Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Wax How-to’s

It’s amazing, this blogworld.  Just put the word out that you’re having problems with a product and the right folks show up to help.  Denise and Rhonda are two chalk paint stockists, with Color Me French, here in the Atlanta area and they got the word that my sis and I had some wax problems with her table and chairs.  I got an email from Denise volunteering to come over and save the day.  I had first met these ladies down at Scott Antiques market, where they have a booth set up to sell Annie Sloan chalk paint.

How cool is that?  and how sweet are Denise and Rhonda to come over and repaint the top of our orange table?

We got the first-hand scoop on the proper way to apply this cool wax and now we are experts.  Not really, but I think I’ve got it now. Somehow in looking online at the how-to’s of chalk paint and wax, I missed the most important part:

Once you apply the wax with the round brush, then go back and rub it in and off the surface of the paint with a soft t-shirt rag.  The wax needs to be wiped into the paint and then you let it dry.  Then you go back and buff with a soft t-shirt fabric.  That’s the secret that I somehow missed.  Apparently, putting on the wax is the most challenging part of using chalk paint.  But, it’s easy once you know this step.

Chalk paint girls

Denise and Rhonda stopped by with a fresh can of Barcelona Orange and applied it to the top of the table, right over the wax that we had already applied, that was by now completely dry.

Barcelona Orange

You can see the difference in the fresh paint going over the old wax.  After it is dry we will then go back with wax again and this time rub it in and off the paint.

repainting tabletop

Completely covering the old wax surface.

painted with chalk paint

Back to orange paint again.


Denise then demonstrated how to add wax to the painted chairs.  She brushed on the wax with the round brush, jabbing it into the surface and covering the whole seat.

Then, she immediately went back and smoothed in the wax into the paint, removing excess as well.


She did that all over the chair, brushing the slats, legs and back.  Again, immediately going back with the t-shirt and rubbing the wax in and off the paint.

adding wax
It will not leave a hazy finish when you do it like this.  Then it will be time to buff down the wax.


Cover all the painted surface with wax, rub it in and off, then let dry over night and go back and buff to a slight sheen.


Here is the wax after buffing with a soft T-shirt.  That’s it!  The correct way to apply wax. Wasn’t that easy, after all?


Amazing what the right method will do.  Now you know.  Do not leave your wax on the surface, it must be wiped into and off the paint, leaving a smooth wax surface to dry.  Nothing hazy about it then.

I am sure I’ll have lots more projects with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  It’s fun to work with and creates a beautiful finish!

Don’t forget the BIG Annie Sloan workshop on March 29th, here in Atlanta and you can meet Annie in person!  In case you’d like to sign up, go here for all the info! Don’t miss the giveaway below too.

I’m joining my friend, Kate for her Spring Fling Craft party.  This is sorta crafty with paint!  Don’t miss the fun, be sure and stop by over there and you’ll see tons of fun and inspiring spring projects to get you in the mood for the season.  I’ll be up on Tuesday with Spring Door decor and Sarah’s party is next Thursday, with more paint projects.

- Rhoda


  1. I somehow missed the rubbing in and the excess off with a rag too. How nice of those ladies to come and show you the finer points of waxing. The set looks great.

  2. I have bought from Rhonda and Denise as well – at the monthly Scott’s Antique Market in Atlanta – they have a booth/space in the south building.

    Glad you figured it out – I now have 12 or so projects behind me and think I have figured most of the issues out. I think the dark wax is the trickiest – you can overdo it and it looks muddy/messy. With the right application and diligent editing afterwards (over dried clear wax), you can get amazing results – check some of mine out on my blog!

  3. When I used the chalk paint by Annie Sloan, I waxed it with Johnson’s wax and got great results. I used it on a night stand, and it has a nice luster. I am pleased with the results from it.

  4. This is very timely bec. I just painted an interior door with chalk paint last week and am getting ready to apply the wax. I was going to start by rubbing it in with an old t-shirt. What do you think? I must have a round brush?

