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Check out our Q&A below and if you still have questions please visit our contact page, fill out the form and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Make sure to visit our Tips & Techniques, Tutorial, and Inspiration pages, as they are great resources as well.
Q: What is Chalk Synthesis Paint?
A: Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint is furniture paint and more. It has superior adhesion to many surfaces including wood and painted surfaces. No sanding or priming is required before beginning most projects. It has a desirable matte finish and is a versatile paint capable of producing many custom finishes.
Q: What surfaces can I paint with Wise Owl?
A: Bare wood, surfaces coated with polyurethane, painted furniture, glass, metal, leather, and even fabric and upholstery.
Q: Do I ever have to sand or prime before painting?
A: Sanding is rarely required before beginning a project. The exceptions to this rule are: removing loose paint from a surface, smoothing out any defects or imperfections you do not wish to keep, and removing rust and debris that remains on the surface. Lightly sanding your painted piece with fine grit sandpaper or a sanding block can produce a smooth surface for easier application of glaze, poly, wax, or hemp oil. After the paint is dry, if a more textured paint finish is desired skip the sanding and go right to choosing a sealant. The superior coverage of Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint will smooth out most minor imperfections. Some laminate furniture may benefit for a light sanding to ensure proper adhesion.
Q: What type of brush is the best to use?
A: A natural bristle brush produces subtle texture and makes painting quicker and easier. A stiff natural bristle brush is able to get into detailed pieces with ease. Our high quality brush line will ensure you use less paint and have even coverage. They are also great to use for wax application. Synthetic and sponge brushes and rollers may be used for different finishes. Find what brush works for you.
Q: How do I care for my natural bristle HQ paint and wax brush?
A: Clean with soap and water, dry the bristles lightly, and place upright in a cup to dry completely. The attached strings should be removed before use or after the first use. Never leave your brush submerged in water. With proper care, these brushes will last and you will experience much less shedding than most natural bristle brushes. Do not use the same brush for wax finishing and paint. Once a brush has been used for wax it contains oil and can affect proper adhesion if mixed with the paint.
Q: How do I care for My Cling On! Paint Brush?
A: Cling On! paint brushes are designed to be stored and used wet. Suspend the bristle tips in water by attaching a clip to the handle and storing in a jar with a little water. After use, return to the jar and the paint will just slide off and will simply need a slight rinse before the next use. Squeeze out a little water from the brush and you are ready to paint. This extends the life of the brush and helps preserve shape retention as well as produces a smooth brush stroke free finish. The string attached to the round and oval style brushes is meant to stay in place to help the brush hold its shape. Should you allow paint to dry on the brush accidentally, soap and water cleanup is acceptable.
Q: What do I clean my piece with prior to painting?
A: Cleaning your piece of surface debris and oils is extremely important. To ensure proper adhesion, clean with a vinegar and water mix, which will also help neutralize any odors. Deglosser or Tri Sodium Phosphate may be required before painting kitchen cabinets to ensure any oil residue is removed. Any oil remnants on a surface (including furniture polish) can compromise the adhesion qualities of the paint. Never clean with an oil based soap or degreaser.
Q: Can I paint my kitchen cabinets with Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint?
A: ABSOLUTELY! Many kitchens have been given gorgeous makeovers with Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint! As long as you clean the surfaces properly and seal with an appropriate sealer, your cabinets will maintain a beautiful and strong finish. We recommend polyurethane or polycrylic for the strongest finish, but hemp oil cures to a very strong and durable finish worthy of kitchen cabinets as well.
Q: Why am I seeing discoloration on my painted piece?
A: There are times when a barrier may be necessary. Some furniture may have stains and varnishes that can bleed through. If you experience this, you can apply a polycrylic or spray shellac under the paint to block bleed through. Pieces from the depression and post-depression era may have such finishes that require a barrier to ensure it doesn’t change your finish to yellow or pink in areas. If you have already painted and are noticing bleed through, the basecoat may be applied over the dried paint. After the barrier is dry you may paint right over it.
Some wood such as pine, oak, and mahogany may occasionally discolor paint from tannins in the knots in the wood. The same technique of applying a barrier will eliminate this from happening.
How do I apply the paint?
A: There are many techniques for applying the paint. To start, make sure you thoroughly shake and stir the paint. Shake the can vigorously for one minute then open and stir. You may pour the paint into a smaller container to keep the can clean from paint or you may paint directly from the can. Dip only the first 1/4’” of the brush into the paint and paint in short brush strokes in a thin coat to reduce brush stroke marks. It may be applied in a criss-cross pattern as well if more texture is desired. After your first coat is thoroughly dry you may apply a second coat if needed. Sanding between coats is not necessary.
