Getting Started with Clay / Chalk / Mineral Based Paint


Looking to get started with American Paint Company products?

Repainting your old furniture and decor can be fun, therapeutic, and cost effective.  However, if you’re just getting started using Clay / Chalk / Mineral based paint for the first time, then there are 9 important things you should know.

1. Clay Paint is Thick


If you’re used to traditional latex and acrylic based paints, you’ll notice APC’s clay based paint is quite thick. Don’t worry! There is nothing wrong with your can of paint, this is normal. In fact, APC customers love the thick nature of the paint because it’s easier to distress and results in better coverage. Make sure to give the can a good shake and use a stir stick to mix it up prior to using. If the clay based paint is still too thick for your liking, add a little water to your paint until you reach the consistency you’re happy with.

2. Recommended First Projects


Using APC products for the first time? We recommend a starter project like a small wood picture frame. Starting on bigger projects such as your kitchen cabinets is not recommended unless you are an experienced painter. The best way to get started is to sign up for an APC 101 workshop so you can learn the basic steps and techniques.

3. Prepping Your Piece


It is important to clean your piece properly before painting. A lot of old furniture has dirt, grease or grime that has built up over the years. We recommend using APC’s 100% Organic Surface Prep. In most cases, you do not need to sand or prime your furniture before painting. However; if you have a shiny piece of furniture, you can lightly sand the piece prior to painting.

4. Using a Separate Dish


Because the paint is all natural, it can be contaminated if you dip a used paint brush directly into the can. Instead, it’s recommended that you pour enough paint into a separate dish to complete your project.

5. Do Not Let the Paint Freeze


Do not let the paint or liquid sealers freeze. Leaving your paint in your car or garage where it is cold enough to freeze could ruin your paints and sealers. Make sure to store them inside in normal room temperature.

6. Sealing Your Project


Sealing your project is required. If you do not seal the paint will rub off your piece over time. Applying sealer helps to protect your piece and gives it a professional finish. If you want to add different paint colors or distress your project, make sure to do so before applying the sealer. If you need to add more paint after applying Top Coat, you may do so. However, we do not recommend painting or distressing after the application of the Vintage Antiquing Wax.

7. Dry Time


The drying time depends on weather conditions as well as the type of surface you are painting. For best results, wait overnight before sealing. However, you may paint within 2-3 hours of your final coat of paint. As the drying process takes place the color of your paint may change. Once you apply the sealer, it will darken the color of the paint. If you add more paint to your piece later, the colors may not match exactly until after it has dried and been sealed.

8. Curing Time


If you use the liquid Top Coat, heavy use of your furniture should be avoided for one week afterward. The Hard Coat will cure over a period of approximately one week to reach it’s final hardness. The wax goes on smooth like butter but will harden quickly after you buff your piece. Freshly waxed surfaces should be kept free of moisture and heavy traffic for one week minimum. It can take between 2 – 3 weeks for the wax to completely cure. Take care of your fine furniture as you normally would prior to sealing.

9. Painting Techniques


There are many different paint techniques ranging from beginner level to more advanced. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, we recommend signing up for an APC workshop at an Authorized APC Retailer to learn some of the most popular techniques.

Are there any other tips or tricks that you have found useful when using American Paint Company products?

If so, be sure and leave them in the comments below.

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