Annie Sloan Chalk Painting Basics

3:47 PM

Thanks to all of you for coming into the store and just loving the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!  Based on all of your questions, I came up with some specific steps when painting with the amazing Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I apologize if it feels like I am repeating Painting Basics, that was more generic for any type of paint, and this one is specific to my experience with the ASCP.

  1. Clean your piece.  I know that the ASCP doesn't require you to clean your piece, but good painting protocol requires it (already detailed in Painting Basics 101).  I use soap & water, non-tsp cleaner, degreaser, pretty much whatever I have around.
  2. Paint.  I typically use a 2 1/2" synthetic bristle angled brush.  This brush works well for me, but you can use any type of paint brush.  I would not recommend the sponge brush only because it sucks up so much of the paint, I find I am too frugal to waste it in the sponge.
  3. Dry.  Typically the ASCP dries in an hour.  I spend the drying time doing other stuff in the garage or house (never seem to catch up on laundry).  After it is completely dry, I look it over and decide if I need any additional paint.  Usually I only need to touch up a few spots, works out to a total of 1 1/2 coats. 
  4. Distress.  At this point I take a clean wet nubby washcloth and 'wash' off where I want the old finish/wood to show through.  If, it has been longer than a couple of hours since it dried, I recommend fine sandpaper like #220.  If you feel like you took off too much paint, it is so easy to just touch it up again with the ASCP.
  5. Wax.  After the piece has been painted, dried, and distressed, I then apply a thin coat of the ASCP clear wax.  I love the flat head wax brush for this application as it doesn't suck up a lot of the wax.  If, you are doing your first piece, or don't plan on painting a lot, then go ahead and use a clean, dry, lint-free cloth (old t-shirts work great) to apply the wax.  I wouldn't use the cloth application method more than once since it tends to absorb a lot more wax than needed.  After applying a coat of the clear wax, I then take a clean, dry, lint-free cloth and wipe the piece of furniture down, removing all excess wax. 
  6. Dark Wax.  Now I apply the ASCP dark wax.  I use the flat head wax brush to apply a thin coat over the entire piece.  After applying the dark wax, I then take a clean, dry, lint-free cloth and wipe off all the excess.
  7. Buff.  After the wax has dried for an hour, I start to buff the piece.  I usually use another clean, dry, lint-free piece of cloth rubbing all along the edges, then working my way across the body of the piece in circles.  It takes me about an hour to hand buff a 4-drawer dresser.  I then leave the piece alone for about a day for the wax to harden more.
  8. Buff Again.  After the piece has sat for a day, I then buff it all over again with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth, concentration on the top and front surfaces.  This final buff really brings out the shine of the wax and gets rid of that 'waxy' feeling.
  9. Finish.  At this point I double check the piece with my bare hands, making sure I've smoothed out the wax all over.  I attach any hardware needed and load it into my car for the store.
I have been painting furniture for over 20 years, and selling furniture in the store since 2005.  With all this experience I have confidence to try different techniques, distress more, or tackle more difficult pieces.  As you start to paint, you'll gain confidence in your results and find the method that works the best for you where this 'basic' list is just a starting point. 

I hope this helps.  Enjoy!

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  1. Stopped by the store for the first time a few days ago and had a chance to talk to you about using the ASCP- I am sooo very excited to try it! Thanks for all your advice and this post- it will give me confidence.