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    Can you paint Annie Sloan chalk paint straight on waxed pine?

    This is a regular question on how to paint pine furniture, so thought I would post a recent conversation with a DIY painter looking to refurbish the proverbial orange pine furniture.

    Hi Andy,

    I have found your website which I hope will be very useful.
    But can I just check something – can I really paint over waxed

    My dad (who used to be a pro painter & decorator many many
    years ago and not in the trade for a while) told me I couldn’t!

    I have a couple of wardrobes and drawers that would have been bare
    timber but I waxed them (with briwax) a few years ago. They are now
    starting to go that orangy colour! Can I really just paint them with
    Annie Sloan paint, straight over them with no stripping? I do hope so!

    Also you mention sealing them with wax or varnish. I can see that you
    can get Annie Sloan wax (when you buy the paint) would this be best?
    or you mention varnish – does it need to be oil or water based? and
    will this pull the paint off as its water based.

    I would really rather paint the furniture then buy new as there is
    nothing wrong with it and it fits my very small room!

    Many thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope to hear from
    you soon.

    This is my answer:

    You really can apply chalk paint straight over wax and it will stick.

    2 coats chalk paint over bare waxed pine

    You can paint 2 coats of AS on any clean slippy slidy surface, then wax it with 2 or 3 sparing coats of AS soft wax, then buff it up when dry. Enjoy.

    A chalk paint production from Stratford-upon-Avon decorator, Charlie Budd. This dresser started life as a poorly varnished dresser, with runs and sags all over the place. So the worst was sanded flat then painted with chalk paint and waxed.

    I understand your father’s disbelief, no worries, even practicing decorators give it a wide berth saying it’s —– (fill in the dots yourself!) I wasn’t quite so skeptical about it before I tried it, but it is a bit of a wild concept to take on board, when you have been used to thinking a certain way.

    Even a local pine specialist furniture maker swore up and down that it was impossible to paint over wax. But chalk paint seems to deliver every time.

    Sanded, painted, waxed and settling in to its new home at Sew Me Something Emporium in Stratford upon Avon

    To be honest, the first few times using chalk paint, you can just try too hard, thinking it must be like ordinary paint that needs help all the way. But chalk paint does all its own prep and colour work, and the wax seals it up. So if you are happy with the durability of a waxed table top you will be happy with waxed chalk paint. Same finish, just coloured.

    Don’t cut corners getting a cheaper wax, absolutely not worth the bother, even if you have some of that old Briwax handy.

    I was chatting recently with Charlie Budd, a pro decorator in Stratford-on-Avon who has converted to Annie Sloan chalk paint, to the point that he has it on his cornflakes now. I found out that the Annie Sloan varnish seems to have been withdrawn from the Annie Sloan range.

    I do recall another decorator saying that it was tricky finding the right varnish to recommend for chalk paint in different scenarios, so maybe they have just stuck with what works as a protector coat – clear soft wax. It works for me and it should work for you.

    UPDATE Following a misunderstanding about the capabilities of chalk paint:

    chalk paint will stick to wax, but does not have stain blocking properties. If it draws tannin through the first coat, use clear shellac to seal, and then second coat the piece with chalk paint.

    You can sand chalk paint perfectly smooth with abranet and dust extraction, or after first wax coat get it really silky smooth with no dust created.

    This is a series of chalk paint articles that cover most eventualities and there is an article on solving bleed through

    Hope that helps, and if you have any other questions, just ask over on the forum for hand painted furniture. (And give your father a go with it, he will love it :)


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    15 comments to “Can you paint Annie Sloan chalk paint straight on waxed pine?”

    1. Traditional Painter

      Good question! I know this paint sounds too good to be true, but coverage is not an issue with chalk paint in my experience. 2 coats, done, ready for waxing.

      Chalk paint is easy to apply, easy to work with, and waxing is straightforward.

      The actual painting is not stressful, in fact the first coat is a doddle over waxy or varnished surfaces, the chalk paint flies on. You might look at how much you use on the first coat and think you may have over-ordered, but the first coat is chalky and absorbent, so you need or you might need to thin the second coat a touch.

      As was mentioned elsewhere in this thread, using chalk paint as impasto is an option – leave the lid off and apply like a paste, with texture. That would consume more paint than a couple of brush applied coats.

      I am saying painting is easy, but before you think the whole job is a doddle, bear in mind, the time is in the waxing and finishing.

