Annie Sloan is often credited with starting a “painted furniture revolution.” Her 1987 book, The Complete Book of Decorative Paint Techniques, has sold more than 2 million copies worldwide. She has also penned Creating The French Look (2008), as well as Quick & Easy Paint Transformations (2010) — which have become reference guides to DIY decorative furniture painters. She developed Chalk Paint in 2000 as an answer to her need for versatile paint that could be used as a light wash or a thick matte finish.
What Is Chalk Paint?
Chalk Paint® is a brand of decorative paint developed by Annie Sloan. You may see people claim to have recipes for “DIY chalk paint,” but this is not the same thing. Thee chalk paint is beloved for its chalky, matte finish, high pigmentation and low-VOC content.
There are paints that contain whiting (like gesso, calcimine or distemper) or paints made with lime (like whitewash), but Chalk Paint is different. There is no added chalk, plaster of Paris, grout or baking soda. It is not the same as chalkboard paint. It’s a unique formula made specially for antique, vintage, French and shabby chic furniture painting.
Benefits of Chalk Paint
– Easily smooths over any surface.
– Covers quickly and dries fast.
– Can be thinned with water for use as a wash or slopped on thick for a textured look.
– Can be made to crackle for the “Old World” or “Distressed” effects.
– Negates the need for sanding, priming and prepping.
– Goes on easy and smooth on almost any surface.
– Low VOCs, so it’s better for the environment.
– Leaves a beautiful matte finish.
The one downside is that Chalk Paint is comparatively expensive, but bloggers say that it’s money well-spent. According to one user at The Perfectly Imperfect blog, a quart-sized container of Chalk Paint can cover about 140 square feet. She painted two large signs, trim on a French dresser, a farmhouse dining table (two coats), a large waterfall buffet (two coats), a mirror and a few small frames — with half a can to spare! “With saving the cost of primer, lots of sanding supplies, and using less sanding blocks to distress, the cost is completely worth it for me,” she concluded.
A Few Tips For Using Chalk Paint:
– After painting, rub on a dark wax (especially along the edges and details) to create the antiqued look without needing a finish coat.
– Use one coat to see the wood grain or two coats to cover wood completely.
– To avoid losing bristles, try the Annie Sloan round painting brush.
– Move the brush in different directions (not just up and down) to create a textured look.
– Do not sand until you are sure the wax is no longer tacky to the touch.
– Do your distressing work in between the first and second wax coats.
– If you used too much dark wax, use the clear wax to thin it out a little.
– Wax a second time and buff to sheen with a clean rag for a sparkling finish.
– Keep in mind thicker paint could take up to a month to fully cure, so be delicate.