American Paint Company Paint and Wax Review: Piano Bench Makeover

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Today, I'd like to introduce you to yet another furniture paint brand: American Paint Company clay/chalk/mineral based paint and clear wax.  I'm using the color "Dollar Bill", a beautiful medium blue green (slightly more gray than MMS Kitchen Scale and more blue than Annie Duck Egg) and "Home Plate"  a warm neutral white (a good compare to MMS Ironstone or Annie Old White) with clear wax to make over a piano bench.

In my ongoing quest to provide you with honest reviews of as many major paint brands which are available in the decorative paint market, I decided to try APC because it's all natural, zero VOC, eco-friendly, solvent free, and it's made in America!  I mentioned it to my sweet friend Heather from The Wild Dandelion. She was so convinced that I'd love it that she was kind enough to send me some so that I could try it for myself and guess what?!  She was right!

Here's what I learned: APC offers chalk/mineral paints that average about $5 to $6 less per quart than Annie and will provide a consistent chalk-type finish on previously finished wood.This means that you won't need a bonding agent like you do with MMS which means that APC is also about $5 or $6 less than MMS which is retailing for about $22 per bag + $18 for bonding agent.

To make over my bench, I first sanded the piece  to remove the failing, chipping shellac then I dusted with a dry cloth. With APC paint, there is no priming necessary. I used a sample jar of  APC Dollar Bill, 1/2 of a sample size jar of  Home Plate and a good quality 1 1/2 inch synthetic angle brush.  A natural bristle brush would probably work better with this paint but my synthetic fiber brush did a beautiful job.

The paint seemed just a little thinner than Annie which is great for me because I always thin Annie with water (the same is possible with APC). It took only  two coats to cover the previous medium stain on this piece. The paint goes on smooth and dries quickly but has a just slightly longer drying time which for me, is a good thing because my brush didn't get crusty and I was able to go back and finesse a few areas before the paint had dried to the point that I would have needed to sand it.

PAINTER'S TIP:  Thinning the paint slightly prior to applying the final coat for a more smooth finish and less sanding.

Adhesion is excellent with this paint and I don't think that it's going anywhere; even on a piece that was previously varnished. It sands and distresses easily and the finish is uniform and without any "shiny spots" where it was sanded.

I applied this wax with a flour sack dish towel. I could have used a natural bristle brush but for small pieces, I generally wax by hand. Let me tell you right now that this wax is hands down, the best wax that I have ever used!  There is no odor whatsoever. It is extremely creamy, it went on like butter and is very forgiving.  It dries beautifully without streaking or stickiness and buffs to a great sheen. I'm looking forward to using up the other products that I have in my supply and making this my go to wax from now on. Another bonus, when using their specialty waxes (like antiquing wax) there's no need to use clear wax first. Clear Wax Price Points as of 1/30/2015:  MMS (7oz) $30 ($4.29 per ounce), ASCP (16.97 oz) $24.95 ($1.47 per ounce) APC (13.5 oz) $27.95 ($2.07 per ounce). 

PAINTER'S TIP: Waxing between colors allows you to build multiple color layers and sand through only one layer at a time to create a "well-loved, time-washed" appearance; even on new pieces. Waxing between coats will also allow for distressing with a damp cloth or sponge for a smoother finish without sanding. I also like to layer the wax. After one or two coats, I lightly sand some areas to make the paint color appear old and uneven as it would be if it was aged.

Disclosure: I received APC products from Heather at The Wild Dandelion for this test. She knew that I would write about my experience regardless of the outcome. I was not compensated by American Paint Company for writing this post and, as always, all opinions are 100% truthful and my own based upon my use of the product.

My final opinion on American Paint Company Products:  Paint: I love it. It is less expensive to use on previously painted furniture than either ASCP or MMS with binder. The colors are gorgeous and are comparable to those of both ASCP and MMS. It goes on smoothly, dries quickly, sands easily and has all of the other characteristics that I've come to love about chalk, milk, and mineral paint. Near zero voc, eco friendly, super easy soap and water clean up. Wax: IT IS MY NEW GO TO WAX! Yes, I mean that. It goes on like butter, has NO smell, it's smooth, even and dries hard, not sticky. Another thing I love about it, it's made in the U.S.A.  

P.S. If you live in Northern IL  or Southern, WI and you decide to try this paint, I hope that you'll consider purchasing it through The Wild Dandelion in Waunakee WI. She's a licensed dealer, she knows her paint and she's one of the nicest people you'll ever meet via email, the telephone or in person.  (She also ships if you're not in the area).

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