The Chalk Paint™ Process – Using Annie Sloan Paint

Before You Start Painting - FAQs

Do I need to sand before I paint?

Chalk Paint™  decorative paint adheres to almost any surface, indoors and outside, and there’s rarely a need to sand or prime. Most times simply cleaning and dusting off the surface will do. There may be times, however, when you’ll need to sand to remove loose paint, rust, and other surface debris, or when the surface is glossy or made of melamine or laminate. Use medium to fine grit sandpaper and remember to change it out when it becomes clogged; a fresh sheet makes the task at hand easier to accomplish.

What is the best way to apply Chalk Paint™ ?

Chalk Paint™  is typically applied by brush. Enjoy your painting and don’t be shy with your brush. Apply the paint liberally. Some brush marks showing in the finish can be part of the look.

To get started, tip the can upside down and shake before use. Then open and stir well. If the paint is too thick just add a little water and stir well.

As a rough guide, one quart of Chalk Paint™  covers approximately 150 square feet, or the equivalent of a small dresser – of course, this will vary depending on how many coats of paint you use to cover a piece.

For a demonstration on how Annie Sloan applies Chalk Paint™, visit her YouTube channel at and watch her Chalk Paint® Tutorials Nos. 1 and 2.

What type of brush should I use?

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™  and Annie Sloan Soft Wax.  They hold lots of paint and they are comfortable to hold and easy to work with.

How do I find the perfect color for my project?

The best way to find your perfect color is to visit ArtHaus150 or Kathie Jordan Design.  We have been trained in the Annie Sloan Method and can guide you with making the right choices.

There’s a very informative chapter on working with paint colors in Color Recipes for Painted Furniture and More, including tips for mixing colours and layering one color over another.  This book contains 40 step-by-step projects using Chalk Paint™  and Annie Sloan Soft Wax.  

Is Graphite Chalk Paint™  a true black?

 The Chalk Paint™  palette doesn’t include a true black.  Graphite, which is almost black, is not a simple, hard color but a mellow, sophisticated one.  You can create a darker appearance to Graphite by first applying a layer of Aubusson Blue.  Follow this with a coat of Graphite.  When the paint is dry, apply Annie Sloan Dark Soft Wax.  You can also mix a bit of Aubusson Blue into the wax to make it appear more black than brown.

Are there any special preparation steps for painting unfinished wood?

If you are working with new, untreated wood, you will need to apply clear shellac to any knots and open grains.  This will block tannins that can bleed up through the paint.  Simply wipe on one or two coats of shellac with a cloth pad.  It dries in minutes, and then you can get on with your painting!

What is the easiest way to distress my finish for a more aged look?

With Chalk Paint™  distressing is no longer an arduous chore.  Most finishes are best when just a bit of paint is evenly rubbed away here and there using fine grit sandpaper.  This will be easier to do if you apply Annie Sloan Soft Wax first.  This will also reduce any sanding dust, helping to keep your workspace clean.

How do I clean my Annie Sloan Brushes after painting and waxing?

After painting with Chalk Paint™, wash your Annie Sloan Pure Bristle Brush well with warm water to rinse out all the colour.

Whether you apply Soft Wax with your Annie Sloan Wax Brush or Pure Bristle Brush, simply wash your brush with warm water and grease-cutting soap to clean it.


What is Chalk Paint™?

Before You Start Painting

Painting a Variety of Surfaces

Finishing Your Project

Caring for Your Finish