I’m Stubborn And Set In My Ways, But I’m Coming Around

Last Updated on December 25, 2015 by Kristi Linauer

I have a confession. I have never tried Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. It’s true. And honestly, I really haven’t had the desire to try it…until the last few days.

Every time I’ve seen something painted in Chalk Paint, I’ve said to myself, “Well I can get that same look with regular paint. What’s the big deal? And regular paint is cheaper!” Just last night, I was working on my dumpster coffee table, using regular ‘ole latex paint, and loving how the finish was turning out…

But as I was working, I started thinking about how much time went into this. It has two coats of primer, one coat of black paint, two coats of a light aqua paint, and it’s still not finished. I want to antique it, so that will take a coat of something, and then a coat of sealer (probably wax). That’s a lot of coats…and a lot of work…and a lot of time…and frankly, a lot of money.

So I’m coming around.

And while you can’t really visit a blog lately without someone talking about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, there are two in particular that make me really start seriously considering…and REconsidering my stubbornness.

The first was Kim at Sand & Sisal, who just recently painted her entry table with ASCP Duck Egg. This was Kim’s first time to use Chalk Paint, and her results were just stunning.

I read her post, and started coming around. And then, last night, I became fully convinced that my stubbornness was causing me to really miss out on something special when I came across a blog called Reloved Rubbish. I came across Amanda’s blog when I googled how to antique/stain wood with steel wool and vinegar. That search led me to a post where Amanda had turned a vintage end table with a dated finish into the most charming piece using (what else?) Chalk Paint.

After seeing that piece, I decided to see what else Amanda had done, so I started with her most recent post, and read through several months of posts. I spent well over an hour looking at her beautiful furniture transformations, making notes of Chalk Paint colors and color combos that she had used, and being totally convinced that I have been missing out.

So today, I’m putting my stubbornness aside and I’m heading to the store. I plan to walk away with at least one color of Chalk Paint (but maybe two) and at least one wax.

What’s your favorite color of ASCP? And if you were just getting one wax, which on would you get? Clear? Dark?

And I’d love to see your furniture transformations using ASCP! If you’ve got one, please leave a link in the comments. I can never get too much inspiration!

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    gertie @ The Old Block House
    July 11, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I’m still not swayed on using the ASCP because of the $$$ (also I like mixing up my own chalk paint ala mad scientist style at the kitchen sink – evil laugh and all), but lookie at that two level end table!!! You’ve totally changed how I look at these in the future. Thank you!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      July 11, 2012 at 10:41 am

      Does your own mixture work like Chalk Paint? In other words, do you have to sand and/or prime the piece first?

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        gertie @ The Old Block House
        July 11, 2012 at 1:56 pm

        I only sand if there are major issues going on with a piece or if I’ve had to apply plaster to fill any spots. Then I apply my base coat in white, next top with two coats of my top color. I’ve just begun using a foam roller that is made for cabinets to apply the paint. This makes painting super fast. After the piece dries, I lightly sand with 150 sandpaper, then top with a light coat of Minwax wax paste. Behr in the white w/rust colored can is my favorite, but I will use other quality paints if they’re available in the oops section. I use 1pt hot water to 1pt Plaster of Paris shaken very well in a glass jar, then combined with 3pts paint (Val at 2nd Essence’s recipe). Sometimes a little more water is added if needed. I’m still learning, but right now this is what works for me.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 11, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Hi Kristi –
    I read your blog everyday – you have inspired me in so many ways!
    I have been living in chronic illness land for about 5 years, so my ability to do any ‘extras’ in life has been limited. I had a good streak this spring (a bit more energy) and ended up painting a desk ASCP Barcelona Orange. It was a great experience with paint, and perfect for me since it cut out much of the exhausting work (sanding…) and I was actually able to finish the project!
    One valuable thing I gained from the shop I bought the paint: I bought a hand painted color sample sheet (that the shop created) so I could have on hand a true example of each ASCP color. An excellent way to spend $4!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      July 11, 2012 at 10:45 am

