Chalk Paint/Wax q and a with Classic wall finishes

Morning, folks!

We wound up doing quite a bit of waiting at the doctor’s office yesterday, so we’ll be skipping All Things Furniture this week.  I just couldn’t put this post off…I’m too excited about it!

One of my painting-everything friends, Patty from Classic Wall Finishes is an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Stockist…and she’s here to answer some questions!

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And yes….she covers the wax!

That sounds like something scary, but in reality, we’re just talking about furniture wax.

;-)

Patty and her sister, Karen, are WONDERFUL to work with, and they are my go-to source for all things Chalk Paint.  LOVE those girls!  They pride themselves in customer service and connection…and man, you can tell.  Don’t hesitate to visit their website or contact them with any questions.  For other stockists in your area, check out this site!

I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Patty!

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Tell us about your store, Classic Wall Finishes.

Classic Wall Finishes is an Italian Plaster/Decorative wall finishing, furniture painting and restoration, and color consulting firm.  Our Internet Store can be found at www.bestfurniturepaint.com but we’ll soon be opening a retail location in Point Pleasant, New Jersey.

How did you learn of Chalk Paint and what made you decide to become a stockist?

I had been reading Annie Sloan’s decorative painting books for years and had purchased Annie’s book, “Creating the French Look”.  I started reading and was blown away by the furniture finishes and thought they were gorgeous and not anything I had ever seen before. I was especially inspired by the mahogany dining table that was painted in Paris Grey and then edged with gold.  I did some investigating and found out that there was a new distributor in the United States looking for perspective stockists (retailers) of Annie Sloan Paint and Waxes.  I was one of the initial three stockists in the country and now we probably have close to 70 stockists and expanded into Canada.

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What’s your go-to chalk paint tip?

Don’t be afraid, just go for it.  Apply two coats of paint let dry, sand to distress-if you want that look, then apply your wax.  If you make a mistake just paint over it.  Have fun.  You can create an amazing finish with just a few steps.

(Remember this paint is just wonderful to work with, you just paint directly over your furniture, no sanding, priming or stripping.)

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Tell us about using wax.  Any tips?

Oh yes, the wax.  Okay, some basic rules.

After the Chalk Paint has completely dried (not cold to the touch or damp) you apply a thin layer of clear wax.  You can use the wonderful wax brush or a piece of cheese cloth or a rag.  Then, if you are choosing to tone with the dark wax you would apply your dark wax AFTER you have applied your first layer of clear wax.  You MUST always apply a layer of clear wax prior to applying the dark wax.  This will control the toning of the piece and you won’t stain the paint.  After you rub off the dark wax to where you want it to be then you let the wax dry at least overnight or longer.  You will know your piece is ready to buff when your buffing cloth moves smoothly on your furniture piece.  If you are not using the dark wax apply another layer of clear wax to seal and protect your piece.  Let your piece cure for a day or two before putting it into major action.  The finish will be very durable after this process.

Please also remember that if you attend a workshop near you,  you’ll learn all the tricks to create Annie’s signature finishes and I highly recommend doing that.  Especially learning to distress and working with the waxes.

 

*I sent Patty some of the questions I’ve gotten via email regarding any trouble with wax.  She was kind enough to answer them directly.

 painted (chalk paint) and waxed (clear) a nightstand and I thought I wiped it off good and was going to wait until it was bit ‘tacky’ to really buff it, I wanted a real nice shine. Maybe I started too soon or had to much wax, but it kind of got all bumpy, as if fiber from the cloth was stuck in it.  and it looks all ‘smudgy’ (is that a word)  The wax is kind of soft still and you can see fingerprints on it when I touch it.

Wondering what to do next.  Could i lightly sand it and wax again?

Wow, my guess is that you applied way too much wax.  The cloth is sticking to the excess wax.  You can see if the wax finally dries after a few days and try buffing it again.  You could try sanding with a very fine grit sandpaper 320 grit or finer and see if that works.  Otherwise, my stockist friend, Celeste at Catfish Creative Furnishings in Virginia, recommended that you do a quick wipe with no odor mineral spirits to remove the excess wax, let dry,  and start over again with a very thin layer of wax. Let dry at least overnight and buff.  Remember don’t buff if they cloth is not sliding across the surface.

