Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Review

I have wanted to try out Annie Sloan chalk paint for ages now. I’ve heard so much about it, especially how easy it is to use to transform old pieces of furniture. 

The days in-between Christmas and New Year seemed like the perfect time to do a little DIY project so I scouted around the flat for a potential piece of furniture that I could use as a guinea pig.

I decided on an old chest which we have at the end of our bed and use to keep all our skiing gear in. We got the chest from Graham’s parents, who in turn had found it in their old house when they moved in. It had no sentimental value to anyone and had completely lost its varnish in large patches and so it made the ideal candidate. 

Below I’ve done a quick ‘how to’ tutorial for using the paint and a summary on what I think the pros and cons of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint are.

before far


What you’ll need

* Paint brushes

* Annie Sloan Chalk Paint – I went for Old White and bought it from Dovetails Vintage who delivered it promptly

* Annie Sloan Wax

* A jar of water

* Ketchup – to clean any old hardware

How to

Firstly unscrew and remove any hardware i.e. draw pulls or knobs. You don’t want to get these covered in paint and they may need a little clean.

One of the great benefits of Annie Sloan chalk paint is that you don’t need to do anything to prep your furniture, no sanding, no stripping, you just paint straight on. So that’s the next step start painting! If you find the paint is a little thick dip your brush in water before dipping it in the paint again. It should now be a bit thinner and go on much smoother. 

After the first coat let it dry for about 45 mins, the paint dries pretty quickly so you shouldn’t have to wait too long. After my first coat there were quite a few yellow stains coming through (see the photo below). They say if this happens you should paint over the stains with clear shellac before you continue to paint. Needless to say I didn’t have any of this so I decided to use clear nail polish instead on the basis that it sounds similar. It worked a treat and provided a barrier so that the stains no longer came through under the next coat. 

I ended up doing about 2 1/2 coats of paint in total, two proper coats and an extra coat where needed. Finally when all the paint had dried I buffed on the Annie Sloan Wax, which adds a tiny sheen (not much at all) and protects the wood a bit.

first coat

yellow stains

Cleaning the hardware

There were two drawer pulls on the chest that were completely black. I’m not sure what they’re made of but I decided I would try to clean them and failing that would spray them gold (if in doubt spray it gold). After googling how to clean metal naturally I found a little article that suggested using tomato ketchup.

So that’s exactly what I did, I put the drawer pulls in a plastic bowl and covered them in ketchup (please excuse the gross photos below). I left them for about half and hours and then washed off the ketchup and scrubbed them lightly with a wire wool scourer. They came out all lovely and gold so no need for the spray paint in the end.

Finally I reattached the drawer pulls and re-filled the chest with all the rubbish in it before. Job done!

room shot

drawer pull

ski gear

side shot


* You don’t need to prep the woodwork, you can just begin painting – Major bonus for me

* You don’t need to be particularly skillful with you paint work

* Dries quickly so no hanging around watching paint dry

* The Old White is a lovely soft white that will suit any room and piece of furniture

* Works on most materials – I only tried wood but you can use it on metal and brick etc.


* I needed more coats that the tin said – it may have been because of the old stain on the chest but I used 3/4 of 1 litre pot

* You don’t get a really clean finish – but that’s to be expected with such little effort

I hope you found my little review helpful. I will definitely be using this paint again as its so fuss free and the results are quite good. Let me know whether you’ve used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint before and what tips and tricks you have.

Rebecca X


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