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Let the painting begin!

Image of a person painting

At Little Gems Interiors, lots of people come into our shop looking for advice on how to get started with their Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™.  

In our previous blog we looked at some of the things you need to consider when you choose your item to transform.  

Now it’s time to crack open the paint and begin the fun part! Read on to find out more. 

Squeaky clean 

Using hot soapy water, give the item you are going to paint a good wash to remove any dust, dirt or grease. This is such an important step if you are looking for a great finish, but one people often scrimp on. Avoid harsh cleaning products and make sure your piece is fully dry before you move on. Remove any hardware such as knobs or handles if at all possible so you can clean around these areas too. It will also make painting much easier. 

Any prep?  

Depending on the finish you are looking to achieve you may need to do a little prep. If for example you are looking for a modern sleek look, you will need to fill any holes, chips or dints. If you like a more distressed look, you can move straight on to the next step as these features will simply add more character to your finished piece! 

As mentioned in our previous blog, if you are painting an oily wood such as Mango or a piece of knotty pine, some priming may be needed to make your finish last longer. 

Start painting! 

To get the best results we recommend using Annie Sloan brushes, and we have a great selection to choose from in our shop. If you are looking for a textured finish opt for a round bristle brush. For a smooth and sleek look go for a synthetic one. 

Chalk Paint™ is great to work with but it does dry quickly so best pour a little paint into a tray so you can replace the lid on the tin while you work.  

Your first coat acts like a primer to get overall coverage. Paint in quick movements in every which way.  

Be patient 

Make sure your item is fully dry before you move onto a second coat, otherwise you risk the wet paint lifting the first layer from your piece, leaving a clumpy finish. 

As the paint dries it does to an extent level out, however if it looks bumpier than you were aiming for you can give it a light sanding before moving on. 

The second coat 

Similar to the first coat, continue to brush quickly in all directions. If your paint has stiffened slightly, you can water it down a little. Pour some of the paint into a container and very slowly add a few drops of water at a time until your paint is the consistency of double cream. 

Finishing off 

When your item is totally dry (again avoid the temptation to rush!) wax or lacquer can be applied to protect your project. Wax is our favourite option as it gives a beautiful finish and can be buffed to a sheen if that’s the look you are after. Lacquer is the go-to choice for items that will be in areas where there is water and is great for outdoor projects as it offers UV protection to stop colours fading. 

Apply the wax with a brush, concentrating on a small area at a time, before wiping back and allowing it to dry.  

Admire your work  

Although wax can be touch dry in a matter of hours it can take between seven to 30 days to fully cure. If possible, avoid using your finished work until it is completely dry to avoid damaging the finish. 


We offer a one-stop-shop for all your upcycling needs. From paints, waxes and stencils through to tools, brushes and handles – pop into our shop or browse our online store and let your imagination run wild!