Q & A ???

Got a question about furniture refurbishing/painting?

Post a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer.


193 thoughts on “Q & A ???”

  1. I purchased some annie sloan paint in a vintage shop in Marlborough and the lady said that the best thing about sloan paint was that no prep was necessary. You just paint straight over varnish, glaze, old paint etc. This sounds wrong, is it true or not in your experience?

    • I’ve learned the hard way that it’s nearly always best to prep and prime before using Annie Sloan paint. I love the stuff because it’s very ‘arty’ and you can produce loads of different paint effects with it, BUT it doesn’t always do what it says on the tin.

      Pine has to be knot blocked and primed to prevent resin bleed and the darker furniture, such as dark oak and mahogany are dreadful for bleeding stain.

      If you’re using a light cololured paint on a dark wood, you will need to prime – you could end up doing 4 or 5 coats of chalk paint to get coverage, if you don’t prime the paint ends up looking ‘dirty’ with brown/pink hues bleeding into the paint.

      So, in the long run it’s much cheaper and often quicker to sand, wash and prime furniture. The primer will seal the wood and help prevent the problems I mentioned.

      If you’re painting something ‘inert’ like glass – no problem, slap it on.

      Hope this helps.

      • Holly Dixon said:

        ive had this problem and learnt the hard way this week!! Ive done many paint jobs before and never had this though! Is it possible to now paint the primer over the annie slaone paint I have already put onto the wood?! What would you suggest?! and what primer would you use?!

        Many thanks


  2. Emma Martin said:


    I’m a daily follower of your blog & I love the stuff that you paint. I have recently purchased some Annie Sloan chalk paint, as it’s very popular at the moment.

    However, I’m not too impressed with it.. It seems to dry funny and every brush mark is prominent. Do you have any tips?

    Kindest regards,


    • Hello Emma,

      The chalk paint isn’t easy to work with and does take some getting used to. Try using a softer brush and stir the paint really well before applying. Dip your brush in the paint pot about an inch, wipe one side thoroughly (on the side of the paint pot), the other side just a tad. Apply paint as thinly as possible, going with the grain of the wood and working in smallish areas at a time. This should do the trick.

      Don’t be afraid the wipe it off and start again – the paint cleans up very easily.

      Hope this helps.

      • Hi,

        I too have been reading your blog, and find it very inspiring, I am looking to opening a workshop in the Wokingham area (Berkshire) can you tell me about the current market, give me any tips or advice it would be really helpful! Thankyou for your amazing blog



  3. Hi I’ve just come across your blog, you’ve already made me chuckle a few times – that auctioneer sounds entertaining!
    I’ve just started out painting furniture and am currently working on a dining set with Annie Sloan paint, I’ll see how I get on with it after reading your comments. Anyway I’m keen to know really what you think of the Market at the moment? How are your (gorgeous) items selling at the moment? I live in a suburb of Manchester which is very well known for furniture & I’m considering renting a small unit behind our antiques village, but am a little reticent as to whether I’ll actually make any money?! I have put a couple of chairs on EBay but haven’t had anything sell as yet…I’d be grateful for your feedback, thanks.

    • Hi Laura,

      I have sent you an email covering some of things you asked in your email.


      • Hey really enjoyed your blog, really inspiring I am thinking of starting to sell some in the Wokingham Berkshire area, do you have any tips or advice?


    • I had a little unit in one of the garages at the back of the Antiques Village in Levenshulme Manchester. If I were you, my advise would be if you are just starting to try and do pieces at home to sell. You can still offer your pieces to various outlets around there and in more upmarket places as well as on ebay and yes they all take a cut but don’t under price/value your work if you know it’s finish is good. The rent was reasonable there as I remember but there were break ins. Also, look at etsy, fab and some of the other online outlets as ways to sell maybe?

  4. Aislinn Roberts said:

    Hi there
    I’m a fellow painter of vintage furniture items, and I must say I love your blog!
    I did have a chuckle at you ‘guarding your chairs’ because your husband said he would ‘help’ you to paint! I don’t know how many times I have ‘lost’ the keys to the lock up to stop my partner doing the exact same thing. He has caused me hours of corrective surgery on my furniture.He claimed ‘No one could be as perfect as you (me)!
    I work full time as well as renovating and I have often returned to a ‘surprise’ on his day off. He has begun to paint a precious piece, sometimes even finishing it within a day!? Then proudly revealing it to me on my return. I cannot tell you of the utter horror I feel whilst uttering my grateful thanks! To top it all the guy is in desperate need of glasses, he must be or why else would he not be able to see what I can see?
    Please carry on blogging and good luck with the pupilage!

