How To Choose The Best Type of Paint for Your DIY Project

All Things New Again is a family-owned furniture and paint boutique located in Leesburg, Virginia. We recently expanded our paint selection to bring different types of paint to the shop. We have products to help you create all kinds of wonderful looks to suit every style.

You don’t need to be a trained artist or have been painting for 20 years to get wonderful results. You can transform something ugly and outdated into a beautiful new showpiece for your home—yes YOU can do it! We’re here to help.

Here is a quick guide to the paint lines we carry at All Things New Again to help you select the best product for your next DIY project. We don’t have a favorite—they all do really cool things. All of the products we offer are non-toxic and zero VOC’s because we like being able to paint indoors and around our children and pets. And also because we like to breathe. 🙂

How To Choose The Best Type of Paint For Your DIY Project

As always, if you have any questions about paint, colors, technique or anything else … please ask us.

We are happy to help you! We want you to love your work.

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Dixie Belle Paint

DSC_0012Dixie Belle Paint just arrived last week so we only have progress photos to share with you today.

That’s Dixie Belle’s bright blue Cobalt on the vintage suitcase Cathy is painting for a front porch decoration. And that’s Midnight Sky on the jewelry armoire Courtney is working on for her sister’s birthday present.

What do we like about Dixie Belle Paint so far? Everything!

mom winter blessings suitcaseThis is a mineral paint that does not require much prep work. No sanding and no priming on most pieces. Woo hoo! It sticks nicely to many types of surfaces, including wood, metal, glass, even fabric. Dixie Belle Paint comes in 35 beautiful colors. We are starting out with 10 and plan to add to our collection as we grow.

Dixie Belle Paint is a great paint to try—especially if you are new to painting—because it gives you beautiful results with very little effort.

Just open a can, start painting and—boom!—you have a beautiful, professional-looking finish. We find Dixie Belle distresses better with sandpaper than a damp rag. Even without sanding, Dixie Belle Paint looks really smooth and FEELS really good.

BONUS: You don’t HAVE to seal your project with wax, although that is an option for added durability.

dixiebelle logo.

Another awesome feature of the Dixie Belle product line is their glazes. We carry all nine of their glaze selections from Grunge Glaze, which gives your piece a crusty, dusty antiqued look, to the sparkly Hi Ho Silver and shimmering Gold Glaze. They also offer a Whitewash Glaze that produces some fabulous results. Dixie Belle Glazes are easy to apply and add a nice dimension to your project.

Unicorn Spit

DSC_0011Unicorn Spit is a non-toxic rainbow gel stain/glaze. What does that mean? Instead of staining wood an ordinary brown color, howzabout purple? Or bright orange? Or turquoise? Or all of the above and more?

Unicorn Spit is the “fruit loop in a world of cheerios”!


There are so many techniques for creating really unique looks on furniture with Unicorn Spit like the “stain press technique” Cathy used on this table. We teach this technique plus a few others in our new Intro to Unicorn Spit class at All Things New Again—and we are learning new ones every day.

Unicorn Spit is a stain so you do need to sand all the way down so it can soak into the bare wood. It’s worth it for all of that beautiful wood grain to show through your bright colors. Another option is to paint a piece first, then “spit” over it. The colors will be brighter, but the wood grain won’t show through as much. It’s a trade-off.

Unicorn Spit also needs to be sealed—and it needs to be sealed with an oil-based sealer. (This is important. A water-based sealer will mess up your colors big time. Trust us.) We recommend Minwax Polyurethane, which can be purchased at the hardware store. This is not a zero VOC product, but it is the best we’ve found to seal Unicorn Spit and make the colors come alive on your finished work.

Real Milk Paint Company

DSC_0003Real Milk Paint Company uses a formula originally developed in the 1800’s.

How’s that for a painted furniture trend?!

Milk paint comes in a powder and is mixed with water in a 1:1 ratio to create the paint. Don’t let this intimidate you from trying milk paint!

If you can make brownies from a box, you already have the skills you need to mix up milk paint. (Just don’t lick the spoon!)

