How To Use Chalk Paint® Annie Sloan: Vintage Kid's Table & Paint Brush Comparison

This post originally ran in September 2012 but it was such a popular post that we're bringing it back! 
Hi, . I want to share a little redo, or sprucing I should say, of a kid's table and 4 chairs I recently did with Chalk Paint®. Since my little one will be turning one in just a few months (wow, I still cannot believe it!) I wanted to give him a little work table for him and his buddies. I wanted to get him something solid, that would last and also fit well with the decor in our house. 

That's when this little beaut came walking in the doors at Phantastic Phinds. As I usually do, I let it sit on the floor for a couple weeks, pining over it. I have a thing about things I take home "being meant to be". If someone had snatched up this little Victorian table before me, I would have been fine with it but I am SO glad no one did.  

I wanted to soften the table up a bit and highlight the beautiful detail in the legs. I painted the base two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® Old White. (Great tip for painting a table or chairs or anything with legs - always paint it upside down first. You would be surprised how much you miss if you do not). 

 I waxed the whole piece with Annie's Clear Soft Wax, then distressed it a little with 100 grit sandpaper, never use less than 100 grit because you do not want to gouge or scratch the finish - just distress. There will be lots of little feet and toes kicking and roughing up the piece in the future so I did a mild distress just to get things started. :) 

This piece had gorgeous intricate Victorian carvings in the legs and called for a little Dark Soft Wax to bring them out. I actually used a lot here and ended up softening it a bit with some more clear wax when all was said and done.

Next up were the chairs. I picked up 4 solid oak vintage children's school chairs. I wanted to paint them bright fun colors and chose Annie Sloan's Emperor Silk Red, Antibes Green, Provence Blue and Arles Yellow.  

While painting the chairs I wanted to give the Annie Sloan style brush that I just purchased . To talk to our customers about why they may want this brush, I needed to see what it could really do. I used Annie's medium brush on the Emperor Silk chair and a Corona brand brush (which is a standard industry brand, like Purdy) on the Provence chair. 

Annie's Style brush :

PROS: It is really made well and will stay true if you take care of it (all you need is soap and warm water, and let it dry on a teeny bit of an angle so water doesn't sit by the neck). It has a nice oval head that holds A LOT of paint which calls for less redips into the pot, and it really gets good coverage on the piece. These oak chairs had a deep grain and had dried out a bit over time from lack of care, this brush is great for stippling (basically lightly - or in my case heavily- jamming the brush into the grain to make sure to cover the grain and pours). It's shape is AWESOME for corners, carved areas, large flat surfaces and porous areas (like on these chairs). It feels great in my hand and was overall easy to use. 

CONS: Not many, Works well with Paint and perfect to wax with also. Will Last years if properly cared for.

The 1.5" Corona brush :

PROS - This is a really great brush for lots of jobs. It is contractor grade and can really hold the test of time if cleaned and stored properly. It is great for edging, getting a straight line, and applying paint to small areas with more detail. It is light and relatively inexpensive, about $19.00. We now have a good inexpensive Natural Hair brush similar that works well with Annie Sloan.

CONS - It also had a long handle that got in the way of where I wanted to turn and bend. It does not hold a lot of paint so I had to continually dip and dip and dip to get the coverage I wanted in a small area. Even with all that dipping I ended up having to put a third coat of paint on the seat of the Provence chair, while only doing two thin coats with Annie's brush. It shed also but had already been well conditioned so I didn't notice as much. Biggest con for me was that it used WAY more paint, see below, and when you are spending good money for good paint that is a big one. 

Surprisingly, I used far less paint on the Emperor Silk chair with the Annie Sloan style brush than I did on the Provence chair with the Corona brush. You can see this by looking at the sample pots above. You would think that because Annie's brush holds more paint, it uses more, but it just isn't true. I had to dip the Corona brush 2-3 times more to cover the same surface area with 1 dip of Annie's Style brush. This photo was taken before I did the third coat on the seat of the Provence chair.

Final thought: Natural Hair brushes are great for getting the paint on the piece quickly and effectively,  A standard brush, like Corona or Purdy, is good for cutting in and small intricate detailed areas but not as good for quick and easy overall coverage or detailed carved pieces with deep grooves and they seem to use more paint for the same or even less coverage.  We do carry  a Natural Hair Varnish Brush that works great for one or two projects

Here is a little line up of the finished chairs. I did Clear Soft Wax on all of them, let it set overnight and then came back with a lint-free rag and roughly buffed them. I actually did not apply enough wax to the Emperor Silk chair because when I buffed it the pigment came off a bit. I went back and did a second coat of wax and had no wipe off at all when I rebuffed it. Over time, as my little man uses and abuses these chairs, I can touch up with paint or wax as needed - another great thing about Chalk Paint® - you can paint over set wax or just touch up as needed. 

Here is the finished product for my little man, he already loves sitting in the chairs. I can't wait until his little cousins come over to hang with him at his new-old table.

8219 Germantown Ave
Philadelphia PA, 19118
Across from Fresh Market

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  1. Thank you for sharing. Its informative and full of information.


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