colors and the dark and clear wax and a wax brush and the book. All I know is before I blinked I was up at $200. Not telling my husband that part. Hope this stuff is as good as it seems.

  29. cassie says:

    i have used it and love it! it seems to me that it gets harder and more durable over time… meaning if it’s been on a piece a while it will stay there. i love the fact that i can skip steps, but the price is definitely scary! but you aren’t paying for primer, and it is so easy on your brushes and washes out so well, that over time you will probably go through less brushes. i just don’t like the limitations of color families, and sometimes i crave glossy moderns, which you can’t really use this for. your mirror looks fabulous! i hadn’t yet tried the paris gray, but it’s on my list! :)

  30. Amy says:

    The mirror looks great! I’ve never used the Annie Sloan chalk paint, but I subscribe to Miss Mustard Seed (, and she uses it a lot! She seems to have nothing but great things to say about it.

  31. Great info! And a fabulous mirror makeover.

  32. Susan says:

    Kate, I’m so glad you tried this out. I’ve been reading about it but haven’t tried it. I’ve been worried about durability. I’ll come back again later today to read the additional comments that are left on this posts. I’d love to know how it holds up on a piece that gets a lot of use, like a chest where drawers are being opened and closed. Perhaps the wax helps seal it. It’s price does sort of defeat the purpose of buying a bargain but it might be worth it if a quart goes a fairly long way.

  33. Susan says:

    Oh, forgot to say…LOVE your mirror! The shape is fabulous and it looks wonderful in your entry!

  34. I just finished painting a mirror last week with Annie’s chalk paint and really loved the results. I too used Paris Grey. I decided to use a glaze and then a wax. Your expereince was very similar to mine in that it only took one coat to cover and once the paint dried there were virtually no brush marks.

  35. Karen says:

    I haven’t tried chalk paint, I would like to but my heart goes into spasm every time I think of the price. I don’t see it in my future, not that I’m not dying to try it, its just not in my budget.

  36. Karen says:

    Oh I forgot, your mirror looks fabulous.

  37. Kerry V. says:

    Hi Kate, I too just purchased Annie’s paint. I am painting my dining room table and chairs. So far, so good. I have used just a tiny bit on 2 chairs and the entire base of the table. I have 2 more chairs to go and know I will need to do a second coat. It does try very fast…. I wonder if we could just buy Rustoleum chalk board paint . They sell a tint base one so you can choose any color you want ;) also I came across a company named Hudson that also sells colored chalk paint. A little less pricey then Annie..I think theirs is $24 per quart. I am going to try the Rustoleum brand on a end table soon.

  38. The price made me cough when I read it, but the results are gorgeous! I’d say the mirror is worth more now that it’s been made-over than the sum of its parts. Love it. :-)

  39. Andrea says:

    Hi Kate,
    First off, gorgeous mirror, and love the result with the Paris Grey! Secondly, good for you for giving your honest opinion on Chalk paint, and not just automatically jumping on the “Chalk Paint is the best creation ever” bandwagon. I have not tried it, and maybe it is a fantastic product, but I was impressed that you expressed your concerns as well as what you like about it. If given the chance, I probably will try it for myself, but I’ll also be anxious to see how you find the durability of this product is =)

  40. Yes, love the mirror. I bought the paint about 3 weeks ago and have not used yet. I also bought the waxes in clear and dark and have used these. I do love how easy the waxes are to apply and love how “easy” it is to use the dark wax to antique. I bought the wax brushes and also love them. I agree the price is really high, it’s the reason I haven’t used yet. I have 3 quarts and “stalling” to use since they are so expensive. Thanks for the honest post.

  41. Meta says:

    Thanks for trying this paint for me! I have been wondering the same things that you question, namely, how will this hold up for the long haul? Keep us posted!

  42. Suzanna says:

    Thanks for the review!! I keep wondering about the durability too… I guess all of the ones who are trying it out now can tell us in 6 months. :)

  43. Hi Kate-

    Your mirror is gorgeous! The size, shape, and details – the white distressing really works well on the piece. That was one great find.
    I have not used chalk paint yet, but have used Kilz original primer as a base and top coat. It is oil based, but is fully dry in 30 minutes and hides everything for about $10 a quart. It holds up extremely well and does distress. I use it on everything I paint, but found that I liked the look of it without paint on top on some pieces. Never thought about the ceiling paint that Donna mentioned, but that is an exciting alternative.
    My best-Diane

  44. That is pricey paint, but if you look at your total investment for that stunning mirror is $70…then it’s pretty good!!

