Wednesday, 29 March 2017

How to paint on slate the right way

Paint on slate - how to tutorial

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.  Within our kits, you receive the materials that are best for beginner projects, mount board and wood.  We chose these because they require no preparation beyond base coating and they are a delight to paint being small, manageable (thanks to the flat, smooth surface) and easily replaceable should you be unhappy with the finished result (though we have never met a customer yet who doesn't love their first project).  

Our recent tutorials have given you step by step instructions on how to paint on to plastic and glass objects that are often available and begging to be reloved instead of being thrown away.  However, what about slate? There are so many different slate products in the high street 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.  


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 water and a 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.


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 means 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.  As slate can be easily scratched, in order to protect your project from signs of wear and tear, the best way to finish it is to 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.  

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.  

Happy Folking, 

Carol x 



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29 comments

  1. All the tutorials I have watched say I should use clear gesso or smooth pumice gel on slate before painting on them is this really necessary if I am going to clear coat after?

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    Replies
    1. If you are going to clear coat after then there is no need to prepare the surface before.

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  2. where can i get the slate hearts

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  3. Many of our customers buy the slate hearts either from places like eBay or shops on the high street like Hobbycraft, The Range or similar shops Pat.

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  4. what type of paint works best on slate?

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    Replies
    1. Hi,

      We use a water based acrylic to paint on slate.

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  5. What if the slate were to be placed outside? What do you receive men’s for exterior paint?

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    Replies
    1. That should say recommend for exterior paint!

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    2. We add DecoArt Multi purpose sealer to our acrylic paint to make it suitable for outdoor use Karen

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  6. can i cure sharpie paint pen on slate in the oven?

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    Replies
    1. We have never tried it on slate but from personal experience I tried curing sharpie on a dish and have to say it was a Pinterest fail. If you try it, do let us know how you get on

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  7. What if I want to change the colour of my black slate floor tiles in my bathroom!! Any product you would recommend! !I looked at industrial floor products so far! Thank you if you could help!!

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    Replies
    1. We haven't painted on slate to this scale and would feel unqualified to advise you on this. May be Pinterest may have some informative pins on this kind of project?

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  8. Used adhesive vinyl as a stencil and when done peeled of vinyl stencil and part of slate came with it ruining the project. Any suggestions how to prevent this from happening?

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    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear this happened, there is nothing more disheartening. One idea may be to seal the slate first with something like DecoArt Multi Purpose Sealer before sticking the stencil on, this may help protect the surface. If this leaves a sheen, you can varnish the finished project with a water based matte varnish to recreate the rustic finish. We do hope this helps.

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. Hi there, do i prime the surface before i start painting i.e. wanting it to remain slate colour/black. And then what paint/pens can i use to write wording on etc and then what do i seal with? I am doing a heart slate project for my sister. Thanks x

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    Replies
    1. You don't need to prime the surface before you paint. If you wish to seal it, the best way to do that and maintain the matte surface of the slate is to use a water based, matte varnish. When writing, you can use acrylic paint and brush. When we want to write anything we use Uni Posca Paint pens but we haven't tried them on slate before unfortunately. They are quite liquid so may be unsuitable for slate. We do have a blog post about the different ways to add writing to your project which has tips on how to paint on writing even when you aren't that confident

      http://youcanfolkit.blogspot.com/2015/10/five-great-ways-to-add-writing-to-your.html

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  11. Are there any tutorials for cutting slate pieces into shapes??

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    Replies
    1. This is not something we have every attempted to do. Maybe pinterest might have a few ideas?

      Good luck, we hope you find something

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  12. I have just received 90 year old slate from a roof that I'm wanting to paint on. How should I clean them?

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    Replies
    1. We haven't painted on slate that old but we would wash it with a drop of soap and water and gently scrub with an old toothbrush.

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  13. Can water colours also be used , then sealed to protect after? Was wondering if the water colour would run.
    Thank you in advance

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    Replies
    1. We have never tried adding watercolours but we would imagine, as it isn't as absorbant as other surfaces, it may run. We aren't sure either how well the colours would show up on the slate. Saying that, we are always advocates for playing and experimenting so feel free to try your ideas and see what you think. :)

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  14. I want to paint my black slate fireplace hearth white. I think I should prime it first to cover the black. I've got Mindset bulls sure multi purpose primer & sealer. Do think that will work?

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  15. I meant Zinsser Bulls Eye2

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