The Top 10 FAQs About Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

As a long standing Annie Sloan stockist, I love to help people discover the joys of up-cycling their own furniture. For newbies to the joys of Chalk Paint here are the top 10 FAQs about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint that I get asked in the shop.

(PS -This is me on my first training session at Annie Sloan HQ in Oxford)

Jill Cobley owner of Source for the Goose outside Annie Sloan HQ Oxford

What preparation do I need to do before painting with Chalk Paint?


The beauty of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is that preparation is minimal. That means in most cases you do not need to sand or prime the piece you plan to upcycle.

Chalk Paint does not chip or peel, but if the item you are painting has old peeling paint on it, you will need to sand it. Otherwise that peeling paint will just push off your lovely Chalk Paint colour.

 Very occasionally on some pieces tannins can 'bleed' (as in with some stained furniture from the early 20th century and very occasionally with pine). If this happens, you will see it showing through your first coat of paint as it dries. To rectify it, use Zinsser Bin, a shellac based primer. No need to remove that first coat of paint, just prime the areas where the stain is bleeding through.

Lastly, just give your chosen piece a clean. If it's kitchen cupboards or similar, use soapy water to degrease.


Why does it say I need to wax or lacquer my painted piece?


Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is a water based paint which needs a sealant to protect it for everyday use. In fact you will see why it  is called Chalk Paint when you first use it by its chalky texture! Using wax gives a lovely patina which brings out the beauty of the colours and has a soft matt finish. You can use this just about anywhere but not where there would be standing water on the surface ie a table top. For a waterproof finish is either the Matt or Glass Lacquer. They can even be used on outdoor furniture.


Annie Sloan Clear Chalk Paint Wax with Wax Brush Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Lacquer

How do I apply the wax over my Chalk Paint?


You can apply the soft Chalk Paint wax with a lint free cloth; imagine you are applying sun tan lotion! I prefer using a Chalk Paint Wax Brush to help me apply the wax over a large item of furniture. Smooth a thin layer over your paint, removing any excess as your go and then wait for a minimum of half a day to apply a second thin layer. The wax should feel just slightly tacky when you apply it. The wax takes up to 21 days to ‘cure’ or harden off. I use my furniture in that time but carefully so as to not mark the wax.


Why is my wax finish still sticky after 21 days?


Strangely, this is because you applied too thick a coat of wax, resulting in it not being able to harden. Even more strangely, the way to rectify this is to apply a new ‘thin’ layer of wax which will loosen the wax underneath and allow it to cure properly.


Do you need to use a special brush for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint?


Ideally, use a bristle brush for your painting project. These allow you to build up the colour on your piece of furniture quickly and can be used to add texture if you are looking to add an aged effect to your item.

Annie Sloan brushes for Chalk Painting 

Can I achieve a smooth finish with Chalk Paint?


For a more modern, smoother finish, add a little water to your Chalk Paint then use a flat brush and feather the paint to smooth out some of the texture. Or try using a foam roller as another way to achieve a flatter finish. When the paint is dry, you can also use a very fine sandpaper to smooth the texture even more.



Isn’t Annie Sloan Chalk Paint just for a ‘shabby chic’ finish?


Not at all! in fact, you can achieve many styles with Chalk Paint. Use to paint a midcentury modern piece of furniture with bold colours or heavily distress a chest of drawers for a more vintage look.


Will it take ages to paint a piece of furniture?


Not in the slightest! The paint will dry very quickly, normally in 20-30 minutes. You will probably need a couple of coats. Once you are happy with the finish, you can start waxing or lacquering. 


The colour I want isn’t available in this range of paint.


Another great thing about the Annie Sloan paint is how easy it is to mix new colours. The colours themselves are ‘pure’ or in other words do not contain any black pigment, which means they do not appear muddy when mixed. If you are still a little scared of mixing a colour, then contact the shop and I can help you find the right mix for your new favourite paint shade.


How much coverage does a tin of Chalk Paint have?


  • A small project pot (120ml) will easily paint a dining room chair or a small bedside table.
  • A 500ml tin of paint has a coverage of 6.75 square metres and would paint a chest of drawers or small cupboard.
  • A litre of paint has a coverage of 13 square metres - more than enough to paint a kitchen dresser. 

I hope the above top ten FAQs about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint help with any burning questions you have before staring your project. For an added bonus, download this fact sheet to help you on your way to your first masterpiece. If you are ready to roll head to the Annie Sloan section of the website and start choosing your colours! Alternatively check out my helpful blog on updating some old pine furniture for some more Chalk Painting inspiration.


Love Jill x


PS if you are new to Source for the Goose, check out my VIP members page so that you are always ahead of the game in seeing new and one off items when they arrive, more Chalk Paint hints and top tips to make your home more gorgeous.


Annie Sloan Chalk Paint 1 Litre Tins