1. What is BB Frosch Powder?
In my own words, it’s a powder additive you add to latex paint to replicate popular premixed chalk/mineral style paints on the market. It adds grip, dries fast, is distress-able, and the color choices are endless when you use this powder with the various brands and color choices out there. You can even match your favorite T-shirt you love to a color on the many paint chips out there. This powder comes in 3 different sizes.
2. BB Frosch powder vs other specialty paints?
I won’t lie – those other paints are great too and I’ve tried most of them! For me personally, I just love the flexibility of this powder that gives the same benefits as the other paints. Other brands cannot compete in the fact that they have limited color options and are pricy for the small amount you get. With BB Frosch, I love that if you bought some wall paint years ago and don’t know what to do with it, turn it into furniture paint by adding some of this magic powder!
3. How do you eliminate brush strokes when using this paint and powder mixture?
With any type of chalk/mineral type paint including using BB Frosch, if your mixture is too thick, it’ll be brush stroke-y. Pair that with a not so good quality brush and you will definitely see some deep brush strokes. My best tips are to water down any furniture paint like this that’s too thick and use a good quality brush. If you want to see my YouTube video on how to eliminate brush strokes, you can check it out here: How to Eliminate Brush Strokes When Painting Furniture
4. How do you mix it with your paint?
You add 2 heaping tablespoons of this powder, add in about 2-3 tablespoons of water until the powder is no longer dry. I like to do this in a 4 cup glass or plastic pyrex with a spout, but anyhting big enough to mix well is good! BB Frosch mentions it should look like a donut glaze consistency. I think that may look a bit different to everyone out there, but just make sure there’s enough water to incorporate into your powder mix and make sure to scrape the sides with a butterknife or spatula so that the powder is broken down. Then you add 1 cup of latex paint, whisk it well, use the spatula or knife again to make sure everything is incorporated. At this time, I use Devilbiss fine mesh strainers and pour my paint mixture into it and have a red solo cup underneath for my paint. I feel like the red solo cups are perfect for handheld painting.
5. Do you have to sand and prime when using this product?
Although BB Frosch mentions “no sanding or priming” with their product, they do mention that sometimes it’s necessary when you have a crusty item. My furniture items are typically eyesores when I get them in, super crusty and icky. So I sand every item I get, even just to smooth it out and remove any shine. When you go to sand your items (especially if they’re old), this breaks the “seal” so to speak, and tannins/bleed through will probably occur. So now, I sand and prime all of my items with BIN shellac primer before I paint. If you chance it and don’t prime your items, you may see some stain bleed arise, and no matter how much paint you try and cover over the stains, they’ll keep coming. The worst is when you chance it, paint it, poly it and then yellowing or bleed through is activated by your sealant. I don’t like to take chances with these nightmares in my business so I just do it all before using this paint in a non-traditional way. If you’d like to fully know how I paint my pieces from start to finish, I have an amazing furniture painting e-course for beginners that’s very visual! You can find it by clicking here
6. What kind of primer do you use before using this paint?
I use BIN Shellac primer. If you’re wanting a more see-through look if you’re going to be distressing and don’t want any of the primer to show through under your colors, I recommend clear shellac instead. If you have stain bleed through that goes through your shellac primer(s), you’ll have to switch to Zinsser Odourless Oil Based Primer. This is a rare case when shellac won’t cover the stain bleed.
7. What type of paint do you mix it with?
You’ll want to use latex paint. BB Frosch says you can mix it with acrylic paint as well, however I’ve never tried with acrylic. I just stick with latex paint. A lot of people ask me if they can mix it with Benjamin Moore Advance or Behr Alkyd Enamel paint (both alkyd paints) and the answer is no – it’s not suitable for painting with this type of paint.
8. Can you use different sheens of paint with this powder, or do you have to use flat paint?
You can use all the different sheens of latex paint with this powder. Although flat is recommended for extra grip, I personally like to use eggshell or satin sheen paint with this powder. You just have to add a little extra powder when you’re bumping up in sheens to give it the grip that makes this powder so beneficial. I find that when you’re using paint with more sheen, it’s easier to top coat later and isn’t so dry/chalky, but that’s just my personal preference. If I was doing some distressed looks, I find the flat sheen of paint to be easier to distress through. I do a lot of modern, solid painted looks lately so the shinier paint is more beneficial to me.
9. What is your favorite brand when mixing with this powder?
My personal favorite is Behr Premium Plus Paint & Primer in One from Home Depot. I really love the finish of it when mixing with BB Frosch. They’re a match made in heaven! My go-to is usually eggshell or satin sheen. If I’m doing a really small project and won’t want much more of that color leftover, I’ll get 1-2 sample pots at Home Depot. The only ones they have is Behr Marquee. It’s a more expensive paint overall and claims to have more coverage, however I like the Premium Plus better because….(see next question)
10. Is the powder 0 VOC?
The powder is 0 VOC. Pair that with the Behr Premium Plus Paint & Primer in One which is also 0 VOC and you have a 0 VOC furniture paint. The Marquee however I think is Low VOC, but not 0 VOC. The smell of the paint is a little strong for me so I’ll typically wear a mask with that one.
