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Top Tips with Annie Sloan


 As a rough guide, one liter of Chalk Paint® covers approximately 13 square meters, or the equivalent of a 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.




Chalk Paint® Wax is the perfect complement for Chalk Paint®. It adds durability, deepens the colors 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.



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.



Generally, wiping lightly with a damp/dry micro fiber 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.



As a guide, one 750ml tin of Chalk Paint® Lacquer will cover 19 square meters (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.



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.



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 color. 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.



The colors in the Chalk Paint® range vary from soft and pale to bright and strong. Annie’s carefully selected color palette is hugely flexible as you can mix colors together to extend the range and create endless possibilities. Most of Annie’s colors 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 color 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 color, 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 color is cleaner and fresher, giving a more vintage 1950’s look.

For lots more information on mixing colors, see Annie’s book ‘Color Recipes for Painted Furniture and More’, or contact one of her trained Stockists.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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 don'ts of painting outside, see Annie’s blog here.



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.



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.



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.

For more information on how to apply Chalk Paint® with a spray gun, watch Annie’s instructional video by clicking here, and for applying Chalk Paint® Lacquer with a spray gun, click here.




Annie Sloan’s Wax, Lacquer and Paint tins are all manufactured to an industry standard, in line with competitors. Chalk Paint™ tins are sealed extra tight. This ensures they remain air-tight and free from contamination. To open tins, we recommend using a tin opener from a local hardware store. Of course, Annie recommends visiting your local independent where possible! If you cannot get hold of a tin opener, you can use a blunt tool such as a spoon. Please do not use a sharp object such as a knife or screwdriver, these can cause serious injury if used incorrectly.

Opening the tin:

• Ease the tin opener between the top of the lid and the edge of the tin.

• Apply slight pressure and lift upwards.

• Turn the tin a few degrees and repeat the motion. You will feel the air tight seal break and hear a “pop” noise.

• Continue turning the tin until you have covered the whole circumference of the lid before attempting to prise the lid completely off.

• Be as gentle and light handed as possible.

• Following these steps will prevent the lid buckling or damaging the tin. Closing the tin

• To secure the lid after use, set in place on the top of the tin.

• Place both palms on the lid and apply pressure down until you here a “pop”.

The Wax, Lacquer, and Chalk Paint™ tins are all the same, so you can use this method with every Annie Sloan tin. All metals are susceptible to some bending and denting if not handled gently.

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