Will the wax ever harden like minwax?  (this was the first time i used it)

I haven’t used  minwax.  I just love Annie’s wax, it is the Rolls Royce of wax and really it is part of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Wax system that creates this beautiful finish.

Anyway, I finally bought the chalk paint and clear wax and got started. I did three coats of paint (with at least 24 hours of drying time in between) and yesterday I put on a coat of clear wax (with the uber-expensive wax brush).  

First of all you don’t have to wait that long between coats of paint.  Depending on humidity, an hour or two should be enough.

I watched yours and Miss Mustard Seed’s tutorials on waxing twice first, gathered all my confidence up and got started. As I waxed, it seemed as though the paint was looking “thinner?” – not as solid. Almost as if the wax was taking some paint off. I don’t know if my eyes were playing tricks on my or what. I am kind of freaking out. The wax is STILL kind of tacky in spots. I can wait to buff – I have no problem with waiting longer to buff… It’s just that – it doesn’t “look right”. The piece looks kind of splotchy to me know. I am SOOOO freaking out. Did I wreck it?

Again, sounds like you may have applied too much wax in spots, but not to fear it will all work out. Sounds like your wax has not had enough time to set. Don’t be afraid of this paint or the waxes.  If you decide you don’t like a look you can paint over it.  Annie wants us to have fun with the paint and not over worry about it.  Take a deep breath and as long as your cloth will move on the piece buff away.  Enjoy yourself.

 

I love your video on waxing, especially dark wax. Just got Annie Sloan paints and waxes, but having hard tiem with dark wax. Your video was perfect, feel more confident now using it. I have one question that was not reviewed in youtube video though (maybe it is obvious to others, but sorry still a novice), after using wax do you put a varnish on top as a finish? Or just use wax as your top coat? I bought Annie Sloan hard dull varnish and LOVE it (I decoupage all of my pieces) but didn’t know if you just use wax by itself. Thanks for information

You will have few problems working with the Dark Wax if you remember to ALWAYS apply a layer of clear wax prior to applying the layer of dark wax.

We don’t carry Annie Sloan’s Dull Varnish.  When you use her Chalk Paint the recommended and most wonderful finish is to use her waxes.  It gives the most wonderful hand feel.  If you are chalk painting floors or decoupaging, of course you need to use a varnish.

ME:  I will say something about furniture waxes.  As I told you guys before, I almost ruined my coffee table the first time…I applied way too much wax and it took weeks to fully cure.  I also put it back into action way too soon.  I’ve found that I prefer Annie Sloan’s clear wax above all the others….it truly is wonderful, and applies thinner and to me, dries a little harder and faster.

I also have better luck using the Italian Wax Brush, rather than a cloth to apply wax.  I’m really able to spread it thin, and have much more control than when I use a cloth.  This is just a personal preference, but it’s what has worked for me.

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Patty and Karen of Classic Wall Finishes are teaching a workshop soon!  I hope all those who can make it to NJ will attend…yours truly might even be there.  If not then, I’m dying to get up there and learn from these ladies!  Here are some details…

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Workshop on Friday, September 9th or Saturday, September 10th.  You choose the day. 

Location:  Sheraton Hotel Eatontown, New Jersey

This is a How to Paint Furniture and more with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint workshop.  You will learn 6 of Annie’s signature techniques including the Two Color, Rustic, Crackle, Limewash, Clouded Stipple, Colored Waxes and more.  All materials, sample boards and delicious Italian Buffet luncheon are included.

Please go to our website www.bestfurniturepaint.com for more information and to register.

Class size will be limited.

And again, to find other stockists and workshops in your area, head on over here.

Thanks so much, Patty, for taking the time to answer some of our questions and give us some wonderful tips!  I hope this helps some of you experiment more with chalk paint and wax.

They’ve changed my furniture painting world, I tell you.

