This past weekend we hosted a free demo on How To Choose A Topcoat. The session went over all of the different topcoats we sell in our store, the difference between the products, and when to choose which one.

 

We’ve put together this handy guide to help you decided which topcoat is the best option for your next project. To get started answer the following:

  • What kind of look do I want to achieve? Modern, rustic, glossy, matt…
  • What is the surface made of and what is on it? Wood that is stained, metal that is Chalk Painted…
  • Where is the finished project going to be? In my bedroom, outside, our kitchen…
  • What kind of wear does it get? Hardly touched, wiped every day, lots of water…

Next, review the products we have listed below and see which ones are appropriate for your project. Remember to always read the entire label on the product you select, often the answer you are looking for is right on the can!

 

Chalk Paint™ Wax

  • The Look: Enhances depth of paint colour and gives a beautiful mellow matt finish or can be buffed to shine. Available in Clear, White, Black and Dark Brown.
  • Use Over: Chalk Paint™ Surfaces or Raw Wood
  • Suitable For: Chalk Painted Furniture, Accessories, Cabinetry, and Walls
  • Not Suitable For: Areas with a lot of water or outdoors.
  • Application: Apply a thin coat with a wax brush or soft lint free rag. Work in small sections “pressing” the wax into your surface, right away completely wipe excess with clean dry rag. 2 coats in high use areas.
  • Clean Up: Wash brushes in hot water and soap. Lye soap helps to cut wax grease and condition bristles of your brush. Mineral Spirits can also be used to strip wax off bristles.
  • Good To Know: Wax is water repellent so can be used on kitchen cupboards and table tops, apply two coats and buff for a durable sheen.

 

Chalk Paint™ Lacquer

  • The Look: A matt varnish with a slight sheen.
  • Use Over: Chalk Paint™ surfaces that will see a lot of wear.
  • Suitable For: Floors, Stairs, Table Tops, and Cabinets, Interior only
  • Not Suitable For: Areas of high water use like bathrooms or outdoors.
  • Application: Roll with sponge roller or short nap roller (velour roller). Brush with topcoat brush. 2 coats for best results
  • Clean Up: Wash brushes and rollers in warm water..
  • Good To Know: Product will settle in can, before opening turn upside and allow to sit overnight. Thoroughly stir to make certain fully mixed. Pour out into tray and continue to stir from time to time making sure no further settling occurs during application. If not properly mixed some areas may appear foggy or milky even after dried. Can be thinned about 10% with water for smooth thin application.

 

Artisan Enhancements Clear Finish

  • The Look: Non-Yellowing varnish with a satin to glossy finish and silky feel.
  • Use Over: Painted or Stained Surfaces, Decorative Plasters, Shiny Finishes (Metallic Leaf, Pearl Plaster) Works well with painted whites.
  • Suitable For: Furniture, Cabinets, Walls, Wood, Accessories
  • Not Suitable For: Outdoors or over top of waxed finishes.
  • Application: Thin coats with a flat edge brush, AE topcoat brush is recommended. Or roll with a short nap roller (velour roller) not a foam roller. 2 thin coats.
  • Clean Up: Warm water and mild soap.
  • Good To Know: When applying over Chalk Paint™ it may appear more matt, the shine will increase as you add layers.

 

Artisan Enhancements Clear Topcoat Sealer

  • The Look: Creamy colour that dries to a clear matt sheen.
  • Use Over: Most Paints/Stains, Raw Wood, Plaster and Concrete Surfaces
  • Suitable For: Furniture, Accessories, and Outdoors
  • Not Suitable For: Over chemical based cleaners or mineral spirits unless they have been wiped back and given time to “off gas” (about 24 hours). Penetrating sealer sometimes pulls brown or yellow from the surface beneath your paint, this may cause bright whites to appear slightly yellow or brown.
  • Application: Brush, roll or spray 2 very thin coats
  • Clean Up: Soap and water. If having trouble cleaning brushes try massaging Lye Soap or Vegetable Oil into your brush
  • Good To Know: All natural product made from soy beans. Can be used instead of shellac to block stains or seal wood. Can be applied over waxed surfaces after they have cured.

 

General Finishes High Performance Topcoats

  • The Look: Pick your sheen from Flat, Satin, Semi-Gloss or Gloss
  • Use Over: Stains, Chalk Paint™, Raw Wood
  • Suitable For: Furniture, Accessories, Cabinetry
  • Not Suitable For: Outdoors or areas of high water use.
  • Application: Stir well before use. Brush, Roll or foam brush. Sand between coats with 400 grit sandpaper for a smooth strong surface. Remove dust before next coat. 3 thin coats are recommended for a durable surface such as table tops
  • Clean Up: Warm, soapy water
  • Good To Know: When using over Chalk Paint™ the sealer will soak in quickly, the first couple of layers may appear uneven, apply additional layers to achieve an even look. Wait 48 hours before applying over oil based stains.

 

General Finishes Flat Out Flat Topcoat

  • The Look: A Flat topcoat with a velvety look and feel
  • Use Over: Wood, Painted or Stained Surfaces
  • Suitable For: Furniture, Accessories, Cabinetry
  • Not Suitable For: Outdoors or areas of high water use.
  • Application: Stir well before use. Brush, Roll or foam brush. Sand between coats with 400 grit sandpaper for a smooth strong surface. Remove dust before next coat
  • Clean Up: Warm, soapy water
  • Good To Know: Similar properties to High Performance topcoats.

 

General Finishes Gel Topcoat

  • The Look: A silky satin finish that enhances wood or stain colour.
  • Use Over: Stained Surfaces, Raw Wood.
  • Suitable For: Furniture, crafts and woodworking projects.
  • Not Suitable For: Outdoors or painted surfaces.
  • Application: Wipe on liberal amounts with a clean cloth. Large flat surfaces you can use a foam brush or a paint pad applicator. The wood should have a wet look when applying. Sand between coats with 400 grit. Remove dust before next coat. 2-3 coats recommended.
  • Clean Up: Mineral Spirits (Paint Thinner)
  • Good To Know: Very important to stir well to make sure all additives are evenly mixed. Stains must be completely dry before applying Gel Topcoat, wait at least 24 hours.

 

Creating a test piece is always a good idea. To see how different topcoats behave and to experiment and play with the products you are planning to use, we encourage you to book a spot at the paint bar! You can to use our paint, topcoats and tools for just $15/hour!

Thanks for reading our post, if you have any questions feel free to comment below or stop by our studio and chat with one of our artists!

Happy Painting!

Deanna