11. Can you use this when pregnant?
You can definitely use this 0 VOC powder with a 0 VOC latex paint. Most big paint brands have one, like the Behr Premium Plus paint. That being said – the paint is 0 VOC, but if you’re going to be sanding, priming, and sealing which is definitely recommended, you should wear a good mask or respirator when doing those other things that are necessary to getting a good result.
12. Can you use this paint mixture in your sprayer?
Yes, you can use your BB Frosch paint concoction in your sprayer. As mentioned in number 4 on how to mix your paint, you want to make sure you use the Devilbiss strainers for sure. Also make sure to water down your paint a little more than usual so your paint will flow out better. When spraying, I like to have a damp towel ready and after about a minute of spraying nonstop, I’ll rub the tip. Because chalk paint dries so quickly, it’ll dry on the tip of the sprayer and clog it up, so just make sure to keep doing that while you’re spraying.
13. How does it differ from making your own paint using plaster of paris?
After using Benjamin Moore Advance exlusively for years (it’s a good and durable paint but takes 8 hours until you can recoat, and 30 days cure time) I wanted to be more efficient in business. The dry and wait times were killing me so I decided to give Plaster of Paris a try. I had read about how to mix it with water and then with paint to make your own chalk type paint. What I realised later on is that it was really toxic stuff, and I’d notice when whisking it with my water the powder was rising up into my face. I didn’t realise at that time, but it freaks me out now to know how toxic it is. I really loved how fast it dried, but the rough/gritty feeling paint mixed with the toxicity of it made me look for something different. I was intrigued by this fast drying paint though…
14. How does it differ from making your own paint using calcium carbonate?
That’s when I found calcium carbonate after trying plaster of paris. Calcium carbonate is a powder that pharmacists use, I’m not sure for what but someone told me one time that they use it at their lab/pharmacy all the time and were intrigued that I was using it in paint. It’s 0 VOC (obviously), and was way better than Plaster of Paris with the feel of it and I felt ease knowing I wasn’t doing anything damaging. However – it was really expensive, even from Amazon. It would come in these small jars and I felt I had to add so much of the dense powder in with my paint. It didn’t seem financially smart to me. And then I found BB Frosch. I felt it was better than calcium carbonate, was light and fluffy, and also 0 VOC. It was less expensive than calcium carbonate, so I’ve been using this and loving it ever since!
15. Do you need to seal your paint?
Yes you do. Although this furniture paint mix is durable on it’s own especially if you do the sanding and priming steps before hand, it’s not water-repellant as is once painted. We want to protect our beautiful work against scuffs, hitting against, dropping stuff down, or water/liquids spilling. We want to add a layer of protection over our paint.
16. So what’s your favorite sealant over this paint?
My favorite is Varathane Diamond Wood Finish Interior clear polyurethane, usually in satin or semi-gloss. It’s a bit tricky to apply and dries fast, but once you get the hang of it, your items are super durable!
17. Will it get rid of stinky smells, particularly from smoke?
No it won’t. It’ll be your primer or clear shellac that’ll be killing most of the smells and sealing them/shutting them down. I have some other great tips and tricks in my YouTube video which is the video version of this FAQ’s Post – you’ll see the video at the end of this post below.
18. If you mix more paint than you need, what do you do with the leftover paint?
The beauty of this is, you can mix a little bit at a time and use up only what you need. Or if you’re like me and you know you’ll be using a lot of white or favorite off white shade, you can make extra and then store it in an airtight container. I’d just add a little extra water, whisk it well, and then store for later use. It’ll naturally thicken up a bit over time so that extra water will help so that it’s not too thick later on. Once you go back to it later, just whisk it really well again and add more water if needing to thin it out.
19. How much powder will I need for my projects?
Here’s a reference for how much powder you’ll need. And just remember that you’ll always want just a little bit extra to spare vs the other way around. We always have extra projects to paint, am I right?! With each of these examples below, just know you’ll probably have a little bit extra powder to spare for later:
- Long 9 Drawer Dresser – Quart Size Powder
- Bedroom Dresser Set (9 Drawer Dresser, Upright Dresser & Night Stands) – Gallon Size Powder
- Dining Set (Table, 6 Chairs, China Cabinet w/Painted Interior, Buffet, Server) – Contractor Size Powder
20. Where can I buy this powder?
If you’re in Canada, you can order via my website here with free shipping and no customs fees. If you’re in the US, BB Frosch has retailers in many of the States near you. If you’re outside of the US or Canada, make sure to check out BB Frosch’s website and see their retailers. I’m sure there will be retailers in all countries soon, hopefully you can order some wherever you are and experience the magic and flexibility of it!
If you have any other questions, feel free to drop them in the comments!
Thanks for reading! If you’re interested in seeing the video version of this FAQ’s, there’s a lot more info on there where I may not have mentioned it in this blog post.