How to Paint with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint {a tutorial}

Posted on June 11,2012 by Jennifer

I’ve been reading a lot about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in blog-land and on my recent visit to the Luckett’s Spring sale I saw so much of it in action I decided “enough is enough, I have to try this!” So, I ordered several colors online (unfortunately I don’t have a dealer in my town) and waited for them to arrive. Well, they are here and I have created my first project! Ta-da! Here is my hutch painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint color: Provence.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Provence, Emperor's Silk, Antoinette, Clear WaxAbove you see some of the paints that I ordered. I had already been painting with the Provence blue when I decided to take the above photos so please forgive the messy pan can! But I want you to see the colors in the can. They are lovely but like most paint, they do look lighter in the can than they do once they are dry. Just so you know. When I ordered my paint I also ordered brushes for the the paint and for the wax. The paint brushes are pretty interchangeable (except I do recommend getting the best bristles you can to help the paint go on as smoothly as possible) but the wax brushes are terrific! They do cost a bit more but they are so nice to work with that I highly recommend them. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let me start at the beginning.

First, say hello to my hutch: before. I love the combination of wood and reeds in this piece but the color was a bit too yellow/gold for my decor. I had refinished my dining room table a couple of years back and I have to say that all the sanding, stripping, and sweating that was involved in that project put me off furniture refinishing for life – I thought. So I’ve been living with this piece as is for a while. But then I kept reading about how easy chalk paint was and decided to give it a go. Well, can I say – they were right! You don’t have to sand or strip. Nada. You want to paint? Grab a brush and a can and get painting! That’s my kind of paint!

So mid-morning on Friday, I picked my paint color and shook the can vigorously up and down and then grabbed my paint brush and got to it! By lunch I had applied my first coat to the outside of the piece. The paint was very easy to work with. I ended up painting straight from the can – I’m sure a pro would have poured it into a separate container to paint from but I didn’t have anything handy. I did notice that the paint began to thicken slightly and I had read that this would happen so it didn’t alarm me. If this happens to you and you don’t like it – just stir in a bit of water (no more than a tablespoon at a time) to thin it slightly. 

To start, I began at the bottom and back of my piece to get the hang of using this paint. There are a few steps that will help you get a better finished product in the end and practicing on an area that wouldn’t be seen was a good idea for me. Here are a few things I learned:

1) Apply your paint in the same direction as the grain of the wood when possible.
2) Work in small areas and apply the paint thinly – getting the paint too thick can cause it to get “gloopy” (not sure that’s a real word but when it happens – you know it!) If that’s the look your going for great – but on this piece it wasn’t what I wanted…
3) Along with painting in the same direction of your wood grain also keep your brush strokes in the same direction. Oddly, if you paint up and down and then across on the same spot and if the paint has begun to set up at all it can actually begin to remove the paint (and again look gloopy!). So, if you’re painting up and down – stay in that up and down pattern.

custom Annie Sloan Chalk Paint mix of Emperor's Silk and Antoinette

After lunch I began to paint the inside. I had considered painting the inside of the piece pink – I love pink! To get the shade of pink that I wanted I combined Emperor’s Silk (a bright red) and Antoinette (a pale pink). I did this in a tupperware container with a lid so I would be able to store any unused part for a future project. I painted one of the inside shelves to see if I really like the color and I’m glad that I did a “test” shelf like this because sure enough, it wasn’t what I had in mind but I needed to see it to know for sure.  Then I got out the can of Old White (so glad I ordered lots of colors!) and it was perfect!

This photo shows the outside after 1 coat of Provence. I ended up applying 2 coats of Provence to the exterior to get solid coverage and 1 coat of Old White to the inside. The first coat of Provence covered well and would have been fine had I wanted a distressed look because you could see the wood peeking through in spots. But I wanted this to look more opaque and the 2nd coat did just that. On the inside though I left it with just one coat. I didn’t mind seeing some of the original wood in spots and I didn’t want to use up more of this special paint then absolutely necessary. Since it was inside I let it go at this.

Saturday morning I applied my second coat of paint and then waited for everything to dry thoroughly and began applying the wax. Make sure everything is totally dry before you begin this step. When you apply the wax you don’t want to disturb your finish. I had a very hot day so my paint dried quickly. If it’s not hot and dry you may have to let yours sit overnight… jumping the gun on this step could cause more trouble then it’s worth.  OK, now on to the waxing!

