How To: Paint Furniture with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Not only did I break out of my comfort zone by painting my mom’s dresser, but I tried a new-to-me paint; chalk paint.

I’ve heard so much about it over the past couple of years and was intrigued by the idea of no sanding or priming, my least favorite things about painting furniture.   So today, I’m going to show you how to paint furniture with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint  because I’m an expert now. 🙂

Not so much. But, I did learn a few things during the process and want to pass those tips on to you.


Take the fear out of painting furniture with this beginner's guide for how to paint furniture with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.





~stir stick

~lid opener

~paint brush

~fine grit sandpaper or wet rag

~rag to clean furniture


~let your paint sit upside down for about an hour

~while your waiting, remove any hardware from your furniture

Are you tyring chalk paint for the first time? Don't miss these Tips and Tutorials for Painting Furniture with Chalk Paint at Mrs. Hines' Class


~clean furniture.  It’s amazing how much “patina” came off.

Are you tyring chalk paint for the first time? Don't miss these Tips and Tutorials for Painting Furniture with Chalk Paint at Mrs. Hines' Class

~shake paint

~open lid and stir paint

  Give your paint a good shake before opening.  And then, stir the paint thoroughly.  When you think you’ve stirred enough, stir some more.    This is important because the paint ingredients settle at the bottom of the can.  I didn’t stir well enough before painting and panicked when the first coat was sheer.

Are you tyring chalk paint for the first time? Don't miss these Tips and Tutorials for Painting Furniture with Chalk Paint at Mrs. Hines' Class

~brush on the paint following the grain of the wood

~apply a second coat if needed

Are you tyring chalk paint for the first time? Don't miss these Tips and Tutorials for Painting Furniture with Chalk Paint at Mrs. Hines' Class


I consulted several blogging colleagues on what wax to use.   The recommendations were: Masion Blanche La Craie, CeCe Caldwell’s or Fiddes and Sons.

Since Fiddes and Sons was a few dollars cheaper than CeCe’s I went with that.    The wax was super soft and easy to work with, but the fumes were overwhelming to me.   Rumor has it that CeCe’s and Miss Mustard Seed’s wax has very little smell.

Why not use Minwax or Johnsons?  My understanding is that it is hard wax as opposed to soft wax, making it harder to work with.  However, I’ve been told that it’s easier to use if you melt it a little and give it a good stir.

Tip:  Annie Sloan recommends applying clear wax before dark wax.  Otherwise, the dark wax will penetrate the paint and change its appearance.




~plastic spoon

~paper plate

~soft, dry rag

~wax brush or soft rag


~using the plastic spoon, scoop a dollop of wax onto paper plate

~ with your rag or a wax brush dab the wax onto the furniture surface

~continue applying wax on furniture, working in small sections

Tip:  Apply the wax in thin, but not sparse, coats.  Also, make sure the wax is providing uniform coverage. ( I need more practice with this.) 

~ return to the first section where you applied the wax and wipe off excess wax with rag, using circular motions.

I found this video on How to Apply Clear Wax by The Purple Painted Lady very helpful.    And she shares some great advice on her blog page by the same title.

~apply second coat of wax and repeat steps 3 and 4.   Consider a third coat on pieces that will get a lot of wear and tear.   I applied 3 coats to the top of my console since electronics sit on it.

The clear wax enriched the paint color, but didn’t change it, as well as provided a low luster shine.   Dark wax changes the color and is used to give furniture an aged appearance.    I didn’t use dark wax on this project.  

Are you tyring chalk paint for the first time? Don't miss these Tips and Tutorials for Painting Furniture with Chalk Paint at Mrs. Hines' Class


Tip:  Annie Sloan recommends that you wax before distressing.  The reason for this is that the paint dries very chalky, creating a lot of dust if you sand the bare paint.


fine grit sandpaper or damp rag


~lightly rub the sandpaper or rag over areas where you want to reveal the wood

Tip: When distressing, sand areas that would normally wear over time such as over edges, corners and around knobs…


my thoughts

I am glad that I gave chalk paint a try.  I don’t know how ASCP compares to other chalky paint brands, but it does seem like a quality paint that I’d buy again. UPDATE 02/2017 I absolutely prefer it hands down. Others work fine, but there’s just something about the original that can’t be beat.

