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How to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I must admit that I’m a lazy DIY-er. I’m always excited to start a project but I want to skip to the fun part, I don’t want to clean/sand/prime first (anyone else have this problem?). So when I started reading about  how to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, and the fact that it sticks to anything and there is no sanding or priming first I had to give it a shot!

 In our master bedroom we have had hand me down furniture from my parents (thanks mom!) since we got married. You know that delightful solid oak (ie: almost killed several sets of movers trying to move this heavy stuff) from the 80’s? I’ve been trying to make it work for me since then.

 I painted it black about 5 years ago…

A dresser in a room

…and it worked ok in our last few houses (we are on our 4th and FINAL house in 8 years). Now that we are on the lake and our style is a little more cottagey the black was starting to feel too heavy.

 I thought grey would feel a bit softer so I drove 50 minutes, with my 4 year old (see my level of commitment?) to my nearest Annie Sloan Chalk Paint stockist. I, being the smart and prepared DIY-er that I am, left my paint chip and bedding sample on the counter at home (sigh). So I had to wing it a little. Which left me with not exactly the color I had envisioned, I SO should have gone with French Linen, but at $35 a quart we are rolling with it a  pretty soft grey color called Paris Grey.

 Paint and Annie Sloan


I thought this would be a good project to tackle when the Mr. is gone on business, but who am I kidding I ripped it open the second I got home! This stuff is amazing, it goes on so easy with no prep work, covers in one coat and doesn’t show your brush marks. It is worth the extra money (just hide the receipt from your hubby :) ).

 This is what it looked like after 1 coat…

A dresser and a door


(see the color kinda matches our walls, even though they are blueish, I was looking for a little more contrast, oh well!)

A room with paint furniture


Another bonus, this stuff dries in like 20 minutes!

 Next step, distressing. You can do this with sandpaper, but I read it gets pretty dusty. I opted for rubbing a damp cloth on the edges to remove some of the paint. This worked best when the paint wasn’t completely dry yet.

A close up of a door
The left shows what it looks like before I distressed it on the right side.
A close up of a door

I went pretty heavy on the distressing since the paint ended up being so close to our wall color, I wanted it to stand out a bit.

 Then I rubbed the clear wax on, this seals the paint. Be careful not to use too much or you will have to go back and wipe the excess off. Wax on, wax off… (I couldn’t resist!).

 I wanted to take the distressing a bit further so I used their dark wax to age it a bit more.

Paint and Annie Sloan

The finished product! Even though I wish it was a bit darker, I still love the results. It has so much more character and the room feels airy and light. What do you think?

A dresser in a room

So that’s your sneak peak of the Master Bedroom redo. I will do a full post later in the week so you can see the big reveal. In the meantime do I dare paint the bed or don’t I? Hmmm….

 …you know I do :)

 UPDATE: I’ve since repainted this armoire again with a different color of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint you can see what it looks like now here.

Want to see a few more how to annie sloan chalk paint examples? Check out my favorite furniture Makeover post here.

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  1. Hi I have a sm home owned business and I’ve been on Pinterest for 2 years admired many things got ideas however I’ve never commented on anything but I love your work and u explain it very well great job

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  3. I absolutely love this armoire. I have black finish that I’d love to redo. Question…did you only use one coat of your base coat (the gray)? Also, was a fairly thin coat?

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  10. Just wanted to let you know that I’m featuring your armoire tomorrow on my painted projects round-up, with a link back of course. (If you would rather not be featured, no biggie. Just let me know.) It’s gorgeous!!!


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  12. Thanks for the helpful advice. I’m just starting my first Annie Sloan painting project. Wow, what a beautiful home, thanks for the inspiration.

  13. This is a beautiful transformation. Do you distress prior to the clear wax coat or after? I was told to clear wax after the paint dries then distress, then go back and wax clear or dark over the distressing. Which method works best?

    1. I don’t think I would distress after waxing unless you don’t want much distressing but that’s just how I did it – good luck!!

  14. Just painted over pine doors in our kitchen with Annie Sloan paint. It looks so much brighter but one or two stains, probably oil spills, are showing through. What can I do to cover them?

    1. Hi Mike, maybe try another coat? Otherwise sand those sections down and put a primer like Kilz over it first then repaint? Hope it works out!

