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

Listed under Annie Sloan, Blog Posted Oct 15 2012

We receive regular questions about Annie Sloan chalk paint straight on waxed pine on our article about 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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33 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. Avatar photo 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. Avatar photo 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. Avatar photo 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. Avatar photo 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. Avatar photo 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?

  16. Clem

    Hello, A year ago i painted a railway sleeper bench and then waxed it. I now want to paint it white . Do i need to remove previous waxed surface or can i apply new paint on directly

  17. Avatar photo Andy Crichton

    Chalk paint will go straight onto the waxed surface. Re-coat with wax.

    If you want to re-coat with the same paint that has worked up till now, remove the wax, rinse clean. Lightly sand and apply the same finish in the new colour.

  18. Sally Hayes

    Our internal doors are very old stripped pine Victorian and we are fond of them but we hate the colour ( dreaded orange) …are AS paints suitable for doors?…
    Thank you

  19. Avatar photo Andy Crichton

    Painting will reveal a lot of gaps around panels and imperfections, so be prepared for dealing with caulking and filling if you want a solid finish.

    The chalk paint finish will be waxed, which in terms of durability, may or may not be a problem, depending on how much traffic they get. For instance it is a similar decision when using a Farrow and Ball Estate emulsion on the walls. In a hallway in a busy household, that particular paint is not going to take much to mark, but in a bedroom, it is likely going to be fine. Same here when deciding on chalk paint for your doors – regular daily use with kids or a dog, and the finish will end up “distressed”. More careful use, it could be just the ticket, and assumes you like the “French” look.

    If the doors are not waxed now, it may be relatively straight forward to paint conventionally, with the caveat of filling.

  20. Janet

    Help! I’m confused. I put 2 coats of black chalk paint on old desk (that still had good coating of original polyurethane) and put clear wax on but too much wax. When I went to wipe of the excess, some areas of the black paint rubbed off and I see the old brown stain of the desk!!
    Can I just repaint the black chalk paint over this one coat of wax or should I sand it down and start all over??

  21. Avatar photo Andy Crichton

    Hi Janet, chalk paint and wax are very forgiving. If there are any misses, touch in with chalk paint. Any rough sections that you don’t like, carefully sand back till it is smooth, and again, just touch in with chalk paint so it covers, or for the time it takes, repaint a whole section. When the paint is dry, wax over the touched-in / repainted areas again.

    If you are looking at the piece and thinking you could do better with a second run at it, there is no need to start over from scratch. You can give the whole waxed surface a rub down till it is smooth as you like. Wipe off any dust etc and repaint again, and then re-wax the whole surface. Thin layers are best!

  22. Carolyn

    Can one paint over the chalk based paint with a clear water based varnish to give a tougher finish

  23. Marie

    Used AS as directed on thin wood panels (2 coats) then applied wax which was over-kill for a first time user. Looked great until wax was applied using AS wax. Paint smeared and walls bled thru. Applied more paint but same end results. Called supplier and was then told we probably used too much wax. Eventually suggested to use ordorless paint thinner to remove wax so we could just use an eggshell latex enamel and call it done. Eventually, got out the hair dryer, a putty knife and the walls continue to have a wax feel. I cannot find anyone who has a solution so I can have our bedroom back. Would a product like Kiltz work? Would the chalk paint work deal in any remaining wax so I can use an enamel paint over the chalk? Please help me with this nightmare!!!!

  24. Beamish

    Hi. I have a question about painting an old dark oak sideboard which I think has been varnished or waxed in the past. I would like to paint it white/ antique white and wondered whether I could apply the AS paint directly on top and how many coats it’s likely to take given that the original colour is so dark. Also would you mind confirming exactly what the next steps are once I have applied the paint please?

    Many thanks

  25. Avatar photo Andy Crichton

    2 coats seem to cover with good depth. Slightly thin the paint to flow well. Leave a few hours to dry and then apply the wax protection. If you feel sanding is required, do that after the first wax coat has dried.

  26. alasdair elliott

    I want to repaint a mirror already done with AS paint and wax as I do not like the colour. Can I just paint straight over the top?

  27. Avatar photo Andy Crichton

    Yes, thats the best starting point. Just repeat what you did before

  28. Claire

    Can AS chalk paint go over pine cladding in a bathroom, and will it need a varnish or not? I don’t want a distressed look.

  29. Avatar photo Andy Crichton

    Follow the advice on dealing with knots. Chalk paint will go over pine (slightly thin the first coat with water to help with flow.) 2 coats is plenty enough for perfect coverage.

    If top coat is lightly sanded, (the Abranet starter kit dustless sander is perfect for collecting the dust) you can get it super smooth and even.

    Annie Sloan sell a clear lacquer.

  30. Sandra

    Hi, We are about to start renovating our bedroom. In amongst the very long list of ‘jobs to do’ is me updating a couple of pieces of existing furniture. One of which is an oak console table which, I believe, is waxed. My intention is to leave the top as it is because I love the look of the wood, but to paint everything else below it. I have been considering using AS chalk paint to do the job. On here, I’ve read quite a lot of posts on waxed pine furniture, but not waxed oak. Do I treat this in the same way as the waxed pine furniture?
    Many thanks and look forward to your reply, Sandra.

  31. Avatar photo Andy Crichton

    Same treatment. Same potential for a good finish, same potential for “bleed through” which, if it occurs, is treated with clear shellac. Good luck with the decorating.

  32. Christina L Jenkins

    Hi, i have bought a pine dressers for my daughters room. Do i need to sand it a little and apply a kiltz before i chalk paint to keep any bleeding from coming through? Also, the dresser has alot going on and wanted to use a wood filler to make it more subtle. Will a wood filler work fine and hold up over time and if so, what would you suggest on the brand and technique? Thanks!

  33. Avatar photo Andy Crichton

    Hi Christina

    from your reference to Kilz I guess you are in the States? It is not available in UK. Can I suggest you take a look at Jack Pauhl’s site, he has perfected painting wood, starting with Kilz, I believe

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