Annie Sloan Chalk Paint FAQs
Leading the decorative painting revolution over the last three decades, Annie Sloan is widely recognised as one of the world's most respected experts in paint and colour. Annie Sloan transformed the world of furniture painting with the creation of her own brand of decorative paint, Chalk Paint®, in 1990.
Annie’s fine-art background and contagious enthusiasm for decorative painting has motivated both home painters and experienced professionals, unlocking countless creative potential over the last 30 years.
Annie Sloan is one of "Britain's most influential female designers." The Telegraph (UK)
La Di Da Interiors are accredited Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® stockist and workshop trainers. We paint furniture to commission and for sale, we have used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for over a decade and have been trained by Annie herself.
We sell Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® in our shop in Andover, Hampshire and online Annie Sloan shop for delivery straight to your door and often get questions from customers tackling their own painted furniture projects. Steph Briggs, Creative Director answers a few of the frequently asked questions about painting with Chalk Paint...
How much does one tin of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint cover?
The official answer is 13 square metres, but if you're anything like me that doesn't mean a lot! A one litre tin should cover a small two cupboard dresser. Or a small chest of drawers and two bedside cabinets.
How many coats of Chalk Paint do I need to apply?
For most painted furniture projects two coats of paint are enough. It is colour dependent and the only exception to this rule is Pure White, it has less pigment that the other colours. See our guide to Painting Furniture Pure White here. To get started painting then simply pop open the tin and give it a good stir. If it's an older tin that has been opened before you can add a little water to it if it is too thick. Chalk paint adheres to most surfaces and you rarely need to sand or prime before applying. For the best results we recommend using a good quality paintbrush like the Annie Sloan Bristle Brushes.
Is Chalk Paint really no prep?
The beauty of Annie’s Chalk Paint® is that there’s no need for sanding, it really is a case of open the tin, dipping in your brush, and applying paint to furniture or your up-cycling project piece! A little prep goes a long way, we'd always recommend cleaning your piece of furniture before starting. If it's a high shine or varnished finish the paint will stick but to get a really professional finish then we'd recommend giving a scuff sand with some 180 grit sandpaper, particularly on sharp edges. This gives a key and enables better adhesion. If it's a rough or chipped surface this will show through the paint so it depends on the finish you want to achieve.
How do I get rid of brush marks?
For a rustic look it's perfectly acceptable to have some brush marks in your finished piece, it is hand painted and adds to the charm. A smooth look is best for mid-century or contemporary furniture, if you want to achieve this then dilute the paint with a little water and lay off the paint with a flat brush. If you can see brush strokes when it has dried you can gently sand them out using 220 grit sandpaper for a super smooth finish. The wax will help to minimise these too.
Which is the best brush to use to apply Chalk Paint?
We've made a quick video detailing this but for most paint projects we'd recommend the Annie Sloan Bristle Brush in small.
How long should I leave between coats of Chalk Paint?
In normal conditions (based on the UK) the paint takes around an 30 minutes to one hour to dry. If it's damp or very cold it can take a little longer.
Why is my Chalk Paint is discolouring as I apply it?
Occasionally you will get a yellow or pink-brown stain appear, particularly when using lighter colours such as Old White. This is known as bleed through, there are a couple of reasons that this happens; The piece of furniture was previously stained with a water based dye (this is typical of furniture from the 1930's & 1940's) or if you are painting over a wood that has a lot of tannins in the wood grain - oak is notorious for this. The solve this issue allow any paint that you have applied to dry then apply one or two coats of shellac (such as Zinsser BIN) or a clear knotting solution. This blocks the stain and once it's dry you can apply the chalk paint over the top as usual.
Is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint safe to use on a cot for a baby?
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is certified toy safe, we recommend painting and allowing the wax to fully cure (3 weeks) before allowing a baby to sleep in it. This ensures that the wax is fully dried.
Why do I need to wax over Annie Sloan Chalk Paint?
