Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prep my Chalk Paint® piece?

Most times simply dusting off the surface will do. Wipe away any noticeable dirt and grime with a safe-to-use biodegradable cleaner and warm water, rinse well, and let dry completely.

There may be times when you will need to sand to remove loose paint, rust, and other surface debris, or when the surface is glossy or made of melamine or laminate. Use medium or fine grit sandpaper and change it out when it becomes clogged; a fresh sheet makes the task at hand easier to accomplish.

If you are painting new, untreated wood, apply clear shellac to any knots and open grains to block tannins that can bleed up through your new paint layers. Simply wipe on one or two coats with a cloth pad. It dries in minutes, and then you can get on with your painting!

How do I find the perfect color for my project?

We have over 30 colors in the Chalk Paint® range, from soft and pale to bright and strong. Annie Sloan’s carefully selected range of colors is hugely flexible as you can mix colors together to extend the range and create endless possibilities.

If you want to make a color paler, add Old White or Pure White. Old White will give the color a softer vintage feel, and Pure White will make the color more modern.

Find out what ratio you need by experimenting – use your fingers to dab and mix colors or a teaspoon to make small amounts. Start with a dollop of your chosen color, slowly adding the Old White or Pure White. A dollop of Provence and two dollops of Old White gives you a ratio of 1 to 2, making a lovely pale, slightly aged turquoise like old faded French shutters. Use Pure White and the color is cleaner and fresher, giving a more vintage 1950’s look!

It’s useful to keep a sample of the colors you make in your Chalk Paint® Workbook, just in case you want to recreate them.

There is an informative chapter on working with paint colors in Annie Sloan’s book, Color Recipes for Painted Furniture and More, including tips for mixing colors and layering one color over another. This book contains 40 step-by-step projects and is available from your local Annie Sloan Stockist, booksellers, and online.

How do I clean my Annie Sloan Brushes after painting and waxing?

After painting with Chalk Paint®, wash your Annie Sloan Pure Bristle Brush with warm water to rinse out all the color. Use a gentle soap to remove any stuck-on bits of paint.

After waxing with Chalk Paint® Wax, wash your Annie Sloan Wax Brush with very warm water and a grease-cutting soap and rinse well.

Can I paint walls with Chalk Paint®?

Chalk Paint® can be used to give both old and new walls depth and interest and even a bit of texture. Apply one or more coats of paint with a sponge roller or large brush to achieve a slight texture. You can then apply Chalk Paint® Wax for a really smart polished look, or just leave it – bedroom walls look great with a soft, matte, unwaxed finish.

What about painting metal with Chalk Paint®?

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

Are Chalk Paint® and Chalk Paint® Wax good choices for kitchen cabinets?

You can achieve beautiful results using Chalk Paint® on – and in – your wooden cabinets. Apply at least two coats of paint, and then two or three coats of Chalk Paint® Wax to seal and protect them. Simple!

Can I paint my fireplace surround with Chalk Paint®?

While Chalk Paint® can be applied over most brick, stone, and concrete surfaces, before beginning your project it is best to check with your local government offices to determine whether painting around your firebox is permissible under your local building codes.

Can I paint a Thermofoil surface finish?

It is not advisable. Thermofoil is a plastic material that is thermoformed to the profile of an underlying engineered wood core such as medium-density fiberboard. Paints of any kind will not bond to this type of finish.

What is the best way to apply Chalk Paint®?

Chalk Paint® is typically applied by brush. Enjoy your painting and don’t be shy – apply the paint liberally. Some brush marks showing in the finish can be part of the look.

Your brush doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does need to have certain qualities. The bristles should be fairly long and flexible with a little bounce to allow you to be expressive in your work. Avoid brushes with bristles that are too soft, too short, or hard and inflexible. Annie Sloan’s Pure Bristle Brushes are excellent for applying Chalk Paint®. They hold lots of paint and are comfortable to hold and easy to work with.

For a demonstration on how Annie Sloan applies Chalk Paint®, visit her YouTube channel at

What is the easiest way to distress my finish for a more aged look?

Most finishes are best when just a bit of paint is rubbed away here and there using an Annie Sloan Sanding Pad or fine grit sandpaper. This will be easier to do if you apply Chalk Paint® Wax first. This will also reduce any sanding dust, helping to keep your workspace clean.

Can I use Chalk Paint® outside?

You can use Chalk Paint® on exterior walls, garden furniture (except teak or other naturally oily woods), metal, concrete, matte plastic – even terracotta. Just leave it to harden overnight – preferably in a protected area – and then wipe it down with a damp cloth before exposing it to rain. There’s no need to add a protective coating.

Can I use Chalk Paint® on floors?

Chalk Paint® can transform old concrete and wooden floors, even if they’re varnished. Just apply two or three coats of Chalk Paint®, and then apply Annie Sloan Lacquer for added durability.

Are Chalk Paint® and Chalk Paint® Wax safe for use on baby cribs, etc.?

Absolutely! Both Chalk Paint® and Chalk Paint® Wax are safe to use on furniture destined for baby and child use. However, before putting the item to use, please allow the wax finish to cure for a minimum of 14 days.

Samples of Chalk Paint® and Chalk Paint® Wax have been independently tested and certified as Toy Safe according to strict European regulations (BS EN 71-3:2013).

Annie Sloan cares about your health. While there are no inherently harmful ingredients in Chalk Paint® Wax, we do advise that expectant mothers get someone else to apply it for them.

Can I paint my kitchen countertops and backsplash with Chalk Paint®?

It is not advisable. Chalk Paint®, even when sealed with a quality sealer such as Chalk Paint® Wax or Annie Sloan Lacquer, will not be 100% non-porous and this can present problems with cross contamination.

Can I paint melamine or laminate furniture with Chalk Paint®?

There are many success stories from people who have used Chalk Paint® to paint their melamine or laminate furniture. A little bit of preparation and some patience are needed.

New pieces may be coated with a light oily film for packing and shipping purposes and this should be wiped away with a cloth moistened with mineral spirits. Rinse with water afterwards.

First, lightly sand the melamine or laminate with fine grit sandpaper and dust off. Next, apply a very 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 for your desired look.

What is the best way to apply Chalk Paint® Wax?

Chalk Paint® Wax is the perfect complement for Chalk Paint®. In fact, we’d say it’s an essential partner! It adds durability, deepens the colors, and gives a soft sheen. It’s really easy to get sensational results.

As a rough guide, you will need one 500ml can of wax for every 3-4 quarts of paint – of course, this will vary depending on how many coats of wax you use to cover a piece. And it’s best to have a little wax left over for touching up. With the lid tightly on, it will last indefinitely.

Less is more, so there’s no need to apply the wax thickly. When the paint is dry, brush on a thin coat of Chalk Paint® Wax, gently spreading the wax so it absorbs into the paint. Work in manageable sections at a time and remove the excess wax with a clean absorbent cloth as you go. Change to a clean cloth frequently as the one you are working with can quickly become clogged with wax and become ineffective. Let the remaining thin layer of wax dry before buffing. Drying can take as little as 10 – 20 minutes, but 2 hours or even overnight can sometimes be best. You will know when the wax is dry when the surface no longer feels cool or damp to the touch. You can then buff with soft cotton cloths.

Always apply Clear Chalk Paint® Wax before applying a darker wax. For an aged effect, push Dark Chalk Paint® Wax into crevices, and wipe it back with some clear wax to achieve your perfect result.

Chalk Paint® Wax is best on interior projects only. It is not suitable for outdoor use.


Hours for Thomas Mach Interiors

Monday -Friday 10:00am-5:00pm
Saturday 10:00am-3:00pm
Sunday closed