Ooooh, I’m so excited! We get to talk about my favorite subjects this morning – painting furniture & Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
This post has been a long time coming. I promised you a post when I wrote Why I Love Chalk Paint. Some time has passed since then. So without further ado…
Can we say I’m so excited again?!? Some of these tips are super easy. I think you’re gonna love them. So grab your coffee or tea and let’s get started.
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Okay here goes:
1. Before using the paint, tip the can over for approximately 30 min (a tip from Annie herself) and then give it a good shake. You want to make sure the paint is well mixed and all that magic is evenly distributed.
2. Prepping. I know Annie Sloan doesn’t prep, but my good friend and local stockist, Nancy Chace, recommends a little prep work especially if you’re painting a piece for a customer. This tip can actually save you time and paint. To prepare furniture, I wash it down with mineral spirits, denatured alcohol and warm water. You don’t usually have to sand or prime. If it is a shiny surface you may want to scuff it a bit with a sanding block. Sometimes I use two coats of clear shellac so stain doesn’t bleed through – I especially do this with custom pieces or anything that looks like it will bleed. For the clear shellac, wipe on with a clean cloth and allow to dry for 15 minutes between coats.
I know what your thinking. Hmmm, prep work, really? I’ve found these steps have really saved me time and paint, especially when I have stain bleeding through after doing two coats.
3. Brushes. Brushes are super important. You want to make sure you get the right ones for the job. I like purdy xl glides. I’ve also been loving the Annie Sloan Brush because it holds so much paint and gives an hand painted look by showing some brush strokes.
To clean – wash with soap and water. For Annie’s brushes, I like to use my hubby’s Paul Mitchell conditioner (shhh, don’t tell him) it leaves them feeling soft, silky and new!
4. Paint – Annie’s paint is thicker than latex paint and it gives wonderful coverage because of this. Usually a piece is done in 1 1/2 coats. The paint dries pretty quickly!
The paint can thicken when left exposed to air. This is a property of the paint because you can do a technique called impasto. I always pour my paint out into little cups and cover them with Saran Wrap. If you’ve painted from the can and it has thickened you can add water.
5. Colors – I simply love Annie’s colors, especially her blues and neutrals. They are rooted in historic colors of Europe, colors she sees in France, Italy and in England. For more on her take on color check out this site and her new book.
Her colors can be used as is or you can make custom colors. Lighten with old white or pure white (for a more modern look) or mix other colors together. Her workbook is great for sketching out ideas and mixing colors on the page with your fingertips.
|A page from my work book!|
6. Waxing – at Annie’s tour in Boston, and on the courses, I’ve gone on there were many, many questions about waxing. Her soft waxes are amazing. They are low in chemicals and are easy to work with. The wax kind of looks like crisco and a little goes a long way.
You only need a little wax. I think in our culture more is more – more exercise will make you thinner, more money will make you happier etc. But with wax – less is more. Annie told us to think about applying wax like putting hand lotion on. Put a small bit and massage it in until it is absorbed.
When applying the wax I press it into the paint with a waxing brush and then wipe off the excess with a cheesecloth. I use a wax brush, but you can also use a rag or cheesecloth to apply the wax, using a rag or cloth to apply helps you get an idea of how much wax your using (especially when you are new to waxing).
The dark wax adds dimension and an aged quality. I usually mix the dark wax with the clear and mineral spirit to help it go on easier, always applying a bit of clear wax to the surface first.
To clean brushes – soak in warm soapy water and then wash thoroughly with soap and water.
7. Clear wax erasing properties – if you’ve added too much dark wax then you can use your clear wax to erase the dark wax.
Annie says you can do multiple coats one right after the other but I usually do one coat and then wait 24 hours to allow the wax to penetrate into the paint, especially in the summer months.
8. Buffing – Annie Sloan Chalk Paint dries matt with a chalky finish, but if you want a gloss effect you can buff it with a clean cloth. I like using clean white t-shirts. Be sure to wait 24 hours after your last coat of wax before buffing because your cloth will get stuck on the tacky wax. If you waxed a piece and left it, even months later you can buff it to a shine.
9. What can you paint with chalk paint? The paint has an amazing quality where it sticks to any surface. You can paint wood, plastic, metal, glass… I have even painted pumpkins! It has NEVER chipped or flaked on any surface I’ve put it on (where it hasn’t been intentionally distressed). I have painted hundreds of pieces with ASCP and have only had trouble with white Pottery Barn bunk beds. I’ve heard from others about issues with Pottery Barn furniture. Even after washing the furniture down, sanding it, coats and coats of shellac and 4 coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint – the paint wouldn’t stick. So I won’t paint Pottery Barn again. Just a warning as I was so frustrated by this!!!
10. Distressing – If I’ve only done one color paint, and there is wood underneath, I love using a wet rag to distress furniture. It allows for distressing without worrying about sandpaper scratching the wood and gives a lovely finish.
I also love the wet brush with wax method!
The wet brush method allows for a two tone distress with more control (if you have knotty pine underneath, or an ugly color).
You can also use good old fashioned sand paper, or a sanding block.
11. More techniques. Part of what makes Annie Sloan Chalk Paint so wonderful is all the techniques you can do and create with it – washes, tinting wax, gilded effects, large crackle or small crackle, modern finish and rustic. The list goes on and on and I could really devote a whole post (or more) to each technique. I do try to include a technique tutorials in all my projects. For more check out the Before & After page.
Other posts that my interest you:
If you’d like more information on chalk paint, check out Annie Sloan’s webpage here and the new Annie Sloan Chalk Paint site here. I would really recommend taking a class with your local stockist. There is nothing like hands on learning! Annie Sloan Unfolded has a list of stockists on their site here.
If you have any questions on Annie Sloan Chalk Paint or want any advice please send me an email.
Disclosure: I am not an affiliate of Annie Sloan or Annie Sloan Unfolded. I simply love her paints and want to spread the love!
Since writing this post three years ago, I’ve published my first eBook in June of 2016. In this eBook I’ve included everything I know about painting furniture and faux finish techniques in over 150 pages. Click here to learn more about my eBook and to get your own copy!