It was really exciting for this impatient painter to skip the sanding and priming and get right to painting. However, in my experience waxing was just as labor intensive as sanding and priming. I have a feeling that will change with experience. UPDATE 02/2017 It has.

Painting with chalk paint seems to be a quicker process than with painting with latex. ASCP has a very fast drying time and one good coat typically provides all the coverage you need.  Because of my not-stirring-enough mishap, I needed two coats in some areas.

Take the fear out of painting furniture with this beginner's guide for how to paint furniture with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
local retailers

I purchased my paint from Michella Marie & Co. in Old Town Spring.  There is another ASCP retailer in the Antique Gallery of Houston located at 21127 Spring Towne Dr. in Spring.

You can search Annie Sloan Unfolded to find a retailer in your area.    If you do not live near a retailer, you can order ACP online.

And that’s it…from one DIYer to another.

See you in class,


  1. Great tips, Sharon. I don’t use wax very often, but I do love the soft look it gives.

  2. Sharon,

    I found a buffing pad that you use when waxing cars to be very helpful. It is great because you can use it with a hand drill and it does a great job! I had the sofa partially painted when I realized I forgot to stir my paint, however once I shook & stirred it I didn’t really notice a difference. On most of my wood projects one coat has been enough but for fabric and leather two coats is a must.

    I love how your “console” turned out! The room looks great! Are you sure you don’t want to make a trip up here to work on some projects? 😉 LOL

    I hope you are having a wonderful day!

  3. Wonderful tips, Sharon! I often wondered about the different waxes-hard vs. soft-thanks for the knowledge! And, I love your tip above of using a buffing pad!!!~~Angela

  4. Thanks for the tip about the buffing pad!

    I can’t wait to see your sofa once it’s finished. I’ll be curious to hear if changes the feel of the leather when you sit on it…and how well it holds up.

    If money were no object, I’d be on a plane!

  5. I purchased my first two cans or ASCP last week. Can’t wait to try it! Glad I read your post!

  6. Distressing with a buffing pad is good…but you can also get a really cool look with a damp rag..right before the paint completely dries…grab a damp rag and rub the edges where you most want distressed…it can give you a more natural look. very easy. Thanks for the Tut! Love me some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! oh..and I always use Johnson’s Paste’s very soft and easy to use..much cheaper than most. Grab it at Home Depot for under $6- Never use if it you paint Pure White will yellow the paint. My fav technique is to use one coat of paste wax…mix small amount of your fav stain with your wax…stir good…add second coat with stain…wipe off..the stain will get down in your cracks and leave a beautiful look! If you get too much…you can go back a third time with clear wax and it will help you take off what you don’t want…very cool!

  7. Jamie, thanks for the advice. I will definitely try the Johnson’s wax and I love your tip about adding the stain.

    I distressed the dresser with sandpaper but do want to try the damp rag method. I’d read about it on some tutorials but decided to go with what I knew this first time around.

    Does the Johnson’s wax have a strong smell?

    I watched another tutorial yesterday that convinced me to try the damp rag next time.

    I’ve never used a buffing pad before… I do want to try the wax brush though. Seems like it really helps to get a good application of wax. ( I just used a t-shirt this time) What do you recommend?

  8. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it after you use it Carlene. What colors did you get?

