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Top techniques | Smooth modern finish

Bath tub with towel hung over the side

Although Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ is usually associated with vintage vibes and textured results, it is completely possible to achieve a smooth modern finish, too. 

This technique differs somewhat to how you would normally apply Chalk Paint™, but with a bit of thought, and some added prep work the final results are simply stunning. 

For a smooth, modern finish it’s important to use a flat square cut brush with a synthetic tip rather than a typical round bristled Chalk Paint™ brush which will create a more textured surface.  

Once you have chosen your Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ and picked out your brush you will also need fine sandpaper, lacquer and a roller. You may also need some filler, too.

Before you begin, make sure you use the paint fresh out of the tin as it needs to be applied in thin layers to achieve the smooth look. Older paint can be diluted with a little water – you are looking for the consistency of thick milk rather than double cream.  

This technique does require some prep work. Before you begin painting, sand the surface of your item to make sure it is flat and smooth. If there are dints you will need to use a little bit of filler, allow it to dry and sand it back before you start. 

Once you start to paint, work quite quickly in one direction with the tip of your brush guiding the paint across the surface rather than pushing it into the wood. You are looking to apply a much thinner coat than you would with other Chalk Paint™ finishes and will need two or three coats to build up the colour. 

Try to resist going back over areas you feel need smoothing out. Effectively you will just be applying more paint which will take you further away from a smooth finish. Better to let the paint dry then use a fine grit sandpaper to smooth the area before you apply your next coat.  

The beauty of using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ in this way is that although you will create a smooth finish you will still have a slight silky texture which has a lot more personality than an off the shelf eggshell paint. 

Rather than using wax to complete your project, lacquer is better suited to the smooth modern finish. At Little Gems Interiors we stock both matt and gloss Annie Sloan Lacquer™ so you can choose the one that fits your favoured style.  

If you are applying lacquer particularly to a large area, a roller will achieve much better results than a brush. Move the roller every which way until you have applied a coat to your entire piece. Make sure it is completely dry before you begin to use your transformed piece of furniture. 


At Little Gems Interiors we stock a full range of Annie Sloan products including Chalk Paint™, brushes, tools and decorative finishes. We are happy to help you select the items you will need to complete your project.