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Mystery Paint Revealed!


Jane, Lee Gamble and a few others guessed it right!  Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint is the mystery paint.  I received an e-mail from a reader a few weeks ago, telling me I should try chalk paint.  My first thought was, “Duh.  I know what chalk board paint is.”  I was being a little high and mighty at that moment and then I clicked the link she kindly sent me.  I was an idiot.  A high and mighty idiot.  Chalk paint is not chalk board paint, but something entirely different.

I loved the colors available and was intrigued by this product, so I thought I would contact them to see if they would send me some samples.  I would try it out and review it on my blog.  Well, I spoke to one of the best sales woman alive, Patty Seaman of Classic Wall Finishes.  She went on and on and on about how wonderful this paint was and I was ready to commit to it for life without ever having tried it.  She slowed me down and said, “Just try it.  If you don’t love it, don’t write about it.”  I felt even more confident after hearing that statement.  If she didn’t believe in this product 100%, she wouldn’t say that.  A few days later, I received some paint and Annie Sloan’s Quick and Easy Paint Transformations Book to guide me along.  I couldn’t put my brush down.  I painted five pieces of furniture in two days, starting with my corner cabinets.

 I really wanted to paint these and this was the perfect push to make me do it.  The greatest part?  This water-based, low odor paint bonds so well that it doesn’t require sanding or primer.  I applied the paint directly onto the factory poly finish. No expensive bonding primer required!

One of my other favorite things about this paint is how well it distresses.  When you distress latex paint, it rolls and peals off unless it has cured for over a month.  I sanded this hours after I painted it and the chalk paint comes off in a fine powder, so it looks natural.  The finish is flat and chalky, but shine and protection can be added by applying a coat of wax.  A darker wax was then applied to my corner cabinets to tone down the vibrant Louis Blue.

I then painted the buffet…
…my grandfather’s desk…
…a secretary, mirror frame and a bookcase.  I started out with a quart of Louis Blue, a quart of Old White and a sample of Paris Gray and still have plenty of paint for more projects.  Even with three colors, I’ve been able to achieve a variety of shades and tones by mixing the paint.
So, where can you buy chalk paint?
You can see a list of all of the US Stockists HERE.
You may experience a little sticker shock when you see that the paint is over $30/quart, but it goes a long way, no primer is required and you’ll love the results.  And don’t worry!  I am going to post all about my painting and distressing techniques, how to work with the clear and dark wax and all of the other exciting things I’m learning about this product.  You’ll definitely hear more about chalk paint.

For more information from Annie Sloan herself, you can check out her website

As one final comment for this post, I want to tell you that I did receive free to paint to sample, but this is not a paid advertisement.  I do not make any money from any paint purchased.  I fully believe in this product and wanted to work with chalk paint stockists, who are mostly decorative artist like myself, to promote my new very favorite paint in the whole wide world.

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  1. I never would have guessed this. I bet all those suppliers will run out. Love the corner cabinets!

  2. No sanding or priming sounds like heaven. I will have to try it!

  3. Hi there…
    Oh my goodness I have never heard of chalk paint like this either. It sounds absolutely wonderful. Just perfect for someone like me who isn't so big into the priming and sanding. Your furniture looks awesome. I wonder if they have it here in Canada. I'll have to check it out or then just wait until we start our trips to the cottage in NY state. Wonderful!
    Happy St. Patrick's Day

  4. ….I'll wait to see your tutorial…

  5. Woooooweeeee…you had me sold at first by looking at the gorgeous paint jobs you did, but sadly sticker shock is an understatement. LOOOVVVVEEEE it, but way out of my price range. It really is lovely paint though!

  6. oh I am excited you have shared this product.. the results are gorgeous.. can it be applied if a lot of pledge has been but on furniture or do I need to sand.

    • Dana McGarry says:

      Perhaps a little late to reply to this question but to answer, you do not need to sand if there is furniture polish on the surface. Use water based mineral spirits to wash away the polish and residue. I’d also recommend using a follow up rinse of 50/50 water/vinegar to ensure perfect results. Yes, a little prep but much quicker and cleaner than sanding and priming.

  7. I love that color. Did I miss the name of it? Can you tell us? Thank you:) Your designs are always gorgeous.
    ~Debra xxx
    Capers of the vintage vixens

  8. Ok, now I'm dying to try it. I would love to be able to use a paint like that on our pieces, if not for the cost. Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. I totally want to try chalk paint, I own a book from Annie Sloan on creating a french look which has her technique and she uses all her paints in it. It is a great book and I can't wait to try the paint as well.

