Elissa Olechnovich

Around the House

Around the House

Around the House
From affordable decorating ideas to “biggest bang for your redecorating buck” we’ll talk about improvements inside and outside the abode.

A Beginner’s Guide to Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint®

My mom told me last week she wants to give an old garage-sale dresser a face lift, but she’s not too excited about spending hours sanding or breathing primer fumes. And she wants to create a vintage look to replace the glossy maple finish. I told her to consider trying Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint®. I’d been hearing others rave about this so-called wonder paint, so I proceeded to do a little research, which is when I ran into a major obstacle. Finding accurate information about Chalk Paint® is not easy. Here are the results of my search that may help any of you who are also interested in this increasingly popular paint.

What Is Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint®?

I learned that the first principle to getting accurate information is that there is only one Chalk Paint®. It was created by Annie Sloan of England, and whenever people advertise or write about it, they should include the trademark symbol ® after the name. If you search the words “Chalk Paint®,” you may be directed to sites about chalkboard paint [not the same at all!] or to people other than Annie Sloan who talk about their “chalk paint” and other variations. You will also be sent to retailers who carry every other paint on the planet except this one. You can buy Chalk Paint® only from authorized retailers or “stockists,” as they are called.

According to the Annie Sloan website (http://www.anniesloan.com/acatalog/paints.html), Chalk Paint® produces a velvety, chalk-like matt finish, and when Annie Sloan Soft Wax is added, the resultant effect is a soft sheen. There is actually no chalk in the paint. The site suggests referring to one of Annie’s recent books or going to YouTube to view her tutorials. See also http://anniesloanpaintandcolour.blogspot.com/2013/06/what-is-chalk-paint.html.

What Are the Advantages of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint over Latex Paint?
The blogger “Perfectly Imperfect” cited the following reasons she loves using Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint®:
• “It dries SUPER fast–I love completing a piece in start to finish in one afternoon with no worry that the paint will adhere properly.
• Eco-friendly–plus, it’s totally safe to use around our kids.
• Cleans up with water
• Cleans out of our brushes WAY easier, extending their “life” a lot longer
• Comes in gorgeous, original colors (that mix to so many more…and the pigment, hence quality, never dilutes)
• Distresses beautifully–it was just made to use on furniture.
• Adheres to any surface . . . .”(Perfectlyimperfectblog.com)
How Do I Learn How to Use Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint®?
The Internet has a wealth of tutorials and tips for working with Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint®, and books abound, many by Annie herself. You may also be able to find a workshop to attend locally. Two posts with good tips are (1) martysmusings.net, November 28, 2012 by Marty Walden and (2) paintedfurnitureideas.com January 29, 2014. The second post gives the following advice, which is echoed by many others online:
“Don’t Worry Too Much About the First Coat – At least on the pieces I’ve painted and from my experience, I’ve never had a first coat look right.  The important part about painting the first coat is too keep the paint even enough that there aren’t any drips or lumps and that the paint doesn’t pool up in the corners.  The first coat always to me looks a little irregular in that some parts are a little more transparent than others.  I don’t worry about that too much.  The bottom line is to make sure that you have a good foundation for a second coat, the first coat usually for me does not look finished.”
Some people recommend using Annie Sloan Wax and letting the newly finished piece set for a couple of days before use to ensure better durability against scratches.
How Does Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint® Compare Cost-Wise to Latex Paint?
Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint® is much more expensive than latex paint (a quart costs about $38.00); however, you will not have to buy primer, deglosser, and top coats, which may even out the cost. Reportedly, a little Chalk Paint® goes a long way. In terms of time and effort, numerous avid fans agree Chalk Paint® wins hands down. Apparently there are also various kits available to provide what’s needed to get started and work certain projects.
Where Do I Find Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint®?
Finding Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint® takes some searching. You won’t be able to walk into most paint stores or big-box stores and find it. Here are a few places where you should be able to make your purchase:
Chalk Paint® Retailers

Maison Warehouse, Sterling, http://www.maisonwarehouse.com
Stylish Patina, Falls Church, http://www.stylishpatina.com/theshop
See also: http://www.anniesloan.com/acatalog/North_American_Stockists.html

My mom says she wants to see if Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint® can work some quick magic on her old dresser. Let me hear from you about your experiences with this “new” super paint and any tips I can pass on to Mom.