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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dear Stiltskin,

We get tons of emails similar to this one
(received today)
people new to painting, looking for advice

Comments: Hi. I enjoy your blog and admire your painting but o have questions about Amy Howard 1-step paint. I find a new can very hard to mix and my first coat is often very thin despite much stirring. It also seems to take at least 3 coats for a solid color. I like the finish but wonderr if you wax over it? Wasn't sure of the durability. And what bout distressing? Can you wet distress like chalk paint or must you sand? Appreciate any help or advice you can give!  Thanks.

We used to feel we just feel tired!
Much as we'd love to individually assist
 each and every person that requests assistance,
we just can't

Normally, I'd direct this person to contact the retailer 
they purchased the paint from for guidance, 
but we've heard more than a few comments about One Step Paint
being thin, we thought we'd address that here, on the blog

One Step Paint, like most chalk and mineral paints we've used,separates 
All the "good stuff" sinks to the bottom
forcing the watery bits to rise to the top

This is what you can expect when you pop open a can
No, the color is NOT cobalt blue!
The pigments have just separated, which is normal
Reds might appear magenta, whites might look greyish

As you can see, it's quite watery

If you dip your brush in a bit deeper, this is what you'll see
The consistency of the "good stuff" at the bottom reminds us of clay
As you see, the color is more true but it's still much too runny

Mixing it up can be tricky...
it's our one complaint...
but then, when we mix up all that loveliness to a velvety smooth paint,
all is forgiven!

So how do we mix it up?
Just shaking won't do it. 

We store our NEW UNOPENED CANS upside down prior to use
This way, when you flip it over, you aren't fighting gravity to mix up all that goodness
(we don't advise this w previously opened cans unless you are SURE that lid is sealed down tight!)

When we're ready to use, we shake them up a bit so it's not all think and sticking to the lid

We have a handy little attachment for our drill that mixes the paint up perfectly,
but sometimes, one of us is LAZY and we use a wooden spoon

A spoon works better than a stir-stick because the rounded end really scoops 
all the thick matter up and helps it blend

This won't be a shake, shake, stir for a second deal...
it will probably take you a solid five minutes of stirring the first time you open a can
(I know five minutes sounds like NOTHING 
but it seems like an eternity when all you want to do it get busy painting!)

You'll know you're done mixing when you don't feel anymore resistance
 from the clay-like matter at the bottom of the can,
the consistency is smooth
and the color is consistent throughout

One Step Paint will flow freely without being runny
and you won't have the dreaded "drag" on subsequent coats

On average, we use two coats for opaque coverage
typical of most paints we use, some colors require a third coat
White (any brand) is the only color we've had to move on to four or more coats for opacity

Not properly mixing will lead to poor coverage, thus requiring more coats
Take the time and do it thoroughly, it's worth it!

Unless the paint sits for an extended period of time, 
you probably won't have to mix so thoroughly every time 
We've found that a quick shake is often enough after that initial mixing

Couple of things:
Your first coat is NOT going to be opaque...the second coat is when the magic happens!
This is true of virtually EVERY paint we've used, chalk, mineral, oil, milk...

Distress however you'd like. 
Water vs sanding is completely up to you 
and is dependent on what look you're hoping to achieve.  
There is not one "right" way

One Step Paint does NOT require wax or other sealants
I've found the "naked" One Step Finish to be more durable 
than other brands we've used with their "required" wax finish
One Step Paint does, however, take wax beautifully

To wax or not to wax...again, up to you 
no right or wrong way

We hope you find this useful!

Still need help?  
Contact the retailer you purchased the products from...they are there to help you! 

Have fun, and happy painting!

Kenny and Michele


  1. No one says it better, Michele! Your informative posts are amazing! This is a great post and I hope you won't mind me referencing it in the future. I still want to know, when do you sleep!??