A Complete Guide to Chalk Painting Your Furniture

Annie Sloan antique chalk paint milk paint painted furniture shabby chic vintage


Are you looking to refresh an old piece of furniture or refurbish a flea market find? If you're looking for inspiration, chalk paint might be the way to go. This increasingly trendy furniture paint option can leave your piece looking beautiful and brand-new.

If you've never used chalk paint before or even if you are new to DIY furniture renovation, don't stress. This guide will give you all the information you need to become a pro at chalk painting in no time at all! Keep reading to find out how to get started.

Chalk Paint Basics

Chalk paint is a trademarked paint brand that was invented by Annie Sloan. Other paint brands have since developed their own chalk finish paints, but Annie Sloan is the best brand on the market. The extra cost is worth the quality and durability.

There are more than 40 color options available, and you can also mix multiple colors to develop your perfect shade. Chalk paint is popular for several reasons: it requires no prep work, leaves a nice matte finish, and lasts for a long time.

Chalk paint is also water-based, meaning that brushes and spills can easily be cleaned with soap and water. In addition, it has fewer harmful chemicals compared to many traditional paint options.

This paint is also thick, which means that your piece will likely require fewer coats of paint. It dries quickly, leaving a matte texture that looks great and is easy to clean.

Getting Started

Now that you've decided to try your hand at chalk painting, you'll need to choose a piece and clean it. The best thing about chalk paint is that it doesn't require any prep work beforehand. Once you have something to paint, you're ready to go!

Painting Your Piece

Now you are ready to start painting your furniture! Don't forget to lay out a drop cloth, and try to work in an open space with airflow. Even though chalk paint does not have as many chemicals as other paints, it's still a good idea to wear a mask if you are painting indoors.

It is best to get your brush a little damp before you start, so run some water over the bristles and then blot off the excess with a paper towel. If your paint is too thick, you can add a little water and mix it with a paint stirrer. If it is too watery, leave it sitting out for a little while with the lid off and it will thicken.

Remember that a little bit of chalk paint goes a long way! Don't dip your brush as if you were painting with normal paint, but rather get a small amount on the bristles, especially as you get used to it and how much coverage it gives.

Once you finish the first coat, it should dry in about 20-30 minutes, but it is best to let it sit for at least an hour before beginning another coat. If you wish, you can lightly sand between coats to give the piece a smoother finish, but this step is optional.

Your furniture might require anywhere from one to three coats, depending on the piece. It is best to do at least two coats to ensure a nice, even finish, and if you are covering a darker piece, it might need three to look finished.

Applying Sealant

You will need to apply wax or lacquer sealant after painting to protect the paint from chips and cracks. The sealant will also cause the color to look richer and smoother while making the paint job last longer.

You can use any wax sealant, but many people opt for the ever-popular Annie Sloan brand. It comes in multiple colors: clear, dark, white, and black. Many people opt for a classic clear, but the other shades can also add a unique touch to your furniture renovation.

It is best to purchase a brush to use only for sealant. It is worth investing in Annie Sloan's wax brushes, as wax can get stuck in regular paint brushes and can be difficult to remove. Remember not to put wax on furniture that you plan to put hot objects on top of.

If you ever decide to repaint your furniture for any reason, you can paint directly on the sealant without sanding any of it off, either with chalk paint or a different kind of paint. Once you're done, consider getting some fun furniture knobs to further spice up your renovation!

Cleaning Chalk-Painted Furniture

Now that you have completed your piece, you might be wondering about the best way to clean it. First, remember that the sealant will take 30 days to fully cure, so you should be careful not to bump or scratch your piece during that time.

When it's time to clean, your chalk-painted furniture can be easily wiped down with a damp cloth. For tougher stains, warm water and dish soap is the preferred method. The most important thing is to not use any harsh cleaning products.

Final Thoughts on Chalk Painting

Chalk painting is a great option for refurbishing some old furniture and giving your space a fresh, clean look. Now that you have all the details, starting a new chalk paint project will be a piece of cake!

If you are ready to start your project, sign up for our Paint Your Own Furniture workshop! We will provide detailed instructions and guidance on using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Wax, so sign up today and get your DIY project started.


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