Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ Tips

About Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan

Annie Sloan developed her now famous decorative paint, Chalk Paint over 25 years ago to answer the need she had for a versatile paint that would have many uses from acting like limewash to looking like old painted furniture. She called it Chalk Paint™ because of its beautiful velvety, matte finish.

Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan is very easy to work with. It very rarely requires any preparation, such as sanding or priming, and can be used indoors or outside, on just about any surface - from wood to metal, and matt plastic to terracotta. It can revitalise old furniture, walls, ceilings and floors with ease. It's easy, fun and makes amazing results accessible to everyone. Do take a look a look at a tutorial to see just how simple it is.

 With a colour palette inspired by 18th and 20th Century decor and design, you can easily mix the colours together to extend the range. Chalk Paint™ is eco-friendly too. It contains extremely low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and has no odor.

Annie Sloan developed her now famous decorative paint, 

 With a colour palette inspired by 18th and 20th Century decor and design, you can easily mix the colours together to extend the range. Chalk Paint™ is eco-friendly too. It contains extremely low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and has no odor.

How to use Chalk Paint™

As a rough guide, one litre of Chalk Paint™ covers aproximately 13 square metres, or the equivalent of a small welsh dresser or china hutch.

For most purposes, one coat of paint is enough. Chalk Paint™adheres to almost any surface, and there is rarely any need to sand or prime before painting.

To get started, tip 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.

Applying Chalk Paint™Wax

Chalk Paint™ Wax is the perfect complement for Chalk Paint™paint. In fact, we’d say it’s an essential partner! It adds durability, deepens the colours and gives a very slight sheen. It’s really easy to get sensational results – just use a cotton rag, or your Chalk Paint™Wax Brush, to get it into corners and crevices.
As a very rough guide, you will need one 500ml tin of wax for every 3-4 litres of paint – of course, 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.
● When you apply the wax, ‘push’ it into your Chalk Paint™ for the best results. Think hand cream – and apply it in the same way! Remove excess wax with a clean cloth. Don’t buff yet - leave the wax to dry for 24 hours before buffing with a clean lint free cloth, or leave as it is for a matt effect.
● Less is more, so there’s no need to apply wax too thickly. The wax will feel touch-dry immediately after you’ve applied it.
● Work small areas at a time, so the wax doesn’t dry before you get to work it in.
To bring out brushstrokes or for an aged effect, work Dark, Black or White Chalk Paint™ Waxes into crevices, wiping it back with Clear Chalk Paint™ Wax to achieve your perfect result. Always apply a coat of Clear Chalk Paint™ Wax before you apply coloured waxes – this will allow you to control the colour.
The Wax will be dry to the touch very quickly but take longer to harden or ‘cure’. The ‘curing’ process can take 5 - 21 days depending on ambient temperature.
If you want to achieve a really good shine, allow around 24 hours before buffing.
Annie Sloan Soft Wax is food-safe when completely cured.

Allowing Chalk Paint™ Wax to 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.
Of course, you can use your finished piece straight away, but you may need to treat it with extra care up until the wax has cured completely (you might want to use coasters, avoid sharp objects etc). Once cured, a piece of furniture finished with Chalk Paint™ and finished with wax will stand up to normal wear and tear.
Chalk Paint™ Wax is food-safe when completely cured.

Extending the range of Chalk Paint™ Colours

We have 36 colours in the Chalk Paint™ range from soft and pale to bright and strong. Annie Sloan’s carefully selected range of colours is hugely flexible as you can mix colours together to extend the range and create endless possibilities.
If you want to make a colour paler then add Old White or Pure. Old White will give the colour a softer vintage feel, and Pure will make the colour more modern.
Find out roughly what ratio you need by experimenting - you could use you 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 lovely soft pale slightly aged turquoise like old faded French shutters. Use Pure and the colour is cleaner and fresher, giving a more vintage 1950’s look!
It’s useful to keep a sample of the colours you make in your Chalk Paint™ Work Book, just incase you want to recreate them.
For lots more information on mixing colours, see Annie’s book ‘Colour Recipes for Painted Furniture and More’.

What to do if stains bleed through the 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 clear shellac (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 shellac applied evenly with a cloth pad will block the stain. It dries in minutes, and then you can get on with your painting!

Using Chalk Paint™ on walls

Apply Chalk Paint™ to walls with a large brush, like the Annie Sloan Wall Paint Brush. A brush will use less paint than a roller and will add depth and texture to the final finish. You can then wax the wall with a big brush, or just leave it – bedrooms walls look great with a soft, matte, unwaxed finish. For kitchens, bathrooms and walls that require a tougher, scrubbable finish, we recommend Annie Sloan Wall Paint.
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 then apply Chalk Paint™ Lacquer with a sponge roller, for added 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.
Workshops & Advice

Lucy at our Dulwich Village stores, Tomlinsons, has received training from Annie Sloan herself so can help answer any questions that you may have, please feel to contact us by email or on the phone. We also run Annie Sloan Chalk Paint workshops where you can learn many techniques from paint distressing to gilding. Further tips can also be found on

 We stock a full range of Chalk Paint™ and Annie Sloan Accessories including specialist brushes, waxes, and books.