  9. Johnson’s wax does smell, but not too bad. I actually have a tarp down in my front room and can wax in the house. I did purchase a wax brush and I love it! I bought the Annie Sloan wax brush… I use a different older brush for each dark wax can. I never clean them and they still seem to work okay…My Annie Sloan Wax brush I just soak in mineral spirits and it comes clean..awesome! ( I don’t use a tshirt to add wax, but I’ve read other blogs that do) My stain/wax brush is an older shorter brush that I reuse over and over..grab a good towel with some good grab (something you can hold on to) and start wiping..☺ –

  10. You have a lovely blog! Thanks for the follow on twitter. I look forward to connecting with you. I have a weekly party I’d love for you to join in if you like. A new one started today. Your new follower. Theresa

  11. Welcome to Mrs. Hines’ Class Theresa. Thank you so much for your kind words. I look forward to connecting with you as well.

  12. thanks for the help! I’m excited to use these tips on my next project (which I’m doing this weekend.)

  13. I am currently finishing my first ASCP project and I am with you. The finished product and paint colors are beautiful but I don’t know if it’s worth all the money and the waxing process is a hard labor process. I think I’ll definitely continue to use it but I also will continue on with my latex, spray paint and stain too. Thanks for the post!

  14. I was just thinking about this the other day…I have a couple of furniture pieces I want to paint and I’m trying to decide which route to go.

    What did you just finish painting?

  15. I am currently putting the final coats of wax on a headboard and footboard. I have to say its pretty amazing I’m really excited with the turn out. I’m also making my in-laws a quilt rack but that is a staining project. I am new to blogging but feel free to stop over to my spot. Right now I’m getting ready to move (I’m a military wife we do that A LOT!) so most of my posts are inspiration posts right now but come late March there will be some good reveals 🙂

  16. I was browsing at the colors on the Annie Sloan Website and just about every piece of example furniture on there has really bad brushstrokes and differences in color. Here a link for to an example
    When you were painting your furniture did you find this to be the case? The pictures you posted of this dresser are close ups. I was curious how the piece looks from a distance. I have a secretary that I want to paint but I am trying to determine whether to use ASCP or an enamel from Sherwin Williams. I am really afraid of those really brushstrokes and having the results look like a kindergartner painted it. I do like the look of the edges distressed but would like a nice “creamy” (does that make sense?) look to the paint, not sloppy like this example (bottom picture)
    Also what color did you use on this dresser. The photos make is look like it is a sage but I don’t see anything like that in the list of colors.

  17. Hi Kelly,

    The color I used on my dresser is Chateau Gray. You can get a smoother/creamy finish with Annie Sloan by painting in long, even brush strokes. You can also use a foam roller instead of paint brush. I used a paint brush, and got a smooth finish. Even with latex, you will have some visible brushstrokes.

    The reason those pieces show brush strokes is because they were painted in short, uneven strokes, with disregard to direction…intended to give a rough, old world look.

    Good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  18. Jessica P. says:

    You can make chalk paint!
    1cup hot water mixed with 1 cup plaster of Paris and then add 2 cups of latex paint in your choice of color! I finish with Polycrylic (water based) so i never have to worry about repeating the wax over time of use. Hope this helps!

  19. I’ve heard of that. I still need to try it.

  20. So does previously painted furniture need to be sanded. I bought a vanity that was previously painted over in white. Is it indicated to sand off the previous paint before applying the chalk paint?

  21. Hi Jamie,

    No sanding needed. Just clean the furniture first and then you’re ready to paint.

  22. Ann Beyer Vaughn says:

    HI – Thanks for your info. I just started painting with chalk paint last night. It seems very thick and is not painting nicely at all. Did I not stir it enough? I am very disappointed!

  23. Hi Ann, Chalk paint is thicker than latex paint and is best for creating a rustic, chippy, aged look. You can stir in little water to thin it out and try to create a smoother finish. I hope it works out for you!

  24. What would you suggest to clean furniture with before painting?

  25. I just use a damp cloth.

  26. Sarita V says:

    I’ve been meaning to re-do an armoire I refinished last year because I don’t really like the way it came out. It’s an oil base paint though so still no need to strip at all before trying this chalk paint? Just sounds too good to be true! Love your blog and thanks in advance 🙂

  27. There shouldn’t be any need to strip, Sarita. 🙂 But just in case…Test the chalk paint in a small area and if the chalk paint doesn’t adhere well to the oil base paint, go ahead and sand it a little.