    Talk about pricey, when we were in Belgium last month, I picked up 3 teeny-tiny 2″ pots of sample paint from Farrow & Ball (what kind of diy blogger would i be if i didn’t pop in there?!)…to the tune of 25 EURO!!! so, about $40? And no, there’s no gold flecks or hip slimming agents in it!

  45. jill says:

    I have used it, and I love it! But I also think it is crazy expensive!!!! It is super durable after waxing I have done 2 dressers and a buffet. The wax seals it and makes it almost like a poly but with a more natural looking finish….but the wax is also CRAZY expensive!

  46. Mandy M says:

    I love, love, love how your mirror turned out! What a great product. I’m not sure I need a full quart for a project, but maybe I can convince a friend (or two) to split the cost and have a little DIY party. Thanks for sharing your review of this paint!

  47. Tanya says:

    Your mirror looks just beautiful. What a great find. I’ve been reading about the paint around the blogosphere but that price is over the top. I like Donna’s suggestion of the ceiling paint. Great tip. The French gray is a color that I can’t get enough of right now.

  48. keke says:

    First and foremost can I say ‘CENTSATIONAL’ site!!! (Sorry, just had to do it…) Second, love the mirror and the paint….you’ve peaked my curiosity, researcher at heart now I have to find the answer to your questions…. while I only have a minute this morning, I did find this cool site….

    Chalk paint has been around for years and I think, could be wrong, it was the main paint in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s….I remember seeing recipe’s for this type of paint, but I think they used lye in it. I’m sure it’s the chalk that makes it dry so quickly.

    None the less, love it, love your style, girl after my own heart. If I find out more I’ll let you know, mostly because I love the look so much and considering the price tag and the fact that I’m a DIY kind of girl I want to find a recipe to make myself…. I know there has to be one out there!

    Thanks for sharing!

  49. Paulina J! says:

    Thnaks for reviewing the paint. I’ve had my eye on it since I found it at a faux finish institute in Brandon, MS close to where I live. Has anyone else tried what Shannon said “water based Zinnser primer with paint tints” as a substite? Thinking of doing this or the ceiling paint.

  50. Hey Kate…..I also jumped on the band wagon for the chalk paint. Got three colors! I am very pleased with them. I mentioned my personal pros and cons on my *new* blog.

    Another Pro that I forgot to mention is that it does go a long way and so far in my experience, once waxed it is pretty durable. I did a side table, in Provence, that gets lots of use and the top is holding up just fine. The table also has spindle legs which were so hard to do with regular paint, but Chalk paint worked awesome ( I was the one on FB that asked about spray painting over latex, OK if you don’t remember : )

    Biggest con of course is the price but other than that I am a huge fan. Limited colors as well but the ones Annie Sloan did create are great. I got Paris Grey, Old White, and Provence. I figured any combination of the three of these will get me where I want to be, considering the colors I am loving at the moment.

    Loooove your blog! ~Kristina

  51. Cass says:

    I choked a little when I read the price but I do have to say your mirror looks amazing! Perfect color and looks great next to the dark wood piece.

  52. Jenny K. says:

    I’ve been wanting to give it a try and hoping that one of the giveaways I entered would send some my way but no such luck thus far. The mirror is gorgeous!

  53. I buy pieces used and choose to refinish them because I can’t always afford to purchase what I need brand new. Doesn’t the cost of this paint defeat the purpose totally? I mean, I’m a serious bargain hunter and I cannot justify spending that amount of money on paint. I also do not want everything in my house matchy-matchy and feel I would spend a fortune on different paint colors. I looked into it, but if my husband knew I purchased any, he would have a stroke.

    Almost everyone here mentioned that the paint was “crazy” expensive…are you listening Annie Sloan??

    I hate using latex paint on furniture because I hate the peeling look when I try to distress. Why hasn’t any company come out with paint that is strictly for furniture?? OR am I missing it? I would love to try the Annie Sloan paint, but it’s just not in my budget, with food and all! :)

    I’m definitely going to look into tinting ceiling paint and will be doing more research on other chalk paint and different types after seeing other comments.

    Also, Kate, I’m so relieved that you gave an honest review and actually paid for the paint, and not a review because you were given the paint. I feel like some of the reviews are not as honest because they are being given free paint in return for advertisement. Bummer.

