Your go-to hub for everything technical about Annie Sloan paint and products. Click from the list below to find out more about each frequently asked question.
Chalk Paint®, Wax and Lacquer
- How to use Chalk Paint®
- Using Chalk Paint® Wax
- Letting Chalk Paint® Wax cure
- How to care for a Chalk Paint® and Wax finish
- Using Chalk Paint® Lacquer
- Dealing with stains coming through Chalk Paint®
- Touching up or repairing damage
- Mixing your own Chalk Paint® colour
- Using Chalk Paint® on walls
- Using Chalk Paint® on floors
- Using Chalk Paint® on metal
- Using Chalk Paint® on kitchen cabinets
- Using Chalk Paint® on fireplaces, mantelpieces and radiators
- Using Chalk Paint® outdoors
- Using Chalk Paint® on tiles
- Using Annie Sloan paint as a chalk board
- Using Chalk Paint® in a sprayer
Painting Fabric with Chalk Paint®
- Using Chalk Paint® on upholstery and leather
- Stencilling on fabric with Chalk Paint®
- Dyeing fabric with Chalk Paint®
- Using Wall Paint on furniture or kitchen cupboards
- Using Wall Paint on previously varnished or gloss-painted surfaces
- Is Wall Paint breathable?
Brushes & Tools
Chalk Paint, Wax and Lacquer
How to use Chalk Paint®
As a rough guide, one litre of Chalk Paint® covers approximately 13 square metres, or the equivalent of a small welsh dresser or china hutch.
For most purposes, one to two coats of paint are enough. Chalk Paint® adheres to almost any surface, and there is rarely any need to sand or prime before painting. See ‘Dealing with stains coming through Chalk Paint®’ for when to prime or sand before painting.
To get started, tip the paint pot upside down and shake before use. Then open and stir well. If paint is too thick just add a little water and stir. For the best results, we recommend using a good quality paintbrush like the Chalk Paint® Brushes to apply the paint.
Always finish Chalk Paint® with either Chalk Paint® Wax or Lacquer for protection.
You can paint Chalk Paint® straight over Chalk Paint® Wax without removing the prior finish.
Using Chalk Paint® Wax
Chalk Paint® Wax is the perfect complement for Chalk Paint®. It adds durability, deepens the colours slightly and adds a very light sheen. It’s really easy to get sensational results – just use a Chalk Paint® Wax Brush or lint-free cloth to apply the wax to paint. Remove any excess sitting wax with a lint-free cloth.
Finishing Chalk Paint® with either wax or lacquer is essential; it will seal your finish for years to come and protect from scuffs and water marks.
As a very rough guide, you will need one 500ml tin of wax for every 3-4 litres of paint. This will vary depending on how many coats of paint or wax you use to cover a piece. And it’s always best to have a little wax left over for touching up. With the lid tightly on, it will last indefinitely.
For more information on Chalk Paint® Wax, watch Annie’s instructional video by clicking here.
Letting Chalk Paint® Wax cure
After you’ve applied Chalk Paint® Wax, you’ll find that it will become dry to the touch very quickly. At this stage, it is still what you might call ‘soft’. It will start to harden as the solvents in the wax evaporate. This hardening process is known as ‘curing’. Curing can take between 5 and 21 days depending on ambient temperature.
You can use your finished piece straight away, but you may need to treat it with extra care until the wax has cured completely (you might want to use coasters, avoid sharp objects etc). Once cured, a piece of furniture painted with Chalk Paint® and finished with wax will stand up to normal wear and tear.
Chalk Paint® Wax is food-safe and toy-safe when completely cured. For more information see our Product Information page.
How to care for a Chalk Paint® and Wax finish
Generally, wiping lightly with a damp/dry microfibre cloth should be sufficient to clean.
Stubborn marks on waxed pieces can often be removed with a little Clear Chalk Paint® Wax on a cloth, which acts as an eraser. If you choose to use cleaner you will eventually wear away the wax, but if you would prefer to use a mild surface cleaner apply using a cloth and test in an inconspicuous area first. Regular use of cleaning products may require re-waxing over time.