  5. I haver a project to do with sloan paint and clear wax and was excited but now I am nervous. I am not usually intimidated with painting furniture I do it all the time but this is makeing very concerned.

  6. Great post! I am going to venture into chalk paint soon, so it’s a good thing I read this before I did the same thing haha. I always need EXACT directions or I get confused. Love the blog

  7. What great info! I’m learning more about it every day! ♥

  8. I am so in love with the Barcelona Orange. I bought it a month or so ago but have yet to use it as I’m waiting for just the right piece. What a bold move to do it on an entire dining set but it looks awesome! I love it paired with the black and white chevron rug. Very chic!

    How lucky are you to have stockists right at your doorstep?! I use ASCP on many of my pieces that I sell and either have to travel out of town to get it or order online.

  9. Rhoda – thanks so much – I was having the same problem and realize now I too was doing it wrong – thanks for setting me straight! Love that color by the way! Take care, Laura

  10. I never realized there were so many steps to using chalk paint. It really turned out beautiful. I like that you went with the bold orange color. Thanks for sharing how to properly use the Anni Sloan paint.

  11. I think it’s the whole wax on/wax off part that has kept me from trying that Annie Sloan paint …

    Now if I only had a Denise & Rhonda nearby …



  12. Rhoda I too have been trouble waxing. Furniture. 🙂 Thank you SO very much for this tutorial.
    I love the orange color.

    I’ll see you for your party next week.

    Happy day, happy spring, happy happy everything!

  13. Thank you! I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong, the wax always looks blotchy 🙁 I thought I wasn’t buffing it enough, or the right way. I can’t wait for the Annie Sloan conference, I will be going!

  14. Yes, I can attend the Annie Sloan Conference, I hope I run into you and some of the other great blogging gals!

  15. SoCalLynn says:

    It looks really pretty. What I can’t believe is that she painted that table with the orange paint in that pretty blouse without a smock on!

  16. Paula Lusk says:

    Hi Rhoda- When you posted that you and your sister had a difficult time with the paint, I wondered if anyone had explained it to you. I’ve used it a lot and love the no priming. But, I did take a class the week I bought all the supplies, it helped. When you get your new place, I’m sure you will go wild with it. Paula

  17. Love the color and that is so cool they came to help you! Good tips 🙂 You fell off my reader for some reason? I was driving today and was like, where’s Rhoda been? I saw your post about your sisters house the other day but I didn’t read it in my reader, just jumped over direct b/c I hadn’t seen your posts! I thought you were taking a break! Did you have google friend connect? Maybe that’s why. Oh well, I resubscribed 🙂

  18. I just recently waxed my first piece. I did watch a video online before I applied it. I remember it said to push the wax into the paint, so that’s what I did. I didn’t have one of the AS round brushes, so I used an old Clinique face scrubbing brush that I had. Worked like a charm!

  19. I recently took a class with a trainer of Annie Sloan…we did not use a brush when applying the wax…just a cloth..we applied the wax…rubbed it off and then went back later and buffed…I am curious to know if the round brush is a product of Annie Sloan…

  20. I would LOVE to make the trip to Atlanta for the workshop!

    I recently purchased my first can of ASCP & both waxes: & I have completed 1 chair. I’m pleased with how it looks, but I’m not sure that my waxing technique is correct. Thanks for sharing this post – & the chance to attend the workshop… how awesome would that be?!

    I would love to try the Coco color – or maybe the Old White.

  21. Gina Florencia says:

    Hi, I can’t attend the workshop ;0( but will love to try her paint and wax, I found you through Pinterest and subscribed to your blog, love it! I’ve been thinking about painting my dining table in blue! kind of old french style. Thanks Gina Florencia

  22. I was disappointed by the lack of information that came with the product and have had similar wax issues. (Annie, are you listening?). I will try this method and see what happens. Thanks so much!

  23. This was great info! Thanks so much for posting it. This paint is so addicting, I can’t stop painting stuff at my house and now my husband has bought me a couple of pieces to paint and sell!! ha

  24. Perfect timing with this post for me too! I’ve had trouble with the wax and I was missing the same step you were. So sweet of these ladies to come help you out and clear it up for the rest of us!!