      And painting one or two pieces of a furniture is a realistic DIY project, and you can achieve very good results. Where the pros come into their own is on larger scale work. ie it is quite an undertaking to tackle 14 pieces in a house, which I have done before. That is when you are grateful for experience, and a 2.5″ Wooster FTP, the very best brush I have used to paint chalk paint.

    2. sandy simpson

      I agree…I have used A S paints on lots of yellowed pine pieces including a whole kitchen of cupboards and drawers……I used 2 coatings of clear wax…..it worked well…..and has stood the test of 10 months continual use…..So Yep…it’s Great!! Sandy

    3. Traditional Painter

      Always good to hear about a product’s performance further down the road. How about near the sink area, do you think it will need an extra coat of wax before the rest of the kitchen?

    4. sandy simpson

      Hi…yes I gave the area around the sink an extra coating of wax…but that’s all…I expect to have to replenish that at intervals…but it’s so easy…no trouble!!

    5. annie

      I found the website had all the answers to my questions and eliminated my fears as a ‘first timer’ of painting pine furniture! As a writer and researcher myself it was good to see other professionals willing to share their expertise to make life easier for others. Just off to the DIY shop to purchase the right paint and feeling confident. Annie

    6. Andy Crichton Andy Crichton

      Praise indeed :) if you have a before and after photo, happy to post it to encourage future readers. Thanks. You might want to subscribe to future updates, chalk paint will be mentioned, just a bit !!

    7. Joan Fennell

      My briwaxed unit has lots of knots will paint cover or do I need some other paint first.

    8. Andy Crichton Andy Crichton

      Hi, the simplest way I have found is to paint the first coat of chalk paint. Any resin or tannin will bleed through almost straight away. Give it an hour for the chalk paint to dry thoroughly and then seal any stains with clear knotting. Leave a few hours and then touch in with chalk paint, it will dry within an hour. Finally, finish with a topcoat. So it is 2 and a half coats really, over any staining. That seems to be simplest with chalk paint.

    9. Hayley

      I wondered if someone could give me some advice on ASCP wax? Can I wax indoors? I waxed a dressing table in my kitchen today and the fumes have given me a bad headache. Is it dangerous to inhale the fumes and should I only wax outside?

    10. Andy Crichton Andy Crichton

      Hi, as a general rule of thumb, always work in a ventilated area, open windows. The wax is petroleum spirit based, so is not a totally natural beeswax type product. I do understand that people’s tolerance to certain products varies. I personally have not found this wax unpleasant, and certainly not any more potent than popular brands like Briwax. The best people to ask about what’s in wax / quantities are the manufacturer – email paint@anniesloan.com

      There is a misconception with painting products that if there is no smell you don’t need to ventilate. I think a bit of an aroma is probably a good reminder that you may be using a product that needs some basic precautions.

    11. Paul Boland

      I’m planning on painting my stairs in Annie Sloane chalk paint. I painted a wardrobe already with this paint any I’m very impressed with the finish. I’d like to know if I was to change to an eggshell paint in the future am I increasing the work to be done. Will all the wax have to be sanded down. Would I be better off giving the paint on the stair case a light sanding and paint it now with eggshell

    12. Andy Crichton Andy Crichton

      Hi, I don’t think eggshell is an option for you. If you go for chalk paint now, because you like the worn effect, then when it comes to redecorating, just reapply more chalk paint and wax. If painting stairs and you are looking to keep it in good order, use a proper floor paint from the start – Little Greene has good results, there are a few references to it on this site. You wouldn’t be advised to paint over wax, except with chalk paint, so best to decide now, as an “upgrade” over chalk paint will involve a lot of scrubbing.

    13. Nana Erasmus


      We want to build a pine bench outside. Should we varnish and treat the pine before we use AS paint?
      The bench will be outside during wind, rain and sun.
      Can we we use AS paint for out door use will the Wax be enough?


    14. Andy Crichton Andy Crichton

      Hi Nana, I have not used chalk paint outside, but they assure the readers that it is suitable! What wouldn’t be advisable is to varnish it first before further decorating it. (Not the best of time and resources.) If you want colour and exterior use and a bit of license to get creative, why not go for a linseed paint. Ask Ben at Paints and Interiors about Lacq products that can be tinted.

    15. Tim

      I am painting a wardrobe and am also intending to paint the interior. Is the chalk paint and wax system hard enough for shelves and will it leave any residue on, for example, clothes?

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