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Have you seen this? It’s a relatively new line of chalk paint and waxes from Deco Art, called Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint, and I just finished painting the cutest set of nesting tables with it.
I know I’m probably a little bit late to the game, but can I just say; I’m soooooo excited to have this easier-to-access alternative to the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and the other boutique brand chalk paints. And, while I’m certainly not an expert on Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, I am a huge fan and I think I’ve used it enough to make a fairly good comparison between it and the Americana Decor brand. I had been eyeing this paint at my local Home Depot for at least a couple of months, but I couldn’t justify buying it when I still had quite a bit of ASCP sitting at home, along with a couple of unfinished projects awaiting a paint job.
But the day finally came when, right before starting on these nesting tables, I realized I didn’t have enough ASCP to finish them all. My nearest stockist is a 20 minute drive away, and not open on Sundays (which is the day motivation struck). What’s a girl to do? My mind immediately went back to the Americana Decor paint and even though I was skeptical, I figured it was worth a try. I changed out of my ragedy sweat pants and headed to the nearest Home Depot (only 5 minutes away, and open every day of the week). When I arrived, the display was in the midst of being changed out, so the usual paint selection was pretty depleted. There were only a couple of colors left on the shelf that appealed to me, so I did eenie, meenie, miney, moe and ended up with Everlasting, which is almost a dead-ringer for ASCP Pure White. At only $8.48 for 8 ounces, I also grabbed a container of the clear paste wax, and headed for home, happy that I only spent a fraction of the price I would have spent on ASPC.
Yes, it’s true that when you break it down ($39.95 = 1 quart ASCP ) x ($33.92 = 1 quart Americana), it’s only $6.03 cents difference in price, but that almost buys another 8oz. of Americana paint! I also love that I am not limited to buying either the large quart sized can, or the teeny-tiny sample pot of paint of ASCP, which is ridiculously expensive, per ounce. If I only have 10 bucks to spend – which is usually the case – then I can purchase enough paint to finish my whole project, and a few more projects. So do you want to know what I think, now that I’ve used the Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint? How does it compare to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint? Well, let me tell you what I think …
Once I was back at home, and changed back into my sweat pants, I set to work on my tables. I love that the lids on the Americana paint are screw-top, meaning I didn’t have to hunt down my lid-topper-popper, or a flat head screwdriver to open my paint. The consistency of this paint is a little bit thicker than the ASPC, but it’s still creamy and goes on like butter.
My wood was pretty dark to begin with and I wanted good coverage, so I knew I would have to paint at least two coats. I was a bit sad though, when two still wasn’t enough and I had to do yet a third coat. In all fairness, because the color is almost an exact match for ASCP Pure White, I painted out the smallest tabletop in the bit of ASCP I had left, to compare coverage. I ended up doing three coats of paint with ASCP, as well. I would say both paints offer the same amount/quality of coverage. One thing I didn’t care for about the Americana paint – it seemed to show fairly prominent brush strokes, even once dry.
In comparison, ASCP seems to self-level a bit as it dries, leaving very few brush marks. I ended up taking some fine grit sandpaper and sanding out some of the more noticeable brush marks, which kind of defeats the whole purpose of using chalk paint – little to no prep, including sanding. The brush strokes actually worked to my benefit on this project, as I later used an antiquing glaze which ended up settling into the brushstrokes, helping create the aged look I was after; but if you are looking for a smooth finish, this would be a problem. On the second coat of paint I added a little bit of water to the Americana paint and that seemed to help reduce the brush marks.
I did notice while sanding that the Americana paint produced considerably less “dust” than the ASCP usually does, which is a plus, in my book! Applying a thin coat of wax before sanding cuts down considerably on the amount of dust produced, but I don’t like “gumming up” my sandpaper with gobs of wax and/or wasting product, so I always sand before waxing.
Once my tables were sanded, it was time to move onto waxing. Although I like the ASCP wax, I still don’t feel like I’ve quite mastered the application technique. In comparison, the Americana wax is actually a liquid and although I thought it might be too messy, this was not the case. I loved using this wax! I started out using a regular ole’ paint brush to apply the wax, then going back over my piece with a rag to wipe off the excess, but I soon found that this was not necessary. I felt like I had better control using the rag for application (learn from my mistake and make sure you use gloves).
The wax wiped on perfectly, leaving just enough drying time to get the coverage just right. I buffed out a small spot, just to see how easy the buffing portion went, and I must say, it was much easier to buff to a shine than the ASPC wax. However, I didn’t want a shiny look for these tables, so I re-applied wax to the shiny area, and let all of the wax dry to a matte finish.
I could have stopped there, but I decided the tables needed a little something extra so I used some antiquing glaze to really make the curves on these pieces pop. I didn’t have any ASCP dark wax on hand, and the Home Depot didn’t have any Americana dark wax in stock, so I used a glazing medium that I already had in my stash.
The glaze went on well over the clear wax, allowing me to work the glaze into all of those nooks and crannies. Like I mentioned earlier, this is where those brush strokes came in handy. The glaze settled into the brush strokes and really added to the look I was going for. Any excess came off well with a few swipes from a damp rag. (Note: for this particular glaze, it is important to apply the glaze only after applying the clear wax otherwise it will soak into the chalk paint and you will not be able to “work” the glaze).
Once I had the pieces antiqued to my liking, I applied one more coat of the clear wax, to seal and protect the glaze, and my tables were finished!
So, this is how the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint compared to the Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint:
Annie Sloan Chalk Paints and waxes are only available at select stockists. There are only two in my area (within a 20 minute drive, which is as far as I’m willing to go).
