The Chalk Paint Process – Using Annie Sloan Paint

Step 1: Clean

  • For most projects, simply cleaning your piece with soap and water is enough preparation.
  • If your piece is from Ikea (which has a release agent), has had Pledge used on it, or if you are painting your kitchen cupboards (which can have grease splatters), clean with a degreaser (Chomp), Mineral Spirits or TSP.  
  • Then use a clear water rinse to remove any residue.

Step 2: Paint

  • When painting your piece of furniture, do not paint in straight lines as Chalk Paint™ is thicker than most paints and you’ll see the long brush strokes.
  • Be sure to paint in a short cross-hatching motion – the messier the better!
  • Typically, 2 coats of paint are sufficient except when using Pure White, which has no pigment and normally takes 3 coats. Paint until you have your desired coverage.  Be sure to wait for each coat to dry before adding the next.
  • Each coat takes about 20 – 45 minutes to dry depending on environmental conditions.
  • You can clean the brushes with soap and water.

Step 3: Clear Wax

  • As soon as your paint is dry, you can apply your wax. Although if you’re painting over a shinier finish, it’s best to wait 24 hours or so between painting and waxing to give your paint time to cure a little bit more.
  • As Annie Sloan says “you’re not icing a cake!” A little bit of wax goes a long way.
  • When waxing, work in small sections of about 1’ x 2’ (30cm – 60cm) at a time.
  • Apply a small amount of wax using either a lint free rag or a natural bristle brush. We like a brush better as it’s easier to apply and you’ll use less wax.
  • When you apply the wax, you’ll see the colour richen and deepen a bit.
  • Right after you’ve applied your wax to your small section, take a lint free rag (such as an old cotton t-shirt) to remove the wax until it has a bit of a shine and no longer tacky. Your piece should never be tacky when finished.
  • Run your fingers over the waxed surface and if you see your finger streaks, there’s too much wax and you have to wipe it more until it’s dry to the touch. When you’re at this point, you’re done and your piece is ready for use.
  • For kitchen cabinets, tabletops, and pieces that get high traffic, it’s best to apply at least 2 coats. Wait 24 hours between coats of wax in order to let it cure slightly.

Adding Dark or Black Wax

  • In most applications, you will apply Clear Wax first and then apply Dark Wax or Black Wax. The Clear Wax not only provides protection, but it preserves the colour. With most colours, if you apply Dark or Black Wax first, you will “stain” your colour and it will turn out fairly black or brown.
  • If you are looking to darken your colour greatly, feel free to apply the dark or black wax with no clear wax first. With colours such as Graphite, you can apply these waxes to make it even closer to black.
  • If you are looking for a more even finish, applying these waxes with a brush rather than a rag will help you achieve this.
  • Wipe off the excess just as you did with the Clear Wax.
  • If you think that the Dark/Black Wax is too prominent, then take a bit of clear wax on a rag and wipe over the dark wax and it will act like an eraser and “dull down” the Dark/Black Wax.

Adding White Wax

  • White Wax is used the same as the Clear Wax especially for those pieces you’ve painted with Pure White as it will make it nice and bright.
  • White Wax can also be used as a glaze where if you have a piece with lots of carving and details, it will help accentuate these details while keep the piece light and bright looking.

Care & Maintenance

  • Treat your piece of furniture like any other piece of furniture you care for, using coasters and such to protect it from rings or marks.
  • All water-based furniture finishes need about 20-28 days to cure properly. Treat it with care during this period and avoid excess handling. When cleaning, use a soft dry cloth.
  • To obtain best results when removing unwanted stains, use a slightly damp cloth with mild soap and water; do not use any abrasive products or tools.
  • Avoid all contact with liquid furniture polishes and spray polishes.
  • Avoid excessive water; wax is by nature water resistant but it may spot if not wiped immediately.
  • If you get a scratch in your piece, you can paint over the wax and cover the damaged area.
  • After the paint and wax are cured, if scuffs or marks occur you can clean it up using wax.