Frequently Asked Questions:
Chalk Paint was specifically designed for furniture, but it can be used on walls and other surfaces. Please remember it is a decorative paint, not a “cure all” for every surface and needs to be applied intelligently. Making a test area before starting is a good idea to iron out any potential problems before it’s too late.
Use any dark colour for a ‘blackboard’, we apply 4 coats and allow to dry thoroughly between coats, clean with a slightly damp cloth. We love using Aubusson for this.
- Annie says ‘Work quickly and use as big a brush as you can handle’
- If in any doubt – always try a little test area first!
- Use cling film or plastic bags to store brushes if you need to leave a job halfway through.
- Any drips or blobs can be easily removed with some fine sandpaper when the paint dries.
Problems Using Annie Sloan Soft Wax?
We generally wax all of our painted pieces, both to protect and for the great effects you can achieve (Don’t use Wax for outside projects).
Apply wax in thin coats, – too thick may cause yellowing on some paler colours where only the outer skin of wax has dried. Wipe off any excess.
We like to use a shorter bristled, stubbier brush to apply the wax, to get into nooks and crannies but you can use a cloth as well.
Use some pressure when putting on the wax, a bit like you would when applying skin balm to help work it into the surface.
We always use the Dark Wax in tandem with the Clear Wax, this allows you to control how ‘dark’ you want your finish.
Apply Dark Wax to the Clear Wax while it is still tacky, for a big item – do a section at a time.
We use a separate brush or cloth for our Dark Wax, it keeps our Clear Brush clean!
Too much Dark Wax? put some Clear Wax on a rag and rub to remove or dilute the darker areas.
The dark wax is great for bringing out any texture and to highlight detailed areas.
We leave waxed pieces overnight before buffing, it allows a lot of the wax to soak in and makes it easier to buff.
For high traffic areas, ie a kitchen table top we suggest 2-3 coats for a tougher finish, apply one coat a day.
The wax will ‘go off’ after a day but will not reach it’s full strength for a few weeks – you can still use your piece, just be careful for the first few weeks, ie. don’t use it as a writing pad.
You can also mix Clear Wax with Dark to make a mid-tone wax or mix the Clear Wax with paint to make coloured wax!
When cleaning your brush, use an old rag with some white spirit to squeeze off as much wax as you can before using soapy hot water.
For a super smooth finish, use fine sandpaper after the wax is dry and then add another thin coat of wax and buff again next day to finish off.
The number one problem we see is when users have applied too much Soft Wax. Common complaints are the wax remains tacky or sticky, it shows fingerprints, or it looks streaky. All due to too much Wax. Use the wax sparingly!
We advise you to always apply the Soft Wax in thin layers. The wax needs to be “spread and massaged” into the underlying paint using a cloth or brush so that it absorbs into the paint (just like hand cream!). You should
always remove any and all excess wax. It is important to work in small sections at a time and to change to a clean rag frequently as an old one can become clogged with wax and become ineffective.
As a last resort, you may need to remove the excess wax by wiping over the surface with a cloth dampened with low odour white spirit. Most likely you will need to reapply a thin coat of wax.
Not applying enough wax. You need to apply enough wax to completely cover the surface. Skipped parts can result in an uneven or patchy look. When in doubt apply a second coat of wax, particularly in areas where you have removed some wax during the sanding process.
There is no sheen. We advise you to apply thin layers of wax – the classic rule of thumb is the thinner the coat of wax the more sheen in the finish. You can also allow the wax to dry overnight before buffing. You will likely
find the job will be much easier if you can wait till the following day.
The result is a dark streaky or patchy look. The Dark Soft Wax contains pigments that will “stain” the paint, making the colour difficult to remove. We advise you that in almost all cases it is best to apply a layer of clear wax first. Failure to remove all of the excess dark wax after application can also result in a dark streaky or patch look. Remember – you can always use a small amount of clear wax as a “magic eraser.” You can also mix dark wax and clear wax together for a lighter colour, or thin the dark wax with a small amount of low-odour white spirit for a thinner application.
Problems Using Other Products?
Applying Annie Sloan Lacquer over a dark Chalk Paint colour has left a milky coloration. Annie Sloan Lacquer is a matte varnish. This means that it contains flattening agents to give it that low lustre. If the Lacquer is applied thickly over a dark surface, those flattening agents will appear, creating a “frosted” or “milky” look to the finish. There is no easy fix for this problem and you will have to reapply a coat of Chalk Paint. It’s best to apply the Lacquer in two thin coats. Always stir the lacquer well so as not to pick up the residue at the bottom.
The top coat of Annie Sloan Crackle Varnish (Step 2) is too thick. Place the container in a bowl of very hot water to warm it and make it more workable. You can also moisten your brush with water, wipe it off and then proceed – a little water will help the Step 2 product to spread more easily.
A small amount of Crackle varnish has peeled off. The Crackle Varnish product is sensitive to heat and moisture and if the surface it is applied to has any moisture in it or comes in contact with extreme heat it is likely that it will continue to crack and possibly lift. A room that gets steamy, such as a bathroom, is not the best choice for a Crackle Varnish finish.
The cracks haven’t appeared. This usually happens when the top coat is allowed to dry before the heat is applied to force the cracking. Remember heat (a hair dryer is great) must be applied immediately after applying step 2 in order for the cracks to form.
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