Chalk paint – my tips and tricks!

I’ll be honest, I like the quickest and simplest result possible! It is for this reason that I love chalk paint! It all comes down to not wanting to waste energy…

When using chalk paint, the most prep you need to do to your surfaces is giving them a quick clean with some sugar soap. Yep that’s right! Gone are the days of sanding everything down before you undercoat and finally top coat. When I first heard about chalk paint I thought it was too good to be true – but it’s amazing!!

I am slowly working my way through the furniture in our house painting them one by one in this miraculous paint, with great results every time, making things look like I paid a lot of money for them! When actually its just a tin of paint, some finishing wax and a bit of my time – a great relaxing Sunday afternoon job, especially on a nice summer’s day with a cocktail to help me along!

There are a variety of different brands of chalk paint out there. I have stuck to using Annie Sloan chalk paint, mainly because I have a great local supplier and the end results are fab! That said, I have friends who have used other brands and been happy with their end results too. The tips and tricks explained below are purely based on using the Annie Sloan paint and so I cant guarantee the same results with other brands!

Tip 1 – make your paint last longer!

I always water my paint down a little. Chalk paint can be quite think and for better end results I have found that multiple, thin layers are the way forward.

Tupperware has so many uses, not just to store that left over food – use it when your upcycling too! After giving the tin of paint a good stir to ensure it is well mixed, tip some into your Tupperware and add a dash of water! Give it a good stir to mix it in evenly – slow and steady is the trick here unless you want to splash chalky paint water everywhere! You don’t want to make the paint too thin and after a few tries you will learn the consistency that works best for you!

Tip 2 – don’t buy the expensive brushes!

The Annie Sloan range doesn’t just include paint and wax, but brushes for applying their products too. In my opinion they just aren’t worth the extra money… for the paint I use a paint brush that I brought from a tool shop for about £2 – a £3 saving on the equivalent Annie Sloan brush.

The Annie Sloan wax brushes start at about £24, my method will save you about £22! I don’t actually use a brush, instead I use a kitchen sponge (any sponge will do really). The sponge gives a nice smooth application and enables you to be able to rub it in. Then I just use a rag to rub off any excess and buff the wax if you want it to have a shinier finish.

Tip 3 – Patience!

With using multiple, thin layers of paint there can be a temptation to not wait until the last layer has completely dried! Don’t! I have learnt the hard way that this can just cause more work when it messes up and you have to strip it back and re-do it! If you try and paint over almost dry paint it tends to drag the paint and leave clumps. It really isn’t worth the time saving – if you want a good finish you need patience! Just think of the time you have saved by not having to sand and remove the previous finishes – you can afford to wait that extra couple of hours for the paint to dry properly!

Tip 4 – Sand paper

Tried your best to paint evenly but not quite managed it? Don’t worry, once the paint is completely dry just use a bit of fine sand paper to gently rub over the thinker areas of paint to even it out. Use a dry cloth to clear away any dust then continue with your next coat or applying your wax to seal it.

You can also use sand paper to give a distressed look to your projects, using a similar strategy to evening up your paint coverage, just keep sanding until you get the right amount of paint removed for the look you want. It took me a few attempts to do this when I tried before I was happy with it, so make sure you have some time and patience to practice!


That’s it for now, but watch this space for more tips and tricks as I go along! I am constantly learning on each project I do.

Thanks for reading my chalk paint tips and tricks, if you have tips and tricks from your projects please feel free to share them with me and other readers too – either comment below or drop me an email!

Gina x

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