Saturday, July 20, 2013

Amy Howard vs. Annie Sloan Paints....

So, when I saw a new paint product "Amy Howard" and the results, I simply could not wait to go get some of her products and try them out.
Hey, I paint, I've used Annie Sloan paints many, many times, how difficult could it be?
I decided to practice on a lamp that I had that I knew I wasn't going to use.  It had good lines to catch wax and create "aging".
plus it was a cast iron lamp and the directions said that the paint would adhere to anything....
which it did.
So, I shook the paint up.  (Of course I didn't read the instructions) opened the can up and started painting.
I painted one coat....
Since I didn't shake the paint long enough, nor did I mix the paint up (duh)(I should have known better) it came out very runny.
Causing this...
I sanded down the drips, shook the can up 1 - 2 minutes, stirred it with a stick really well and applied another coat..
Still not the best coverage in the world.  Strike one.
Annie Sloan comes out thick and creamy and the coverage is great.
so.  I painted another coat.  Third coat.  Coverage was okay this time around. (but it WAS the third coat)
Time to wax.  Okay, in my defense, the shoppe that I purchased the Amy Howard paint in did not send me the PDF file with the instructions.  And, I thought I knew what I was doing.  NOT.
 I "thought" the dark wax went on first.

 um, that would be a NO....So, I repainted the whole lamp a fourth time.
 Then I read the directions....Are you following me or have you given up?
I applied the correct wax.
 After letting the clear wax dry (45 - 60 minutes)
you apply the dark wax (very sparingly)
and only in areas that you want aging.
Now I was getting a little irritated.  I let the owner of the shoppe talk me into white paint instead of ivory (because they were out of ivory)  She said it would bring the same results.  I didn't.  This look is way more white than I wanted.  But, I should have known better.
on to the next step.

While the dark wax is tacky, dab the dust.

 and pounce it in the grooves really gettin in those corners and digging it in.
 then with an old t-shirt, buff it all out.

The verdict?
I think Annie Sloan is much easier, and I really like the coverage better.  And, I'm a little annoyed that Amy Howard would call this "One Step" paint.  Try like THREE steps to get a good paint coverage.
If you are wanting just a "Chalk Paint" look, I would definitely use Annie.  Even if you are waxing, I would go with Annie.  If you want aging and all those yummy extras, then go with Amy Howard.  But READTHEDIRECTIONS!!!
I'm disappointed in the outcome.  But, if I had used the ivory paint I think I would have liked it better.  Not sure if I just didn't know what I was doing or what.  The powder didn't adhere to the wax nearly as well as I thought it should.

Maybe I should leave this for a professional.

Have a great day y'all!


  1. Sounds like a LOT more work than Annie's stuff, but it does look beautiful!

  2. I painted several pieces and the paint does not adhere to the furniture. Scrapes right off!

    1. untrue in all of my experience

  3. I've used ASCP for two years now and have yet to find something that comes close to the quality that you get. For those who complain about the price, my reply is you get what you pay for! Case in point, saw this new paint by Amy Howard with it's attractive packaging and beautiful display and $10.00 lower price tag, so I bought 2 cans! Not happy with it at all, it is like watered down latex. Pretty colors, but I learned my lesson and will stick with what I know I can always count on!!!!

  4. Give General Finishes Milk Paint a try. .. Throw every can of wax u find away.

  5. I use to use Annie Sloan and I have used all the others but the BEST paint out there is called Chalk Country Paint and it is made in the USA. Their black is BLACK and it covers much better then anyone else.Also the price is under 30.00 and they dont make a lot of fake claims like ALL the other paint companies do.

  6. I purchased the Amy Howard Home "one step" lacquers, and they do not bond, they look good if you don't touch or wipe them, but they do not hold up at all.

    1. Did you use the primer?

  7. Being a professional decorative painter for almost 17 years and using many many paints/paint products l have had the exact opposite feeling. Not a huge fan of the ascp, I think you are right maybe you weren't given enough information on how to use the Amy Howard line. I have taken classes to learn proper application and find them easy to use when you know how to do so. Anytime you get into to speciality products there usually are some tips and tricks to know. Sorry you had such a bad experience. :)

  8. Thanks for the info, I'll take it into consideration.

  9. I had about 11 years of experience finishing metal products before i decided to try refinishing wood. I used Amy Howard on my first piece ever, without knowing the directions of application and only applying my knowledge of other paint products, and it came out great. For everybody who has used AH one step paint and had that puddle of water on top, turn the can upside down for 20 - 30 minutes before using it. Then stir after opening the can like you would with any paint. I agree that it does take more applications than other products but it also could be the type of finish you covering. Example: I painted a 10 ft wooden rack. The exterior was coated with a glaze but the interior only had a stain. I used 1/2 a can applying 2 coats to the entire exterior. I used 1 and 1/3 cans on the interior applying 3 coats to get complete coverage because the wood was absorbing the paint. Also with the wax, it can be one or the other. You don't have to apply the clear before the dark. That is practically repeating the same step. If you want to use Dust of Ages apply to rich and dark colored paint with light wax to achieve the antique look. For light colored paint use the dark wax to achieve the antique finish. The pros i have for AH one step paint are that it dries quickly. It layers very well if you are trying to achieve multiple color distressing and it can be applied to multiple materials with the same ease I.E. metal, resin, wood, plastic.

