I finally got a chance to try out the new paint line by Dixie Belle Paint Company, called Dixie Belle Silk Paint. Silk is their new line of paint, but is no way a replacement of their original chalk mineral paint line. The two product lines of paint are different and both are great options for painting furniture and home décor. So, with that, I’d like to tell you some of the basics on the Dixie Belle Silk Paint line and my recent experience with it.
I bet you are wondering what is wrong with the original Dixie Belle line called their chalk mineral paint? So, I’ll start by saying that nothing at all is wrong with the original paint formula. It’s great in fact and very popular! However, the company wanted to add a new paint line to give their customers more options to fulfill specific painting needs. The original Dixie Belle chalk mineral paint has been my go-to paint for furniture and I still love it. But the Silk line is pretty cool to work with also.
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Let’s Compare Silk Paint To The Original Chalk Mineral Paint
Original Chalk Mineral Paint
- Is a high quality water-based chalk mineral type paint that available in over 60 colors and leaves a flat finish, although not too chalky compared to other chalk style paints.
- It is thicker in consistency and can be thinned with water if desired. A misting bottle helps spread the paint across the surface.
- Requires little or no prep (unless desired for a smoother finish) and can be used on furniture, glass, fabric, upholstery, metal and even laminate.
- With laminate or glass, it can be applied without a bonding primer but adherence is better with a bonding primer, like Dixie Belle Slick Stick.
- Provides great coverage but usually more than one coat is needed for complete coverage.
- It dries quickly within an hour usually and can be re-coated as soon as it is dry.
- Blends so nicely for artistic finishes and colors can be mixed to make custom colors.
- Easily distressed by either wet or dry sanding.
- May require primer, like Zinsser BIN Shellac-Based Primer or Dixie Belle BOSS, before painting. If you suspect your piece will bleed through the paint, especially with light color paints, use primer.
- Although it does not require a topcoat or wax, it is best to protect your finish with either poly topcoat, hemp oil or wax. In order to be water or stain resistant a good poly topcoat, like Dixie Belle Gator Hide, is necessary.
- Easily works with all other Dixie Belle water-based products.
- Fairly durable but more so with the topcoat or wax applied.
Dixie Belle Silk Mineral Paint
- Not chalk-based, but just mineral paint and comes in around 20 colors. Available in neutrals and nautical colors, like tans, black, browns, grays, blues and whites.
- Dries with an eggshell type finish and low sheen.
- Very smooth silky paint, a bit thinner than the original chalk mineral paint, that glides on easily.
- Very self-leveling upon application.
- Must be applied with a dry brush, no water misting bottle needed or recommended.
- Dries in around and hour or two and can be recoated in 2 hours.
- Two coats recommended for durability and protection.
- No primer required. No Topcoat required. Has a built-in BOSS style primer. Can use a topcoat or wax if desired.
- They recommend a scuff sand to prepare your surface for the Silk paint.
- Distressing is doable with Silk, but not as easily as the original chalk mineral paint.
- It provides a really strong protective coating and as a bonus has built-in water, grease and mold resistance.
- Cannot mix Dixie Belle Silk With Original Chalk Mineral Paint for custom colors. Mix Dixie Belle Silk with Silk only.
So now that we’ve talked about some basics of the new Silk line and how it is different from Dixie Belle’s original chalk mineral paint, I’ll go into more details, along with some tips for use. And we’ll talk about my experience with this paint recently on a project.
Where to Find Dixie Belle Silk Paint
First, let’s talk about where to find Silk paint. Most of your local retailers carry it. You can go to the www.dixiebellepaint.com retailer locator here and find your local distributors. The locator will also say whether or not they carry the Silk line or just the original. If you can’t find it locally you can order online through Etsy sellers. Here is one of my favorite Etsy sellers who carries the products. And now, Dixie Belle’s Silk Paint line is available through Amazon as well. The links below take you to Amazon to purchase. But certainly check out your local retailers if you have one in your area.