Always use heat mats and coasters to protect your painted and waxed surfaces. Keep away from extreme temperatures or humidity. Like you, your finish prefers a moderate climate!
Waxes dissolve in alcohol, so using it on bars is not advisable.
Avoid aerosol spray polishes as they may contain solvents or silicone that could dissolve the wax.
Using Chalk Paint® Lacquer
As a guide, one 750ml tin of Chalk Paint® Lacquer will cover 19 square metres (204ft ²), but this will vary according to the absorbency of the material you’re painting. For best results the lacquer should be applied in very thin coats. Results may also vary depending on previous treatment of the surface.
When applying Chalk Paint® Lacquer, bear in mind that it is a ‘penetrating’ finish and can pull tannins or stains from the wood up through the paint. This can be especially noticeable on whites, manifesting as a yellow stain. Always test Chalk Paint® and Lacquer on several areas before you begin your project. If a stain appears, apply a stain blocker directly over the entire surface before painting and lacquering again.
For more information on Chalk Paint® Lacquer, watch Annie’s instructional video by clicking here.
Dealing with stains coming through Chalk Paint®
If you’re working with new, untreated wood, you’ll need to apply clear shellac (knotting solution) to wood knots and open grains. This will block tannins that can bleed through the paint.
On rare occasions, a stain may bleed through your first coat of paint – this is often from a previous oil-based finish and is most likely to happen on old pieces from the 1930s and 1940s.
If you see a stain bleeding through the paint, apply a coat of stain blocker (or knotting solution) directly over the paint you have already applied. Treat the whole affected surface to avoid any patchiness in the final finish. One or two coats of blocker applied evenly with a cloth pad will block the stain. It dries in minutes, and then you can get on with your painting.
These stains can often be pulled through if Chalk Paint® Lacquer is applied on to Chalk Paint®. If this is the case, do the same steps as above but over the Chalk Paint® Lacquer you’ve already applied.
Chalk Paint® is not recommended for teak or other oily woods. Always test, if in doubt!
For more information on bleed through on floors, watch Annie’s instructional video by clicking here.
Touching up or repairing damage
As with any decorating paint, it’s not advisable to paint over small areas that need a touch up – even if you are working with paint from the same batch. When you apply a first coat of paint to a surface, the rate at which the water is absorbed by the surface (‘wicking’) has an effect on the final colour. Subsequent coats will be absorbed by the paint underneath at a different rate, leading to a subtle shade difference in the finish.
For this reason, where repairs are necessary, it’s advised to paint the entire surface of the affected area, whether this is a section of wall (from corner to corner & top to bottom) or the face of a piece of furniture (for example, a drawer front). There is no need to repaint the entire room or the whole piece of furniture! However, to save time, it’s worth testing by touching up just the small area first. If it looks fine, you can seal and leave. If not, apply as above.
Mixing your own Chalk Paint® colour
The colours in the Chalk Paint® range vary from soft and pale to bright and strong. Annie’s carefully selected colour palette is hugely flexible as you can mix colours together to extend the range and create endless possibilities. Most of Annie’s colours do not contain black pigment which can muddy colours when mixing; so you can combine hues without worry of dirtying your final colour.
If you want to make a colour paler, add Old White or Pure.
Find out roughly what ratio you need by experimenting – you could use your fingers to dab and mix colours, or a teaspoon to make small amounts. For larger amounts you could use a cup or even a tin as a measure.
Start with a dollop of your chosen colour, slowly adding the Old White or Pure. A dollop of Provence and two dollops of Old White gives you a ratio of 1 to 2, making a soft pale turquoise. Use Pure and the colour is cleaner and fresher, giving a more vintage 1950’s look.
For lots more information on mixing colours, see Annie’s book ‘Colour Recipes for Painted Furniture and More’, or contact one of her trained Stockists.
Using Chalk Paint® on walls
Chalk Paint® can be applied to walls. It gives a wonderful texture and matt look. Use a large brush to apply Chalk Paint® to walls, like the Annie Sloan Wall Paint Brush. A brush will use less paint than a roller (see Annie and Felix’s experiment here) and will add depth and texture to the final finish. You can then wax the wall or leave it – bedroom walls look great with a soft, matte unwaxed finish. For kitchens, bathrooms and walls that require a tougher, scrubbable finish, we recommend Wall Paint by Annie Sloan.