  10. Can't wait for your tips! :)

  11. I've been wondering that about your painted pieces, how long you wait until you distress them. I always use latex paint and have had several projects take a wrong turn because of that cursed rolling. I wish online tutorials showed a more realistic timeline instead of the *presto* blog impression. Could you add that to painted pieces tutorials, the amount of time you should wait between each step?

  12. I will have to give tis a try as I'm just getting into painting furniture and to be able to cut out the priming stage would be wonderful!

  13. I love how your cabinets turned out.. just beautiful! Your dining room is to die for! take care, Maryann

  14. Thank you so much for sharing! Sounds like a great product.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Oh thank you for posting this! Talk about being anxious lol. I figured it out last night as to which paint you used, even down to the colors, but I waited and waited all day for you to post to see if there might have been some kind of discount if ordered exclusively from your site, as this is very pricey!

    Anyway, I just ordered the Old White, the Louis Blue and the Paris Grey from the site you listed in NJ.

    You didn't mention the wax you used, so I took a chance and ordered the Hannant's 'Rustic' Wax plus the set of three brushes. (now as I read further it looks like you used the clear wax as well. I didn't order that and I hope I might be able to get away with just the rustic wax(?) Please let me know your views.

    I also ordered the book last night from Amazon.

    I have an important question though: It's clear to see you used the Louis Blue on the desk and dresser, but the second and third photos look as though a green paint was used and not the Louis Blue on that piece. Could you please post somewhere in the comments so I can look later to see? I'm thinking it might have been the Duck Egg or even the Provence colors?

    I'm so excited to get my paint and hope there is no problem.

    Again, thank you, thank you! for such a wonderful site and being the wonderful person that you are.

    Oh and btw, someone had mentioned that the desk with the blue and the blue curtains, etc was too "matchey" ! There is no way this is true and it's just perfect the way you have it. I can't honestly believe someone would say something like that, I guess it takes all kinds of people. And you are not mean at all!!! So don't ever say that again even in joking ♥

    Looking forward to your tutorial when you have time !

    Bless You ♥♥♥
    huggs, Sandy

  16. Are you kidding me! I just got rid of a dresser because I didn't want to go through the work of refinishing it or priming it to paint. And then you share this amazing product! Ahhh! I'm loving the gray and green colors. Good think yard sale season is right around the corner. I see painted furniture in my future.

  17. So after you put the wax on to finish it – what if you want to change it later? Can you paint again over the same piece with the wax finish?

    Will you mix some of the colors to get custom colors?

    Marian, I am really excited about this!! Thanks for all your tips. I was so surprised to see your corner cupboards already finished – they look marvelous!!

  18. Hi Marian, I am excited to read this. I had an exchange with Annie on Twitter after I tweeted that I had painted my china cabinet a gustavian grey…she wanted to know what paint I used. Well I had no idea who she was, looked at her profile and saw she owns a chalk paint company…and since I am just an amature I did not want to reveal I just used regular interior house paint! Then I realized I had one of her books, Create the French Look. It is an amazing book. So I went back to twitter and connected with her. I did not try her paint, thinking it was available in England only… but now am inspired to do so since I can get it locally. How small is this world?

  19. You had me at no priming. I have so many pieces I want to tackle this summer that a missed step sounds amazing. Can't wait for the tutorial so I can get started. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Sounds amazing, looks amazing. Wonder if it is carried in Canada? I'll look in to that.
    – Joy

  21. oooooh squeezie peasie! So I'm officially kicking you & your fam out & moving my happy lil self in lol Yay finally something I can get cheaper in Germany than you guys in the states haha lol I'll wait for your tut before shopping so I can get everything I need at once & then paint to my lil heart's content. Wish I was fabulous as you & could work those free deals lol. Have an awesome one.

  22. I'm another Canadian reader/blogger and wonder if you know about availability in Canada? This sounds like a dream. They should give you a free supply for life for all of the business you'll be sending their way!

  23. I am so excited to try it !!!
    What fun !!
    Thank you so much for trying it and letting
    us know how wonderful it is ~


  24. OMG Marian that paint is stunning! I am in awe of all the gorgeous little shop fronts shown on the stockists page, they are all images that seem to have come directly from inside my head where all my daydream 'will have my own shop one day' images swirl around!