      Hi Heather~
      I’m so sorry to hear about your chronic illness. My husband has multiple sclerosis, so I know how frustrating it can be. Thanks for the ASCP info! I love orange, so I’m definitely going to check into the Barcelona Orange. And I hope the store here has a sample sheet. If they do, I’ll definitely grab one.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Shannon Fox
    July 11, 2012 at 10:00 am

    I am stubborn too. Must be why I like you 😉 LOL
    I have never tried ASCP either. And, I too, loved Kim’s results. I have used the “homemade” recipe (which requires a light sanding after) and have been actually really pleased with it. I did order some CeCe Caldwell paint and am getting ready to makeover a dining room chair with it. It’s black, and the paint in white. I am really curious to see what kind of coverage it offers? I get what you’re saying about the layering, steps, and time it takes to get the look without the chalk paint. The cost is probably even in the end 😉 Have fun shopping!!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      July 11, 2012 at 10:47 am

      You’ll post your results with the CeCe Caldwell paint, right? I’d love to know how it compares to the ASCP…in coverage as well as price. I would have to order that online, but there’s a place locally that sells the ASCP, so I’d have to figure shipping into the cost of the CeCe Caldwell paint. Still curious about it, though!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 11, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Kristi, my favorite ASCP is Old White. It is a great creamy white, looks good on just about anything, you can do clear wax on it, or dark wax, which totally changes the look. I have a secret, I don’t buy her clear wax, I use Johnson’s clear pastewax, in the floor cleaner aisle at H-Depot. It is 7.00 a can and does the same as her clear wax…..I do like her dark wax though.. It is an excellent shade of dark walnut, no red tones….also, if you don’t want it so dark on your furniture, you can cut it down with the Johnson’s clear wax for a more sublte antique wash…..try them, you will love……P.S. I have used a lot of her colors and I love them all, she has a knack for the right shades, and all her colors you can mix with the old white to make pastel shades…..many possibilities!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      July 11, 2012 at 11:02 am

      Great tip about mixing the waxes! Thanks! I also read on the Reloved Rubbish blog that she mixes the dark wax with mineral spirits to make a glaze for items with lots of carving. Very interesting!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Molly @ Wicked Cheap in Boston
    July 11, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Well I am out of the loop, I had never heard of this – but now I love it!

    Especially loving the color “Emile”…sparking some ideas for a project I was kind of stuck on.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      July 11, 2012 at 11:04 am

      I’m generally not a fan of shades of purple, but that one is really pretty! I could actually see myself using it on something.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    [email protected] This Top That
    July 11, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Hey Kristi- I have been using this paint for the last year. Love it!! I have only tried the ACSP brand, and a favorite color of mine is the Old White. Here’s some dated furniture( http://topthistopthat.blogspot.com/2012/02/what-to-do-with-1970ish-furniture.html) I used it on along with a wax to protect. Good luck.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Wendy R
    July 11, 2012 at 10:35 am

    I am with you, I haven’t tried it either but am considering it. It is just so expensive. I have a small dining table my daughter snagged off the side of the road (love that, she is following in my footsteps!) that I really need to do something with. Maybe I will try it.
    I don’t really know that much about the wax. Can you direct me or tell me more about that?
    Thanks and good luck with the new paint! Oh and that end table, lol……I grew up with those, everyone had them but they look a heck of a lot better now than they did back then! 🙂

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      July 11, 2012 at 11:08 am

      Wendy, I used wax for the first time about two weeks ago. Until then, I always used polyurethane. Wax is very different, and I must say, I really like it. It gives a gorgeous hand-rubbed finish, which is hard to describe, but you’ll know what I mean when you see it. I’ve only ever used Minwax finishing wax available at Home Depot, but I’ve heard that the Anne Sloan waxes are a lot better. I now prefer to use wax over polyurethane because of the gorgeous finish AND it’s much faster. You apply a thin coat of wax, wait about 10 minutes, and then buff. Quick and easy.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Wendy R
        July 11, 2012 at 1:15 pm

        Thank you, Kristi. Is the wax liquid or paste? I am going to look for some at H Depot this weekend. I really love that Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint and might use it for the bottom of that dining table. BUT I have to continue on with finishing my walls for Make it Happen Monday….my ADD is kicking in again lol…..