  54. Robin says:

    I haven’t tried it yet but posts like this and may more I’ve seen in the past couple of weeks has me wishing I’d press that “buy it” button myself. LOL

    Your mirror looks fabulous now and I just love how distressed it is. So lovely

  55. julie says:

    so tempted to hit the ‘buy’ button myself…am redoing a $25 dining room table and think that old white would be fab on the bottom half..just have not heard much about the durability of the finish once you use the wax..anyone know?? thanks for posting!

  56. Laura says:

    Love how it turned out! I wish I could get some paint but I can’t stomach paying that much for it. Are there samples?
    There is a little hype working for sure but other manufacturers will get on the bandwagon and prices should reflect.

  57. Denise says:

    You did a goregous job as usual Kate, but can this look be acheived with less cash? My thrifty soul would shake at a $51.00 (with shipping) can of paint to redo a thirft store find. You find THE most awesome things in thrift stores.

  58. Wowza, that is some expensive stuff! Looks purdy though. I would have to think long and hard about the cost before I would buy some.

  59. This looks fantastic.. and just out of curiosity has anyone tried to use on a non wood item? I have a tv stand that is from Target (craigslist find) I was thinking about spray painting..but this looks so pretty and I could tie it in to some of my other pieces. Maybe it would need a primer?

  60. Gloria says:

    I feel so behind the time with not having tried this stuff yet. I’m so glad you brought up some of your concerns because I have some of the same ones. But, I am so close to buying some! Ah! Decisions… I wonder if it would hold up on bathroom cabinets.

  61. April says:

    Just started a new project with the paint and I’m going to try a two tone distress look with it. The piece I painted last night was done in old white and I was pleased again with the lack of brush lines when dry. It is super expensive and I too worry about no primer especially on pieces with stains. Look forward to the answer. I also bought the recommended hinnants wax and that was my favorite of all. I’ve never been a fan of waxed finishes on my furniture but this wax is soft, easy to work with, and leaves a great finish. Check out my post on chalk paint and see my two projects. Love the mirror, Paris grey is a nice color!

  62. CentsationalGirl says:

    Hey Denise, you think like me! I would love to find a less expensive way to achieve the same look, tinting primer is a good place to start. It’s hard to justify such a big expense on a small amount of paint, but I think this paint goes a little farther than most, I barely put a dent in my quart. Will report back with future experiences.

    Thank you everyone for your insightful commentary!


  63. Allison says:

    I have been very intrigued with this paint and wanting to give it a try. I have not jumped in yet because of the higher price. Your mirror looks beautiful, Kate, and perfect for your entry. I love the finish of the chalk paint. I appreciate your post and you sharing your experience with it.

  64. jesslope says:

    that looks really good.

  65. Sandra says:

    Fantastic! I’m in love with it! You did an amazing job distressing and this mirror was meant to be that color!

    I did it too! I hit the chalk paint button lol I will post in the near future what I have done with my expensive paint.

  66. Thanks for the honest post. This is the first one I’ve read that has raised questions or expressed any doubts. Glad to hear it still seems amazing. I really want to try it and am waiting for a piece that I love enough to spend that much on painting. I will…one of these days.

  67. Kathy says:

    I ordered one of Annie’s books last week (haven’t gotten it yet) and a color chart. Everything I’ve read says the paint does go a long way, so I’m trusting you to see just how far before I buy it! :) If it wears well and looks as good as your mirror, which is gorgeous BTW, it will be worth it to me to pay the HUGE price. I have LOTS of projects and little time to do them, so the savings in the time it takes to sand, prime and paint would be well worth it to me.

  68. I had never heard of that paint before so thanks for sharing. It creates a really nice finish, but that is pretty steep for a quart of paint. Unfortunately, there aren’t any retailers in Minnesota. The shipping charges drive me crazy. Your mirror looks great!

  69. Mary Jo Vick says:

    I’m so glad you showed the color options. I have two things to paint for my daughter’s room re-do. She wants distressed white. The grey that you used looks like white in the picture. My problem is that i’m not sure if i should order the old white or the paris grey. eek!

  70. Hello Kate,

    I just painted my first piece with Annie Sloan ‘Provence’ and I love it! This paint is so easy to work with and because it dries so quickly, I was finished with my project in record time. I saved money on primer, I saved precious time and have plenty of paint left for many more projects. My brushes clean super quick and easy with soap and water. The best thing is that I am not filling the atmosphere with toxic spray paint overspray. Sorry, but everybodies spray paint obsession is really bugging the ‘go-green’ part of my brain.
    I read Annie Sloan’s response to your questions and I liked her answers. Why should she give away her families recipe for the big guys to copy (Valspar-Behr..etc). Chalk paint has been around for many years. It is not, as some have suggested, a new fad with a high price tag.
    This paint comes from England..that’s the reason for the high price is not a rip off. Sometimes we need to take a step back from our ‘Walmart’ pricing mentality and realize that quality often comes with a higher cost. Thanks for an unbiased and helpful review.
    Ok…just my two cents….or should I say $39.00.