Using Chalk Paint® on floors
Chalk Paint® can transform old concrete and wooden floors, even if they’re varnished. Just apply two or three coats of Chalk Paint® and finish with Chalk Paint® Lacquer for durability.
Always test the paint and lacquer on a few areas of the floor before you start, to check whether any stains will bleed through. Chalk Paint® Lacquer will often pull stains through that Chalk Paint® doesn’t, so it’s important to test with both.
For more detailed information on painting floors, watch Annie’s instructional video by clicking here.
Using Chalk Paint® on metal
You can paint straight onto all kinds of hardware, including metal work. Chalk Paint® can re-invigorate old brass and other metal fixtures and fittings.
It can even cover and slow down rust. Any rusting areas should be sanded and treated with a rust inhibitor before painting.
Using Chalk Paint® on kitchen cabinets
You can achieve beautiful results using Chalk Paint® on – and in – your cabinets. Ensure they are spotlessly clean without using harsh chemicals before painting. Any residue oils left from kitchen-use will affect the finish. Apply at least two coats of paint, and then two or three coats of Chalk Paint® Wax or Chalk Paint® Lacquer to seal and protect them. Remember to always test your cabinets first with both paint and lacquer.
For more information on painting kitchen cabinets, watch Annie’s instructional video by clicking here.
Using Chalk Paint® on fireplaces, mantelpieces and radiators
Chalk Paint® adheres very well to marble, stone, wood and brick fireplaces with no undercoat required. It can also be used on radiators! Make sure the radiator or fireplace is cold before you start painting in order to prevent the paint from cracking. You can leave the paint unsealed or finish with Clear Chalk Paint® Wax if you wish. Remember to leave the wax to cure for 48 hours before exposing it to heat.
Using Chalk Paint® outdoors
Chalk Paint® even works outdoors! It’s particularly good on brick, concrete, stone and terracotta – and there’s no need to seal if it’s a vertical surface. On horizontal surfaces and garden furniture, use Chalk Paint® Lacquer. Chalk Paint® Lacquer is a hard-wearing, water-based polyacrylic varnish with built-in UV protection and is water-resistant, making it ideal for outdoor use.
Chalk Paint® will fade in the sun and age gracefully with the elements if not finished with Chalk Paint® Lacquer. Chalk Paint® is a water-based decorative paint and does not have any weatherproof or protective properties. Depending on the look you want and the site-specific conditions you may find it needs a fresh coat periodically.
For more information on painting outdoors, see Annie’s tutorial here.
For the 11 dos and donts of painting outside, see Annie’s blog here.
Using Chalk Paint® on tiles
Chalk Paint® will adhere to tiles. It should be sealed with either Chalk Paint® Wax or Lacquer. When using on glazed or shiny tiles, allow for the full curing period (21 days for wax, 14 days for Lacquer) and take care not to scratch or chip the finish during this time.
Bear in mind that this is not a finish that will hold up to being exposed to a lot of water/steam or frequent cleaning with chemical cleaners.
Using Annie Sloan paint as a chalkboard
Although not originally designed for the use of chalkboard, both Chalk Paint® and Wall Paint have a matt finish and can be written on with chalk.
Using Chalk Paint® in a sprayer
Chalk Paint® can be sprayed, but you will need to experiment to get the right results from your particular model. The most important thing to know is that there is no ‘magic’ ratio of paint to water and you will need to tweak it every time you spray, as each paint colour has a slightly different viscosity.
Firstly, using an airless sprayer is not recommended – the high solids content in Chalk Paint® will damage the nozzle.
Warm paint will spray and settle better – place tin of Chalk Paint® in a bain marie of very hot water for 15 minutes. As a starting point, dilute to just under 20% with clean water then adjust as necessary.
You can also add a paint extender to help get a smooth finish.
