Furniture painting is a meticulous job — something you definitely don’t want easily scratched because you used the wrong chalk paint sealer. I made this mistake, but hopefully I’ll be able to answer your question on how to seal chalk paint before making the same.
What is chalk paint?
Chalk paint has taken off over the last 10 or so years because of it’s transforming power and ease of application. It is the only type of paint that has the ability to turn a junkyard ornament into a shabby chic masterpiece that looks like a family heirloom without the use of any tools or chemical aging components. And the best part? The electric sander never even leaves it’s box. Antiquing furniture went from being a 3-week task to a one-day experience.
The one (and only) problem with chalk paint? The recommendation for finishing with just wax. **don’t make the same mistake that i made and ruin your masterpiece by not sealing it correctly
Long before the Annie Sloane chalk paintboom, I fell in love with redoing furniture. I was a brand new college grad and ready to make my first big purchase: shabby chic bedroom furniture. After a day of furniture shopping, my bank account finally came to grips with the simple reality, that it was out of my league. After a few hours on Pinterest, a Diet Coke, and a trip to a couple of resale shops, I drove home with a truck bed full of potential–my solid-wood bedroom furniture set, all for less than $35.
I learned to antique furniture the old-fashioned way. Sand (and sand, and sand) the piece until you reach bare wood, stain (2 coats, each which take a full 24 hours to dry) and paint, then repeating the whole process again and again until the distressed look was achieved. My hobby quickly became a small business, profitable, yet time consuming.
When chalk pain first entered the market, the steep price had me disinterested..until I read the label: no prepping required. My first project was a dresser, and I used Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint and painting method (3 coats of paint, wax, minimal sanding for distressed look, and wax again). It was BEAUTIFUL for a month, and with two kids in the house, it just didn’t hold up to it’s end of the bargain.
Painted furniture, chalk paint or not, always needs to be sealed. And although furniture wax is really pretty, it is not a finish that will preserve the life of your newly-painted furniture project. In fact, you will probably have to repaint the work in a year, if not sooner, unless you properly seal the furniture piece. I will walk you through everything there is to know about chalk paint and polyurethane , polycrylic, wax, tutorials on technique, information about where to buy Annie Sloan chalk paint, and even my favorite recipe for making chalk paint at home– it’s he only one that offers the same amount of coverage and texture as Annie Sloan’s–it’s the closest you’ll get to the Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint without the steep price .
Can you put polyurethane over chalk paint?
Yes, but use with caution. Polyurethane is a seal-the-deal kind of finish, so it’s best for table tops, areas susceptible to sticky little hands or liquid spills, and of course your outdoor furniture. Polyurethane is very messy (smelly, too) and since it’s oil based, be sure to you have paint thinner on hand, or you’ll ruin your paint brush. I only recommend using this if you are wanting some serious protection on your kitchen table.
Can you put Polycrylic over chalk paint?
YES. Polycrylic Protective Coat over chalk paint is the best way to protect any indoor furniture with light to medium wear. I’ve been paining furniture for years, and it’s what I’ve always used. It wasn’t until I followed theAnnie Sloan wax finish instructions that i stopped using the polycrylic, and I made a huge mistake!
There are two types of Annie Sloan waxes: the soft wax and the dark wax. The soft wax is to be applied first, followed by your dark wax. After your layers of chalk paint have been applied, you will apply the soft wax with your wax brush or a cut up old t-shirt. Dip it into wax and work into furniture, only working in small areas since it dries so quickly. Wipe as you go and dip when your tool gets low on wax .
Do you have to use a sander before using chalk paint?
The only reason you may have to sand before applying chalk paint is if the project you’re painting is extremely glossy (slick as a wistly), rusty or has large paint chippings throughout (that could cause the fresh coat to come up with it). Other than this, you do not need to sand before beginning the paint project.
How long does it take for chalk paint to dry?
This could depend on how thick your coat of paint is, what brand you are buying, and humidity/temperature. If you are painting with a normal amount of paint on the brush (medium coverage–not fully covered after first coat), it should be dry in about 45 minutes to an hour. If you’re a light-coat painter (not much coverage on the first coat), it’ll take about 20-30 minutes to dry, and up to 4 hours dry time the heavy-coat (full coverage after first coat) painter. Note: drying and setting are two different terms. I apply secondary coats of paint before the paint sets, but the paint is dry when I apply the next coat.
What is the best brand of chalk paint for furniture?
The best chalk paint depends on what exactly you are looking for. Do you want full coverage, less coats of paint? Do you want a smoother finish? Other than my own chalk paint recipe (90% of the time), I only use two brands of chalk paint for painting my furniture: Renaissance Chalk Finish Paint and Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint. The finish is much smoother and fuller coverage than Rust-oleum or Valspar. if you are going to a more gritty surface, with more of a warn look, you might be fine with those brands.
Where can I buy Annie Sloan chalk paint?