    Your friend,

    PS…your mirror turned out beautiful…even adding the cost of the amount of paint you used, it was worth it. I would still consider it a thrifty endeavor!

  71. Amanda says:

    I was wondering when you would try chalk paint! I just did my first project with Paris Grey as well and I am in love! Hope to post about it later this week. I found it easy to work with and fun to wax. Look forward to some future projects with some bolder colors as well.
    P.S. I remember the post about this mirror in questions . . . you were right to paint it! It looks wonderful and makes the dresser stand out.

  72. Annie Sloan says:

    Hi again you guys on Centsationalgirl! I can see you are all price conscious – an important point but with this paint you do not use primers /undercoats and the paint goes further than normal paints, so therefore it is not a ridiculous price. It is quick and easy to use, can be used as a wash or thickly, it doesn’t get a thick plastic skin on top it just get thicker and you can then add water if it is too thick. You do need wax at the end though so that is an extra additional price. Anyway, we’ve been making the paint for 20 years and it’s still sticking to the furniture!

  73. I haven’t tried it yet, but I certainly want to. I’m also curious about what makes it so durable, and able to stick to any surface like that, but I want to give it a try! I was incredibly shocked to find out that there’s a store in my city that sells Chalk Paint. I was sure I would have to order it and pay for shipping! Your mirror is gorgeous. I can’t believe you got it for such a bargain!!

  74. Lisa Bracale says:

    I too jumped on the band wagon and placed a very large order. I have 5 cans of paint, the waxes and the wax brush. I love it. I used the Provence to paint a $15.00 GW dresser that was green. I sanded to let some of the green show through and love it. I am in the middle of painting a Cherry coffee table the Off White color and used the Paris Grey for a sofa table. I think the initial price is shocking but … I think the paint goes a long way. Since you only used 1 coat for your mirror you skipped several other steps and painted it in 10 minutes that could justify the price alone. You could easily do a big dresser and another project with the leftover paint. I would like to see the price lower.

  75. it looks gorgeous, but that is WAY too expensive for paint! sheesh!

  76. Alexis says:

    I appreciate your review. I’ve seen this paint featured on another blog (Miss Mustard Seed) and she seems to love it. But I’m trying to figure out why it’s so much better than regular paint. ??? What am I missing here? I know you don’t have to prime – but I rarely prime when I’m going for a rustic look anyway.

    I guess I’m wondering – why pay so much for this paint? Just to skip the primer?

  77. Sommer says:

    I have been dying to try this but honestly the cost in and of itself has kept me at bay. I also had all those questions about how this works so well without primer. And you along with others have mentioned how easily it distresses so how it will hold up over time concerns me. Wont all the paint just rub right off? That would seriously defeat the point of using such expensive paint. So with that being said I’m off to read the Q&A =)

  78. Julia says:

    Thanks for an honest review. Your mirror looks great! It seems as if a lot of bloggers are jumping on the chalk paint band wagon. Other than your review, I’ve only read one other that gave a thoughtful critique of this product.

    Sorry, Annie Sloan. No matter how you try to justify it, chalk paint, IMO, is not worth the hefty price tag. If you figure in a gallon can of latex paint, a can of primer and wax or polyurethane to complete the project, I’m still not $100+ out of pocket.

  79. Kim says:

    I love it and so far it has worn well.

  80. jengineer says:

    i keep adding it to my bag and then not completing my transaction haha. that’s so much money for a quart of paint! i’m sure i’ll cave and buy some sooner or later.

    very excited to know johnson’s wax works fine.

  81. carol turner says:

    Thank you for the first honest review, no one else seems to sneeze at the cost. I really could not justify using for furniture for resale. I just would not make any money. It looks great and I would love to try it and I know it comes from England, but I am just saying ….Come on!


  82. Amber says:

    Love the look! You finished it and distressed it beautifully! I really like how it dresses up your entry.

