This is a sponsored post on behalf of Annie Sloan Unfolded. I received product for this post, but the opinions and the project and the tips are all mine! * indicates affliate links
This furniture post has been a long time a-comin’. I’ve known about Annie Sloan paints foreeeeever, but never really had the guts to try it, mostly because I thought I had to do a distressed piece and the thought of waxing just made me feel faint. The hardwood floors in our house used to be wax, and what a pain it was! So I thought that having wax on a piece of furniture was also going to be a serious PITA (pain in the a** for those of you acronym newbies). But, moving across the country and downsizing made me re-assess my assets. The fact that most of my furniture is now in one big room also gave me a big push to simplify my style. You can read that as “make everything white”. So, with a quart of Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan, I painted both my craft desk and my dining room console Old White, and they now sit maybe 10 feet apart, looking as if they belong together. And you know what? This furniture re-do wasn’t hard at all! The waxing was even pretty easy, and I didn’t distress a single thing. So, I’m going to share some tips I learned along the way.
Don’t be afraid of glopping the paint on
First things first. This Chalk Paint® is glorious. It’s buttery and smooth and no I’m not talking about chocolate, but if chocolate could be paint, this would be it. Load up your brush and enjoy how easy the paint goes on. There’s plenty of time for you to push the paint around as necessary before it starts drying. Feel free to paint against the grain to make sure the paint covers but always end by painting with the grain. I found that pulling the brush very lightly along the grain at the end helps smooth out the paint. And being generous with the paint makes sure that there’s decent coverage. I read in the Annie Sloan Quick and Easy Paint Transformations that the first coat is to cover, and the second coat is to make the paint opaque, which ended up being very true.
Use a good brush
I used one of my old Purdy brushes* for my desk and then an Annie Sloan Flat Brush for the dining room (now hallway) console. Both worked really well. The Annie Sloan brush picked up plenty of paint and was easy to use. It didn’t lose hairs and there weren’t any stray bristles that went all wonky on me, which is usually what happens when you decide to go cheap on the brush. Save yourself the frustration and use a good brush.
Do not “wax on, wax off” in circles
I applied Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax with the Annie Sloan Wax Brush. The first part is correct – you DO wax on, in circles, to really apply the wax and get into those corners of the piece. But after the circle motion, brush the wax along the grain. You’ll wipe the excess off with a rag, but that’s usually a very light motion, and if you don’t set the wax along the grain, you’ll see swirls in the finished dried wax. Trust me, swirls are no fun to see….from personal experience. I ended up applying a second coat of wax and making sure I ended along the grain before I wiped with a rag. Then the finish is seamless.
Actually, once the wax dries, you don’t even have to buff at all, but I highly suggest you do, because if you don’t, every finger and every hand print is going to show up as a mark on your finished piece. Once you buff the wax, it’ll be come somewhat shiny and will look like a sealed piece. It’s up to you how well you buff the wax, but the other tip is to buff evenly, so that one section doesn’t come out shinier than another section.
Oh yeah, work in a well ventilated space!
This one isn’t so much about technique as it is about not getting high or getting a headache. I chose to work indoors because I didn’t want insects and bits of flying debris to land on my drying paint. The paint itself doesn’t smell at all, but whooo boy, the wax is something else! I left the window open to help air flow and to dry the paint faster, so I guess that’s optional, but definitely have windows open when you wax. That stuff is strong and smells terrible. Pretty much like waxing a car in your bedroom.
Clean the wax brush with dishwashing detergent
Yup. You know, cuts grease and all. I bought some mineral spirits to clean my brush the first time around but it stunk and the brush had to soak for a while and the whole thing felt like a total grease-ball. After the second coat of wax, I decided to try cleaning the brush with some liquid dishwashing detergent and it worked out really well! I squeezed a dime sized bit onto my left palm and worked the wax brush into my palm so the whole brush got nice and soapy. Then rinse well. Then repeat if necessary. I think I repeated 2 or 3 times and the brush was super clean and soft. No stink, and super duper easy.
That’s all for now. Other than these tips, I think painting with Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan is not too different from painting anything else. If you’d now like to try a project of your own, you can find paints near you with their Stockist Locator and read more on their FAQ page.
My hallway is in the midst of a makeover and I’ll be posting the full reveal once we get all the pieces in place. For now, I’m just enjoying my “new” console table with its fabulous new knobs from D. Lawless Hardware. I’m also enjoying my white craft desk, but wondering when I’m going to be able to get my craft area together again.