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.

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 and watch her Chalk Paint® Tutorials #1 and #2.

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!

Can I use Chalk Paint® in the garden?

You can use Chalk Paint® on exterior walls, garden furniture (except teak), metal, concrete, matte plastic, and terracotta. Just leave it to harden overnight – preferably in a protected area – and then wipe it down with a damp cloth before exposing it to rain. There’s no need to add a protective coating.

Can I paint my walls with Chalk Paint®?

Chalk Paint® can be used to give both old and new walls depth and interest and even a bit of texture. Apply one or more coats of paint with a brush or roller for coverage and let dry. You can leave the paint as is, but some like to apply Annie Sloan Soft Wax over the paint for a really smart polished look.

Can I use 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 Annie Sloan Lacquer for added durability. If you are working on open-grain wood floors, such as oak, apply clear shellac first. This will block tannins that can bleed up through the paint and Lacquer. Simply wipe on the shellac with a cloth pad or floor mop. It dries in minutes, and then you can get on with your painting!

What about painting metal with Chalk Paint®?

You can use Chalk Paint® directly onto all kinds of hardware, including metal work. Chalk Paint® can re-invigorate old brass and other metal fixtures and fittings, and even covers and slows down rust.

Are Chalk Paint® and Soft Wax safe for use on baby cribs, etc.?

Absolutely! Both Chalk Paint® and Annie Sloan Soft Wax are safe to use on furniture destined for baby and child use. However, before putting the item to use, please allow the Soft Wax to cure for a minimum of 14 days. Samples of Chalk Paint® and Soft Wax have been independently tested and certified as Toy Safe according to strict European regulations (BS EN 71-3:2013). Annie Sloan cares about your health. While there are no inherently harmful ingredients in Soft Wax, we do advise that expectant mothers get someone else to apply it.

Are Chalk Paint® and Soft Wax good choices for kitchen and bathroom cabinets?

Yes! You can use Chalk Paint® on most wood cabinetry. Typically there is no need to sand or prime, although in areas that receive a lot of use, like the cutlery drawer, it might be wise. Apply at least two coats of paint and then two or three coats of Annie Sloan Soft Wax for protection, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next. Soft Wax makes a good bond to the paint for durability. You can easily maintain your finish by simply wiping the surface with a soft cloth and mild soap and water to clean, and refresh every now and again with a light application of wax.

Can I paint my kitchen countertops and backsplash with Chalk Paint®?

It is not advisable. Chalk Paint®, even when sealed with a quality sealer such as Annie Sloan Soft Wax or Annie Sloan Lacquer, will not be 100% non-porous and this can present problems with cross contamination. The surface may look clean but it may not be deep down into the finish.

Can I paint melamine or laminate furniture with Chalk Paint®? (like from IKEA)

A little bit of preparation and some patience are needed. New pieces may be coated with a light oily film for packing and shipping purposes and this should be wiped away with a cloth moistened with mineral spirits. Lightly sand the melamine or laminate with fine grit sandpaper and dust off. Next, apply a thin first coat of paint, and let dry about 48 hours to encourage the paint to bond to the surface. After that, you can continue painting for your desired look.

What is the best way to apply 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 colors, and gives a very slight sheen. It’s really easy to get sensational results.

As a rough guide, you will need one 500ml tin of wax for every 3 – 4 quarts of paint – of course, this will vary depending on how many coats of 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. Less is more, so there’s no need to apply the wax too thickly.

Always apply Clear Soft Wax before applying any Dark Soft Wax. For an aged effect, push Dark Soft Wax into crevices, and wipe it back with some clear wax to achieve your perfect result. Soft 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 temperature and application thickness.

For a demonstration on how Annie Sloan applies Soft Wax, visit her YouTube Channel and watch her Chalk Paint® Tutorials #1 and #2.

I need a durable finish for my kitchen table that I can clean frequently. Our kids tend to be rough on things. What should I use?

Annie Sloan Soft Wax, once cured, provides a durable finish that is easy to maintain. After painting, apply two or three coats of wax, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next, to get the extra durability you need. You can easily maintain your finish by simply wiping the surface with a soft cloth and mild soap and water, and refresh every now and again with a light application of wax. When scratches, stains, and watermarks happen to your wax finish, they are easily repaired with just a bit more wax rubbed into the marked area.

Can I paint over Soft Wax?

One of the key features about working with Chalk Paint® and Annie Sloan Soft Wax is it’s easy to change your mind. You can apply another coat or two of Chalk Paint® over your previous finish, and then seal your new paint layers with additional wax. Can Soft Wax be used on outdoor projects? Annie Sloan Soft Wax should be used on interior projects only. It is not suitable for outdoor use.

How long will it take for my finish to cure?

After you have 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. Finishes prefer warm, dry conditions during the curing process; high humidity, cold temperatures, and application thickness can extend drying and curing time substantially. Of course, you can use your newly finished piece straight away, but you may need to treat it with extra care until the wax has cured completely. Annie Sloan Soft Wax is food safe when completely cured.

How do I care for my painted furniture?

Furniture finished with Chalk Paint® and Annie Sloan Soft Wax stands up well to everyday wear and tear. Allow your new finish to cure before placing any items that may scratch the surface. Avoid excessive water. Use coasters under water glasses and placemats on dining tables. Clean with a soft cloth and avoid all liquid furniture polishes. To clean marks or stains, use a slightly damp cloth or chamois with a bit of mild soap. Avoid extreme temperatures or humidity. Waxes dissolve in alcohol, so using wax on bars is not advisable.

Can I apply another clear protective finish over Soft Wax?

Once Annie Sloan Soft Wax is applied, no other protective finish can be applied to your project. Attempting to add another coating – such as Annie Sloan Lacquer or another varnish or even polyurethane – over a wax finish is futile.

A yellow or pink stain has appeared in my new paint layer. How can I cover it?

If you see a yellow or pink stain coming through your new paint layers – especially on older furniture from the 1930’s and 1940’s – apply clear shellac. One or two coats of shellac applied with a cloth pad will stop this from happening. There is no need to remove the stained layer of paint; you can apply shellac directly on top. It dries in minutes, and then you can get on with your painting!

My paint is not sticking. What should I do?

A clean surface is important for any paint project. Remove the loose paint with sandpaper and inspect the surface. Wipe away any heavy buildup of greasy, waxy or oily residues with a soft rag moistened with mineral spirits. Then clean with soap and water. Use a Scotch Brite pad to lightly scrub the surface, and a soft brush to work into open grain and intricate carvings. Rinse well with warm water and let the piece dry completely. Then re-apply your paint.

I painted a piece of furniture that had been previously maintained with spray furniture polish and the paint cracked. How do I fix this?

Many spray furniture polishes contain dimethicone, a silicone used as a film former to protect surfaces. This silicone can cause cracks to appear in your paint layers, especially along edges. Sand the affected areas with fine grit sandpaper. Then seal the surface, including the remaining paint, by wiping on one or two coats of shellac with a cloth pad. Once the shellac is dry, reapply your Chalk Paint®.

My finish feels sticky and leaves fingerprints. What can I do?

Don’t worry if this happens. It is easily fixed by simply applying another thin coat of Annie Sloan Soft Wax. This will soften or “melt” the underlying wax, making it easy to remove all of the excess wax that is causing the stickiness and smearing. Work in manageable sections and remove the excess wax with clean soft cloths as your go. Have several cloths available and change to a clean cloth when the old one becomes clogged with wax.