  10. One step does not mean one coat. One step means there is no sanding, priming or stripping involved before painting. I use Amy Howard and I love it. If you are not sure how to use the products there are great tutorials online. If you got a watery paint then you did not stir it enough. I turn my paint can upside down for a bit then open and stir. Beautiful coverage and it dries quickly.

  11. Thank you for your honesty. It will save me another 30something dollars and my precious time. There is NO substitute for AS is what I have come to realize...all imitators are just that.

  12. I just tried Amy Howard and will never use it again. Headed to the store to pick up AS to repaint the piece. The AH took 4 coats and the coverage isn't great. I did turn it upside down and stirred. Painted the inside of the wooden bookcase with AS, so I got a good comparison, and 2 coats will do it. Also after letting the AH dry for a week taped off a portion for painting the inside and it peeled the paint. Live and Learn

  13. You must try Old Town Paint. $2 cheaper than AS and made in America. It is great stuff. A bit thicker than AS. I feel it is much more durable than AS. I painted my dining room table and chairs with their True Black (which is absolutely true black) and it is holding up surprisingly well, much better than my furniture painted with AS, and most of my furniture downstairs is painted with ASCP. I still use AS wax, but will give Old Town's a try when I run out.

  14. Wish you'd take this blog down! First, you never shake chalk paint - you need to mix it very well, then use. And you NEVER put dark wax on before using a clear wax underneath. If you had done this properly, you would have found the Amy Howard paint or Annie Sloan to work very well.

  15. I just attended the Amy Howard at Home workshop in Memphis and these comments are funny. You clearly spell out in your article the problem. You didn't read the instructions and you didn't know how to use it. You also didn't shake the can up which there is not a paint product in an industry where you don't shake or mix before using. I can't imagine there are many specialty products on the market where you think you don't have to know how to use it before you start a project. Amy and Gene are two of the most genuine and wonderful people I have ever met in my life. Their business and studios are first class and are led by the most amazing and energetic people that really care. Trust me, if you take the time to learn the processes, its not hard. I was a painting contractor for the last 10 years and had never used chalk or milk paint before. I came away from the 2 day workshop ready to take on anything. If it took 3-4 coats, then you don't know what you're doing. If you say it doesn't bond to something, then you don't know what you're doing. If you say that its so complicated, then you simply don't know what you're doing. Just like anything, you have to learn how to do it. There are two major differences between Annie Sloan and Amy Howard. 1. AH is made and sold in the USA. That should be enough right there. 2. Annie Sloan's line contains methanol, which is toxic and flammable. Would you want this on pieces of furniture in your house, or your children's rooms? I wouldn't either. Is Annie Sloan a nice, sweet lady? Yes, she is. However, if I can buy an American made product that's sold here in America, that's just as good, (and it is), and the price is a few dollars cheaper, then I'm sold. Please try it and take advantage of the Tutorials on her website. They have so much information on there. Thank you.

    1. I attended her class too!! And you are dead on!! Made in the USA should be enough to sell anyone. You made good points on learning how to use the product and READ!!

    2. Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan is also manufactured in the United States. I would do some more research and be well informed before making accusations regarding a specific product, its contents, and its safety.

  16. I have to concur with this last post. I have some AS paint and had the issue of it not covering well. I realize I may not have mixed it up enough. I recently found the AH paint at a local Ace Hardware, tried it, but this time I read the instructions. Great success. Covered very well with one application, though I did another. Dried immediately, almost as I was painting it so I expect it to be very helpful with best use of my time as a decorative painter now concentrating on furniture, etc. The only complaint I have is that I don't always want to use wax and am wondering if I can cover my pieces with an acrylic finish instead of wax. I am not necessarily always interested in the chalk look but the drying time can't be beat. Though I sent the company an email several days ago I have not been able to get a reply and the phone number on the website is a fax # so I can't just make a quick phone call. Also, the Ace stores offer limited colors and you have to order more than one container of any other color you might want. Hopefully, I can get past these issues because I really loved the product.

    1. I am an AH retailer and painter. Yes you can use a varnish like Polycrilic or polyurethane. :-)
      And no one mentioned how GREAT AH wax is!!! Sooooo much better than ASCP!
      All of it is 100% green and clean up with soap and water. And MADE IN AMERICA! AH is more durable than ASCP.