  83. JoAnna says:

    Yes, I just bought this and tried it yesterday and today. My opinion: wow, the price (!), but no primer needed and it dries quickly so the next coat can go on quickly….kind of balances out the price if time is an issue. I bought the old white and paris grey ’cause I’m a safe decorator. I am refinishing a dresser. I grabbed a drawer and decided to practice. I put on a coat of the grey and hated it. Then I put white over it and I think I messed it up a bit by drying it with a hair dryer (impatient as I was). I used latex glaze on the crevices. Hmmm….then I put on the wax. Um…not in love. At all. And I cursed Miss Mustard Seed and her ilk for making it look so easy. And then I cursed myself because I’m not really a shabby chic kind of decorator, so *what* was I thinking in the first place?!

    OK, so today I decided to just bite the bullet and ruin the whole dresser. I painted the body in the gray, then went back over it with a wash of the white paint (watered down). And It was gorgeous! I felt like I was getting my mojo back. Tonight I brought in all the drawers and painted them in the white, and then followed up with a white wash so the paint wouldn’t be thick. I plan on waxing it, and then going over the whole piece in a dark wax (hey, does anyone know if I can mix Minwax stain with the wax to make a dark wax? ‘Cause this chick isn’t buying anything else for this dresser!). I like the fact that I can paint with this paint in the house and not stink up anything, but then I’ll have to take it back outside to wax it, so I’m not sure that I’m gaining much on that.

    So right now, here’s my conclusion: this is best if you want distressed paint, and it looks best if you use two colors, or at least sand back the edges of your piece. (Sorry if this was too long!)

  84. Heidi says:

    I’m also so glad to see you give a straight-up review. I understand Annie Sloan’s desire to keep her recipe secret. But we are some of the most ingenious people in a country founded on ingenuity and there is nothing we crafty gals can’t figure out – right?
    I am currently thinking about trying tinted gesso in lieu of Annie Sloan’s. Gesso is used by artists to prime their canvases and it is cheap! Traditionally it was made from animal glue and gypsum, a chalk-like substance (!). These days, the animal glue has been substituted for more modern binders. From what I can see, my challenge will be to get enough pigment to color the gesso to my preferred colors. Gesso is usually white, but also can be found in black. I’ve seen brightly colored gesso made in Japan, but it’s cost prohibitive. I’m investigating a highly-pigmented acrylic paint from Golden to use for added color, but haven’t tried it out yet. But I am looking forward to experimenting!

  85. Shannon says:

    I love the way the mirror looks and have been wanting to repaint ours in our entryway as well. I don’t know if I can make myself pay $51 to get that paint in my hands. I wonder why we can’t purchase it at any of the the regular hardware stores??

  86. Shannon says:

    I love the way the mirror looks and have been wanting to repaint ours in our entryway as well. I don’t know if I can make myself pay $51 to get that paint in my hands. I wonder why we can’t purchase it at any of the the regular hardware stores??

  87. Samantha says:

    I’m going to play devil’s advocate here for a minute. I see several complaints here. The first is price. So you pay $39 for a quart of the paint, but it goes really really far. I can see the drawback of paying $39 (or $51 with shipping) for paint for a mirror. However, if you only used a little bit of the paint, then really, how much of that $39 was really spent on the mirror? Maybe $2 or $3? You wouldn’t hesitate to spend that amount on a can of spray paint for a mirror and you would feel thrifty doing it. You also save a lot of time because you don’t have to do all the prep that would have to be done to get latex to stick. You don’t have to use multiple coats to get good coverage. The wax step, I think, is easier than the regular sealing step and is a bit more fool-proof too. So, you haven’t really spent more money and you’ve saved time and energy.

    As for Annie keeping her formula secret–more power to her! I’ve done a lot of reading and there are professional decorative painters who say they do kitchens and bathroom cabinets with it and it holds up. I don’t think the pro’s would be using it if it weren’t holding up and they have many years of experience with it and it’s still working for them. So I think it does have a proven track record.

    And finally, the last reason I can think of to use it instead of regular old latex is that you get a different look and the distressing is better. Plus, you can mix your own colors or add water for your own consistency. It’s pretty versatile.

    Just some food for thought. :-) I don’t have any affiliation with the company. I’ve just been doing a lot of reading on the product and planning some projects of my own. Thanks for trying it out and reviewing it for us.