Americana Decor Chalky Finish paints and waxes are more readily available. They can be found at Home Depot, Lowes, Michaels, Hobby Lobby and Joanne Fabrics, to name a few of the larger chains. They can also be ordered online and delivered directly to your door.
ASCP costs $39.95 per quart – this price is at my local stockist. It seems individual stockists charge different prices so you may be able to find it cheaper in your area. ASCP clear wax costs $27.95 per 16.9 ounces - again, this is at my local stockist. Each stockist charges differently.
Americana Decor paint is less expensive, at $33.92 for one quart. Paints can also be ordered online in 2, 4, 8 and 16 oz. sizes. Americana Decor wax is less expensive when purchased at a retailer, costing the same price as the paint ($33.92), online it’s priced at $12.00/quart.
3. Color Choices:
ASCP paint comes in 30 inter-mixable colors, which offers endless color possibilities. Waxes are available in dark brown and clear.
American Decor paint comes in 29 inter-mixable colors, which also means the possibilities are endless. Waxes are available in a dark brown, light brown and clear.
4. Ease of Application:
ASCP paint is smooth and creamy, very easy to work with. I used a Purdy brand paint brush to apply the paint, which worked well for me. ASCP stockists carry special paint brushes for applying paint, but they can be pricey. It would probably be worth the investment if you do a lot of furniture painting. ASCP wax is not quite as easy to work with. It is a durable wax but takes some time to master the application – which I am still working on. The dark wax gives a great aged look to furniture but I haven’t quite mastered the application technique for this, either. I use a wax brush for applying this wax; not an Anne Sloan wax brush but a less expensive one purchased at Lowes. Perhaps it would be easier to apply with the Anne Sloan brand brush? Again, I’m just not willing to make that investment.
Americana Decor paint was smooth and creamy, although a little thicker than ASCP. I used a Purdy brand paint brush to apply the paint, and that worked well. Americana Decor does sell special brushes online, if you prefer to go that route. Americana Decor wax comes in a liquid and is very easy to apply with either a brush or a rag. Buffs to a smooth, shiny finish, or leave as-is for a matte finish. I have only used the clear wax and cannot give my opinion on the dark waxes. Again, I used a regular paint brush, then switched to a rag to apply. Both methods worked well. Americana Decor sells special wax brushes online.
ASCP paint has amazing coverage. I have painted several large pieces of furniture with just one quart of paint. More coats are needed when painting a lighter color over a darker color. Anne Sloan clear wax tends to go a long way, too. I usually use only a small amount on my paint projects.
American Decor paint also has amazing coverage. I did three coats of paint on the two larger nesting tables, and I only used 1/2 of the container, roughly 4 ounces. I’m sure I wouldn’t have needed as many coats if I were painting over a similarly colored piece. I applied two coats of clear wax and didn’t use nearly as much wax as I did paint. A little bit goes a long way!
ASCP adhered easily to the tabletop with no prior sanding or priming needed. I have used this paint on several other furniture pieces and adhesion has never been an issue. The ASCP wax has been a bit more difficult to use (for me), but adhesion has never been a problem.
Americana Decor paint also adhered perfectly to my furniture pieces, with no sanding or priming needed. My tabletops had a glossy original finish, and the paint had no problem sticking to them. The clear wax also had wonderful adhesion.
7. Ease of Distressing:
ASCP sands/distresses nicely. A bit more dust produced in comparison to the Americana Decor paint, but not necessarily an issue.
While I didn’t exactly distress my pieces, I did sand some of the brush strokes off of the pieces I painted with Americana Decor paint, to get a smoother look. I must say, sanding was not at all a problem, and, as I mentioned previously, less dust was produced than when sanding the ASCP.
8. Dry time:
ASCP paint has an amazingly fast dry time! 10-15 minutes, per coat. The wax dries just as fast as the paint. Keep in mind that I live in a dry, arid desert. I have heard that it may take a tiny bit longer to dry in wetter climates.
Americana Decor paint dries in about the same amount of time as the ASCP, 10 – 15 minutes (my experience). The wax also dries in about 15-20 minutes.
9. Clean Up:
ASCP paint cleans up well with soap and water. After using the ASCP wax on previous projects, I cleaned my brush with mineral spirits.
Americana Decor paint also cleans up easily with soap and water. My brushes came clean without a problem. The wax was a little bit harder to clean out of my brushes, but again, mineral spirits did the trick. I then used a disposable rag for applying subsequent coats, avoiding the cleaning issue completely (no cleaning required).
ASCP – Incredibly durable. I have pieces I painted two years ago that get heavy use, and they have held up just fine.
Americana Decor paint/wax- I haven’t had enough time to really test this paint/wax out. My tables have just been completed so I cannot honestly claim to know the answer to this one. I will update this post in a few months.
So, in summary, I love both paints! ASCP has been my go-to chalk paint, but the Americana Decor paint was quite impressive, too! I would say that the paints themselves are evenly tied in all of the above listed categories except “Availability” and “Price”. Americana Decor paint is easily available, and less expensive, and that earns major points in my opinion! When inspiration strikes, I like the fact that I can drive 5 minutes and pick up my paint, any time of day, any day of the week.
And the waxes? I’m sorry, Anne, but I’m going with the Americana Decor wax. It’s so easy to use and no special brushes are required to get a quality looking finish. I didn’t need any special technique to apply it, and that makes this casual painter happy!
So there you have it. My comparison between Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint (and waxes, too!) I hope you found it useful. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding my experience with these paints. I would also love to hear your opinions and experiences – please leave me a comment below!
Until next time,
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