  25. Ooooh I needed this last night! I waxed a little rocking chair and thought maybe I should go over it with a cloth. Totally chickened out! I only used a light coat of wax, so hopefully a second coat with this method will be all I need. Thanks for the tips!!

  26. Misty Ellis says:

    I love your blog. I use a horse hair shoe brush for buffing, it works like a charm. When using the dark wax, I add a little mineral spirits. It makes it much easier to work with:)

  27. This was a great post. I have now painted probably 30+ pieces w/ the ASCP. I have been using an electric car waxer to get the finished sheen on my furniture. Works like a charm and saves my aching wrists (bad corpal tunnel ). I vacillate between AS clear wax and Johnson’s paste wax. Both products work wonderfully can’t tell a difference on the finished pieces. The biggest difference I see is that the AS wax is super soft, almost like Crisco which is easier to push into detailed areas like carvings etc.
    Rhonda not sure where you are located in Atlanta, but I would like to invite you to come to Queen of Hearts Alpharetta. We now have a stockist selling here in a booth every day of the week. I have a booth here and it makes it so convenient to pick up paint and wax whenever I need it.

  28. Denise,
    Thank you for the mention of Queen of Hearts Alpharetta. I am the stockist who sells Annie Sloan paint there and I would love to have a visit from Rhoda. I met Rhoda briefly in Atlanta at the Annie Sloan tour last week. What a great day we all had, mingling with Annie!

  29. I have done about 5 pieces with the ASCP and I’m having trouble with the paint rubbing off in spots when I wax. Am I moving to the waxing step too quickly? The paint feels completely dry to me.

    • Amanda, I am having this problem too, wondering if you found an answer.. I figured it was b/c I am using the Briwax – are you using ASCP wax?

    • Yes would be my guess. If the paint comes off with the wax, then it isn’t dry. Especially on 2nd/3rd coats where the paint is pretty thick. No worries though as it’s very forgiving. Just let it dry, paint where you rubbed off, let it dry and re-wax. This is great down the road too should you scratch or scuff the furniture.

  30. Can you tell me how to clean round brushes after waxing?

  31. Thanks so much! I made same mistake, but in our defense, the can doesn’t say whether to buff before or after it dries! I wish I had found this before I tried it. I do LOVE Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint, though! Congrats on your new house by the way! It’s going to be gorgeous… can’t wait to see how it progresses!

  32. The Annie Sloan Chalk Paint love has escaped me, I don’t get it.
    First of all, I have to say I am not a fan of real distressed furniture. Perhaps that is the downfall for me. I have done a few pieces and I think you can get excellent results with flat wall paint and regular waxes, like Briwax, for an 1/8 of the cost. Not having to prime is not such a big deal. When I read all these thrilling posts about the ASCP, I feel like I am the child saying the Emperor has no clothes. Am I the only one???

  33. My question is not with the wax but the way it is painted. I have read many people are having problems with brush painting it on. But what I noticed in your pictures they are brush painting it on. Did they or you thin it down with water? And did you brush paint it on? Thanks I am getting ready to do my first project and wanted it to turn out right.

  34. Sheryll, used the brush to work it into the paint, but you don’t put too much. A thin coat (no, no water) really worked into the paint, then go back with a rag and wipe it into the paint even more, so it’s not hazy but you can see it is worked in. Then you let it dry and go back later and buff it to a shine.

  35. Hello,
    Thanks for sharing this how-to re: ASCP waxes. I’m working on a chair and have applied and buffed my clear wax base and now have a coat of dark wax resting on it. I’d like to do another coat of clear wax to really seal in the color and dark wax but I’m not sure if I’m supposed to buff the dark wax first and then apply the final clear wax or if I should just put the clear wax on top of the unbuffed dark wax. I’m loving this process and toying with the idea of starting a part-time business using ASCP exclusively. It’s a “joy paint” and each project makes me so happy and more fulfilled! Thanks for any advice you can offer.