  88. Hi! Thanks for the review. I was initially SHOCKED at the price too, but I have to admit, I just ordered several different colors. I ordered from the seller Miss Mustard Seed mentioned in her give-away, and it was $34.95, and the shipping was the same if you ordered one qt or four, so why not order the most I can and save on shipping. :) I’m planning on using it for my kitchen cupboards because the thought of having to take them all down and sand and prime…nope. Not with 3 kids. I hope to get it in the mail any day now. I also ordered some to paint my daughter’s floor. We live in a 1850 stone house, and the wooden floors were not in the prettiest shape. I didn’t sand her floor when we moved here; just painted over it. It’s peeling and looks terrible now, so I’m hoping this paint will spare me the trouble of sanding and all. My daughter picked Provence for her room…we’ll see how it looks. :)

  89. Carmel says:

    I’ve been wondering the same thing – why don’t you need primer if it’s a water based paint? I’d really love to know what the “secret” ingredient is :) I haven’t tried this stuff yet but am thinking of using to paint my daughter’s bed. Thanks for keeping it real with an honest review!

  90. I haven’t bought any of the chalk paint, mainly because I don’t have a project to use it on, and I just don’t need to add to my stash of stuff I can’t get to. But! I wanted to put my two cents in :)

    In my opinion, from what I have read here and on other blogs, that quart of chalk paint really seems to go as far as a gallon. You even said you had lots left over and a little bit went a long way. And you don’t have to prime, another savings. And the drying time is super fast, that makes time for other projects right? And not to mention, this is not a paint you would use on your walls, so if furniture and mirrors are what you are going to be using it for, it sounds like the coverage goes just as far as a gallon of regular paint. Plus everyone has said that quality of the paint is wonderful. So can we really compare it to the cost of a off brand Home Depot paint?

    I am glad Annie doesn’t give away her secret, and I feel bad that people are trying to figure out the mixture. I think this company deserves the success for all hard work and marketing it has put in for 20 years. Isn’t that what the American dream is all about?

    I haven’t meet Annie nor have I bought her paints, but I will probably one day, when that “have to” project comes along.

  91. M Askew says:

    I believe the secret ingredient is unsanded grout

  92. OK, I have tried this paint on a dresser and two small table so far. I did the dresser in my kitchen so the lack of odor and prep is great. So far I have found that if I wait a few hours before distressing I can control the look better – I don’t get to the base wood so fast when sanding. I also think that by waiting a day or two before using the piece the paint seems to harden and scratching is lessened. Finally, the paint can be mixed with clear wax to color tint the wax, and I think this is a neat trick. I’m thinking of mixing Paris gray with wax for my bed. Paris gray is a beautiful color. I still have a lot of paint left even though I first used it like a latex, two coats for base color, which is not needed. I do like this paint a lot, and I am lucky that I can take a two hour car trip and buy the paint for $30.00/quart.

  93. I used the chalk paint to do my kitchen cabinets. One quart covered all of my cabinets. I didn’t have to do the prep work on the cabs, and that was the major reason I decided to paint the maple cabinets (5 yrs old) with the chalk paint. It came out great. I started out by painting a secretary first, and I was unsure about it, but the wax finish does stand up to washing, so I figured it would be ok in the kitchen. My hubs says the Paris Grey looks like auto primer ( I bought both Paris Grey and Old White). I think essentially this product is just a primer, but it works for me. $70 to do an entire kitchen, not bad.

  94. hmmm i’ve never even heard of chalk paint before but now i’m intrigued. thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  95. susan says:

    i bought the old white awhile back and i love it! i’ve painted a bunch of stuff, the grey is next on my list to order! love the mirror! susan

  96. Rory says:

    I agree that $51 delivered is more than I would consider paying. But when you take into account the $16 mirror and the fabulous results….you couldn’t buy that mirror ANYWHERE for $66!

  97. Rose McGuinn says:

    I’d never heard of this paint before. Thank you for the tip!
    And I have to say, you do have fine taste in thrifty frames. That is one stunner of a mirror!

  98. Jackie B says:

    I like it. I really, really like it. Why don’t you go to the workshop in California on June 4th and get back to us with all of the details!!!

  99. Betsy says:

    So glad you did this post !! I just received my Annie Sloan and Paris Grey paints today from the Faux Finishing Institute in Mississippi. I ordered yesterday and they were delivered this morning via UPS. I have a queen bed (headboard and foot board), french dresser and four chairs that I am planning on painting. I am so excited! I’ve been debating for a month to purchase and finally bit the bullet.

    Yes, the price is might seem a bit expensive but I’m looking forward to using a safer paint that is water based, easy to apply, quick drying and best of all a little goes a long way!


  100. Love how it came out. Not to sure about the price, but the finished product is Gorgeous!!!

Leave a Reply