So my first date with Annie Sloan chalk paint didn’t exactly go smoothly. I’m sure you’ve all read the millions of blogs and reviews about this paint. It’s really popular because it glides over varnish without you having to even go near sandpaper. So I won’t bore you with the product details here!
Anyway, I have been using the pure white and the soft clear wax. I wanted a white that was white, white for four farmhouse type chairs for our breakfast room. They were that honey coloured pine – very nasty and very 80s. Silly me, forgot to take before pictures.
Basically, I ended up having to do loads of coats. This is probably because I don’t like the ‘shabby chic’ look when the paint flakes off and all looks rather streaky. I found the paint very thick so not that easy to work with. Then – when I had applied coat after coat after coat – I got to the waxing stage. I felt as if I was applying wax that I can only describe as globby. It does say on the tin that it can make your paintwork a shade darker. I thought it was beginning to look a bit dirty. And not in a good way. But they were finally done. It wasn’t long, however, before I discovered that every time they moved, they left a chalky smear across my tiled floor. Annie Sloan and I were going to fall out.
Nine months later, it was time to give old Annie another chance. I still had loads of leftover paint so decided to redo the chairs and a pine table. (Altogether, they were £25 off Gumtree so if it all works, it’ll end up a bit of a bargain.)
- Added water to the paint – this makes it so much easier to work with
- Used a small little roller for the table – this helps give a smoother look as you don’t see all the brushwork. This wouldn’t work very well if you didn’t add water though
- And crucially…heated up the wax! It was all thick before and I ended up with big globules all over my chairs. I stuck the tin in a mixing bowl. Filled bowl up with boiling water – just like a little bain marie. Make sure the water doesn’t touch the wax. Et voila – lovely wax of a butter consistency.
- Used a sock to wax – yep, pop it on like a glove and rub over your furniture. Works like a dream.
I still found that I had to do lots of coats of paint on the table though. Perhaps its because of the type of varnish that was already on there? If I had a choice, I’d probably pick a piece of furniture that didn’t need a lot of sanding and then use plain old eggshell!
But they do seem to be lasting much better than before – no streaks of chalk, hooray!
Have you got any Annie Sloan tips to share?