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Before you open the paint pot!

Three tins of chalk paint with a paint brush on top

It’s only fair to warn you before you begin reading this blog, that once you try upcycling furniture using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ you will soon get the bug. 

Apart from the fact that you start to see the potential to breathe new life into all sorts of areas of your home, you will also discover that it really is quite easy to achieve stunning results. 

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ uses a unique water-based formula which means it dries quickly, for most finishes there is no need for preparation like priming or sanding and cleaning brushes when you are finished is a breeze!  

If you are an absolute beginner, here are a few things to consider before you get started. 

Choosing your surface  

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is so versatile that there are very few limits on what you can paint. From furniture to lightshade, floorboards and garden benches – it can be used both in and outdoors to great effect. It’s also interesting to note that furniture doesn’t need to be solid wood. With its thicker consistency the Chalk Paint™ covers equally well on flatpack fibreboard items as it does on salvaged gems. 

Keep it clean 

One of the steps beginners very often miss and then later regret is giving their chosen piece of furniture a good clean before they start painting to remove any dust or grease which could affect the finish. If possible, remove any hardware such as knobs and handles before you begin too. 

Think about the future 

Most of the time you won’t need to use a primer. However, some woods are very oily and if you don’t prime first, over time your item will discolour when the oil starts to seep through.  

Mango wood for example, which was popular in the 1990s, is very oily. Equally if you are painting something made from pine and there are obvious knots in the wood, it is best to prime just the knotted areas as again these will seep over time. 

Before deciding whether to prime it is worth thinking about how long you want your piece to last. Say if it’s a bookshelf for a child’s bedroom, the chances are you will repaint it anyway in a couple of years, so priming could be skipped. But if you are painting a sideboard you want to last another five years plus, it really is worth taking the time for this additional coat. 

Be patient! 

Although Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ dries quickly it is important not to try to hurry the process. Each coat needs to be left to dry fully before you start on the next layer, as does wax if you choose to use it to finish off your project. So, try to find a time where you don’t need to hurry and you can enjoy achieving the best finish possible. 


If you would like to find out more about upcycling, Little Gems Interiors hosts a variety of workshops and creative craft courses at our brand-new creative centre in Mount Bures on the Essex Suffolk border. Our workshops are great fun, giving you the chance to learn new skills from experts in a calm, relaxing environment.  

As an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ stockist, our team has been trained by Annie Sloan herself to help you get the very most from your Chalk Paint™ and we share what we have learnt at our workshop sessions.