Let’s Talk About What Color I Chose For My Dresser & Armoire Makeover
I purchased a container of Baja Gray, a lighter gray, very neutral between warm and cool tones in my opinion. Silk Paint comes only in 16oz size containers. This is different from the original line, which offers 8oz, 16oz, 32oz and some gallon sized containers.
When I opened the container of Silk paint, I immediately fell in love with this color. Very pretty and light! I purchased the paint for a dresser and armoire, both very large pieces of furniture. Several years ago I painted this dresser in Annie Sloan Duck Egg. However I never painted the armoire. Therefore it remained the original stained reddish brown. That paints quite a picture right? Mismatched bedroom furniture is not optimal, but I’ll admit I just learned to overlook it!
Dixie Belle Silk Paint Prep Step 1: Scuff Sand
Before applying the Dixie Belle Silk they recommends a scuff sanding of your piece. So, I sanded both pieces down by hand using a 220 grit sandpaper. This light sanding is just to rough up the surface a little. This really does allow the paint to adhere nicely. Now if your surface is very slick and slippery you will need to use Dixie Belle Slick Stick instead of scuff sanding. Slick Stick is a bonding primer that comes in white and works excellently for slick surfaces like glass, slick laminates or veneers to get the paint to stick better. Typically you apply two coats of Slick Stick prior to painting.
Dixie Belle Silk Paint Prep Step 2: Cleaning
After I sanded down the pieces by hand, I cleaned them thoroughly with Dixie Belle White Lightening. White Lightening is a granular TSP-based cleaner. Before using, mix it with warm to hot water. It is amazing for removing built up residue, gunk, oils etc off of your furniture before you paint. Even if your furniture looks clean, it likely isn’t. Use a white cleaning rag and White Lightening and you’ll see how dirty the water becomes! I keep it pre-mixed in a spray bottle for light cleaning but I mix a fresh batch of White Lightening with hot water for deeper cleaning. However, if you are using Slick Stick instead of sanding, you would do the White Lightening cleaning step first rather than second.
Next, remove all the cleaning residue by rinsing with clear clean water and a clean rag. Then let your piece dry. After the armoire and dresser were dry I went ahead and put down some drop cloths and got my supplies ready. I had already removed the hardware before sanding. This hardware was spray painted previously with Rust-Oleum Metallic Spray Paint and Primer in One in the color Champagne Mist. Oh, how I love this pretty color. It was in pretty good shape so I didn’t do anything to the hardware other than set it aside.
How To Apply Dixie Belle Silk Paint
Another tip is to stir the paint well before applying. I use plastic butter knifes to stir up my paints. This paint is truly like silk! And it really had little to no odor and no VOCs. The Dixie Belle Silk has a thinner consistency than their original line. And it is just silky smooth and glides on beautifully! This Silk Mineral paint is impressive. It self-levels so easily too!
Also before I apply the paint, I like to use a Tack Cloth to remove any little spots of fuzz, dust, lint, or animal fur that may be hiding from my eyes. Believe me when I say that these pieces of lint do show up when you start to paint. And it’s no fun trying to pick them out of wet paint and then smooth out that spot. I do use gloves with the Tack Cloth though because they are sticky and I don’t want that on my hands.
Now another important tip is to apply the paint in nice long strokes going one direction. You don’t want to go back and forth over areas already painted. It is somewhat like putting on gel stain or top coat. Work in small sections, keeping a wet edge, and move your brush in long strokes one direction. If you need to go back and feather out any areas where the paint is not leveled that is fine. Just do it with very light strokes to avoid brush marks. But you would want to do this before it dries.
Good Paint Brush Choices For Dixie Belle Silk Paint
Another big tip for using Silk is to use a good quality synthetic brush with nice smooth soft flexible bristles. I have used the Dixie Belle Synthetic Oval Medium and Oval Small as well as the Cling-On S50 and S30 with this paint. Also the Dixie Belle Synthetic Mini-Angle does beautifully. These brushes all lay down the paint nicely and smoothly with minimal brush strokes. Very important is to apply this paint with a dry brush! No misting bottle or water needed or recommended! This is a big difference from the original chalk mineral line. I used the smaller brushes, the Oval Small and the Cling-On S30 to get into the grooves of the fine details on this furniture.