    And, thank you so much for your kind words. So, glad to have you be a part of Mrs. Hines’ Class!

  28. Grannypj says:

    Just wondered if there was some reason why you didn’t use Annie Sloan’s soft wax?

  29. Good question, Granny PJ. At the time, others who had tried it said they didn’t like it. So, I took their advice and tried something else. However, since then, I have tried Annie Sloan’s soft wax and really like it…even prefer it.

  30. I just painted my coffee table with ASCP pure white, then I waxed it with clear soft wax, using a rag. It’s WAY too white in my home. So I just bought the dark soft wax and the wax brush. I’m so afraid I’m going to mess up the piece with this dark wax. I wish I hadn’t bought pure white, I messed up! Any suggestions on applying dark wax very minimally? I just want it to blend with my furniture a bit, but I don’t want it too dark. Could I mix some clear wax with dark wax on a plate?

  31. Yes, you can mix the dark and clear wax to lighten the dark wax some. Also, if you feel the dark was is too dark, just use clear wax to wipe it off and start again. The trick to dark wax is to wipe it on, then wipe off as much or as little as you want.

    You can also paint over the wax. So, if you want to try a different color, you can just paint over what you’ve done.

  32. I am making bird houses for outside with white chalk paint and I need to waterproof it some how maybe a clear matte of some kind. Got any suggestions?

  33. Hi Sherry, Annie Sloan recommends not waxing outdoor pieces and instead spraying with an outdoor polyuréthane. If I’m not mistaken, you can find that in matte.

  34. I plan on repainting a dresser for my daughter. I want it to be a bright white to match her other furniture – nothing fancy (no distressing or anything like that – I am only changing the drawer pulls). I was thinking about using chalk paint instead of a latex-based paint to avoid the tackiness/stickiness. Is chalk paint the way to go? Thanks!

  35. Hi Michael,

    You could certainly use chalk paint. It is intended for furniture use and is very durable after waxing. For a bright white I recommend Yesteryear by DecoArt Americana Chalky Paint. You can purchase this line in Home Depot, JoAnn’s, Michael’s and Hobby Lobby.

    Good luck!

  36. Thank you so much for your tips!
    I’m very happy that I found your blog.
    Your new follower, Tanja

  37. Hi Tanja,

    Thank you so much for being a part of Mrs. Hines’ Class. I’m glad you found the tips helpful. Always feel free to comment or send me an email if you have a question.

  38. ok so im staining a small wood sign. I was told to put clearn wax before painting sign. Help. Not sure if i should wax before or after painting or do i do both before and after?

  39. Hi Maria,

    If you are staining the sign, I would wax or seal after staining. If you painting over a stained sign, you should be able to paint right over it without doing any sanding or priming, although it may take a couple of coats. Then, you would wax the sign after painting.

    If you are adding a dark glaze or stain over your paint job, then yes, apply clear wax before adding the darker wax/glaze.
    I hope that answers your question. Let me know if I can be of any further help.

  40. Melissa says:

    I’m painting my furniture wi th black chalk paint . Should I still apply the dark wax after the clear? I’m also new to the world of chalk painting. I feel very intimidated but love the look. Thank u for the great tutorial.

  41. Hi Melissa,

    You do not have to use the dark wax at all. It just depends on the look you want. The dark wax would create an aged look as it settles into crevices and details of the wood work.

    Don’t be can do this! 🙂

  42. Hi – what is the purpose of the wax? Is it a necessary step when painting furniture with chalk paint?

  43. Hi Jen,

    The wax helps the paint cure and create a strong bond with the furniture. It also protects your paint job. I definitely recommend waxing furniture pieces, but you can get away with not waxing something like frames.

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