For a long time we thought there were really only two paint choices when it came to painting furniture – latex or chalk paint. Since we aren’t big chalk paint fans (read all about that here), we usually opted for latex paint. We assumed that mineral paint was similar to latex paint but with the price tag of chalk paint. Well, we were wrong. Mineral paint is completely different from both latex and chalk paint and has so many benefits we had to give it a try.
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What is mineral paint?
Mineral paint, as its name suggests, is a paint made using natural minerals from the earth for its color pigments. These minerals are mixed with a binder, such as acrylic resin, and a solvent. The resin is what gives mineral paint its best qualities – fantastic adhesion and superior durability. Two popular mineral paint brands are Fusion mineral paint and Cottage Paint Serenity.
Benefits of using mineral paint
What do fantastic adhesion and superior durability mean for painting furniture? It means you need very little prep and no top coat! I don’t think I can overemphasize how fantastic this is. It saves you at least two whole steps in the furniture painting process: priming and sealing. The furniture flipping business is all about time. Less time per piece means you can finish more pieces. Finishing more pieces, means you can make more money. Even if you’re not in the furniture flipping game, who doesn’t want to save time and effort? As parents to three very busy young kids, we always appreciate products that save us time!
Quality of finish
As good as these benefits sound, they are really only beneficial if the quality of finish is comparable to what you get with other types of paint using you’re best painting techniques. We decided to test out the quality of Cottage Paint’s Serenity.
Cottage Paint – Serenity
We knew we wanted to try Cottage Paint’s Serenity line on a beautiful french provincial buffet we picked up for a song from a gentleman downsizing to a smaller place.
Serenity by Cottage Paint comes in over 50 colors. Moreover, the colors can be mixed to give you almost infinite color choice. We chose Sea Turtle, a muted green-blue, for our buffet.
Serenity also comes in two finishes: Velour (3-5% sheen) and Silk (15-20% sheen). We chose the silk, for ever-so-slight gloss. The velour finish is quite matte and more similar in appearance to chalk paint.
Is mineral paint really no prep?
The buffet was in fantastic shape so the only prep we gave it was a light sanding on the bottom. The top was fully sanded using Stuart’s favorite palm sander since we planned to stain it and make the piece two toned.
According to the instructions, sanding is not necessary. However, we ALWAYS sand our pieces first. Sanding not only gives the surface some tooth for the paint to stick to (which is the part that’s not necessary for mineral paint) but it also helps you find any bumps or scratches that need fixing before you paint the piece.
So technically, for us , mineral paint is not no prep. But it is very minimal prep and you could probably get away with no prep at all if you aren’t as concerned with getting a perfectly smooth coat.
After sanding we made sure all the dust was gone using a damp rag followed by tack cloth.
Painting with mineral paint
Then it was time to paint! We used a regular paint brush to apply the Serenity paint. Cottage Paint, and other mineral paint companies, do sell special brushes but we wanted to see how it would perform under the same conditions we use for our usual latex paint applications. And maybe we’re a little too frugal to invest in new brushes if we haven’t yet tested the product!
We noticed immediately that the paint is a little thicker than latex but it flattens out beautiful, reducing most signs of brush strokes.
The coverage after one coat was excellent! There weren’t many of the shadowy spots that always drive me crazy showing through. After the second coat we were seriously impressed! The coverage was fantastic and we were satisfied it looked consistent and even all around.
Next we…wait, there was no next step! That was it, we were done. We actually had time to watch Netflix before turning in.
Serenity takes up to 30 days to fully cure but is dry to the touch within 2 hours. Once fully cured, Serenity is very durable.
A note about the buffet top
Unfortunately the buffet top did not turn out as we had hoped. No matter what we tried we couldn’t tame the natural red of the wood.
So instead we used a dry brush technique to apply the Serenity paint over the stained top to create a driftwood look. The final beachy feel is quite charming!
The mineral paint verdict
We were very impressed with Cottage Paint’s Serenity line and the benefits of mineral paint.
It’s true that mineral paints are quite a bit more expensive than latex paint, comparable to higher end chalk paint lines. However, when you consider you don’t need to apply primer or a top coat, the cost becomes significantly closer to that of latex paint.
If you are looking for a paint that is less work, easy to apply and gives a top quality, durable finish, we recommend you try Serenity by Cottage Paint. Our French provincial buffet turned out beautifully and it’s new owners are sure to appreciate its beauty and durability in the years to come.
What do you think of mineral paint? If you’ve tried it, how does it compare to other paints you’ve used for furniture? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.