If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much I love to paint old furniture. It’s such a fun hobby and I love the process of turning something old into something new and fresh. Well for the past two years I’ve been using Annie Sloan chalk paint for all of my projects and I’ve learned quite a bit in the process. So today I thought it would be fun to share my top 10 chalk painting tips and tricks. I have a lot of info to cover, so let’s get right into it!
My top 10 tips for chalk painting:
- Annie Sloan chalk paint is super thick. So before you start any project make sure you shake the can very well. You can even turn the can upside down and let it sit for a while just to make sure everything is nice and mixed!
- There’s really no need prep your furniture, most furniture will take the paint very well, even those with a shiny finish. So the only prep you need to do is to make sure the piece is clean and free of any dust/dirt.
- Use a high quality brush. There are several expensive brushes out there specifically for chalk paint, but I’ve had great luck with the Purdy brushes from Home Depot.
- Chalk paint does show brush strokes, so make sure to paint in the same direction and don’t switch it up (which I am sometimes guilty of doing).
- Since the paint dries so fast, I recommend pouring the paint from the can into a separate container and using that while you paint. Even though the Annie Sloan cans are small to begin with, I’ve found this really helps keep the paint fresh.
- I recommend watering down the paint for at least one of your layers. For the dresser project below, I did two coats and added water to the first. I mix about 1/3 cup of paint with a tablespoon or so of water, give or take. I don’t measure, I just eye it. Your goal is to thin the paint out slightly, you don’t want to add too much water so start slowly. I do this for a couple reasons: 1) Your paint will go much further this way. And this stuff ain’t cheap, so that is a big plus. 2) It speeds up the job a bit because the paint slides on easier.
- Make sure the paint is completely dry before moving onto a second, or third, layer. This shouldn’t take long, but it’s not easy to layer like latex paint unless it is totally dry.
- Paint indoors and out of direct sunlight. This paint is so thick and dries so fast, really warm conditions and direct sunshine will accelerate that process even more and then it’s really hard to work with.
- Some people wait 24 hours to distress or sand down their furniture after painting just to allow the paint to cure. I never wait and I think it turns out fine, so go with your gut!
- I always use dish soap to wash my brushes out and I’ve found it works fine with chalk paint.
BONUS Tip: Chalk paint goes a looooong way. This little can (pictured above) will usually last me through several projects. And remember, watering it down helps it go even further. I also use the Annie Sloan clear wax to finish any piece I chalk paint. Wax is a MUST if you use chalk paint, otherwise you’re left with a piece of furniture that is matte and very dry looking. Plus chalk paint needs to be sealed.
Well there ya have it! My top 10 chalk painting tips and tricks. Thanks for stopping by! Here are a few other chalk painting posts you might want to check out: