Wednesday, September 10, 2014

5 Quick Tips for painting with ASCP

When I was teaching the recent series of classes for painting furniture with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, I realised that there are a lot of little tips and techniques that I do automatically that you perhaps you may not know. once you get to a certain skill level so much of what you do becomes second nature so I found it very interesting to go back to basics with a few people to give them a good grounding in painting.

I thought today I'd share 5 quick tips for using ASCP.

1.  Before you start painting, don't only shake the tin a little. I know you are VERY KEEN to get painting but turn the tin upside down for about 20 minutes and then shake upside down. Make sure the lid is on nice and tight first though!  Because ASCP is so "compoundy" (I'm struggling to think of the correct word) a simple shake of the tin is really not sufficient. This is especially true in Australia where the paint tins have sat for so long on their journey here from the manufacturers in America. All that chalk compound and some of the colour pigment settles at the bottom of the tin.

2. Depending on how shiny/glossy your piece is, give it a light sand before painting. I know, I know ... the whole reason you bought your can of ASCP is the promise of not having to prepare, sand or prime. BUT a little prep work will save you a whole lot of hassle down the track. Annie Sloan herself will tell you that very shiny modern pieces need a little sanding. I use a medium grit sanding sponge. The aim is to not remove the previous varnish or paint; just to create a little key for the paint to adhere to. If your piece is raw timber or old then this step can be skipped.  If you think the piece might bleed, prime with Zinsser or clear shellac.

3. Don't panic if the first coat looks like cr*p. This is a point where so many people give up and think they can't paint, but don't worry! First coats always look bad. The second coat will make a world of difference and you will be glad you persevered. Some spots may even need a third coat.

4. For your second coat, before you load the paint on your brush, slightly dip the very tip of your brush into water - just so that it touches the meniscus and your brush is the tiniest bit wet. Then load your brush with paint. This will give you a much nicer second coat.

5. Sanding after painting or after waxing will make your piece much nicer to touch. Well worth the effort. Use a very fine grit sanding sponge or paper for a lovely velvety feel.

What other tips can you add?

Fiona x


  1. Thanks for the tips. This has answered much of the questions I've had when painting with chalk pain. I've tried to do pieces but haven't sanded and I thought, this stuff doesn't work. It gets easier and the better you get the more you paint, I've found.Thanks for sharing.


  2. Only one tip.....get you to do it and pay you for any hassle-love dee x

  3. Hi Fiona
    This is so helpful, tips like these is what I need, the basic stuff that people always assume you know but as a beginner you have no idea, like the panic you get with the first coat when it looks awful.
    Please do more of this kind of advice.
    Best wishes

    1. Thanks so much Maria. I will definitely keep on sharing tips!

  4. fabulous tips, Fiona, thankyou
    Julia x

  5. I just found your site and can't wait to comb through it thoroughly. Your pieces are lovely!

  6. I wish i come across your 5 tips for painting with ASCP before i did my first piece , what a bad experience paint was drying so fast it looked like it was full of sand when i tried to go over it...well thanks to you sharing such good information i just finished 2 side tables and a mirror that are looking great . Thanks xx

  7. Hi Fiona

    Thank you for sharing these useful tips. I love your pieces and you have inspired me to finally do something about my old buffet . Can you tell me where I can purchase the ASCP? I live in the Inner West.


    1. thanks Diana, just google ASCP Australian Stockists to find where you want to go. some at manly and at Waterloo. the one at redfern has closed down.


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