Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions. Want to know more? Gaysha Contemporary Paint and Pattern can offer you Workshops and practical advice on these and other tips on using Chalk Paint®  and the Annie Sloan method.

How to use Chalk Paint®

As a rough guide, one litre of Chalk Paint® covers approximately 13 square metres, or the equivalent of a small dresser. For most purposes, two coats of paint is enough. Chalk Paint® adheres to almost any surface, and there is rarely any need to sand or prime before painting. To get started, remove the lid and stir well before use.  The paint is thick and we suggest you add a little water and stir.

Applying Annie Sloan Soft Wax

Annie Sloan Soft Wax is the perfect complement for Chalk Paint®. In fact, we'd say it's an essential partner! It adds durability, deepens the colours and gives a very slight sheen. It's really easy to get sensational results just use a cotton rag, or your Annie Sloan Wax Brush, to get it into corners and crevices. As a very rough guide, you will need one 500ml tin of wax for every 3-4 litres of paint of course, this will vary depending on how many coats of paint or wax you use to cover a piece. And it's always best to have a little wax left over for touching up. With the lid tightly on, it will last indefinitely. When you apply the wax, 'push' it into your Chalk Paint® for the best results. Think hand cream and apply it in the same way! Remove excess wax with a clean cloth. Less is more, so there's no need to apply wax too thickly. The wax will feel touch-dry immediately after you've applied it. Work small areas at a time, so the wax doesn't dry before you get to wipe off the excess. For an aged effect, push Dark Soft Wax into crevices, and wipe it back with the Clear Soft Wax to achieve your perfect result. The Wax will be dry to the touch very quickly but take longer to harden or 'cure'. The 'curing' process can take 5 - 21 days depending on ambient temperature. If you want to achieve a really good shine, allow around 24 hours before buffing. Annie Sloan Soft Wax is food-safe when completely cured.

Allow Annie Sloan Soft Wax to cure

After you've applied Annie Sloan Soft Wax, you'll find that it will become dry to the touch very quickly. At this stage, it is still what you might call 'soft'. It will start to harden as the solvents in the wax evaporate. This hardening process is known as 'curing'. Curing can take between 5 and 21 days depending on ambient temperature. Of course, you can use your finished piece straight away, but you may need to treat it with extra care up until the wax has cured completely (you might want to use coasters, avoid sharp objects etc). Once cured, a piece of furniture finished with Chalk Paint® and finished with Soft Wax will stand up to normal wear and tear. Annie Sloan Soft Wax is food-safe when completely cured.

Extending the range of Chalk Paint®

We have 45 colours in the Chalk Paint® range from soft and pale to bright and strong. Annie Sloan's carefully selected range of colours is hugely flexible as you can mix colours together to extend the range and create endless possibilities. If you want to make a colour paler then add Old White or Pure. Old White will give the colour a softer vintage feel, and Pure will make the colour more modern. Find out roughly what ratio you need by experimenting - you could use you fingers to dab and mix colours, or a teaspoon to make small amounts. For larger amounts you could use a cup or even a tin as a measure. Start with a dollop of your chosen colour, slowly adding the Old White or Pure. A dollop of Provence and two dollops of Old White gives you a ratio of 1 to 2, making a lovely soft pale slightly aged turquoise like old faded French shutters. Use Pure and the colour is cleaner and fresher, giving a more vintage 1950's look! It's useful to keep a sample of the colours you make in your Annie Sloan Work Book, just incase you want to recreate them. 

What to do if stains bleed through the paint

If you're working with new, untreated wood, you'll need to apply clear shellac to wood knots and open grains. This will block tannins that can bleed through the paint. If you see a yellow or pink stain coming through the paint on older furniture typically from the 1930s and 1940s apply clear shellac. One or two coats of shellac applied with a cloth pad will stop this happening. It dries in minutes, and then you can get on with your painting!

Using Chalk Paint® on metal

You can Chalk Paint® straight onto all kinds of hardware, including metal work. Chalk Paint® can re-invigorate old brass and other metal fixtures and fittings, and it even covers and slows down rust.

Using Chalk Paint® on melamine and laminate furniture

There are many success stories from people who have painted their melamine or laminate furniture with Chalk Paint® decorative paint. A little bit of preparation and some patience are needed. New pieces may be coated with a light oily film for packing and shopping purposes and this should be wiped away with a cloth moistened with white spirit. Lightly sand the melamine or laminate with fine grit sandpaper and dust off. Next, apply a thin first coat of paint, and let dry for about 48 hours to encourage the paint to bond to the surface. After that, you can continue painting to achieve for your desired look.

Using Annie Sloan Lacquer

As a guide, one litre of lacquer will cover 10-12 square metres, but this will vary according to the absorbency of the floor. Lacquer should always be applied in very thin coats. Results may also vary depending on previous treatment of the surface.

Caring for your finish

To clean marks or stains, use a slightly damp cloth or chamois with a little mild soap. If you need to use a stronger cleaner, you may have to re-wax the area. Keep away from extreme temperatures or humidity. Like you, your finish prefers a moderate climate! Waxes dissolve in alcohol, so using it on bars is not advisable.

Caring for your Annie Sloan Brushes

After painting with Chalk Paint®, wash your Annie Sloan Pure Bristle Brush well with warm water to rinse out all the colour. Whether you apply Soft Wax with the Annie Sloan Wax Brush or Pure Bristle Brush, simply wash your brush with warm water and grease-cutting soap to clean it.