*Edited to add….there were so many questions about wax that Patty contacted Annie directly to get her thoughts.  Here’s Annie’s answer (italics are Patty’s words):

“First of all she should NOT be using steel wool as that will leave stain marks!
I actually apply quite a lot of wax but then I take loads of it off!
You need to spread it all over making certain it really soaks into the
paint and the crevices.
(This is where Annie says we are making mistakes with the wax. We apply it, but are not taking the time to really smooth it into the paint and then wiping off the excess.)
After applying the wax then wipe it all off pressing into your paint
so it absorbs in. If I’m sanding it I use fine sand paper, even if I
don’t want to make it distressed, After sanding I wipe over with my
waxy rag again. I usually apply the wax with a brush and then wipe off
with a rag. I get my whole piece perfect before I leave it and then
buff the next day if I want to make it shiny.
(This is why we encourage customers to take an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Workshop  so you can you learn the proper application of the wax and the techniques for a perfect finish.)
Yes the wax does completely harden! It’s hard and is water repellent.
I have never known it to melt in the sun and I have had pieces in the
hot sun in the window of my shop – yes I know its England but with the
sun on it through glass it must hit pretty high temps and we have been
selling it in the South of Spain for years and years where it is more
or less tropical!
No a glass will not leave a water mark. Sometimes a coffee cup leaves
a ring and I just wipe it off with water or something like  Clorex
Wipes or at very worst a spray kitchen cleaner. You don’t want to use
anything too strong or the wax will come off too much. Once I left a
vase on a table and it leached water so when I took the vase away the
paint and wax had sort of lifted . I just left it and it all settled
back and was fine. when it dried I just wiped some wax over it.”
Annie

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32 Responses to Chalk Paint/Wax q and a with Classic wall finishes

  1. Catie August 18, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    What a great post Shaunna and Patty! This answered A LOT of questions. Now I just need to get over the $50 price tag (yep, $50 a gallon in Canada) and try it! I have the perfect chairs. Oh, I do have one more question. How far does one gallon go? I’ve read that it seems to last forever and you can get quite a few big pieces done with it. Is that true? Thanks!!
    ~ Catie

    • perfectlyimperfect August 18, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

      Hey Catie, thanks! it covers about 400 square feet, I believe….it lasts forever and ever. WONDERFUL stuff. :-)
      shaunna

    • Niamh November 15, 2011 at 1:05 am #

      Hi Catie,

      Where in Canada are you? and where are you getting ASCP for $50 a gallon? That is a steal !!! I am paying $47 for a QUART !!! here in BC and $37 for the waxes.

      Cheers Niamh

    • Lee Ann K November 4, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

      are you sure a gallon.. if so that is a deal !! it is 51.95 plus tax here in alberta for a quart!!

  2. Eilene August 18, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Getting Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in the mail was like Christmas times ten. I couldn’t wait to get started! I hit a couple bumps in the road, but I talked to Patty on the phone and she was terrific. She reminded me that there is no need to stress over this process… it’s like creating art. It’s beautiful, unique, and inspiring. Thanks for all the information!

  3. Fiona August 18, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    I haven’t been too impressed with the chalk paint, personally. I find that you have to work REALLY fast and you get brush marks.

    • Wendy August 21, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

      Hi, this is the first time I’ve ever replied to a fellow reader, but I felt compelled to share with you my experience. I have painted 2 pieces that I didn’t want to distress because I wanted the solid color and a more masculine look for my boys. I painted a dresser in Aubusson and a chest in Antibes. I achieved smooth, brush strokeless, coverage by dilluting my paint to the consistency of pancake syrup. This is considerably thinner than the paint is straight out of the can. Anyway, I had some leftover 8 oz. birthday dixie cups and painted both pieces with 1 and 1/2 of these cups each. Then I waxed with the clear wax and that was it. The finish was solid and smooth.

      Sometimes the piece I’m doing begs for texture and a less than perfect finish. This kind of thing is where ASCP really shows off and stands apart from latex paints. Again I dillute my paint but on the second coat, I “flat brush” it. Meaning I am not painting the second coat for coverage but for texture. By laying my brush nearly flat against the surface and letting it drag across the surface applies the paint in a textured style. Also, applying each coat “haphazardly” in a cross hatch brush stroke helps create depth and texture too.

      I’ve gotten so much bang for my buck by dilluting the paint in a separate container. I wish I’d kept a better record of how far my first quarts of Paris Grey, Old White, Aubusson, and Antibes have gone but I didn’t record that info. I still have 1/3 of my PG, 2/3 of Aubusson, and 1/2 of Antibes…all bought in May from Virginia @ the Southern Intitute of Faux in Jackson, MS. I’m painting mostly endtables, lamps, frames, baskets, smaller scale furniture that will fit in my 5×10 booth at an antiques mall. The largest pieces I have done are the 2 I mentioned above, as well as a 5 1/2 foot long horizontal dresser for a media cabinet in PG & a wicker chair and table.

