Basic Tips and Techniques for Painting with Chalk Paint

Painting with Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan

Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint can help you make to make a modern, French, or Swedish vintage look to transform furniture and many other pieces. The texture of Chalk Paint is soft and pliable, making it a good material to work with for both beginner and experienced painters.

Annie Sloan also produces soft, mellow waxes of white and black colors to protect your pieces and give them a shined or matte appearance.

Colors range across 31 beautiful varieties from French Linen to Emperor’s Silk to Napoleonic Blue. Cans of paint come in 1 liter sizes which is enough paint to cover approximately 13 square meters with a single coat, about the size of a small dresser.

  • To start with, shake the can well and turn it upside down to distribute the contents. A good technique is to turn the can upside down 20 minutes before you begin to make sure the paint is fully blended.
  • If the paint becomes thick, you can add a bit of water to reconstitute the solids. You can create different characteristics by adding a bit more water for a thinner texture or allowing the paint to thicken for coarser look.
  • Chalk Paint adheres well to many surfaces so sanding isn’t absolutely necessary. You can however use 100 – 220 grit sand paper to smooth out imperfections in the wood to craft a rounded or worn look on different features.
  • Waxes are best applied with a wax brush and excess wiped away with a lint-free cloth. You can control the shine finish by using a knit cloth to buff the surface. You should allow a full week for the full curing process to complete with the wax.

In our Furniture Painting 101 workshop, you get hands-on practice and coaching for these techniques and more:


For a smooth finish, apply the paint with a bit of water in even strokes. Sand the surface lightly with 220 grit sand paper and then apply a 2nd coat of the thinned paint. Finish the piece with a clear wax and buff the surface by hand to reveal a smooth and clean finish.

Rustic Two Color

Apply to the furniture surface a think later of paint, dragging the brush in different directions across the grain. Apply a second coat in a contrasting color in a similar fashion. Now sand the surface with 150 grit sand paper to remove paint in selected area. Apply a clear wax followed by black wax. Wipe off the excess and buff the surface when dry.

Color Wash

Apply to the surface an even coat of standard texture Chalk Paint. Allow the surface to dry before applying a second lighter color. Wipe with a wet rag to create the desired finish. To adjust the hue, either add more paint to darken or remove more paint with a clean rag. When the paint has dried completely, add a coat of clear or black wax to blend. Finally buff the surface to the desired finish.