  15. Hi Kelly, I was just looking to buy some paris grey and wax online when I stumbled upon you web page. I too am a V lazy d-i-yer and so have also fallen in love with chalk paint! It is SO addictive, i am actually eyeing up not only mine, but my families furniture to see what I can paint next. I have now started dreaming of having a small shop so I can carry on painting but selling on. My conservatory can’t take any more furniture!

    1. Love the armoire! It looked great after you painted it in the grey but looks even better with the contrasting white. The dresser is nice but in my humble opinion there is too much grey all in the one area without much of the white to contrast and balance it. I would paint the inset panels of the doors white as well. And if that’s still not enough I would paint the top white too. It’s a lot less work than re-painting the entire piece which you can still do if it’s not working for you. Keep up the good work.

      1. Hi Rose thanks for you thoughts! This is actually an older post and I don’t even have the dresser anymore ha ;) things change quick around here!

  16. I am a newbie at this chalk paint phenomenon. What is the difference (benefits) of chalk paint vs flat wall paint? I love the look but the price seems a little salty for my pocket. Convince me :) please.

  17. Hi
    I m just shopping for Annie sloanne paint and came across your website. I have been plucking up courage to revamp my pine dinning table, after seeing my friends fabulous dinning suite in black Annie Sloan and realising its the same as my grotty one. After reading on your website i am convinced I can do it too. Thanks for sharing with us all.
    The cabinet looks fab. Would you know if its possible to use it on kitchen units? I can feel a full maek over coming on,
    Thanks You

  18. Hi Kelly!
    I’m curious what type of wax did you use? It says “their wax” clear and dark to give it more of an aged look.. but whose wax are you referring? Thanks! Looks great.


  19. Dear Kelly,
    This is fabulous!!! And it cuts off from the wall beautifully, not to light a one little bit.
    I have sneaked to your blog couple of times and admire all your creativity, you are truly talented. Thank you for sharing such a useful info.
    I am wondering if you just used the dark wax (what exact color) or also the clear one in the middle as well. Last but not least – how does the dresser wear off with time? Do you have to re-wax it, does it dry or shades any dust (like a real chalk).
    How efficient one can has been so far since you have great experience with all other paints too – did you use it on other projects?
    Honestly I was just planning one little question, but all of the sudden it looks like 20.
    Thx for your time and warmest regards

    1. Thanks so much Monika! I used the clear wax and then the dark wax on the whole thing, as far as I know Annie Sloan only makes one color dark wax. The dresser has worn fine so far, but it has only been 6 months (and actually I just repainted parts of it stay tuned for that post tomorrow!) It isn’t chalky at all once you wax it and one can of paint goes a long ways, I still have 1/2 the can left! Phew, hope I got all your questions answered :) Good luck!

  20. Great job! I love the look. Thank you for the step by step tutorial. Did you read up on making your own chalk paint? I’m trying to decided..I’ve been looking into the chalk paint look for my kitchen table. What kind of wax did you use? Did you use a tinted and a non-tinted one? Did you put a final coat off anything (like poly) over the whole thing? I’m trying to figure out how a table will wear. We have a cottage on Lake Michigan-one of my favorite places. I can’t wait to get back there this summer!

  21. Great stuff! Luvvv your lazy aproach to the project… sooooo me! Will try the damp cloth distressing next time!

  22. I’m loving your blog Kelly. I’m wondering about the wax you use when repurposing furniture. Where do you find it in the store? With the paint? Thanks!

  23. Kelly, so fabulous! I love your huge painted hand-me-down piece. Thanks for the wonderful DYI tutorial. YOu really have a stunning piece! Please consider joining me for TUTORIALS TIPS AND TIDBITS and sharing your newly made over armoire! Link goes live Wednesday evening at 8:00. Hope to see you and your tutorial!

  24. I love the change you made in that cabinet! I live in (beautiful!) Michigan too and wondered where you got your chalk paint? The only area I see it listed is over by Lake Michigan…is that where you picked yours up? Thanks!


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  25. What a beautiful furniture makeover! It looks ao authentically distressed!! And beautiful lake! I think I need to live on a lake!

  26. Kelly,
    It was so worth that 50 mile drive…don’t ya think? It looks GREAT…thanks for the tip about how you used a damp cloth to distress.


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