This is the real kicker. Annie Sloan is private and only lets independent stores that she has hand selected sell her product. There is a link on Annie Sloan’s page that will find the nearest Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for you, just by plugging in your zip! Click here to find out where to purchase Annie Sloan chalk paint.
This is a very popular item right now, as it brings out the true color of the exposed wood. The soft wax is to be applied with a a wax bristle brush once your final layer of chalk paint has fully dried. (This is actually a clear matte wax that I prefer over Annie Sloan’s soft wax, and it’s half the price.) You CAN use this and still apply the final Polycrylic protective finish as long as the Polycrylic is your last and final coat (no more adding chalk paint or wax once it’s applied). However, Polyurethane and wax are not friends, and they should never be used together on the same project. For furniture that you plan to apply a Polyurethane finish (outdoor and table top) it’s an either/or.
Annie Sloan’s dark wax is the final layer according to her website, but I strongly advise that following the Annie Sloan Dark Wax, you finish the furniture with a Polycrylic protective finish. The brand that offers the most protection is Miniwax, and be sure to grab the matte finish if you are going to an aged (non-shiny) look. Remember, Polyurethane and wax are not friends, and they should never both be used on the same project. For furniture that you plan to apply a Polyurethane finish to (outdoor and table top) it’s an either/or.
What are some tips for applying Annie Sloan wax?
After your final layer of chalk paint has been applied, you will apply the soft wax with either your wax brush or lint-free towel, and dip your brush/towel in the wax. You will wipe down your furniture like you are washing your car, and you will eliminate the excess as you go with a clean lint-free towel, making sure to work only in small areas before it hardens. Guys, you really can’t mess this up. I do it a little different every time to try to change my work some, and it always comes out the same. Note: if you are using Annie Sloan’s waxes (or any wax), polyurethane over chalk paint is only okay when polyurethane is the final finishing later. Wax + polyurethane = FIRE! If you want a more protective finishing coat, I recommend this right here.
Here is a good video for applying Annie Sloan wax
How to seal chalk paint
You can seal and protect your chalk paint three different ways: polyurethane over chalk paint (directly, no waxing), polycrylic over chalk paint (best for indoor furniture, and waxing is still an option) or by just using wax (not the best option if you are wanting to protect the furniture from staining or water damage).. Annie Sloan recommends sealing with wax, but I know from experience that wax is not the best option for sealing the furniture.
How about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Home Depot?
Oh how I wish Home Depot would carry this brand of chalk paint. There was rumor that Home Depot would soon carry Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, but until it actually happens I’m not geting my hopes up. According to Annie Sloan’s website, she has only individually owned retailers, who are hand picked to carry her paints, so I can’t imagine them coming to a massive retail store like Home Depot.
Can you stain over chalk paint?
Of course you can stain over chalk paint, and it turns out beautifully! HOWEVER, do your staining before applying the wax. Wax makes things wacky in the stain department, and the stain will only absorb in weird places, but stain after you paint (light coat recommended), and it gives your project a nice pop. Note: it could change your paint color slightly, as could the dark wax, depending on the type of paint purchased. Either way, it’ll look great!
Can you put polyurethane over wax?
This is a big no-no in the painting world. NEVER put polyurethane over wax, or anything other than paint for that matter! It is very dangerous, and a huge fire hazard to ever mix wax with polyurethane. If you are wanting to use wax for your chalk paint product, I recommend using a polycrylic protective coat to seal the job.
What is the best brand of chalk paint?
According to the 2017 poles, the race is on for the best brand of chalk paint. Here are the top 3 **Sidenote: I feel like Annie’s is down on the list because she doesn’t want her product in major retail stores..but theres a rumor going around!:
How to make Annie Sloan chalk paint
This is the only recipe that is actually pretty darn close to the same (in terms of coverage and consistency) as Annie Sloan’s chalk paint. I have tried everything…every single recipe that’s floated around, I’ve tried it! Baking Soda chalk paint (that’s the worst.. don’t waste your paint!), non-sanded grout chalk paint in different variations (all just okay), and every many, many variations with Plaster of Paris (closer than the others…) that didn’t at all replicate Annie Sloan’s chalk paint texture/coverage.
Then I met calcium carbonate. We became friends, quick! Here’s how I mix it.
1 cup of latex paint (try these for adding your own color to white paint)
1/2 cup calcium carbonate
How many coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint?
It really depends on the project and the look you are going for. if you want a more chipped and aged look, you will probably only apply 2 coats (depending on how thich the coats are), and if you are wanting more coverage, you’ll want to apply closer to 3.
Where to buy Annie Sloan chalk paint online
What are the best brand of chalk paint for furniture painting?
I only use three brands for furniture (when I’m not making my own):
Renaissance Chalky Finish Paint, Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint, and Valspar Chalky Finish. The application is much quicker, since you apply fewer coats than you would with brands like Rustoleum chalk paint. Any way you go, the product will be an original and you can always add character by staining, glazing or waxing.