Q: What is dry brushing?
A: Dry brushing is a technique designed to mimic an antique weathered or distressed look or to layer several colors into a finish with lots of dimension. To achieve this look, simply dip the very end of your dry brush into the paint. Gently wisp on the paint without covering all areas. You may paint in all directions or stay horizontal or vertical depending on the desired look. This technique is especially effective on pieces with lots of texture or detail. Allowing the paint to just graze the raised detail adds character and detail to your piece. You will use less paint and further distressing is not required.
Q: How do I create a distressed look?
A: There are several techniques to achieve a layered, chippy, distressed, or aged look. After your paint is dry you may lightly sand with sandpaper or a sanding block to reveal the finish below the paint. Focus on areas that would be distressed with time. You are trying to mimic what time would naturally do to a piece. Focus on areas of detail and the edges and legs of the piece for a natural distressed look. Layering paint colors and sanding to reveal colors below is a technique which produces unique pieces. Dark wax, glazes, and even stain may be applied to add patina and character to pieces. School glue can even be applied and painted over to create a chippy crackle effect. Paint may be applied in thick coats and hit lightly with a hair dryer for a crackle effect. Get creative with your techniques!
Q: Do I have to seal my piece? If so, which is the best sealer?
A: Yes, Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint is a porous paint. All of the negative pore space enables the paint to have superior adhesion qualities. That pore space must be filled or protected to reduce further distressing and to prevent the paint from absorbing liquids or oils from use. Choosing the right sealant depends on the piece and its intended finish and use.
WAX: Wise Owl Furniture wax is a solvent free natural wax. It is very easy to apply and preserves the desirable matte finish of the paint. Wise Owl Furniture Wax comes in many colors and can be layered for effect. Clear wax will not change the paint except to richen the color back to its original color after sanding. Wax will need to be reapplied every now and then depending on the use of the piece. Wax is not recommended for pieces such as kitchen cabinets and tabletops. Surfaces with heavy wear may need further protection such as polyurethane or polycrylic. Wax is not intended for outdoor use. It cannot withstand rain and heat. Wax should always be the last step. You should not try to polyurethane or polycrylic over wax. The barrier properties of the wax will keep the finish from properly adhering. If you desire to paint over or refinish a waxed surface, clean well to remove residual oils and then reapply your finish.
HEMP OIL: Hemp oil is 100% natural oil that is a superior sealant. It will leave a buttery smooth finish on your paint if the wet sanding technique is employed. Hemp oil is especially great for pieces with heavy distressing because it penetrates through all layers of the paint and can richen and protect any of the original wood showing through a piece. Hemp oil fully cures to a hard and strong finish within 30 days. It doesn’t generally need to be reapplied because it doesn’t just sit on top of the paint like other sealants. A light wipe down with more hemp oil on a sponge or lint free cloth can bring life back to a piece if needed. Hemp oil may be used on any wood surface. Hemp oil is able to penetrate the surface of raw or stained wood. If you are using hemp oil on wood that is varnished or polyurethaned, the hemp oil cannot be absorbed because of the barrier but can still produce a gorgeous shine.
POLYURETHANE or POLYCRILLIC: Polyurethane is generally an oil based protectant and polycrylic is water based. These finishes are best suited for heavy traffic areas or outdoor use. Most cabinet applications require poly because of their heavy use. Polyurethane can yellow over time so if you are painting in a light color, polycrylic is a better option. Polycrylic does not yellow over time the way that polyurethane does. You may apply poly over dried paint with a sponge roller, synthetic brush, or foam brush. There are wipe on polys produced that are easy to use and have great results. Follow the manufacturer’s application instructions. The downside to poly is the visible brush stroke marks, but some light sanding can be done in between coats to eliminate this. The key is a good quality product and proper application. A matte poly can preserve the chalky finish of the paint or a semi-gloss or gloss may be applied if more luster is desired.
Glaze: Glaze can produce a very strong finish and additional poly can be applied over it if desired. If you choose to glaze your piece, hemp oil is not a candidate for an additional sealant because it will not be able to penetrate through the glaze. It may still be used to add shine. Wise Owl glazes may be layered for different effects but need to dry thoroughly before applying another coat or color.