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          Kristi Linauer
          July 11, 2012 at 1:18 pm

          The wax that they have at Home Depot is a paste. Kind of like finishing your furniture with Crisco…LOL. Actually, it’s a little harder than Crisco. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 11, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I am a lover of chalk paint. In fact I am a stockist of the paint. My favourite colour to paint with is Country Grey. It just works with everything- the majority of my clients have me paint in this colour too. My best seller is definitely Paris Grey.
    A few things about the chalk paint. The wax and paint are meant to work together to achieve the ultimate finish. This is why it is recommended to paint, wax, then distress and wax again. What happens is that the paint and wax bond so the finish is extremely durable. As for the wax- Annie’s wax is slightly different than the others you can buy in the stores. It doesn’t have a drying enhancer it in so it is possible to work the wax a bit on the furniture before the wax sets. It is also necessary to apply extremely thin coats- if the layer of wax is too thick what happens is that the top will harden faster than the bottom – so under the harden top the wax stays soft- which is a pain.
    There are quite a few things you can do with the paint. As a stockist I have actually learned from Annie at her shop in Oxford. We learned about creating an impasto (thick paint) and how to properly apply the dark wax. I have also learned a dustless distressing technique- which you can see on my blog http://www.designdisorder.wordpress.com
    It is also possible to mix a spoonful of paint in the wax creating a lovely coloured patina- you can’t do this with latex paint!
    Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint is also made in America and she supports small businesses- she really is a great person and knows her stuff. She has written about 25 books which are a great resource for all of us. I studied interior design in Canada and I find that I always learn something new after reading her books.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 11, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    I’m a fan of chalk paint which is quite reasonably priced in the UK. Below I’ve shown some pieces I painted recently with country grey mentioned above by Sherri. I’ve also used a lot of old white which is a great traditional look.


    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      July 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm

      Wonderful results! Do you use a wax to seal your pieces?

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        July 12, 2012 at 11:59 am

        Yes Kristi, I use the Annie Sloan soft clear wax. A small tin goes a long way – mine cost £10 and so far has waxed, the large bookcase, a small bookcase, 3 end tables, a coffee table, my welsh dresser, a display cabinet and I still have close to half the tin left. I have no experience of using other types of wax, but I’ve been impressed with this product. Just put it on the cloth and wipe it on – that’s about as technical as I can manage.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Shari @ Turnstyle Vogue
    July 11, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I am a huge fan of chalk paint. I use it all – latex, oil, chalk but if you want to antique a piece, you can’t beat chalk paint. It really depends on the look and finish you want. Chalk paint is completely different than It seems expensive, but it goes a very long way (one can of chalk paint can do many pieces depending on size) and you eliminate the priming step and most sanding. In the end, I actually think it is cheaper than latex but I’ve never taken the time to break it out in detail. As far as color, I think my favorites are Old White, Olive and Cream. I also did a piece with Barcelona Orange and loved it. I have used about 10 of the colors and have been happy with them. I just finished a piece with CeCe’s Hershey Brown and it is a gorgeous brown. I think you will be a fan. With regard to the wax, Annie Sloan’s wax and Fiddes & Sons wax are hands down sooo much better to work with than the Minwax, and other big box brands you find on the shelves. I have yet to try CeCe’s wax. Have fun with your experimenting!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 11, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    I’ve been using ASCP for a year and I weighed the amount of time it took me to prep a piece and coat it with Kilz and decided the chalk paint wasn’t so expensive after all. I tried other chalk paints, too. One I ordered online in a gallon size and the kind you can get at Lowe’s or Home Depot. I’ve also tried making it myself. There’s something special about her paint, especially if you like a distressed finish, which I do. My favorite colors are Paris Grey and Old White with Louis Blue right behind. I’m not a big fan of super bright colors, which is another reason I like her paints. The colors are subtle and not too garish. I use her dark wax, but use other clear waxes that you can get at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Her waxes are great, too, but it’s one way I can cut expenses. I have to order her paints through the mail and it gets pretty spendy that way.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Diane | An Extraordinary Day
    July 11, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Oh Kristi I’ve been wondering about ASCP and how it all stacks up. I’ll be watching for your evaluation.
    Also, I was curious about wax compared to poly? Is there a trick for how it holds up, resists water, and cleans?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Diane | An Extraordinary Day
      July 11, 2012 at 8:10 pm

