… refinishing q&a’s

You all have been so wonderful & supportive during my recovery. Here are some of your questions dating back pre-accident, so, early December. I read everything I’m sent and I have the intention of always answering & responding. Sometimes it just takes me a bit…

It looks like you use mainly real wood furniture. Would you know how good ASCP is on other material?

I’m going to be doing a post on the dangers of working on pieces that are not real wood. Not real dangers, but alot of energy and time and money spent on refinishing some pieces that just won’t turn out well. I have worked on laminate and veneer pieces in the past, but going forward I am only going to work with wood. That is to say I’m only going to take one refinishing jobs with real wood. If I have something of my own that is not real wood and I desperately want a change I will totally try it. ASCP is meant to go on anything, but I have found that newer pieces of furniture that are not real wood can sometimes have some funky stains & coating on them that the paint will not stick to. Just a warning that I’ll be talking more about soon.

Could you please tell me if the oak table that you did the weathered wood look on was sanded before you applied the paint.

Nope. You don’t need to do any sanding beforehand. In fact, if you want that look you will need texture. Don’t sand.


Does cool weather have any effect on chalk painting?  I would be painting a piece in an enclosed garage, but it is cool here in North Carolina!

Paint just doesn’t like the cold. Any kind of paint. If you are going to work on a piece, put your paint inside so it doesn’t freeze. When you go to work on your piece if it’s cold the paint could literally freeze on your piece or it could become a gloppy, sticky mess. If this starts to happen move it all inside, Girl.

I have a lot of of stained furniture, most of it is pine and light in color. I’m wondering if it will work out right using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on that kind of wood or lightness? Because all of the “before” pictures I see there are dark pieces of furniture starting with. I guess you have experience with this kind of wood and can give me some advice?

You mostly see darker wood in before & after shots because Chalk Painters prefer working with vintage furniture and it is usually darker. You can totally paint on your light, wood furniture and it will work great. I always recommend doing a little sample spot if you’re nervous.


Also I have a old living room table with a marble top, ugly green. I would like to paint the entire table, including the marble. Does it work?

I have never painted marble and to be honest, I never would. I get that you are not into the green and want to do something about it. Have you thought about getting a piece of glass cut for the top? Or a piece of furniture grade wood. I think these may be better options.

Do you have any advice as to the best way to start the creating a blog site etc.?

I’m going to be talking a bit more about this soon. I have posted on starting your own blog before so do a search on my site. My first piece of advice it to just do it. Don’t think too much about it because you may scare yourself out of it. You can set it up yourself, download images and then just go. You’ve got nothing to lose.

Do you know the date for the Luckett’s Spring Market?

It’s always late May.

You don’t normally paint interiors, right?  Was wondering if the client asked you to paint the inside?  Also, did you wax the inside too?  I paint the inside of doors, but not the rest of the interior.  Always thinking as folks are pulling things on/off those horizontal surfaces like plates and platters, will really scratch the paint…So that’s why I ask.

If it is an amoire or china cabinet or secretary I always paint the interiors. I love the contrast that shows through. I do not paint the inside of dressers or nightstands. It’s not usually done. For the open cabinets, yes, I wax the shelf so that exact thing does not happen.


I want to somehow begin to transform my PB like home decor to more of a upscale country feel with painted furniture and accessories. The only problem being, I have no idea where one begins. And that’s the reason for my email.

I hear you! At the risk of seeming a bit bold, paint one of your PB pieces! I painted a very large secretary from PB for a client a few years ago. It was originally black and I painted it Country Grey. When I distressed it the black came through and the effect was beautiful. It transformed into an aged & storied piece of furniture right before my eyes. Love when that happens.

I used two coats of Old White and have never had a problem before with blue streaks coming through as I waxed.  I painted long strokes from side to side so I didn’t have brush marks when I did the second coat of paint. Not sure what to do at this point.  All I have waxed so far is the top.  Should I give the tabletop another coat?  Also, since this our everyday table, should I apply more than one coat of wax?

Yes, I know what you are saying. If using Old White or Pure White and you do not do at least 2 coats when you clear wax you will find that the wood or original paint will come through. This will get a bit better when the clear wax has dried. If you are still not satisfied with the results then you will want to go back and paint another coat. Then redo your clear wax.


I live in Raleigh NC, but if I lived in Virginia I would definitely seek out your services, but I wondered if you could just share with me how to begin to transform my rooms?

Well, I guess start pulling out what you don’t like in that room! Take everything off your coffee table and console table. What do you really like? Edit. Put back only a few pieces that mean something. Buy some pretty, chunky candle stick holders, a little tray, some pretty hardcover books. Hate your furniture? Save up & do your research. Pick neutrals for the big pieces because you can live with them for a long time. Do you have an old rug that has way too many colors in it or just is old? Throw it out and find either a natural seagrass rug or some other light color. A rug with a bunch of patterns on it can just make a room feel like, well, too much to walk into frankly. This response is getting long. Maybe I’ll do a post on this question.