The paint is water-based and decorative, it needs to be sealed with a top coat of soft wax or a lacquer to protect it from wear and tear. We recommend wax for most painted furniture projects, lacquer for anything outside (do not use wax outside) and if you are painting kitchen cabinets or table tops a coat of lacquer will be more durable.
How long does the wax take to set?
The Annie Sloan Soft Wax is easy to apply with a cloth or brush and will be touch dry within 24 hours. It takes around 3 weeks to fully cure and harden so be gentle with your painted furniture in this time.
How durable is the wax finish?
A piece of furniture that has been chalk painted and waxed properly will stand up to normal wear and tear. We advise that you treat your price of furniture as you would any painted finish. Avoid scratchy objects and use coasters under water glasses and hot mugs. Use placemats on dining tables. Clean with a soft cloth and avoid adding furniture polishes. If it gets marked then you can use a little more clear wax to remove most marks such as pen.
How do I apply the wax?
For the best finish apply two to three thin coats of wax with a wax brush and wipe off any excess with a clean lint-free cloth such as an old tea-towel or cotton sheet. You can apply the wax with a cloth too but most people tend to apply it too thickly and this can give an uneven appearance and leave the surface sticky. You need to rub the wax into the paint like you would rub hand cream onto your hands, you want it to be absorbed by the paint.
How do I get a sheen on the wax?
If you want to get a satin or high shine finish to your wax then leave it for 24 hours after first applying then buff, buff and buff some more. You can achieve a super high shine with elbow grease! It's a good arm workout!
How to achieve an antiqued effect on Chalk Paint
What is Chalk Paint Lacquer?
Annie Sloan Lacquer is a hard wearing, water-based polyacrylic varnish with built-in UV protection. Use it to cover Chalk Paint® for a robust finish that will withstand general wear and tear – perfect for dining tables, outdoor furniture, floors and skirting boards. It goes on perfectly clear and dries quickly, without yellowing over time.
What's the best way to apply the matt lacquer?
If you want to apply the lacquer ensure that your paint is 100% dry we recommend leaving for at least 48 hours after painting. Make sure that you stir the tin thoroughly before application as the matting agents sink to the bottom. Apply two thin coats using a flat brush or microfibre roller.
I've applied the Annie Sloan lacquer but it looks milky?
This can happen particularly over dark colours such as Oxford Navy or Graphite. The matt lacquer has magnifying agents to give it the low lustre, if it's applied to thickly it can give a milky look. There is no easy fix for this, you will need to repaint (one coat is usually enough) and then re-lacquer. We have found that a small amount of the paint colour (half a teaspoon) mixed into the lacquer helps to keep it colour perfect.
What is the best top coat finish for a dining table?
For an ultra durable surface for dining tables, dressing tables and bedside tables we recommend applying two coats of Annie Sloan Lacquer in Gloss. If you want a matt finish then add a third coat of Matt Lacquer.
What are the top tips for furniture painting for beginners?
Here is our 2 minute intro to furniture painting with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint:
Can I buy Annie Sloan online?
You can buy Annie Sloan paint online right here, we hold stock of all of the colours of chalk paint in all of the sizes, the brushes, lacquers, waxes and Annie Sloan books. We offer fast nationwide courier delivery for £3.95 or free for orders over £60. You can of course visit us too for colour advice and to see lots of examples of painted furniture. We also offer a local delivery service and click and collect.
What colours are available in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint?
If you need some inspiration to choose your chalk paint colour then order an Annie Sloan Colour chart to get started on your next project. The Chalk Paint® Colour Card features Annie Sloan's carefully curated palette of 42 shades.
Is Chalk Paint just for Painting Furniture?
No you can paint almost everything with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! Glass, metal, plastic, wood, brick, and plaster and much more. Chalk Paint works brilliantly on walls in older buildings that need to breath (for example lime plaster walls). It also works well to upgrade old plant pots in the garden - we have step by step guide to it available on our blog, click here to read it.