Putting The Hardware Back On
So, with paint stirred and brushes ready I painted this dresser and armoire using the Silk Baja Gray. And then once everything was fully dry, I put the hardware back on. This hardware was painted with Champagne Mist spray paint by Rust-Oleum was really pretty with the gray. You can find this spray paint on Amazon and at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot. There are plenty of color options besides the Champagne Mist. The hardware on the dresser is the original hardware, but on the Armoire I had to find some similar hardware from Amazon. You can check it out here.
Also it’s important with Silk to wash soiled paintbrushes immediately after painting. This paint is water-based, but it does dry a bit harder. So I did find it harder to fully clean my brushes. I used water and the Scrubby Soap to clean. But I did have some paint dry in one of the brushes. So I let it soak a bit and then use a paintbrush comb to remove the paint stuck in the bristles. So, wash your brushes as soon as you can following your painting. Scrubby Soap in Orange Scent is my favorite way to clean my paintbrushes and the stuff smells great too!
A Few Important Tips About Dry Time & Topcoat Options
The Silk Mineral Paint dried pretty fast, about 1.25 hours. I did wait 2 hours at least to do a second coat, which the product recommends. Coverage with the first coat was really good, but a second coat looked even better. The Dixie Belle Paint Company recommend two coats to ensure durability and protection from bleed-through, water, grease and mold. This is a big difference from the original chalk mineral paint. The original paint has no built-in protection from grease, water, or mold.
Dixie Belle Silk Paint: Built-In Topcoat & Primer
This Dixie Belle Silk Mineral paint also has a built-in topcoat. But the finish is definitely eggshell and not satin or shiny. So if you want a shiny finish or some sheen you can do a topcoat with one of the Dixie Belle Clearcoats or waxes or even Gator Hide.
I did choose to do a topcoat just on the top of the dresser. This dresser will have stuff set on it and it will have a picture frame, lamp and a few other decorative items on it. To increase the durability I did apply two coats of Dixie Belle Gator Hide to the dresser top only. I did not apply any topcoat to the armoire or other surfaces of the dresser. And, I also wanted just a little sheen on the dresser top, and Gator Hide provided that.
I used Dixie Belle Clear Coat in Satin over a Silk Deep Seas on another piece recently. And I’ll admit that I did not like the way the Satin Clearcoat looked over this dark navy paint. It is tricky to do poly over dark paints like navy and black, but over the Silk Deep Seas the Satin Clearcoat looked very streaky and uneven. I ended up just laying on a third coat of Silk in Deep Seas and leaving it with no topcoat.
After the paint was fully dry I put the hardware back on. So, to say this paint is pretty easy to use is an understatement! No priming, no topcoat needed, and just two coats to beautiful, durable protection!
SUMMARY: DIXIE BELLE SILK MINERAL PAINT
Dixie Belle Silk Paints are not available in near as many colors as the original paint line. In my opinion the Silk line does not replace the original chalk mineral paint. However it provides another great option for particular pieces where you just want a nice coat of single color and especially where you don’t want to prime or topcoat. It takes 21-30 days to cure according to Dixie Belle. And a big bonus is the built-in protection from grease, water, and mold. And it is washable, easily wipeable so this would be a great option for kids’ furniture, kitchens, and high-use furniture.
After using this paint, I can definitely recommend that you give Silk Paint a try! I know that I will for sure use it again in the future in many projects!
If you’d like a bit more info on the basics of furniture painting using the original chalk mineral paint read How To Chalk Paint: Furniture Makeover Made Simple. And here you will find some helpful tips on getting a smooth surface for painting.
And here I’ll give you some recommendations for my top ten chalk mineral painting supplies.
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And as always if you have any questions about furniture painting techniques please feel free to send me a message on Instagram or comment here and I’ll reply in the comments.