      Anyway, I’m a frugal stay at home mom who pinches pennies and is some times cheap to a fault…so I was fearful of wasting my $$$ on such an expensive product. But this paint is just not a book that can be judged by its price tag (cover). I hope you’ll come to see how well it can work for you and give you the look you are after whether smooth or distressed.

      Shaunna, thank you for having this wonderful guest and Q&A! I learn more and more from your blog, tutorials, Q&As, and fellow readers!
      Thanks to infinity and beyond!
      w

  4. Sarah - Dodeline Design August 18, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    how exciting!

  5. Kim August 18, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    Thanks for all the great tips!

  6. adventuresindinner August 19, 2011 at 7:32 am #

    Fantastic tutorial! Knew you could be counted on.

  7. Vintage Beachgirl August 19, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    Shaunna, thank you so much for this information I find it very helpful. I wish I could go to one of the workshops but it is soooo far. Maybe I could work it out one day. Thanks Patty for all the great tips! You are brilliant as usual!! Hugs, VBg

  8. Amy August 19, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    I normally don’t comment but I had to agree with you about Patty… she is the go to guru for AS Chalk Paint! I’m lucky to have family near Patty and Patty’s other sister living near me so I’ve had a few wonderful in-person meetings with her and been delighted with the AS Chalk Paint. It is not a paint for all occasions, however, I feel my pieces and colors are more customizable with it. I just love the feel of the end product and have found the wax is extremely durable over time. Thank you, Patty!

  9. Vicky August 19, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    Thanks for sharing! ASCP is the best it allows for so much creativity. I have completed quite a few projects including my laminate countertops in the bathroom and kitchen and its been great. Stop by to see :)

    • perfectlyimperfect August 19, 2011 at 11:28 am #

      Hey Vicky! Counters look great!! Did you seal with wax? I’m sooo thinking about doing this! :-)
      shaunna

  10. shelly andrade August 19, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

    Hi Shaunna,

    ASCP is AWESOME, but I’m STILL battling her wax after finishing a dozen large pieces of furniture. Seriously going through bags of steel wool, boxes of rags… just to get the wax so it doesn’t feel sticky and smudgey.

    I try SO hard to apply a very thin coat of wax using the ultimate brush, but the brush doesn’t seem to move along the surface unless I have a fair amount on it. I hold my brush by it’s base, you know – around the silver ring towards the top of the fat part then apply it in x’s, swirling into and around detailed areas.

    So am I understanding correctly that after you apply the wax you should let it set overnight to dry? You apply it then let it set, as is overnight before proceeding any further?

    I need to know so I can inform my customers:
    1. Patty really didn’t answer the question will AS wax ever harden? I totally thought a piece was good as gold until the sun hit the corner of it one day. It had been finished for over a week and the was literally melted. I could see it from a distance and when I swiped my hand across it, the entire portion that was in the direct sunlight had liquified. I wiped was able to remove most of the wax in one sweep. It was easy for me to see how much wax was removed because I had put dark wax over the clear then finished with another coat of clear wax.
    2. If a glass gets set on a surface will it leave a water mark?
    3. what specific brand / type of cleaner do you recommend people use on a piece that’s been waxed with ASCP? And what do you NOT want to use.

    • Carla August 23, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

      I have some of these same questions as well. How durable is the piece after waxing?

  11. Teresa Leech August 22, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    I love this paint!!! I really want to use the wax.

  12. Kristen August 22, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    What awesome information! I have had this picture in my head, but no idea how to bring it into reality, then I found this. Thank you.
    I want to create a silvered, grey effect on my table. I was thinking of using a slightly diluted chalk paint, to show a bit of the gorgeous grain of my table top, then waxing. Can I add a silvery pigment of some sort to my wax? or to the paint? or would I do that as a separate step in between?

  13. Emily Penn August 30, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    Hi Shaunna!

    Thank you for all your inspiration! I have redone several pieces and been thrilled with the results. There is nothing like being creative and working with your hands (especially when you have a desk job!)

    I have one question: I noticed that Annie said we should not use steel wool. I have used this for all my pieces to get a smooth finish. What should I be using!

    Thank you!

