chair with blue chalk paint

How to use Chalk Paint | Instructions For Beginners

What is Chalk Paint?

Not to be confused with Chalkboard Paint, Chalk Paint can be used on almost any surface. It can be used on concrete, metal, wood, and even fabric. The most common use of chalk paint is to give the furniture a distressed, aged appearance. It is great to use on antique pieces that require a fresh look.

Many paint companies have their version of chalk paint but the most popular brand is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Annie Sloan is sold in pints and quarts and can be purchased online, in paint or craft stores in a variety of colors. Keep reading to learn how to use Annie Sloan chalk paint.

Before we begin applying chalk paint to any surface (mostly used on furniture), we have put together a list of tools and materials you will need. Most of these materials can be found in paint stores.

Tools and Materials.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
Annie Sloan Soft Wax
Chip Brush (a very inexpensive throwaway brush available at any paint store)
Wax Brush
Drop cloths
Warm Soapy Water
Lint Free Cloths
Fine Grit Sandpaper
Paper Plates
Painters 5-in-1

Chalk Painting Instructions?

1. Preparation

At H.D.F. Painting, one of the topics we like to emphasize is the need for proper prep work when working with paint. We believe proper preparation prevents poor performance. Therefore prep is key to the longevity of any paint job.

At H.D.F. Painting, we believe there should be sufficient prep work if you are looking for a perfectly distressed aged look. We recommend you wash your piece with soap and water and dry it with a lint-free cloth. Lightly scraping and sanding off any loose paint is also recommended for best results.

2. How to Apply The Chalk Paint | Annie Sloan

Before you start painting, you should lay down drop cloths to catch paint drips. It is also recommended that you use a chip brush (a very inexpensive throwaway brush available at any paint store) to apply the paint.

Now you are ready to paint! Apply at least 3 coats of chalk paint if you are painting a darker surface white or off-white. Chalk Paint dries quickly so you can apply each coat of paint without waiting long. Depending on your painting condition, chalk paint dry time is between 1-2 hours.

Finally, since chalk paint lacks a sealer ingredient, you will also need a quart of clear wax and a wax brush to finish the piece. This will help with the longevity of your piece especially if it is located in a high traffic area. Dark wax is also an option if you would like a darker finish.

Before moving to the wax stage allow at least 24 hours of dry

3. Apply The Wax

Before applying the wax make sure the surface is completely dry. Unlike chalk paint, you do not need to apply a lot of wax to your surface. Open the quart of wax, scoop out a chunk, and place it on your paper plate. Lightly dap your wax brush into the wax, then apply the wax to the piece in a circular motion.

Finish with a brush by following the direction of the grains. Immediately after, take a clean lint-free cloth to massage and wipe off the excess wax. Use this time to also remove any bristles left on the surface. Work on a section at a time until the piece is complete. Once it’s dry the table is ready to be displayed.

How to Distress Furniture with Chalk Paint

If you would like to create an aged, distressed wood look instead of a chalky finish, you will also need some fine-grit sandpaper. First, wash and dry the surface where you will be applying your chalk paint. For the purpose of this tutorial, we will be working on a coffee table.

After washing the table you can begin applying the chalk paint. With the distressed look it is recommended you allow 24 hours of dry time between each coat. We recommend applying at least 2 coats of paint to the coffee table. A fully cured piece needs about 30 days. But you can generally use the piece within 24 hours.

Once the paint is dry, you can lightly sand parts of the piece to give it that aged look. How much you sand off is your choice. We recommend lightly sanding parts at a time until you find the exact look you want. You can always repaint it and start over if you don’t like how much you sanded off.

After sanding, wipe down the whole piece with a damp towel to remove the excess dust. Rinse off the cloth and repeat until you have removed all the dust on the piece.

If you have any questions about using Chalk Paint or decide you want to leave your project up to a pro, please contact us and we will be sure to help guide you to success!