Milk paint is not thick like our other paint lines. Its consistency is more, well, like milk … but it goes on smooth like butter. You can quickly cover a large piece of furniture. There are so many beautiful looks you can create with milk paint, including layering colors, distressing and aging furniture.

We are still on a learning curve. (OK—Courtney is. Read about it here.) Cathy is going to town painting everything with milk paint, trying out new techniques and creating beautiful looks. (Her latest project is here.)

RMP bling bling table_closeup

RMP aqua table w folding legs_closeup

real milk paint_yellow table

Milk paint is the best choice for creating that wonderful old, chippy look on furniture as you can see in our photos. If that distressed look isn’t your style, no worries. You can mix Real Milk Paint with a product called UltraBond to create a smooth finish. We recommend sealing Real Milk Paint with Hemp Oil or Burnishing Paste for added durability. We currently carry 20 Real Milk Paint colors, but there are more than 50 colors in the full line that we are building up to.

Milk paint does require more prep work than chalk-type or mineral paints, but again, don’t let this stop you from trying it. Your piece needs to be cleaned thoroughly and sanded lightly. You don’t need to go down to bare wood, but you do need to scuff it up to help the paint stick better. Easy-peasy.

American Paint Company

DSC_0006American Paint Company is an all-natural clay chalk and mineral paint that comes in 30 colors + 12 limited edition colors in the American Home Collection. APC paint is loaded with chalk and clay. It is THICK. That’s what we like about it.

You can add water to it—and we recommend that you do—to give your project a smoother finish and to stretch a can of paint a long way. It sticks to just about anything—wood, metal, glass, even fabric—with very little prep work involved other than a good cleaning.

APC is our go-to paint for layering two (or 10!) different colors and then distressing to reveal the colors underneath. You can achieve beautiful results layering and blending colors with APC paint like Courtney did on this vintage vanity she painted last week.

blue vanity

Here are a few close-ups that show the blend of colors better. She used a base coat of APC’s yellow Amber Waves of Grain. When it dried, she swirled on three different blues—Beach Glass, Blue Jeans, and Shining Seas—all with the same brush, all at the same time. She kept building layers and blending with a damp cloth until it looked just right. When the last coat dried, she distressed around the edges with a damp cloth to reveal the yellow and a bit of the original wood underneath.

blue vanity_closeup

blue vanity_chair closeupAPC paint does need to be sealed or else your finish will look and feel like a chalkboard. We recommend wax or burnishing paste to protect your piece and make it feel smooth. This vanity was sealed with clear wax.

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What’s the best paint to choose for your project?

It depends on the piece you are painting, the look you are going for and the techniques you plan to use. Again, we are happy to answer your questions to help you choose the best products for your specific project. Leave a comment below, send us a note on Facebook or stop by the shop.

Our advice and our coffee are always free!

Happy Painting!

~ Cathy, Dave and Courtney

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If you are in the Northern Virginia/DMV area, please stop by our shop All Things New Again in Leesburg! We are located at 8 Fort Evans Road NE in Leesburg. (We’re that little white house next to the CVS pharmacy.) Open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm.
Our next Learn How To Paint Furniture Class is coming up on Sunday, September 13. Learn—and practice—more than one dozen techniques! You will go home with the skills and the confidence to start painting like a pro! At $99, our class is the best deal around. Sign up here or call us at 703-779-2991 to reserve your spot today.
We open our studio every Saturday afternoon for an All-You-Can-Paint Party! You bring a small project to work on. We supply all of the paints and finishes. This is a great way to experiment and try out new colors and finishes without having to purchase all of the products. Sign up in advance or just stop by. Drop-ins are always welcome if we have space available.
Please join us! After all, painting is always more fun with friends.

Open Paint Studio2





One response to “How To Choose The Best Type of Paint for Your DIY Project

  1. Pingback: 世界に一つだけのスーツケースを作ろう♡みんなのデコレーションデザイン特集! | TABIPPO·

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