How To Paint Onto Slate The Right Way

If we were to tell you the most common questions we get asked here at You Can Folk It, it would be how to paint on to different surfaces. As you are learning, it can be nerve wracking to paint onto a surface other than paper. For this reason, we suggest the best projects to start with as beginner painters are colour mount boards and wood. Items like these require little to no preparation and are small and manageable (thanks to the flat, smooth surface). And should you be unhappy with the finished result, you haven't sacrificed too much. 
Folk Art is certainly a great way to up-cycle old, unloved pieces that are begging to be saved from the bin. You need to consider that each different surface requires different kinds of preparation.
It should be no surprise then that a lot of customers ask us... How do I paint onto slate? 
There are so many different slate products in the high streets at the moment, from notice boards to coasters, placemats to photo frames. With their rustic look and hand crafted appeal, they make the perfect addition to any home.  
Handpainted slate hearts, home decor ideas
So, if you want to add a few hand-painted details, what do you need to know?
 
1.  As with any surface, to help the paint adhere to your project as much as possible, you need to make sure that your surface is clean and free from dust and dirt. You can do this by simply wiping down the surface with a damp lint-free cloth.  
2. Being a porous surface, to paint on to slate you do not need a primer as the paint will adhere to the surface easily. 
Slate hearts base coated using Chalky Finish paint
3. You can base coat your slate if you wish. To create a matte finish similar to the natural slate, choose a beautiful shade of Chalky Finish paint.  
4. Plan your design around your surface. The natural characteristics of slate mean that there may be areas that you would not be able to add designs as easily as you hoped. Think about this when you are designing your patterns.  
5.  If your item is an indoor project, protect your project from signs of wear and tear (slate can be easily scratched) and apply two coats of varnish. Even though you are varnishing your project, there is no need to compromise on the matte finish. Seal your slate using two coats of DecoArt Ultra Matte Varnish and leave to dry.  
If your item is destined for outdoors, we recommend using an outdoor varnish. As slate is porous, if the item absorbs water, the paint will begin to peel and come away from the slate. If you are using an oil based outdoor varnish, make sure your paint is fully dry before painting it on.  
Please note: We recommend leaving your project to cure for a few days before using them. While paint and varnish can feel dry to the touch, they need a few days to cure completely.  
Until next time x 

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