When I first started blogging I was also fairly new to painting & staining wood. Now I’ve finished hundreds of projects from refinishing cabinets to bedroom furniture. The fact is, there’s not one way to refinish wood. There are many ways. While I tend to follow the same prep no matter what product I use, there’s just so many options from stain, paint to finishing touches to choose from. It can be overwhelming!
That’s why I seek out the best of the best when it comes to paints, stains & applicators. I stumbled across a brand of paint that had me intrigued. This brand also led me to the best paint brushes for refinishing furniture and painting cabinets. This brand of paint has an amazing choice of colors from muted grays to vibrant blues. I’ve now used Wise Owl Paint and Cling-On Brushes to refinish a variety of furniture and to paint cabinets. Here’s what makes this brand so great. Read on to learn more about the smoothest Chalk Paint ever.
Choose your paint Wisely
Wise Owl paint is a chalk-style paint, but it spreads smoothly and it’s not nearly as thick as some chalk paints on the market. In fact, it’s not thick at all. It still dries to a chalky finish, but the consistency of the paint is so much easier to work with. A little goes a long way too, unlike some of those thicker chalk paints. What you end up with is a smooth application and beautiful finish.
If you’ve ever used an oil based paint, waterborne or high quality latex, then you know how well these products spread. If you’ve ever used a thick chalk paint, you also know how these tend to spread less even, but the finish product is a chalky appearance. With Wise Owl Synthesis Chalk paint, you get the best of both worlds. An easy to spread paint with all the benefits of a chalk paint. It’s truly a great paint.
Color selection is another area that Wise Owl Paint shines. They’ve hit the “style” factor very well and there’s something for everyone or every color scheme. Their grays are true grays. Their blues, true blues. Oh, and their teal colors are amazing. I am a lover all things teal and they have some great options for those teal-blue lovers like me. Check out the Wise Owl color selection here.
Wise Owl isn’t just paint. They have a selection of wax finishes and glazes to complete your project. Their wax spreads well with a thick cling-on brush and dries to a smooth beautiful finish. Their glaze options come in light to dark and even metallic. If you are someone who prefers Polyurethane style finishes, Wise Owl also makes a water based varnish in flat or satin. Use a dark glaze or white wax to add depth or a white washed look to your furniture. They truly have everything you need to take your project from start to finish.
They offer sample sizes on their website so that you can test out the colors before you decide to purchase a larger size. The image above is how their samples ship to you.
Quality paints are not cheap because their made with quality materials and made to be durable and stand up to time. Sometimes the price of some of these paints can freak people out. Like why is a gallon of latex the same price as a quart of chalk paint? First, a gallon of latex paint in the higher-end brands, is about twice the price of a quart of chalk paint. Second, your pint or quart of chalk paint will go far. I repeat, it will go far. At least with Wise Owl paint, it will. I still had more than half a pint of paint after painting the large Lane Love Chest mentioned below. Per Wise Owl, a quart can go 160 square feet!
Wise Owl Paint is comparable in price to Annie Sloan, but Wise Owl paint is much better in my opinion. It’s a nice smooth and thinner paint with all the benefits of a chalk paint. It’s thinner properties make it easier to spread and obtain a smooth finish and you don’t lose coverage with Wise Owl paint just because it’s thinner. I found that it has excellent coverage. I just love it! I personally prefer paint that spreads well over thick paint. I really don’t like paint or primer when it’s too thick. Thick paint is a recipe for brush marks.
Wise Owl paint is also non-toxic and zero VOC. That’s volatile organic compounds to those who don’t’ know what that acronym stands for. From 34.99 you can get yourself a quart of Wise Owl Chalk Paint. A pint is only $22.99.
I was skeptical about a brush being so great that it would help to prevent brush marks. That was until I used Cling-On Brushes. These brushes are not only great for use with Wise Owl paints, but all paints for that matter! They do not shed, they’re thick and the bristles are so soft that when you apply your paint you get a nice smooth and even application. If you are a DIY’er, you need these brushes in your arsenal! Cling-On brushes are my go to paint brush.
Cling-On Brushes come in a variety of sizes and each style, such as flat, round or oval, come in multiple sizes. This makes owning a collection of various sizes perfect for those who do a lot of projects. Their flat paint brushes are perfect for anything. They are very universal and perfect to paint furniture (especially large flat surfaces), wood, doors or walls. Their R16 (round brush) is perfect for small detailed areas like picture frames and their R20 is great for round furniture legs and arms. Their oval shaped brushes give you benefits of round and flat all in one. So I would recommend having at least 035 and 045 to have a smaller and a larger one available. The smaller brushes are good for intricate areas and smaller details, and the large brush heads are best for larger surfaces. However, you can’t go wrong with any of the sizes or styles. I love them all!