      Let’s complicate things a bit more. Miss Mustard is coming out with her new milk paint too! Hmmmm. Oh and one more…Altar’d said she didn’t like the way chalk paint holds up and prefers her method. I guess this topic is a good for discussion! Cheers!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        July 12, 2012 at 12:05 pm

        Hi Diane, I’ve been addicted to ASCP for the last few months and have done a number of pieces. It is easy to keep clean and mine gets wiped down with a damp cloth. This is enough to remove coffee cup stains and dust etc. There can be some chipping to the finish but as it’s supposed to be a distressed finish anyway, this doesn’t cause too much concern.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 11, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    I converted to chalk paint, both Annie Sloan and CeCe Caldwell. I like them equally even though they have some differences. Get some chalk paint, try it, if you don’t like it after a few projects you can always go back to regular paint.


  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 11, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    I love Annie Sloan ~ I did a client’s kitchen island in it and what should have taken days and days took a day and a half. It has held up to her two kids and barstools for 9 months now {and kitchen sink, pull out trash can, etc on the other side} with no problems. I also did another clients fireplace surround and pantry door ~ none of the bad side effects that Altar’d blogged about. The time factor alone swayed me. But also, I think if you factor primer, good quality paint, etc. it isn’t as big a stretch as it seems {also it seems to go far to me}

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 12, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Just thought I’d add another use here that may be food for thought. I’ve used ASCP as undercoat for some decorative items. I had a vase that I wanted to change from red to gold, so I just painted it with a coat of ASCP cocoa (from a tester pot) and then daubed some gold acrylic on top. The second item is a black ceramic boot which I bought to accompany a larger gold boot I have on display – I undercoated with ASCP and then topped with acrylic – it was so simple and a nice finish.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    [email protected]
    July 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Hi Krisit! Thank you so much for mentioning my blog on your site! As you can tell, I LOVE Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! It is expensive, but from my experience, it goes a lot further than latex and one of my favorite things about it is that it is extremely low VOC. This is especially important for people like us that paint a lot of furniture. I don’t like being exposed to the fumes everyday. If you make chalk paint by mixing plaster of paris, clay, etc. into regular latex paint, you are not covering up the chemicals that are in the paint. Besides it is so fun and easy to work with and really does create beautiful, unique finishes. I started selling ASCP a few months ago at my shop and it is so popular that my biggest obstacle is keeping it in stock. I hope you like it too!! Thanks again!


