Chalk Paint – Getting Started
When Annie Sloan developed her unique decorative paint over 25 years ago, she revolutionized painting. Frustrated with the lack of paint options available at the time, she created her signature paint – with its remarkable versatility and ease of use – for the DIY enthusiast as well as the expert faux-finisher.
No priming, no sanding? Really.
Chalk Paint adheres to almost any surface, indoors or out – and there’s rarely any need to sand or prime before painting. Just get stuck into the fun bit: amazing results that are easy to achieve.
If you’re working with new, untreated wood, you’ll need to apply clear shellac to wood knots and open grains. This will block tannins that can bleed through the paint. If you see a yellow or pink stain coming through the paint on older furniture – typically from the 1930s and 1940s – apply clear shellac. One or two coats of shellac applied with a cloth pad will stop this happening. It dries in minutes, and then you can get on with your painting!
Working with Chalk Paint Wax
Chalk Paint Wax is the perfect partner for Chalk Paint – in fact, they were designed to work together as a system. Chalk Paint Wax is easy to apply and makes a good bond to the paint for durability. You can even buff your piece after waxing to give it a more sleek, modern look.
Using Chalk Paint Wax is really quite simple. Always apply Chalk Paint Wax in thin, even coats to ensure even drying and result in an even sheen after buffing (thicker areas will dry more slowly and not buff to the same sheen).
Apply Chalk Paint Wax using a gentle sweeping movement in the same direction of the wood grain. Applying two thin coats of Chalk Paint Wax is often best. It is nearly impossible, even for a professional, to apply a single coat of wax evenly and without missing a spot. Applying a bit more wax will insure complete wax protection, improving its performance.
Chalk Paint Wax cures in just 5 to 21 days. Curing is what strengthens the finish and gives it its practicality. Warm, dry conditions during the curing process are preferable; cold temperatures, high humidity, and application thickness can extend drying and curing time substantially.
Be Patient! You can use your newly finished piece during the curing process; however you should treat it with care until it is fully cured.
If you want to buff your piece, wait until the solvents in the wax evaporate before buffing. If you buff too soon, you are effectively stripping the wax from the surface, which can leave dull areas. Although drying time can take as little as 10 to 20 minutes, a couple of hours or even overnight can be best. The wax is ready to buff when it no longer feels cool or damp to the touch. However, if you wait too long to buff, the piece becomes harder to buff out. If this happens, you can easily correct it by applying another coat of wax and waiting a more appropriate amount of time before buffing.
Buffing lightly produces a satin sheen, while more vigorous buffing can produce a higher sheen or even a gloss. Use 100% cotton lint-free cloths for buffing; the softer the cloth, the higher the resulting sheen.
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint FAQ
How much Chalk Paint do I need for my project?
As a rough guide, one quart of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint covers approximately 150 square feet. For most purposes, one or 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. Before use, tip the can upside down for a few minutes to draw the pigments away from the bottom of the can and then shake for about 30 to 45 seconds.
How much Chalk Paint Wax do I need for my project?
As a rough guide, you will need one large can of wax (500ml) for every 3 to 4 coats of paint. This estimate varies based on how many coats of wax you put on a piece.
What should I use to apply Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Wax?
Chalk Paint is typically applied by brush. Enjoy your painting and don’t be shy – apply the paint liberally. Some brush marks showing in the finish can be part of the look.
Your brush doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does need to have certain qualities. The bristles should be fairly long and flexible with a little bounce to allow you to be expressive in your work. Avoid brushes with bristles that are too soft, too short, or hard and inflexible. Annie Sloan’s Pure Bristle Brushes are excellent for applying Chalk Paint because they hold lots of paint and are comfortable to hold and easy to work with.
For the wax, use a lint-free cotton rag or an Annie Sloan Wax Brush to get it into corners and crevices.
How do I care for my Annie Sloan Brushes?
After painting with Chalk Paint, squeeze out as much excess paint from your brush as you can, then wash your Annie Sloan Brush well with a gentle soap and warm water to rinse out all the color. Hang or angle bristles downward to dry to avoid rust spots.
Do the same with the wax brush.
Tip: After washing out both brushes with gentle soap and warm water, apply a small dollop of hair conditioner to the palm of your hand. Swirl each brush around in your palm to coat the bristles in conditioner. Rinse out your brushes after conditioning and this will keep the bristles nice and soft for your next project!