Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Clark+Kensington Paint by Ace Hardware - A Review

Ace Hardware is having their Clark+Kensington paint on sale for 20% off this weekend.  Since I've been painting up a storm with it over the summer, I thought I'd share my thoughts on it.

Please note that I have no relationship with Ace Hardware, and they have never asked me to review any of their products.  However, hint, hint Ace Hardware, if you ever need someone who would get a kick out of testing your products.......I'm your girl!

I painted a plastic convex mirror with this paint.  
The only prep I did was to clean it first.
This is the before.

Since last April, Ace has offered quarts of their Clark + Kensington Paint + Primer In One for free several times.  This is almost better than a birthday present to me, and I have not been able to resist taking them up on their offers.  One nice thing has been how much the paint folks at Ace have told me about this paint while they mixed my color.  According to them, significant research has gone into this paint, and they are sold that it is truly the best stuff out there.  Not only does the paint already have primer in it, but it also has ceramic mixed in for durability.

A close-up of the finished mirror.

After painting a variety of objects with it (no walls, yet), here are my thoughts:

1.  This paint goes on very nicely, but it dries quickly on your brush or roller.  A little Floetrol helps with that, plus the Floetrol gives a smoother finish with less brush strokes, especially when painting furniture.  I don't always use Floetrol, but I find it helpful when covering larger areas.

2.  When painting something with much detail, I've found a stiff brush works best.  

3.  This paint seems to be extremely durable after it has cured for a few days.  I have painted smooth metal, metallic wood frames, and even plastic with this paint.  When I did a scratch test after 1 day, I could scratch some paint off.  When I tested after 2 weeks, I could not.  Both tests were performed on painted pieces that did not have a protective finish added.  In my next post, I will show you a metal cake stand that I painted with this paint.  I thought for sure when I did a scratch test on it the paint would come off, but it didn't.  Awesome!

This frame was painted with Light Navaho White in flat.  
It does not have any wax or protective finish on it.

4.  The flat finish is gorgeous!  I don't know how to describe it except  rich and luxurious.  It is really, really pretty.  I have only tried the flat, since that is what the free samples were offered in.

To antique the paint, I used this wax mixed 1/2 and 1/2 with brown shoe polish.

5.  The paint takes wax quite well and, therefore, is great for antiquing or distressing.

 6.  Ace sells this paint in a multitude of colors, but they can also color match to meet your needs.

7.  At about $29 (before the 20% discount) a gallon, the price is competitive with the higher end paints just about anywhere.

8.  It has almost no odor, is water based, and cleans up pretty easily.

 After - much better

That's about all I can think of right now.  If you have questions, please let me know and I will do my best to answer. 

My only reason for promoting this paint is I am just so impressed with it.  I like the results and thought you might, too.

If you have tried this paint, I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

Thanks for coming by,



  1. I used this paint on the walls of my sunroom. I love it too. Haven't used the wax--never even heard of it. I need to learn more about that :) Thanks for telling me it is on sale.

  2. I painted a side table with this paint and love it! It's easy to paint with and covers beautifully. Best of all, it was free! :)


  3. I've never heard of that paint - thanks for sharing! The mirror looks beautiful - so will have to try it ( I mostly use ascp but it's crazy expensive!
    Your newest follower - would love to have you drop by and follow back when you have the time

  4. I actually bought this paint for a large area in my house... its the paint and primer in one. I was ULTRA disappointed... its super thin and left drip spots all over. I have painted many times and never had this happen. I will go back to the Behr paint.

  5. Thanks for your comment. I have not used this paint in my house, so I did not know how it performed. I really like it for furniture and small projects, but probably for the reasons you don't like it on walls. I would hate to recommend it and someone hate. Thanks again.

  6. I used the C+K flat enamel on my bedroom walls and had no problems with drips or coverage. It does dry a little fast, but that's not a problem if you do your cutting in and rolling at the same time, which you need to do with many low VOC paints. My only problem with the flat enamel is that it has more sheen than the name implies, not as flat as Ben Moore's washable "matte" finish. Thanks for the tip on the wax, Ellie! I wouldn't have thought to use this paint on furniture, but now I'll have a use for my extra sample cans.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience. I hope your projects turn out beautiful and you are happy with the results. I love the flat finish and it is gorgeous on some frames I painted. Best of luck.

  7. I too found this paint to be watery and fast drying. Floetrol is not a good product. It yellows over time. There are much better product lines out there.. Xim comes to mind. Also.. Paint and primer in one is simply a marketing strategy. There is zero primer in those paints.. Read the small print and you'll find they still require two top coats or a base coat (primer) and a top coat for the warranty to be good. Behr paint is a tad better but still not "high quality".

    As a painter, I wouldn't recommend going to hardware stores to find high quality paint. Like many things in life.. You get what you pay for. Go to an actual paint Store if you want a high quality long lasting finish. Your best painting contractors will be shopping there.. That should tell you all you need to know.. Unlike consumer reports that doesn't even use industry standards in testing products.

    There are a bunch of high quality paints out there.. And typically you won't find them at a hardware store. If I want to buy a nice diamond engagement ring, I'm not going to kmart.

  8. I have to admit I've been storing it up as I get each free quart. I read they'll be giving a quart again next Saturday. I missed out on one give away last year which bummed me out. I haven't tried the paint yet but think with 4 quarts we'll have enough to paint our living room, yeahoo. Just been waiting for 6 1/2 yrs. for that.
    I painted part of our l/r 2 1/2 yrs. ago when I was ticked off about something. When I'm upset I need to do something physical. I got pretty far with a sample bottle from Home Depot. We'll be painting over that tho as it's no longer the color I want in l/r.
    So glad to hear how it goes on. Wouldn't that be great if Clark and Kensington did give you some paint?

  9. I was diagnosed with Asthma when I was 40, and I am a decorative furniture painter, I had to quit painting because all the paints, in quantities made me sick-until I tried the Free Quart of Kensington/Clark!! I am now painting safely away and I feel like I have been freed from prison-Thank you to Kensington/Clark!


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