  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Debbie Weinrich
    July 12, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Hi Kristi! I LOVE Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I started using it about a year ago. My first color I bought was Old White. You can not go wrong with this color. The problem is you can not go wrong with any color! I also love the Old Ochre. The clear wax is a must. I use the dark wax on some things, it just depends what look I am going for. One of my favorite things about this paint is I can sit in the middle of my kitchen and paint away. No odor and mess free! If you look at my blog I have a few of the things I have painted on there. http://www.myeverchanginghome.blogspot.com. I could go on and on about this paint. It dries really fast so my projects are done in no time! It really is durable too. The little can goes a long way, I can do several pieces with one can.
    I also love the Aubusson Blue and Provence! I just bought the Chateau Gray and can not wait to try it! I love your blog by the way. Your blog and a few others are what inspired me to start my own. I too am addicted to decorating! 🙂 Hope you love the paint!!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      July 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      Hi Debbie, I forgot about how clean it is to use…if you have a spillage it just wipes away and brushes clean out in seconds.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Donna Allgaier-Lamberti
    July 13, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Christi, I LOVE both Annie Sloan Chak Paint (ASCP) and CeCe Cauldwell’s Chalk Paint (CCCP). It’s all I use. Not only is it a time saver (little or no prep work), its VOC free AND I love the unique “look” it gives furniture and accessories .I use both clear and dark wax depending on the finished look I want. I am keeping track of how many pieces I paint with each qt. (litre) and find that small/simple pieces run around $8.00, larger pieces around $12.00-$15.00 per piece. Not bad!
    If you are testing this paint, I recommend panting a “small” first to figure out how the paint and wax works.
    My favorite is ASCP Emperor’s Silk and CCCP Geogia Clay. Note both are bright colors!! I haven’t tried milk paint yet.

    Also be sure to check out Miss Mustard Seeds blog and alittlebitOsizzle for ASCP painting inspiration!
    Small House / Big Sky Donna

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      July 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      Just how expensive is ASCP in the US? I keep seeing references to the expense of it. In the UK it is only slightly more expensive than a brand name gloss paint of the same size but there is really no contest in terms of benefits.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Kristi Linauer
        July 13, 2012 at 12:38 pm

        Yesterday I bought two quarts of paint and two tins of wax (clear and dark) and the total with tax was just under $145. The quarts of paint were $38 each, and the waxes were $29 each.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kim @ Sand & Sisal
    July 13, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Hey there! Not sure where I’ve been, but here I am 2 days later, just now realizing you featured me!!! Thank you for that. I’m looking forward to see what you accomplish with the ASCP! You seem to have the Midas touch to whatever you set your heart on! 😉

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    amy watson
    July 14, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    I don’t have a blog…but I love yours!!!!! I have found in my last two projects that using just plain flat interior/exterior covers great in one coat…comes in great colors…then sand/ditress and a coat of minwax dark walnut poly/ satin rubbed off..is just beautiful and very cheap…just like me 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Hi Kristi!
    I just tried ASCP on a dresser that I turned into an entertainment center. It is rather interesting stuff, indeed! I wanted to work with the chalk paint though because this dresser was rescued from the side of the road and a great deal of sanding was required to rid it of the craft paint the previous owner used. It was still rather rough looking and the chalk paint covered the imperfections incredibly!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ann- Shabby French Country Cottage Basement
    July 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Kristi, I’m glad you started this discussion. I learned a lot from it I have been on the fence about the chalk paints too. I received a small can of ASCP at the Haven Conference in Atlanta last month and am excited to use it now. I appreciate everyone’s input here.
    Shabby French Country Cottage Basement

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 19, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    I found this recipe for chalk paint, you might want to try.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 22, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Kristi, I’m coming very late to this conversation but I wanted to chime in to say that I too really love the ASCP and Annie Sloan’s waxes. I find that the paint is very versatile and easy to use, especially since I have not in the past had a clean, well-ventilated place to paint! Mostly I painted in my dining room. The ASPC smells clean and a little earthy, like wet clay. It didn’t burn my nose or give me a headache the way latex could (again, in my dining room, in the northern winter — NOT ideal conditions). I also loved the easy clean-up and I thought the results were great.

    A note: I really recommend a wax brush. I started out using cheesecloth (imprecise) and then a cheap stencilling brush from a hobby store (better but not great). I finally invested in a wax brush and it really helps me get the soft, patina’d effect I’m looking for.

    I see you’ve said above that you bought two cans, so I’m looking forward to seeing the results!