  14. Nancy September 3, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    I’m close to taking the plunge and ordering some chalk paint. Did I read correctly that I can use this paint to cover metal? I have a pair of old metal saw horses…I want to give them a thin coat of paint…I would love to not have to use an oil based primer first! Please please respond and let me know if this chalk paint can be used for wood as well as metal. Thanks :-)

    • perfectlyimperfect September 4, 2011 at 9:03 am #

      Yep, you sure can, Nancy! It’ll be perfect for that!! Good luck! :-)
      shaunna

  15. Denise Cox October 13, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    Oh wow! Just catching up on my blogs. A good friend, Beth and I became a mini stockist for ASCP 2 months ago and we have been slammed and having fun! I have just figured out how to comment on blog posts.

    Beth and I have been followers of Patty’s for along time! When we first started using ASCP she was put on both of our tool bars (Yes. I can do that!) for easy access. Of course she’s still there. Don’t know if ya’ll realize it or not but to be a stockist you have to go through lots of training. Among other things this certifies us to teach workshops. Well we were excited but then that went to ecstatic when we found out Patty was going to be there! No disappointment she is wonderful. We have an interview with her also so check it out on our blog. neciebean.blogspot.com.

    I knew I loved your taste in furniture and decor now that I know youa re a Patty fan that is “icing on the cake”.

  16. Jen February 4, 2012 at 1:24 am #

    Great tips! I just started using Annie Sloan chalk paint and LOVE it!

  17. Denise March 28, 2012 at 6:51 am #

    This is a response to Shelly Andrade. I think your problem is you did not go back and wipe off your excess wax after you applied it. You are supposed to put on a liberal first coat of clear, then go back with a cloth and rub it in and remove the excess. I made this mistake w/ my kitchen table, now I know better. I have done over 30+ pieces w/ ASCP and don’t have this problem anymore. I also use a car electric waxer w/ a lamb’s wool pad on it to get a beautiful sheen on my finished pieces. No body told me this was ok just saw it sitting on the shelf in my garage (never used before) and gave it a whirl, it works like a charm!

  18. Glenda Childers April 19, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    Just bought my first Annie Sloan paint today and am happy to have found your site. (Thanks Google).

  19. Remy July 1, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    Wondering if you can paint soft ceramic kitchen tile. I have large square tiles in my kitchen. It is the same tile on my floor, and I want to lighten things up a bit. I figure that this would be way cheaper than retiling…
    Can ASCP be used for this?

  20. Alice April 5, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    My first experience with ASCP was great. I hated to spend the money on the paint, wax, and brush but It is worth it. Buy the lime soap to clean up also.
    Some tips:
    I purchase a piece of furniture that someone had left a stain can on. The first coat of paint bled through, so be sure to prime the oily stains. I just sprayed a little Kilz on the areas that were bad. I used a paint brush to paint around the edges and used a mini roller to roll the rest on the larger areas. It worked great and saved a lot of paint. The second coat went on smoothly as well. I experimented with the dark wax over the clear wax and got it a little too dark. I just used a little mineral spirits and wiped it off until I got the look I wanted. Clean up was a breeze and I did not even need a drop cloth or paint clothes because the paint is so thick it just goes on like a breeze.
    I did another piece in Old White with the criss-cross paint technique that Annie Sloan shows in her tutorial. With the dark wax over it, the piece looks fantastic. I stained the top with Mini Wax special walnut and then clear wax on the top of the piece. I really love the way it brought out the dark wax on the piece. Since I have arthritis in my hands, I used the black & decker little mouse sander to distress the piece. It really saved time sanding and took off just the right amount of paint.
    Happy Painting, it really is fun and I have plenty of paint to do more pieces.
    Twin oak beds are next.

  21. Teresa A February 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    HI Shauna,

    Thank you so much for the Q & A with Patty today!! She is amazing and talented stockist plus the kindest person you could meet. I attended one of her classes in November and feel in love with ASCP. We learned various techniques and I really became inspired after our class. She has been my “go to” for any painting questions. My first piece was a 4 ft x 12 ft Dining room table painted Graphite. YEs, it was a undertaking and Patty was so patience with me and continued to share her knowledge with me about ASCP. March 1st is my opening day in a booth at a antique store in Point Pleasant. I can’t wait to begin my journey with all the opportunities that this product has to offer. Happy painting!! Thank you for your lovely posts!!

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