Friday, January 10, 2014

Annie Sloan Paint Project

By now most of you have seen and heard all the rage with Annie Sloan Chalk paint. Not to be confused with chalkboard paint. It's a completely different product although it has a chalky, matte finish to it.

 I've been reading on a lot of blogs how amazing this paint is and what really appealed to me was the no priming, pre-sanding or stripping needed. The paint goes on almost any material indoors and out and it's great for furniture you want to give a distressed look to.
The only downside to this paint is it's relatively expensive. It's sold by the quart for 38.95!
I also read that people have made their own chalk paint for a lot less money by mixing some sort of powder, such as plaster of paris, calcium carbonate, or even baking soda, to latex paint and supposedly it resembles chalk paint.
Of course the frugalness in me I had to try to make my own, not once but twice, with disastrous results. Well, actually one of them is useable but I can't say I'm overly impressed with the results.
Still wanting to try the real chalk paint, I decided to splurge and dish out the money for the real stuff and I'm glad I did.
 I love it!
The good thing about this paint is a little goes a long way. You can paint several pieces of furniture with one quart of paint.
So this is my first project. My husband made this little table 30+ years ago and it just didn't go with the décor in my house but I didn't want to part with it. It's been sitting in the basement for years and I decided this will be my experimental piece. I figured it can't possibly look worse than it does now after many years of neglect.
 The only prep I did was to wipe it off with a damp rag and then I started painting.

After one coat. Chalk paint is very thick so I added a little water before starting the second coat. This paint dries very fast so as soon as I finished the first coat I started the second.

Another technique I want to try sometime is using two colors. After applying the first coat, lightly brush a second color on top, or distress it to let some of the bottom color show through, creating a layered look. 

Annie Sloan paint is available in 30 colors or you can mix colors together to customize your own. I knew I wanted white to start with and Annie Sloan comes in Old White, which is their best seller and Pure White.  I would say Old White is more vintage and Pure White more modern. I had a hard time deciding but ended up going with Pure White, but I'm sure I would have loved the other one as well. I was really tempted to get the Duck Egg Blue color as well, but decided to wait and see if I like the paint.

After the second coat dries you can start distressing.
I was a little scared of this part. I have never repurposed furniture of any kind ever in my life. Like I said earlier this paint distresses very easily and knew I could repaint it if I messed it up. Besides, this was just practice and I wasn't expecting perfection. It was a lot easier than I thought. It was almost fun.
 I use a combination of a fine grit sanding block and a damp rag to achieve the look I wanted. Unless you have a huge piece of furniture I don't think you will ever need an electric sander with this paint.

Now I really should have done this outside but it's winter and I didn't want to leave my warm house so I spread out newspaper and distressed in my living room. The paint comes off in a fine powder and it does make a mess. After I did this I read where some people recommend waxing the piece first and then distressing. There's a lot less dust that way.  I'll try that the next time....or take it outside like I should have in the first place!
With chalk paint, the look is meant to be distressed, so if you mess up it's easily fixed. Drips, like above.... just sand them off and repaint.

You can distress as much or as little as you like. Once you get the look you want it's time to wax.

Chalk paint feels chalky so you will need to wax it. The wax will give it a soft finished look and it will also protect your pieces.
 Annie Sloan has a clear wax and a dark wax. I only used the clear but if you are going for the aged and worn look you will want to use the dark wax.
Again, like the paint a little goes a long way. I just used a soft rag to apply and buff. If your piece has a lot of detail in it you will probably need a brush to apply your wax. It's recommended that you apply two or three coats of wax especially on heavily used pieces.
If at any time you wish you would have given your piece another coat of paint or distressed  more, you can go ahead and do it as long as it's 24 hours after the wax was applied. Just always end with wax. You would not believe how soft and velvety the wax makes it feels.

 The finished table. I love it and it has found a spot in my dining room.

I can honestly say that my first Annie Sloan project will not be my last. I have a lot to learn but I think I might have found a new hobby.


  1. Love it! Would think you've been doing this for years! That's something I want to try sometime.. the chalk paint.. looking forward to more makeovers!

  2. It looks great and you do make it sound easy to do. Have read a lot about it and thought it would be something I would do if needed at some point. Your table looks great.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  3. Very nice, Pearl, but I guess I'm too old-fashioned enough (and don't keep up with the styles) that I would never 'distress' it… I'd be trying to wipe off those marks!!!!! ha ha


  4. I haven't heard of this paint before, but you have me inspired to try it!

  5. I love to repurpose old items. your table looks great. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick