I’ve noticed that a lot of the search terms that bring people to this blog are centred around the similarities/differences between Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Autentico Vintage Paint. ‘Annie Sloan v Autentico Vintage’ is a typical type of phrase that I see in the search terms daily.
I think that I can give an impartial view, despite the fact that I sell Autentico Vintage Paint. I paint furniture with both brands, so feel that I can give a comparison without (hopefully) anyone thinking that I’m attempting to feather my own nest.
So, first of all; I like both brands (which I’ll refer to as ‘ASCP’ (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint) and ‘AV’ (Autentico Vintage) and feel that they are different enough for me to paint with both brands. I used to paint with 2 brands of acrylic eggshell too, but now just stick to Farrow & Ball because I felt that there was too little difference between the 2 eggshell brands to warrant me purchasing both.
I’m guessing that the main gist of questions you have concern the topics I’ve covered below? They are only my opinions; other painters might have a different view.
EASE OF USE
I have been using ASCP for about 18 months and must admit that it took some getting used to. I was familiar with painting furniture in acrylic eggshell paint and found ASCP a little tricky to use. Over time, I got the hang of ASCP and its quirks and foibles, but I did feel a little stupid when I first used it because it was meant to be easy to use and I struggled with too much texture and the dreaded ‘chalk balls’. I used a lot of sandpaper in the early days!
I came to Autentico Vintage with nearly three hundred refurbs under my belt, and also with the prior experience of using chalk paint. I was immediately struck by how different it was to use and the finish is quite different to ASCP. Ok, so ASCP and AV both give a chalky matt finish, but there’s less colour variation with AV, and it also has a slower drying time, so doesn’t go into chalk balls as quickly as ASCP. AV feels very much like painting with a good quality eggshell; i.e. it gives a smooth finish, but without any sheen.
For someone who just wants an easy to use paint, I feel AV has the edge. It’s more intuitive because there’s a feeling of familiarity to those who have used eggshell or satin paints for DIY projects around the home. The workable drying time is similar to that of an acrylic eggshell. For those who are more experienced, it’s a matter of taste (see ‘DIVERSITY’ below) which, if any brand is preferred.
I will be fair here and say that ASCP gives excellent coverage in most of the colours. AV gives excellent coverage in most of the shades, but the very pale shades do require an additional coat or even better, a primer. I think this is because the paint gives a smoother finish, so spreads a bit further when painted onto furniture. I dare say that if you wanted to spread it on thick, you could do, but the beauty of AV is that it is capable of giving an ultra smooth finish without the need for being a seasoned professional furniture painter.
I’ve always found that the white shades in all types of paint (eggshells included) are difficult to get coverage over very dark furniture, so there’s nothing to pick between brands when it comes to white. For this reason, I always use a primer when painting furniture in white paint, no matter what brand.
Because ASCP is very soft, it’s extremely easy to manipulate. It sands down effortlessly and is easy to distress. AV dries to a harder finish, so requires just a tad more effort to manipulate and distress, but we’re not talking any great difference here.
For arty farty paint effects, I feel that ASCP has the edge because it’s very soft, it can be pushed around a bit.
For straight forward distressing with sandpaper, both brands are easy to do.
On this front AV has the edge. With over 130 colours to choose from, there’s something to suit everyone, without the need to mix colours together to get a desired shade.
I’m not sure of the number of ASCP colours; I guess it’s about 30. In all fairness, the colours are very well balanced, so there’s choice, but not 130 shades of choice.
I’m used to waxing ASCP, so expected AV to be the same but it isn’t. Because AV dries to a harder finish than ASCP, it absorbs less wax, and is quicker to wax, but I have found that it benefits from a quick second coat a day or two after the first wax.
I tend to do the same with ASCP. Wax once, then go over any bits that look ‘dry’ a day or so after the first wax.
There’s far less colour/pigment variation with AV when applying wax. I sometimes like pigmentation variation, I sometimes want a straight uniform finish, and by using both brands of paint, I have that choice.
In 1 litre pots, ASCP’s are £16.95 for all shades, AV are £17.95 for colours and £15.25 for white. AV do 2.5 litre pots for those that paint professionally and they are priced at £37.50. As far as I’m aware, ASCP only come in 1 litre pots at present.
DEPENDS WHAT YOU WANT?
If you want to do paint effects with minimal effort, because it’s soft, ASCP has the edge in my opinion. If you want a formal finish, with minimal brush strokes and ease of use, AV has the edge IMO.
I ordered a few pots of AV to try out before I became a stockist. I was drawn to AV because it gave a formal finish. Quite a lot of my customers don’t want any fancy paint effects – they just want a straight forward, painted piece of furniture with a smooth finish. Other customers want paint effects. And that’s why I use both brands, because that way I have the best of both worlds.
I like both brands, I paint with both brands and feel that they each have something rather special and unique to offer. Vive la difference!
On an entirely different note, I’m going AWOL for a few days. It’s Jean’s funeral on Thursday and I’m having just a day or two away from the blog, but will be back in action soon.