Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How does paint mixed with Dover's differ from ready made chalk paints?
The main differences between paint mixed with Dover's and ready made chalk finish paints are the differences that led you to Dover's in the first place. Price, convenience and color choice. Chalk paints are great and now there are literally dozens of brands available. We find new ones all the time. But, again, most all are expensive, not easy to find and available in limited colors.
Use paint mixed with Dover's just as you would any other chalk style paint. Everything you know or will discover about chalk painting applies.
Q: What types of paint can I mix with Dover's?
You can use just about any flat latex or acrylic paint with Dover's Chalk Finish Paint Mix. If you have paint, even satin or eggshell, give it a try. If you are going to buy paint, buy flat. If possible, pick a paint from the list below.
In the past we advised against using a paint and primer combination because some combinations did not work well with our Mix. Now that just about everything is labeled paint and primer we went shopping and identified which paints at the most popular stores work well. The fact is, many paints so labeled actually have very little, if any, primer in them. Shopping from this list will save you time and money. If you cannot get to one of these stores just ask your paint dealer for flat latex or acrylic without, or with very little, primer and you will be fine. All of the big name paint stores will have something. If in doubt, try a sample first.
Here are our findings as of 6/15/2015. The ones marked (*) are our favorites but that is just our opinion. They are all good.
Home Depot -
*Behr Premium Plus ( NOT the Ultra Premium Plus), Paint and Primer in One, flat in the red can. 100% acrylic, zero VOC's
Glidden Premium, Paint + Primer, flat/mate in the red can, low odor. Zero VOC's.
Olympic ICON, Paint + Primer in One, interior flat in the blue and white can, zero VOC's.
*Valspar Signature, Paint + Primer, flat in the blue can, 100% acrylic latex, low odor and low VOC's
ACE Hardware -
*Royal Wall & Trim Paint, flat acrylic latex, one of our favorites and easy to find (ACE is everywhere).
Valspar ASPIRE, paint & primer, Exclusive EVERLUXE formula, low odor and zero VOC's.
*Glidden High Endurance Interior Paint, High Quality, flat in the green and white can. Low odor and no VOC's. The label may or may not say self-priming.
Probably our #1 pick because it is zero VOC, covers really well, is only $9.50 a quart or $16 a gallon,
and it is really hard to NOT find a Walmart.
Orchard Supply Hardware -
*Benjamin Moore 14.5 ounce samples. We were in there shopping and noticed the samples were on sale for
1/2 price (regular $4.50). They worked great.
If you have some other paint that you like, give it a try. We haven't tried every paint available.
Q: Do I need to sand and prime before painting?
To preface the following, let us say that we have painted or helped paint hundreds of pieces with little more than a good cleaning and have experienced only a very few issues. If in doubt, the best practice is to test paint
a small area first to see if there are any potential problems before painting. This information pertains to projects painted with ANY chalk style paint, not just paint made with our Mix.
Just about any surface can be painted with chalk style paints. One of their big selling points is that little or no surface prep is needed. Stained and varnished pieces, laminated surfaces, ceramic, metal as well as previously painted and waxed pieces are all good candidates for painting and, generally, it is true that no sanding or priming will be necessary. However, there are times when taking a little extra time to evaluate and prepare your project properly will give you a better end result. It all depends on the condition of the article to be painted.
Make sure you always start by cleaning the surface. If there appears to be any grease or oil present, be sure to clean with some kind of degreaser before you paint or prime. Paint and primer will not adhere to any type of oils, even those used in cleaning.
If you are painting an old piece of wood furniture, with no flaking or lifted paint, that hasn't been waxed for 20 years, you are probably good to go after a good cleaning. But a really slick or smooth surface, like laminate, can be hard for any paint or primer to stick to. To be on the safe side, at least go over it with 220 or 320 grit sandpaper to give the primer or paint something to cling too. You can also try wiping the piece down with a liquid sander and deglosser (available at hardware stores) instead of using sandpaper. Again, paint a test patch before deciding what needs to be done.
If you are painting over something that has a wax coating on it, painted or unpainted, the wax will have to be removed. NO paint or primer will stick to a waxed surface.
If the piece to be painted has nicks and gouges it will still have them after you paint. If you don't want them you will need to fill and sand them out before painting. The same goes for old flaky paint and delaminated veneer. If you don't want it to show you will have to sand it off or repair it.
Q: How many coats of paint should I use?
As many as you need to get the coverage or look that you want. It all depends on how much Mix you use, the brand of paint you use, the color of the paint, and the color of the item you are painting. Play with it to get the combination that works for you.
Q: How do I seal the paint I make with Dover's?
Naturally, we recommend using Dover's Chalk Finish Paint Wax. Dover's Wax is an all natural blend of walnut oil, carnauba wax and bees wax and contains no volatile petroleum products. As such, it will take longer to dry than regular petroleum based waxes but without the smell and possible irritation. Some people are allergic to walnuts, so be advised.
Use it as you would any good paste wax. If it is being used on a table top use several coats and let it cure for several weeks before putting anything heavy on the table.
Q: How tough is paint made with Dover's?
Most all chalk finish paints have a finish that is tougher and more scratch resistant than straight latex or acrylic paint. And the more Mix you add to your paint , the tougher it is. Which leads to the next question.
Q: Can I make chalkboard paint with Dover's?
Most definitely YES. Mix the paint with TWICE as much Dover's Mix as shown on the chart. You can use just about anything with a smooth surface for a chalkboard. Paint on at least three coats using a short nap roller or a sponge brush to make the smoothest possible finish. After it has thoroughly dried, condition the surface by covering the entire board with chalk using the flat side of the chalk and wiping it down with a cloth.
PS: DO NOT seal the paint!