How to Apply… Wisely
Wise Owl Paint is durable and easy to apply. It’s going to be more forgiving than a standard latex paint and have maximum adhesion with less prep. I simply never recommend to skip sanding, however, you could get away with cleaning your existing wood finish and then paint without sanding per Wise Owl’s tips. It adheres to stained, painted, or wood furniture, metal, glass, fabric, and more. For me, I prefer to do some sanding regardless. I just don’t do it heavily with this sort of paint. I do some sanding because with any paint, you can run into the possibly that your paint won’t stand up to time and or that the finish won’t adhere to an existing finish. Which is why I always recommend the below practice for refinishing wood and I don’t entirely skip sanding (although you can get away with a very light sanding or you can skip it if you want.
- Clean your wood surface with 50/50 denatured alcohol and water using a scouring pad.
- Allow the surface to dry and then “lightly” sand with 150 grit or higher sandpaper to remove any existing finish. Typically the denatured alcohol mix will remove much (if not all) of the old finish. 220 grit will provide you a much smoother surface than 150. It really is personal preference. I often start with 150 and then lightly go over with 220. Sometimes I just start and end with 220 grit. It really depends on the surface I am working with; how old it is, how beat up it is and how I want the piece to look. Sanding just ensures you get a nice new surface to work with and removes any old imperfections. For intricate areas that are hard to get with an electric sander, simply do these by hand. The nice thing about Wise Owl paint – you can get away with a light sanding and if you barely sand these detailed areas, you’ll be fine. My go to sander is a Makita Random Orbital Sander.
- Remove any dust using a vacuum and then you’re ready to apply your paint. You can learn more about using a primer on their website, but for most colors of paint you won’t need a primer. There are some cases when white or light colors can show some yellowing later due to tannins in certain wood varieties. This is simply a issue with any light colored paint like white. If you plan to prime, do this before you apply your paint. For the best results use Cling-On Brushes to apply your Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis paint.
- Apply your finish coat such as wax or varnish. Wise Owl makes a variety of finishing products in sheens like flat or satin. The Flat Cling-On brushes are great for applying their water based varnish.
A Lane Love Chest Passed Down
On this post I have an example of a Lane Love Chest that I refinished which was my Mother-N-Law’s who we lost recently. It had a red stained color and was pretty worn out. I wanted to keep this in the family and pass this down through the generations.
I followed the above procedures using Bowie (a beautiful nautical/farmhouse muted Navy blue) Wise Owl paint. I stained the top in General Finishes Java Gel Stain and used Wise Owl Varnish in Satin for the finish coat. The results are stunning! I have a coastal farmhouse theme going on and this fit in perfectly.
I used the F50 or F40 on the majority of this chest. “F”stands for “Flat”. For the front details area, I used the R16 (round) brush to get in the grooves, followed by the O40 (Oval) brush for the following two applications.
Using Wise Owl Paint saved me a lot of time. The entire process from cleaning, sanding, painting to the finish coat; took me only 2 hours! I did have to wait about 6 hours to apply my varnish finish coat to the top since the stain takes a bit longer to dry. However, Wise Owl paint dries fast. What I like about Wise Owl paint is that there’s enough time to work with it and with the amazing Cling-On brushes you get the perfect finish. Unlike some chalk paints that are thick and hard to spread, Wise Owl Chalk Paint is thinner, spreads well and also dries quickly. It is my favorite chalk paint!
Using Wise owl Paint and Cling-On brushes is truly a simple way to refinish furniture. After refinishing two bathroom vanities and a Lane Love Chest, I am in love with this paint and these brushes. I have many more projects to come.
In summary, WISE OWL PAINTS – Have all the benefits of a chalk style paint, but spreads like a high end latex or oil paint.
Have you used Wise Owl Paints or Cling-On brushes before? What do you think? Share in the comments below. *PS, I was not paid or given free product. I just really love this hidden gem of a brand.
Watch the Latest How-To's and Reviews
Are you a visual learner? Watch product reviews and home improvement projects on my YouTube channel.
Let's Connect! Follow Me On:
If you like what you see, please click over and join the discussion in the comments section for any post. Feel free to post your images of your DIY projects and favorite products/brands on Instagram and be sure to use the hashtag #DIYinspired or #BrandInspired so I'll see them OR Pin in Pinterest.
I'm a daughter, sister, twin, mom, wife, aunt, friend, designer, kitchen gadget craze, tech nut, home improvement enthusiast... I love the many hats I wear. My two kiddos are my world. I love reading and writing. I started writing as a graphic and web designer providing content, then started my own blog JennyLeeBlogs which progressed to Perfectly Inspired. I'm an Account Manager by day and Blogger/Web Designer by night. I'm your everyday, 9-5, non-frilly, OCD, driven lady who tells it how it is and my posts will reflect this. I am me, as you are you ~ Love and Respect One Another 🙂