Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan Tips + Tricks

Welcome to The Owl Box Blog! The Owl Box is a vintage home and gift store in Tracy, California where we specialize in home decor, gifts, and all things Annie Sloan. My mom and I co-own The Owl Box and are stockists of Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan. What does that mean?? That means that we sell all Annie Sloan products and are trained to teach you how to use them! We teach workshops and pride ourselves on helping all of our customers use this wonderful, easy product successfully. Is it easy to use? YES, here are a few tips and tricks to make it even EASIER!

Tips + Tricks when using Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan

So... let's break it down step by step!

1. Clean your piece REALLY well before painting

Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan sticks best to a clean and smooth surface. Because it's a water based paint it's important to remove any oily residue.


- What do you guys use to clean your piece before applying Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan?

We use Dirtex, a water based degreaser. You can also use dish soap and warm water. Dish soap will leave an oily residue behind, so it is important to wipe it off with a warm wet rag after. We love Dirtex because you can paint immediately after use.

We clean all of our pieces with Dirtex before painting with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan

- Do you have to sand or prime before painting with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan?

There are only a few situations where you would need to sand or prime your piece. If there is peeling paint you will need to sand that off and even out the finish. A high shine laminate will also require a little bit of sanding to give it some grit for the paint to adhere to. Priming is only necessary if you are covering up an aggressive wood grain, such as a knotty pine or a deep rich redwood.

2. Paint away!

Here's the fun part, pick your color and get to painting!

You can apply your paint in all different directions with an Annie Sloan brush to achieve a vintage hand crafted finish.


Paint multiple thin layers and sand in between coats to get a more smooth/modern look!

Aubusson Blue - Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan


- What kind of paint brushes should I use?

We LOVE Annie Sloan's brushes! You don't need to use them, but trust us... you won't regret investing in them. They are seriously the best and were created specifically for this wonderful paint.

-What do I use to clean my paint brushes?

You can easily clean your paint brush with warm water and dish soap.

Annie Sloan brushes are the best!

3. Wax with Annie Sloan's furniture wax to seal and protect your piece

Okay, here's where we get the MOST questions. So this section is going to be a little bit more extensive. But don't you worry! This part of the process is really very simple once you know what you are doing. Let's dive in!

Start by brushing on Annie's Clear wax with her wonderful wax brush, pictured below. You can also apply with a lint free rag. Immediately with a second lint free rag, wipe off ALL excess wax. The paint will absorb all of the wax that it needs. The rest of the wax that is sitting on top of the surface needs to be wiped off. If you see fingerprints when touching the piece, there is too much wax. KEEP WIPING IT OFF until there is no residue left on the surface. So in short, if you are conservative when applying the wax, you will have less to wipe off.

Annie Sloan Soft Wax

You always want to apply at least two coats of wax. Why? So that you have a durable top coat, protecting your piece of furniture! So here come some more options for ya! You can apply a second coat of clear wax if you like the existing finish and call it a day! Or you can do a second coat of white, brown, or black wax. Annie Sloan has four different furniture waxes: you always use the clear first then you can apply a pigmented wax on top to change the patina. Here's a few examples of what I mean:

Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue #atTheOwlBox

Annie Sloan Arles #atTheOwlBox

Annie Sloan Emile #atTheOwlBox

Pictured above you'll see Annie's Duck Egg Blue, Arles, and Emile sealed with all four wax options. The colored waxes completely change the look, giving you a ton of finishes to choose from. Once you have applied two coats of furniture wax, you're done! The wax takes 5-21 days to cure. So, what does that mean?? It takes a couple of weeks for the wax to cure and become a hard, durable, top coat. For the first few weeks be very gentle and wait to place anything on it until it has fully cured!


- Do I need to apply another coat of wax after I dark or black wax?

Nope, you do not! You've got two coats of wax, so you are good to go.

- How do I clean my wax brush?

We normally wipe off any excess wax from the brush in a towel then wash it with warm water and soap. If it sits for a while you will need to soak your brush in paint thinner or mineral spirits for a few minutes then you can wash it with soap and water.

-Why do you have to apply clear wax first?

Annie's dark and black wax are extremely pigmented. If you put them directly on your painted project it will absorb the wax very rapidly and look dirty and uneven. When you apply a coat of clear wax first you are creating a barrier between the paint and the darker waxes. Now you are able to apply the dark and black wax evenly and as light or heavy as you desire. You are also able to edit the darker waxes by using a little bit of clear wax to blend and erase.

Alright, now you are ready to start painting!! We can't wait to see what you transform. Use our hashtag #MyOwlBoxProject so we can follow along. Happy painting!