Right now I’m trying to give my great grandfathers old feudal oak fire bench the “limed oak” white wash but it’s a pain because so many odd spots still have places of shellac with the dark stain. Some parts are coming out just beautifully as I paint then wipe off. Then I have all these areas where the paint won’t get into the grain and just wipes off leaving the old shellac behind…Anyway just need some direction how to lime oak it properly.

Sounds like you are doing it correctly and that the spots you referenced are the places giving you trouble. Is there a poly on it? If it is not the same texture as the rest of the piece and if the paint is just wiping off then you must sand. If they are not huge spots then the lime treatment may still work for you. If there are many & if they are large then you may have to just paint the bench with full coverage.

My question is…..in your turorial you did not say anything about painting the backside of the caning. Would you paint the front side first then the backside?

Yes, start with the front and let dry. Then do the back.


Do you only put the wax on the details and edges?  Or do you cover the entire surface?

I only use my dark wax on details and some edges. Do NOT cover the entire surface. You will get a muddy mess

My question is–should I leave the dresser drawers in when I paint or should they be removed and painted separately? 

Take them out to be on the safe side.

What about waxing the narrow crevices? Find this harder than painting these places…

You will want to use a lint-free cloth to get into the crevices with your clear wax. If you are dark waxing then brush over, but don’t worry about getting in there.


Do you paint the back of a piece- like a buffet or dresser? I’ve done both- painted the back and have not painted the back. But was wondering your rule of thumb on this?

I have purchased pieces where the back was not painted and as a customer I was fine with it. I always paint the back if for a client. If it’s for me and the piece is really old and the wood is cool then I leave it as a little reminder of what it was.

My question is about the clear wax… I painted a dining room table over a month ago. Wax is still coming off if scratched and impressions are being made from my sweet kiddos :). When does it ever finally cure?

Did you leave it alone for at least 4/5 days to really dry? Did you buff it hard and well? There will be wear over time, but you should not be getting scratches. Certainly not this early after refinishing.


I am not happy with the outcome and so will go back and repaint some areas and try again. Can you just start painting, or do I need to do something before I do it?

Just start re-painting!

I love your tutorial on the lime wash table I am wondering if you have ever tried it with the Paris grey color? I’m worried it may come out to dark or if it would just be beautiful I would love to know what you think!

I think it could be really lovely. I also think doing the lime wash with the Coco would look really rich and warm as well.

Have you ever painted over polyurethane? I have a large built in library that’s poly coated oak in my home that I’m considering using chalk paint on.

Yes. All the time. Do a test if you are wary.

I watched most of your annie sloan chalk paint videos and am ready to give it a go but am concerned about my project piece, it is a fireplace surround. u mentioned n one of your videos that the wax melted n the sun, was that before u wiped it down? should I b concerned about the surround getting too warm?

Good question. If it were me I probably would not use any wax. That being said, if you really want the clear wax affect then do a sample near the warmest part.

I was wondering before using Annie Solone paint do I dampen a cloth to clean up doors or just dust off. I don’t know where to start?

If you have caked on dirt then you will want to use a wet cloth to clean it off. You don’t want it getting in the way of your paint job. This also goes for heavy dust. If light I use a large, dry brush to wipe down.


…chalk paint refresher series: the paint

There are many choices for furniture paint out there right now. There is only one Chalk Paint, however, which is Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan. She has trademarked that name. So when you see me referring to Chalk Paint this is what I mean and what I use.



So, you’ve picked your color based on the personality of your piece and its locale in your home. Now it’s time to crack open the can. Hopefully you have left it sitting upside down so the sediments are not sitting on the bottom, shaken it for a few minutes and stirred upon opening. You may notice a bit of a water base once opening so be sure you take the time to stir.



You will then take your good quality brush and start with a thin coat all over the piece. When I am doing my first coat I do not worry about getting full coverage. I just try to cover most of the wood almost as a guideline. This coat will give you a bit of courage. You’ve painted the wood and there’s no turning back. Only going forward!



I always do a second coat and work on coverage. I make sure I cover all the wood, if that is the look I’m going for. Typically clients want full coverage with the paint and distressing on the edges. Here is an image of the second coat.


Crevices & Details.

In this stage it’s okay to leave some of those cracks and crevices the natural wood color. It gives the piece character and a natural, aged look. IMG_0955

Touch Ups.

I must note that one of the best features of Chalk Paint is that you can go back to do touch ups without seeing a discrepancy like in latex wall paint. It is amazing and a quality that I sometimes take for granted. Painting would be a grueling process if every coat had to be perfect.

Watering down?

I know some of you like to water down your paint coats, but typically I do not. The only time I find myself doing this is if a) I’ve come to the end of my can and there is a thick puddle at the bottom that I can salvage OR b) I need a third coat, but do not need to go crazy with anything thick OR c) I’m doing a white wash over a bright color that I like.


Tomorrow we’ll talk about sanding! If you find this refresher series helpful pass along to your painting pals! xoxo

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