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Mineral Paint 101: What Is It, Its Uses & My Faves for Furniture Painting

What is UP my friends and fellow busybees. This week I wanted to address the elephant in the room and finally make a whole episode dedicated to talking about probably the product I have talked about and raved about the most on my Instagram and other social media channels because it is what I use 9 times out of 10 on my furniture makeovers, which is mineral paint. In today’s post I want to discuss what mineral paint is, why I choose it over other paint mediums, and the tips I have discovered that give me the best finish with it.

So it comes as no surprise to anyone that Fusion Mineral Paint is my go to paint for my furniture makeovers– I talk about it constantly, I’m an affiliate with them and you see it on the majority of my pieces. I will speak more about their products later on in the episode, but just wanted to make that clear from the beginning however this episode isn’t specifically sponsored by Fusion, although I will include my code if you decide you want to try them out, you can save 10% off of your order and it helps to support me and my business by doing so, so thank you in advance to anyone that does!

Okay, so there are all different types of paints– water-based, oil-based, latex-based, chalk paint, acrylic paint, mineral paint… it can get confusing if you are new to the world of furniture refinishing and don’t know what to use, don’t know what other people are using and are just generally lost. So the difference with mineral paint, from my understanding as someone who is absolutely not a scientist, is that it uses natural minerals for its colour pigments which creates whatever colour of paint you see in front of you. Those pigments are mixed with a binding agent, which could be a solvent and/or an acrylic resin, like in Fusion Mineral Paint’s products. The mixture of these means you get really great adhesion and durability in the product, plus really vivid, pigmented colours.

Mineral paint is different from chalk-based paints or a latex paint that you might use to paint your walls in how thick it is as well– I find it is much thinner in its consistency (is thinner even a word?), but that makes it really user friendly because you don’t accidentally add way more product on your brush or roller than you need as easily. This thin consistency helps you to adhere to my biggest recommendation for getting a smooth, beautiful finish which is to do multiple thin coats that you allow to dry in between to achieve a full coverage look instead of trying to get it right away with one thicker coat.

The paint is really versatile as well, so however you prefer to apply your paint, you’re able to achieve a really nice, flawless finish. I often hand paint my pieces with brushes only, but I have sprayed it in the past and it turned out great and it also goes on beautifully with a roller. Since it is so thin, I also found that there was no need to water down the paint either to get it through the sprayer so that not only saves time but also any uncertainty that you may have about how much water to add in to get it to that proper consistency– I know when working with thicker paints, that’s one thing that deterred me from spraying a bit because I didn’t want to clog the sprayer up, but also was nervous to add too much water and have it be harder to get that paint back to a proper consistency. So whatever your tool of preference is at the moment (if you’re like me and you like to switch it up every now and then), grab it and go and you will end up with an awesome looking piece.

Another surprising thing about this paint to me when I first tried it out was just how opaque the colour and finish was, especially since it is a more thin formula. I guess because it wasn’t thick and gloopy like chalk paint, I assumed that the colour of the pigment would be more streaky and you would need to build it up with more layers (similarly to a light coverage foundation), but that was not my experience. For the large majority of colours, and I have tried quiiite a few in the Fusion line at this point, you only need like, 2 coats of paint. I’ve had some colours I’ve used where I only added one coat and it looked like it honestly didn’t even need another, but I added another because in good conscience I couldn’t sell it knowing that I had only put one coat but it honestly looked great as is.

Now, there are a couple colours that I have found require maybe 3 or 4 coats, but those are far and few between in the line and I can only assume have something to do with the pigments themselves, though I don’t know for sure. I’m a makeup girly and have been for, like, decades now which is a depressing thought to have, but I know in the makeup world there are just certain pigments that are super hard to get full coverage out of because of something with the formulation– I think it’s usually red for eyeshadows? But anyways, I have seen that on a couple colours I’ve tried but even still, it doesn’t require you to use up all that much product even with the added layers, which is great.

This is one of my other favourite reasons to use Fusion Mineral Paint, because if I’m being honest… I’m pretty fucking cheap. Like, I certainly have gotten more comfortable in my adult years to treat myself and upgrade some things and put money into good investments and things that I know are worth spending a little extra on, but on the whole, mama’s lookin’ for a sale or a promo code or she’s holdin’ off on buying. So it’s a big bummer to me when I buy a big thing of paint assuming I’ll get like 3 projects out of it, and then I need to use the whole thing up just to complete that one piece and I’m sweating halfway through worrying I might not even have enough product to finish.. And believe me, it’s not all that uncommon, it’s happened before. But since the opacity is so great and the consistency thin while still maintaining the opaque colour, I’ve been able to complete two medium sized dressers before using just one 500mL container of Fusion’s mineral paint, and if you’re doing smaller pieces like tables, you can definitely get like 4 out of one container. So that ends up being pretty great bang for your buck.

And ultimately, it’s the finish that I like about it best. It gives a sleek, modern finish with a slight sheen but there’s nothing shiny about it or anything, it just isn’t completely matte and flat like a chalk paint would be. Once the paint fully cures, which takes anywhere between 21-30 days typically, it has a really durable finish that is resistant to water and cleans up really nicely. It does have a built in acrylic resin topcoat so technically you don’t even have to add anything on top of it because the durability it offers once fully cured is so great, but for high traffic areas I do always recommend adding an additional polyurethane or something similar, just because it’s better to be safe than sorry. But it means that the rest of the piece that may not get that additional top coat is still super durable and resistant to wear and tear, which is always preferred.

