The Answers You Need

Tips & Techniques
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 dresser. 

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.

Want to know more? Each Annie Sloan Stockist can offer you workshops and practical advice on these and other tips from the Annie Sloan Method.

Extending the range of Chalk Paint® Colours

We have 42* 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 Annie Sloan Work Book, just incase you want to recreate them.
*Depending on which country you live in the number of colours in the range differs. We make our paint in three countries - England, USA and South Africa.


Want to know more? Each Annie Sloan Stockist can offer you workshops and practical advice on these and other tips from the Annie Sloan Method.

What to do if stains bleed through the paint

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!


Want to know more? Each Annie Sloan Stockist can offer you workshops and practical advice on these and other tips from the Annie Sloan Method.

Applying Annie Sloan Soft Wax

Annie Sloan Soft Wax is the perfect complement for Chalk 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 Annie Sloan 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.
● 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.


For an aged effect, push Dark Soft Wax into crevices, and wipe it back with the Clear Soft Wax to achieve your perfect result.
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.


Want to know more? Each Annie Sloan Stockist can offer you workshops and practical advice on these and other tips from the Annie Sloan Method.

Allow Annie Sloan Soft Wax to cure

After you’ve applied Annie Sloan Soft 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 Soft Wax will stand up to normal wear and tear.


Annie Sloan Soft Wax is food-safe when completely cured.


Want to know more? Each Annie Sloan Stockist can offer you workshops and practical advice on these and other tips from the Annie Sloan Method.

Caring for your Annie Sloan Brushes

After painting with Chalk Paint®, wash your Annie Sloan Pure Bristle Brush well with warm water to rinse out all the color.
Whether you apply Soft Wax with the Annie Sloan Wax Brush or Pure Bristle Brush, simply wash your brush with warm water and grease-cutting soap to clean it.


Want to know more? Each Annie Sloan Stockist can offer you workshops and practical advice on these and other tips from the Annie Sloan Method.

Using Annie Sloan paints as a chalk board

Both Chalk Paint® and Wall Paint have a matt finish and can be written on with chalk.

Using Annie Sloan 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.

Want to know more? Each Annie Sloan Stockist can offer you workshops and practical advice on these and other tips from the Annie Sloan Method.

Using Chalk Paint on Kitchen Cabinets

You can achieve beautiful results using Chalk Paint® on – and in – your cabinets. Apply at least two coats of paint, and then two or three coats of Chalk Paint® Wax to seal and protect them. Simple. Watch Annie's video for more information. 

Want to know more? Each Annie Sloan Stockist can offer you workshops and practical advice on these and other tips from the Annie Sloan Method.

Using Chalk Paint on Leather & Upholstery

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. Take a look at our video tutorial for more on this technique.

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.

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.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques either – 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

If you do decide to give this a go, I wouldn't recommend it as a first Chalk Paint® project, so if you've never used our paint before you might like to start with a small piece of furniture so that you can get a feel for the paint. 

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.

Dip Dyeing Fabric With Chalk Paint 

Dip dyeing with Chalk Paint® a great way to completely change the colour of fabric. You can control how intense the colour comes through simply by adding more 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.

Go to our Techniques section for step-by-step tutorial on dip dyeing fabric.

Want to know more? Each Annie Sloan Stockist can offer you more information and practical advice on these and other tips from the Annie Sloan Method.

Touching Up or Repairing Damage

As with all decorative paints, 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 best 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!

Want to know more? Each Annie Sloan Stockist can offer you workshops and practical advice on these and other tips from the Annie Sloan Method.

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