Painting fabric with Chalk Paint®
Using Chalk Paint® on upholstery and leather
When it comes to painting upholstery, small items which are firmly upholstered (such as a dining chair seat) and made from natural fabric (such as cotton or linen) give the best results. In these cases, Chalk Paint® can be diluted with water and painted on as a ‘wash’ which will stain the fibres. Fabric that is painted in this way does not require to be waxed afterwards. For more information this technique, watch Annie’s instructional video by clicking here.
There are other ways to paint upholstery, but the success of painting any upholstered piece does depend on factors such as the condition, colour and composition of the fabric, how firmly it is upholstered, and the colour you are using (reds are less colourfast).
In most cases, you will see better results where you are going from light to dark than if you are trying to go from dark to light.
If confident, you can experiment with different techniques – applying the paint more thickly will change the composition of the fabric, making it stiffer. This can then be waxed and buffed to create a leather effect. Annie and famed New Zealand YouTube star and television personality Astar created a video on just this, which you can see here.
You can also use Chalk Paint® on leather and vinyl – build up the coverage in thin coats, and then wax to finish. As the leather creases and cracks with age, so will the paint, so bear this in mind on well-worn or cushioned items.
For any project, we would recommend testing in a small area first before you commit to painting the whole piece. As a general rule, we don’t recommend painting very cushioned sofas or suites, or items that get very heavy use. There are no guarantees the paint and colour will hold onto the fabric and once it’s painted there’s no going back.
If you do decide to give this a go, we wouldn’t recommend it as a first Chalk Paint® project. If you’ve never used Chalk Paint® before start with a small piece of furniture so you can get a feel for the paint.
Stencilling on fabric with Chalk Paint®
To stencil fabric with Chalk Paint®, apply with a Sponge Roller. There is no need to dilute the paint.
To keep the image from bleeding around the edges try not to overload your roller with paint. Allow the fabric to dry naturally, then heat seal it by tumble drying or pressing with a hot iron.
To see Annie stencilling fabric, click here.
Dyeing fabric with Chalk Paint®
Dyeing fabric with Chalk Paint® is a great way to completely change its colour. You can control the intensity of the colour by adding more or less water. Linen, cotton, cotton voile and synthetic curtains all work well with this technique. You can also use patterned cottons or linens.
We have found that the deeper pigmented colours work best, such as Aubusson Blue, Scandinavian Pink, Antibes and Florence.
Please note when dyeing fabric with Chalk Paint®, you will never achieve the exact colour of the original paint. Bear this in mind when dying. If you’d like something resembling Antoinette, consider dyeing with Scandinavian Pink. Antibes Green for Lem Lem, Aubusson Blue for Provence, and so on.
For more information on dyeing fabric with Chalk Paint® click here.
Wall Paint FAQs
Using Wall Paint on furniture or kitchen cupboards
Wall Paint is an extremely durable finish and could be used on furniture, however it does not offer the same adhesion as Chalk Paint®. We always recommend that you use Chalk Paint® on furniture and save the Wall Paint for what it does best – painting walls!
Using Wall Paint on previously varnished or gloss-painted surfaces
Wall Paint by Annie Sloan can be used on previously varnished or gloss-painted surfaces, but it will not have the same adhesion as Chalk Paint®. To increase durability, an appropriate primer (or a coat of Chalk Paint®) is recommended as a base coat.
Is Wall Paint breathable?
Wall Paint contains ingredients that make it very durable. It doesn’t have the same breathability as Chalk Paint®. If you are painting over lime plaster or other finishes that require a breathable paint, we recommend you use Chalk Paint®.
Brushes & Tools
Caring for Annie Sloan Brushes
After painting with Chalk Paint®, squeeze out as much excess paint from your brush as you can, then wash your Chalk Paint® Brush well with warm water to rinse out all the colour. Hang to dry with the bristles pointing downwards to avoid rust and glue deterioration.
Whether you apply Chalk Paint® Wax with a Chalk Paint® Wax Brush or Chalk Paint® Brush, simply wash your brush with warm water and grease-cutting soap to clean it. Harsh detergents may shorten the life of your natural bristle brushes.