So in addition to Fusion Mineral Paint, there are other brands that create their own mineral paint lines. One that’s gained a lot of popularity over the past couple years is Melange paint, which I still have yet to try but have heard tons of great things from others in the community about it. Another one that I have used a handful of times is Silk All-In-One Mineral Paint, which is a line from Dixie Belle Paint Company. I actually really enjoyed this when I used it as well and some of the colours that they have are quite unique, there’s one I like in particular called Hampton Olive that’s a green-brown neutral and looks nice and earthy.

However, although it is considered a mineral paint, I find that it feels completely different than Fusion’s because its schtick is that it’s an all in one paint so it’s primer, paint and top coat all in one so it is a much thicker consistency, and is quite opaque as well when applied, but it separates quite a bit when it sits and I think essentially the top coat part of it raises to the surface so I recommend a really thorough mix before using it– although, this is recommended before using any paint anyway, but give Silk another extra 30 seconds or so to make sure the formula is mixed in there well!

So with mineral paints, I typically choose them for pieces I’m looking for a sleek, modern finish or really just as my everyday paint choice. One instance where I don’t typically choose it over other options like a chalk paint, though, is when I’m looking for more of a farmhouse look and want to do a lot of distressing. You can definitely distress Fusion but it is recommended to do it once it dries and before it starts to cure, just because the finish really does start to harden and make it hard to pull it back. And since I’m always looking for the lazy girl hack, I sometimes don’t get to the distressing stage right away so for that reason, I’ll usually opt for a chalk paint when I’m looking to achieve that finish.

Like I said, if you want to give Fusion Mineral Paint a try for yourself, try out my promo code for 10% off any of the products that Fusion carries.

And if you’re looking for some to try out, I’ll quickly walk through some of my favourite go-to colours in their mineral paint line:

  • Midnight Blue definitely has to be my most used colour, if you follow me on Instagram or TikTok or YouTube you have most definitely seen this one in action. It’s described as a rich navy blue that is on the cusp of black and is highly sophisticated, working beautifully on both traditional and contemporary projects. I feel like this is a great neutral colour that a lot of people wouldn’t typically consider a neutral, but it pairs well with like… most, if not all stain colours and other paint colours that I have seen, some combos that end up being surprising but really work well. HIGHLY recommend this one, and it goes on like a dream and has really great coverage.

  • Bayberry would have to be my next most used colour, and again this is one that I consider to be a neutral so I always recommend it for people who are feeling like they want to do colour on their piece but are sort of scared of how it will turn out and if they’ll end up hating it. Bayberry is a safe but impactful choice, in my opinion. It’s described as a deep muted olive green and is perfectly vintage. It also pairs well with any metals, I’ve seen it look great with black, silver, gold, bronze, copper, you name it. It’s really versatile and just so beautiful and looks lighter or darker depending on the light it’s in, which I love.

  • Coal Black is one I use often because a lot of people like having black pieces in their home, and it never disappoints. With this colour and honestly all of Fusion’s paints, I always recommend lightly sanding in between coats of paint to make sure you’re getting the smoothest finish, but this colour is described as their absolute deepest, darkest, boldest black that is intense and classic, and I think that describes it perfectly.

  • If you’re looking for something dark but not quite that black, Ash is a really surprisingly versatile colour as well. It’s described as a dynamic grey, and I would say it most closely resembles a charcoal grey but again, it is dynamic. I’ve seen it pair well with both Pebble and Bedford from their line, which are very dissimilar colours, and I’ve even seen it look great against a light pink. It’s really neat and can lean darker or lighter depending on the lighting it’s in.

  • For lighter tones, Picket Fence is the white I go for when I just want a bright white. It’s described as their brightest pure white, so I do find that it’s one of those colours you need to build up a bit depending what colour the finish is that you’re painting over, but once you get it there, she be *bright*. It’s also a great colour to have on hand to mix into other colours to lighten them a bit if you want to make a custom mix.

  • And I’m a sucker for a sage green, and they have a few different colours that work well in that family, depending on the shade you’re looking for. One that I used to love but is now discontinued was Sacred Sage, but they now have Bellwood in their line which is similar. Bellwood is described as a versatile sage-inspired timeless green with a lush feel.

  • For a similar colour that leans slightly more grey in tone than green, Eucalyptus is a great option. It’s described as a muted green with undertones of grey that is calming and serene– so it can definitely pull more sagey green or grey depending on the lighting.

I could honestly do an entire episode on their colours so I’ll stop myself there, but if you ever have any questions, always feel free to send them my way by either emailing me or sending me a DM on Instagram, because I looove talking colours! Fusion also has a fan deck on their site available for sale and it’s a great investment for people who will be doing a lot of painting because the colour swatches are very true to colour and they not only have their whole paint line in there, but they also indicate on the back other colours in the line that it would pair well with which is super helpful, and there are also swatches for custom colour mixes you can create with the recipes to create them written on the back. Highly recommend for any refinishers out there that use Fusion often, I don’t know how I worked without one before. Especially since they have such a wide variety of neutral colours in their line, it really helps you to see and differentiate the differences between ones that are similar but have different tones in them.

And something you may not know about me… I love little motivational messages. They literally always get me fired up, and I keep a running list of ones that are especially catchy or speak to me in the Notes app on my phone. So I’m going to end every podcast episode with one of those that I have noted down over the years, in hopes that you leave our time here each week feeling inspired, motivated, and ready to take on whatever comes your way that week.

So this week’s Mel’s motivational message is: A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.

Alright, that’s it for now, I appreciate your time, and I’ll catch you guys next week!

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