Here’s an important tip I learned – apply the wax in a THIN coat with your brush being sure to “push” it into the wood and all your crevices and again work in small areas. The Purple Painted Lady gave some great tips about this on her site. Then immediately after brushing it on go over it with a t-shirt wiping off the excess. This isn’t to polish the wood – you’ll do that later if you want. With t-shirt in hand I waxed away and it worked great! I used the clear wax on my hutch because I didn’t want to darken the color but I think I’ll try the dark wax on my next piece.

And that was it! By Saturday afternoon I had a totally “new to me” hutch that fits perfectly with the colors in my kitchen! Especially the drapes that I sewed with Waverly’s “Groovy Grille” fabric!! If you’ve been on the fence about trying chalk or milk paint, I encourage you to take the leap!!!

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Provence Blue, Crystal Acrylic KnobI replaced the wooden knob with this Acrylic Crystal knob from Target. I like the feminine touch it adds – not to mention the bling!

Silver, Red Transferware, and Blue Vintage PlattersSome of my favorite platters are living under the hutch right now, not sure they’ll stay there but I do like them under there for the moment.

Fern Planter and Chicken StatueI’ve had this pineapple planter for years and I love it with the green in my drapes. This rooster is also a favorite piece that I’ve had for years.

I love these little floral trays I found at a sale recently. I think it pairs well with my Target Cow Creamer and a vintage silver pot filled with toothpicks!

I have my small collection of white pitchers on top. I love the bright white on top of the blue!

I hope you enjoy this little tour of my latest project. I love how bright and cheerful this is in my kitchen!

Happy Monday!

Jennifer Carroll. Celebrating Everyday Life blog

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23 Responses to “How to Paint with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint {a tutorial}”

  1. June 13, 2012 at 12:14 pm, MelissaRiche said:

    Beautiful result and beautifully photogaphed!


  2. June 13, 2012 at 9:22 pm, mskellycrews said:

    I just discovered your blog via pinterest and I love your hutch and your curtains! can’t wait to read more:)


  3. June 13, 2012 at 11:21 pm, theemptynest said:

    Hello Jennifer,
      Beautiful job on your cabinet…great color choice!
    Next time you go to Lucketts, you must stop and say hello. My shop, The Empty Nest, is in Warrenton and I sell CHALK PAINT™ Brand Decorative Paints and all the supplies. Would love to have you in  a workshop sometime!
      I look forward to seeing your next paint restyle.
    Will I see you at Haven?? I will be working the Annie Sloan Unfolded™  booth..come say Hello!
    Janet xox
    The Empty Nest


  4. June 28, 2012 at 3:24 am, {Blogs I Love} Restore Interiors | Celebrating everyday life with Jennifer Carroll said:

    […] you know from this post I’ve become obsessed with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (I’m working on a new project that I […]


  5. July 13, 2012 at 2:15 am, kelly said:

    that is so pretty! i want to buy an unfinished entertainment center and have been wanting to try chalk paint. thanks for posting!


  6. July 13, 2012 at 4:35 pm, Deana said:

    Beautiful!! Love the color.


  7. July 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm, Kathleen said:

    What a neat little piece! Love what you did with it. I too have just recently tried AS chalk paint, I won it at Haven. Didn’t I see you there? You look familiar :)


    • July 16, 2012 at 8:03 pm, Jennifer said:

      Hi Kathleen! Yes, we sure did see each other at Haven!! I hope you enjoyed the conference. (I loved it!) I’m a late comer to the Annie Sloan party but boy do I love it! I just did a mirror with Provence today – can’t wait to share it next week. Thanks for visiting!!! 😀


  8. October 20, 2012 at 11:33 pm, Diane | An Extraordinary Day said:

    Thanks for sharing your ASCP experience. My bestie who lives very far away…but near a dealer…decided to mail me a can of paint and wax for a new-to-me sideboard that I’d been talking about painting….for a birthday gift. What a great gift. But…it’s been nearly 2 months and I haven’t lifted a brush yet! I want my surface to be very smooth…no brush strokes, so I’m think of using a small foam cabinet roller….what do you think? I’m thinking after reading your post that I need to spring for the waxing brush too. Do you think cheap “chip brush” – the ones with the short stubby bristles would work as well or would they be too thin.
    Your project turned out beautifully! I love it with your stunning window dressings!!