  36. VERY helpful blogpost. I have a question about using wax on a table. I have plans to paint three tables currently and was concerned that waxing wouldn’t protect them enough from daily cleaning from food spills. Do you need a poly protective coat after waxing? Thanks for any help.

  37. Stephanie Balt says:

    Your table is beautiful! Nice color choice. I was wondering, have you eaten on the table? I don’t think the wax could withstand heat from a plate or even a spill. What have you experienced?

    • HI, Stephanie, this table is a craft table, so not to eat on. But, I’ve seen several bloggers paint dining tables with Annie Sloan and wax them so I do think it would work fine on a dining table.

  38. Loving the Barcelona Orange. So, in the end, how is this table/chairs holding up? I’m having a terrible time committing to a color … but thinking of brights?? Tx

  39. Thanks for the instructions. I just started using Annie Sloan Chalk paint and LOVE it, but have been intimidated by the whole wax process. My pieces were coming out blotchy and I didn’t no why. This now explains it. I was using a brush, then waiting about 10 min and then buffing with a buffer…Question is, now do I have to paint over again to get rid of the blotchy look or can I add more wax and do it the proper way?

    • Sondra, from what I understand you do need to paint over again and then rewax. That’s what we had to do to get rid of the blotchiness.

  40. I want to paint my kitchen table but worry that sitting hot dishes on it will melt or change the appearance of the wax

  41. Rhoda, somehow I missed that step too and now have to repaint the top of the table. Luckily, it’s a really small table. This was an excellent post! Do you know what happens if you paint something with ASP and don’t use wax? Love the color you used on your table! I have a cool black trestle table with ladder back farmhouse chairs with linen cushions. I have a cool sewing table that also serves as a buffet that’s currently ugly country blue (the kind they used in the 80’s) Wondering how orange would look? Do you think it would too much like halloween? This set is in my finished basement.

    • HI, Sandy, if you don’t wax, it just feels like flat paint with a chalky feel. But, you don’t have to wax. I’ve done a few pieces without waxing. The dark wax does give it a more distressed feel when you sand too. I don’t know about the orange chairs, it depends on what you have going with it.

  42. Why when we wax painted chairs (Annie Sloan chalk paint) with the Annie Sloan wax the wax comes off and takes the paint with it.We apply 3 coats of wax leaving 24 hrs drying time between coats.Every company i’ve spoken to regarding wax say it’s not suitable for sitting on as your body heat will melt the wax.Why is Annie Sloan wax different.We are now getting products returned using this method.Please help

    • Sorry, but you’ll need to talk to the Annie Sloan people about that. I have only used the products a few times and am not an expert. You could contact an Annie Sloan stockist and ask them.

  43. Thank you for this post. I finished a couple of pieces after taking a class here in Denver. I forgot the buffing and used cheese cloth instead of t-shirt. It made a difference and looks okay but not the way I wanted. I will try buffing and see if I can re-wax correctly. I love this paint. Thanks for the help! Christy

  44. Kelly DeVol says:

    Wow, I just read this, two years after the fact, and this is exactly what I needed to see! I don’t think that I have applied the wax correctly – I’ve only done a few small projects. This was informative and a great post! Kelly from Colorado

  45. Kate Allen says:


    If you want to put two coats of wax on a piece of furniture, do you wait for the first think coat to dry, then buff….then put on the second coat of wax & buff?

    Or do you put the second coat of wax over the dried first coat of wax? Thanks so much!

    • Hi, Kate, I’m not sure about that. I think one coat of wax should really be enough & I don’t see people doing 2 coats. Once it’s buffed out, you really shouldn’t need more.

  46. To much work ….you can use diffrent paint…get a satin finish look . No wax buffin…plus over time wax does not hold up and protect furniture.

  47. Thank you for your post! I had a similar problem, so I will repaint and then wax again! I am using the Barcelona Orange with olive over the top. Guess that means I have to redo my whole process. Paint 2 colors and then wax.

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