Furniture Painting Series Part 2: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®

Happy Thursday!  And what a great Thursday it is- today my baby boy turns 7 years old, and I turn 34 years old.  That’s right, we share a birthday. 🙂

Anyhow, I am Cassie from Primitive and Proper, here for my monthly contributor post.  Last month, we started a new series reviewing all sorts of paints, and we started with CeCe Caldwell’s paint.  This month, I want to share with you a project and my opinions on Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.


I started out with this gorgeous bed I found on my local craigslist.  Now, I will admit this post is not for the purists, as yes, I did paint over that.  The bed was pretty as is, but it had such lovely details that I knew would pop with a little paint and distressing!

I wanted to get this project done rather quickly, as I have a barn sale coming up!  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® is great for projects like that because there is no prep needed (though I would recommend wiping off any dust and cobwebs with a damp rag!) and it dries rather quickly.  I chose “Paris Grey” for this project and this particular color has such fabulous coverage- it took one coat only plus some little touch ups here and there.  The reason I chose this color was because I painted a bed last year in Paris Grey and I still can’t get it out of my bed.  Apparently I love gray beds!

In the past, I have always distressed Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ®by hand with sandpaper, sometimes before waxing and sometimes after- both ways have worked for me.  This time, I decided to try the wet rag method.  I simply took a rag and wet it, rung it out so it was damp, and rubbed it along all the surfaces I wanted to remove paint from.  It worked beautifully and did not create the dust sanding creates, but sometimes did not distress as easily.  In that case, I would take a piece of sandpaper to my dampened area, and the paint came right off.  So the combination of a wet rag with a little bit of sandpaper seemed to work really well for me.

Now with the finish I wanted on this bed, I wanted a slightly more weathered look than the previous bed I did.  Here is a picture so you can see Paris Gray with just clear wax over it….

I also recently did a table in Paris Grey that had a significantly more weathered look….
For this bed, I wanted something in between.  So instead of using clear wax or a premixed colored wax, I dipped my wax brush into the clear wax, and then dipped it into a very teensy amount of golden oak wood stain.  I did this every so often, just to give the grey a hint of weathering and aging.
Once the entire bed was painted and waxed, I decided to try out Annie Sloan’s new gilding wax.  Kelly at Stylish Patina recently had finished a dresser in Paris Grey and highlighted some areas in gold and it turned out beautifully.  I chose to highlight some of the areas in the headboard detail- I kept it very minimal, just for a hint of glam!
The final step was to use a rag and buff the waxed bed to the desired sheen.  I used a clean rag and just buffed in circles.
Here is the final product, and it was all done in less than one day!



And here are those gold highlights…


So now, let’s review the pros and cons of Annie Sloan chalk paint.  And remember, this is only my opinions!


– Super easy to use.

– Can make for a quick project turnaround.

– Lends beautifully to a vintage distressed look.

– Is pretty close to being “fool proof”.

– No prep needed. (YAY, no sanding!!! no priming!!!!)

– Very easy cleanup- wash your brushes with warm water and you are good to go!

– Can mix with water to create a more washed affect.

– Eco friendly and almost odorless.


– Limited selection of colors (though they can be mixed to create custom colors)

– Pricey at around $38/qt.

– Not all colors have the exceptional coverage Paris Gray does.  I have found some other colors to be a little more translucent.

– In the past I have experienced issues with bleed, where the stain of the wood bleeds through in spots.  I have remedied this by using a strong primer over the bleed -through spots, or I have worked it into the antiqued and weathered look of the piece.

– In the past I tried using it on a piece that was previously painted and it did not adhere to the semigloss finish without sanding first.

All in all, this paint is very easy to use and works well for the novice and advanced painter.  If you are a newer painted though, I would recommend starting on a small project so you get a feel for it as it is much different from latex paint.  Kristy over at Hyphen interiors actually just did a fabulous week long round up and review of her experience as well as the experiences of others with chalk paint.  It’s definitely worth reading!

Thanks again for having me here today, and see you next month when we discover yet another type of paint!  Until then, feel free to pop over and visit me at my blog!


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  1. I’m dying to try this ASCP for some dining chairs I found on craigslist. My only concern is that, I keep reading how easy it is to distress it, so does this also mean it wouldn’t work for dining chairs with everyday use? How long does it take to cure? Thanks!

  2. LOVE the way this turned out! The finish looks perfect and I love the little hint of gold. Well done Cassie! Happy b-day to you and Sawyer!!! xoxo

  3. Great post, Cassie — I’m getting ready to embark on my secretary project, and I’m now thinking a little of the glam would be cool! Thanks for sharing your expertise as always!
    xo Heidi

  4. Goodness! The original is pretty ugly, and left as is would really darken a room. But with a new colour its details stand out and would look beautiful in any style bedroom.

    Love your work!

  5. Man, idk. I’m not usually a purist, I’m of the PAINT IT ALL AND PAINT IT NOW school of thought, but it is almost painful to see that gorgeous bed painted over like that. And yet, I am eyeing that equally beautiful dresser in the background with sinister thoughts of assaulting it with a paintbrush.

    Maybe the paint color is just difficult to photograph and the beauty isn’t coming through? Who knows. Like you said, to each their own.

    Regardless, you have great technique and the tip about the wet rag and sand paper is much appreciated.

  6. I found a recipe for chalk paint that you can make yourself. Just use 2 parts paint to one part plaster of paris. I tried it on a dresser and it worked perfectly. It also has the negatives like the wood stain occasionally bleeding through, but I bought a sample sized container of the paint I wanted (cost=$4) plus the p-of-p (cost=$4), and of course has lots of p-of-p left over for another project.

  7. Where is the best and most cost effective place to buy the paint? I am so ready to start painting all of my growing projects in the garage….thanks so much, Keri

  8. the woodwork on the bed was fantastic-it had inlays and different direction of the wood–in my opinion it needed to be sanded and “bleached” to lighten the color and still have the distressed look,but to paint over that whole real wood is a crime:):) I do understand u wanting to finish the project asap and not having to deal with it–but still, my heart aches for all that craftsmanship gone to waist….the bed was handmade and at least 50y old…oh well
    I do love your work and your blog!

  9. Good points, Cassie. I love the ease of ASCP, but it’s not necessarily the best choice for every project. Isn’t it great that there are so many awesome products out there to choose from?

    P.S. Looks gorgeous!

  10. I LOVE Annie Sloan chalk paint but it is a bit pricey. I am slightly obsessed with her Duck Egg Blue. I can’t wait to go check out your thoughts on other chalk paints. I have never used sand paper-I actually use cut up t-shirts. One wet and one dry-they work like a charm and I like to seriously distress it. Distressing is de-stressing for me!

  11. Can’t wait to try it – thought I would go with Duck Egg first, but since reading this, I will probably go with the Paris Gray! Thanks for all of the great info!

  12. Do you use Annie Sloan’s brushes? Would inexpensive chip brushes work as well with the paint and the wax? Thanks again.

  13. I have taken the very cheapest spray paint (ie the $1 brand) and hit those areas where old stain bleeds through your paint. It dries in about 10-15 minutes and you can continue with your project. Quick fix for those that just want to get it done!

  14. Love the blog, i am itching to use this paint but am unsure of the coverage, can you tell me how many litres you used on this bed and if you have used the country grey does it have as good a coverage as the colour you used.