    • October 22, 2012 at 7:58 pm, Jennifer said:

      Hi Diane! Hooray! I’m so excited that you are about to enter the magical word of ASCP! Warning – once you start you will be painting EVERYTHING! At least I AM! Just finished a project that I can’t wait to share on the blog!! But I have to get through all the Halloween crafts first :-) Anyway, YES, get a wax brush – you won’t regret it. For the paint I think you can use any old brush but I’m not so sure about the wax part… You may not need to use the Annie wax brush but I would buy the best quality round brush you can find. You really grind the wax into the piece so you hold the round brush with your hand almost in a fist instead of the normal way you hold a paint brush – does that make sense??

      A quick tip for your paint smoothness – a roller brush might work but to get that really smooth finish I know most furniture refinishers use a very fine grit sandpaper between coats. Supposedly that gives the smoothest possible finish. I haven’t done that yet but I’ve been told that’s the best way to get that glassy smooth finish. Hope that’s helpful!! Can’t wait to see your finished project!!


    • July 27, 2014 at 8:54 pm, Gail said:

      Since it is 2 years later that I found this, it is probably too late for you; however, for anyone who wants a smoother finish: dip your brush in water (I used an old plastic bowl), drag the brush against the side of the bowl to remove some, then dip the brush into the paint. The water thins the paint, making it smoother.(You can also add water to the paint.) Also sand between coats (using fine sandpaper) and/or after the last coat for a smoother look. As for brushes, be sure to use a good quality brush. (I use the Purdy brand found at Lowe’s.) If you are going to spend that much on paint, why skimp on the brush? BTW, this paint covers bunches! I used a quart can to paint 2 wooden chairs with arms and had to use 2 coats of paint. And the level of the paint in the can only dropped about 1 inch.


  9. October 26, 2012 at 4:09 pm, Sylvia said:

    Just painted my first A.S.Chalk paint piece. A melamine topped low table. Was looking for tutorial on next step and yours was Perfect. Love your hutch color, and the surrounding decor. will look into your other projects


  10. February 25, 2013 at 3:05 pm, Welcome to Jennifer Carroll’s Holiday Home said:

    […] my kitchen I also have a hutch I’ve painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Provence Blue. Again, a pop of red and a few silvery accents are all this piece needs to get […]


  11. September 17, 2013 at 6:55 am, April Adams said:


    I love your website, great job on the photos! I am most interested in the curtains you have in the ASCP article! Where can I purchase them?

    Thank you, April


  12. September 20, 2013 at 8:39 pm, House Tour: House Snooping at Celebrating Everyday Life - Worthing Court said:

    […] begin in the heart of my home, the kitchen! I moved into my home almost a year ago and this hutch project was the first furniture DIY project that I attempted. It was also my first foray into painting with […]


  13. March 24, 2014 at 8:03 am, The Home Boutique said:

    What a lovely and informative blog post. We are a ASCP stockist in the UK. You’re clearly very creating and we’re happy we came across your site :)


  14. May 16, 2014 at 7:36 am, Melissa Kitchens said:

    Where did you get your curtains (or fabric)? Love the colors and pattern.


    • May 16, 2014 at 2:28 pm, Jennifer said:

      > Hi Melissa, Thank you so much for your note! I sewed my curtains using a fabric called “Groovy Grille” by Waverly. I bought mine at my local fabric shop: http://www.fabricsunlimitedva.com/. Good luck with your project!


  15. March 01, 2015 at 7:19 am, Karen said:

    Just bought my first can of ASCP and had trouble with thickness. Then I found your blog and I feel more confident now. Thank you! Your hutch is darling and styled so sweet. Can you tell me where you got the glass lidded box on top? I have been looking for one for about a year just that size and color /look. Thanks again.


    • March 03, 2015 at 8:44 am, Jennifer said:

      > Hi Karen, Oh, I’m SO glad this was helpful!! Remember with ASCP you can always thin it with a little water if absolutely necessary but a little goes a loooong way :-) Regarding the box, I’ve had it for quite a while, I got it at Michaels Craft store. I was in there recently and saw that they have some that are very similar – a little more rectangular but super cute – in stock right now. Hopefully you can find one in a store near you. Good luck!! ~hugs~


  16. April 03, 2015 at 11:18 pm, Krystal said:

    Any advice on painting oak table? The table is shiney should I sand it before using this paint?


    • April 04, 2015 at 1:19 pm, Jennifer said:

      > Hi Krystal, Even though you have a shiny finish on your table, you can go right ahead and paint over it with chalk paint! No sanding needed. The only reason I ever sand pieces before I paint is if there are scratches or other unevenness to the piece because they will show with the paint. But, if I’m looking for a really distressed finish, I don’t even bother to sand. Good luck with your project – just be careful – it’s easy to get addicted to painting with chalk paint!! :-)


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