Chalk Painted Furniture Experiment | What I Need to Learn to Get it Right

Chalk Painted Furniture – My Inspiration

These gorgeous dressers are my inspiration from ciruelo interiors. I love the dark rich graphite color, the gold accents. Don’t you just love the succulent plant atop the dresser – so well staged.

Beautiful chalk painted furniture -My inspiration piece

My inspiration piece, source

And this one:

chalk painted furniture - my other inspiration piece

Other inspiration piece, source


My Delusion of Competency

As much as I would like to think that when it comes to painting stuff – walls, pictures, furniture, I’m pretty competent.

I have:

  • painted virtually every wall and ceiling in our house, and many other houses in my lifetime.
  • done decorative painting techniques on walls and furniture – see the Trumeau Mirror I made from an old door.
  • created “art” (in quotes because “art” is subjective) with oil and acrylic paint, pastel and charcoal, pencil and water color pencils.
  • a strong understanding of color theory through my work as a web designer and minor in fine arts
  • applied a full face of makeup almost every day for the last 30 years, so my hand’s fine motor skills are well honed and documented.

So in my mind, and the last 20 years or so of life experience, I’m not a dunce when it comes to working with paint and color.

My self-deception of competence was further enhanced at a recent Annie Sloan Chalk Paint “mixing class“* where I successfully:

  • created a color wheel based on the 31 AS base colors
  • showed my understanding of colors – complementary and analogous
  • used white to create different hues of the base colors
  • used clear and dark wax to create smooth and aged finishes
  • added gold leafing and pearl essence to enhance the look of a piece of wood

* IMPORTANT NOTE: The class I took had an engaging and knowledgeable instructor, well paced and well attended. I had a BLAST. Any problems I’m experiencing are of my own making.

Okay, back to my ineptitude…

Annie Sloan Chalk Paints and Wax!

Annie Sloan Chalk Paints and Wax!

Am I an expert? Certainly not after ONE class, but I felt like I had at least a good understanding of how to paint a piece of furniture with Annie Sloan Chalk paint, because it IS revolutionary stuff:

  • No need to sand or prime – but you do need to clean it of surface dirt and oils – not so fun, but not hard either.
  • Self leveling and covers minor surface imperfections
  • Amazing base colors and combinations
  • Easy to apply
  • Doesn’t muck with my gel manicure – that’s a VERY important feature, folks! Do you know how they cost to have done?

So my confidence level was perhaps a little higher than warranted.

Painted Vintage Stereo Cabinet

Thankfully, I started with a piece of furniture, that if I mucked it up, I wouldn’t be devastated.

Vintage Stereo Cabinet Before chalk paint

Vintage Stereo Cabinet Before

I bought this from Radio Relics in Orlando around 1991. It was a stereo cabinet from the 1950’s whose innards were taken to repair another vintage stereo.

Here are the results thus far:

Vintage Stereo Cabinet - Chalk Paint applied

Vintage Stereo Cabinet – Paint applied

Wax Paste has me Cloudy and Uncertain About the Outcome

What is vexing me is the clear wax paste. Using the wax brush, it goes on just fine, but the buffing part is just a real bear.

In Annie’s recipe book, she recommends using a clean old t-shirt rag to remove/buff the paste wax. I used a white one on graphite paint, and that left visible cotton fibers that won’t come out. -WHOMP-whomp – BIG Time!

In class we used disposable shop cloths which didn’t leave an lint or residue. In real life, e.g. my livingroom, it was just plain hard to buff the wax, even after several hours.

I’m wondering if another coat of clear paste wax would help?

I am nothing, if not persistent, and I will work with putting on and taking off the clear wax, use the dark wax to experiment with how it looks and possibly use some gilding paste to highlight some important areas of the piece.

How Do You Wax on and Wax Off?

I have many more pieces of furniture that I want to paint, and I WILL triumph over this little adversity, especially with your help.

I’d love hear about your tips or tricks in using Annie Sloan paint and wax.

What “ah ha” moments have you had that made all the difference in working with the product?

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