    I have just emailed them and asked to try some paint…since I am in NZ I am a long way away from any of their other stockists, and I may fit their profile for preferred stockists…you never know!

    Thanks so much for sharing, this could be a major game changer for me!

    xx Karen

  25. Zowie Wowie! Who knew that such paint even existed? Once again, I feel like I have found buried treasure here in reading wonderful blogs such as yours. Cannot wait to see your tutorials, but you had me with your photos. Sold. Check please! 😉

  26. Vicki K, You know another cool thing about chalk paint is that you can paint over wax!

  27. Just came across your blog. Beautiful buffet pc. I have one in hiding and Im thinking with your tips she may come out. Sounds like even I can paint with this stuff.

  28. I totally love the idea… I just wish it came in a dark coffee brown… oh well, maybe some day…

  29. Wow! I LOVE how your dining room looks with that paint! Beautiful!

  30. Wow! This sounds almost to good to be true but the results you got look amazing! $30.00 a quart does sound high but if you factor in primer and the time you save sanding and priming you could paint more pieces in less time so I think you would actually come out ahead in the end. Can't wait to try it. Thanks for being our tester!

  31. I've been on pins and needles over here waiting for this announcement! Thanks for sharing, I think it was worth the wait. I checked out Annie Sloan's website and I'm excited to try some of her products.

  32. I have been waiting for this dang post. I thought it was a rather {beautiful} chalky finish! Off to buy a quart of the Paris Gray. Yum. I want the blue too but I'll have to wait…even though I don't want to! lol

  33. Wait. You can paint OVER wax? (I just saw your comment above). That's awesome.

  34. Wonderful post, beautiful furniture, can't wait to try this paint!! The colors and the distressing is beautiful. Will be looking for the tutorials. So wonderful of you to share all this.

  35. Beautiful and I'm a diehard stained furniture gal but for this kinda look I could change.
    Chalk paint who woulda thunk it, and I bet it would have been better accepted than that old purple crayon!

    OH man now I'm just gonna have to find a chic-cycle piece to try it on. Shhhhhh don't tell the Mr.!

  36. This is so wonderful. I saw your post and immediately went to buy it. I purchased the Old White and can't wait to paint. I found an incredible buffet in someone's trash pile today and loaded it up and brought it home. I can't believe the things people throw away! I know what color it's going to be now..super excited! Thanks for the wonderful inspiration. My blue dresser was inspired by your post!

  37. Can't wait for the details! Need to know the colors used on that dresser! They all look amazing! Thanks For sharing…

  38. Oh this sounds fantastic! Definitely going to try it. Thank you for sharing the tip!

  39. Anonymous says:

    I KNEW it! I bought her book about French decorating and fell in love with the finishes of the chalk paint, that soft matte or velvet look….I'm hoping to take an Annie Sloan workshop this summer since I am too timid to just jump in and take a chance…

  40. I too have never heard of chalk paint. Must give this a try!! I will also be ordering and painting to my hearts content soon!! I hope!

  41. Oh my, that paint looks amazing. I love your corner cabinets. I'm going to have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!


  42. It certainly is a gorgeous finish. I can't wait to see how you did all the pieces. I'm sure a lot of the results were because of your talented hands. Getting such a great finish! I wish they had samples to try before committing to $35 a quart plus $10 shipping. Eeek.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Please tell me what wax product you used and the color. It sounds like I need to order the wax at the same time I purchase the paint. Love your blog! Thanks so much, Kenda

  44. Sounds amazing…
    How does it hold up in high use areas?

    I'm thinking I might want to use this paint on my kitchen cabinets now that Jim said I could paint them.

  45. Can hardly wait to see your tutorial! The pieces you've shown using the paint are just beautiful!

  46. Absolutely beautiful!!! One thought….I am soon to be (end of this month-woohoo!) the new CA stockist for Annie Sloan paints and waxes. I will have Bakersfield north so if any followers are in this area, look me up.( My website is not current yet….working on updating with Annie Sloan!! But I have stock!!! And I travel to give workshops or fairs or ??? OK – my thought….clear wax first, then sand… chalk dust!! Learned this from Annie herself! So easy, and no little dust to clean up!! Love it! Can't wait to see what you do next!

  47. sounds delightful, especially the no sanding/priming part! I want some.

  48. Becky says:

    Can this paint be sprayed with my HVLP? Thanks Becky

  49. Your newly painted pieces look amazing! I really want to try this paint now!

  50. Everything looks amazing!! Thanks for the heads up on the great paint products! :)

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