    • It’s only fair Aislinn. Why should I be the only one with a frustrated painter as a partner:-) And yes, I too have suffered the ‘whistlestop’ refurbishments. One classic was just a few weeks back, when hubby decided to re-cover a seat whilst I went into make coffee (yup, that quick). I arrived back with the coffee, to find a very expensive fabric had been stapled really tightly to the wooden frame, so when the seat was turned the right way up, the foam looked like a size 20 lady, wearing a size 8 bikini – bulges everywhere, with wrinkly tight bits en masse. I wasn’t happy.

      He’s just second coated some bits of a dressing table and asked eagerly if I’d had a look. “Not yet” said I (wanting to add “I just can’t face it at the minute”).

      Glad you like the blog and thankyou for the good wishes for pupillage.

      • Aislinn Roberts said:

        Yep, had that too, as well as a CHISEL through my hand whilst I held a chair whilst he tried out a ‘really quick’ way of removing the old upholstery!
        Also why oh why can’t he see a drip or run at 100 yards on his paintwork, as he claims I can????!!!!!!

  5. I do find it quite difficult to remember that my hubby means well Aislinn. He’s just convinced that fast is good and it’s difficult to get him to sloooow down, but when he does, his work is good. I think most of it is boredom – the painting seems like a good idea, but ten minutes in, it all gets a bit boring, so the speed ramps up. He has improved and his joinery is much better than mine, it’s just that he needs a little patience:-) Perhaps a Jack Jones CD will put the hand brake on a little?

  6. Nicki Clive said:

    Hello Barrister’s Horse

    What sort of wax do you use on your paint?

    • Hi Nicki,

      The short answer is ‘it depends’. I use the Annie Sloan clear wax or Hannants clear wax for a straight forward ‘wax job’. There’s little, if any difference between the 2 brands (imo). I also use Fiddes wax and Briwax on occasions for paint effects. I don’t have a particular brand for dark waxing; whichever I’ve got to hand in the shade I fancy.

      • shabbydaisies said:

        Hi Jackie, I’ve just ordered some Hannants clear wax via Amazon on your recommendation. Used Annie Sloans a lot but fed up with having to travel miles to the shops near me that sell it.
        Love your blog

      • Hi Loraine,

        I use both brands and can’t tell the difference. They both seem to vary slightly from batch to batch in texture, but each produce the same finish.

        Hope you get on ok with it.


  7. Hi Jackie,

    I do love your blog, it’s written so well! I think I’ve now managed to read all the way back to the beginning (I too, must get a life, I know). Anyway, I love the work you have done. I am trying to gain some momentum with selling my items, and wondered how you’ve managed to do so well, i.e. eBay/direct sales, etc. Thanks, any help would be much appreciated.

    • Hi Jocelyn,

      Glad you’re enjoying the blog:-)

      Erm, I’m not so sure that my business is THAT successful. I sell quite a bit of furniture, have busy periods, but also have lulls just like most small businesses. I mess up sometimes and take a loss on some items (and hopefully learn by my mistakes). I earn a living and work long hours – no I’m not looking for sympathy; it’s just in my nature to be a bit ‘dedicated’ (aka boring geek:-)). So, there’s no secret key, that I’m aware of, to success.

      I think if you enjoy what you do, you’re halfway there to making a go of things, because putting the hours in isn’t a chore and the passion does shine through with the end product.

      Not sure I’ve answered your question, but it’s the best advice I can offer. Good luck!


  8. Hi Jackie,
    I have a few pieces of furniture I want to restore and paint. I haven’t used chalk paint before and am dying to try it. I am looking at Annie Sloan and Autentico, both of which I see you use. Have you found much difference between the two, and do you think I should choose just on colour choices?
    Beautiful furniture by the way!

  9. Hi Ellie,

    Yes I use both Autentico Vintage (AV) and Annie Sloan Chalk Paints (ASCP). They are quite different to use. ASCP is quick drying and AV a slower drying paint. The finishes on both brands of paint are matt. ASCP is quite ‘arty’, so you can expect texture and pigmentation variation. AV is smooth textured, without much variation in pigmentation.

    I like both – each have their attributes, so it depends what you’re looking for. AV is a little easier to use if you’re not familiar with chalk paint. The slower drying time allows a little more time to get brush strokes even and there’s less ‘drag’ with the second coat.

    I’m being quite cautious I suppose, because I sell Autentico Vintage and don’t want to be seen to be favouring one brand over
    the other. They’re both good brands of paint and I enjoy using both of them, so it’s really a matter of preference as to what sort of finish you’re looking for.

    Hope this helps.


  10. Lorraine Murnin said:

    I bought some Autentico Vintage paint from yourself and have just started to paint my first piece of furniture for my spare room. I did my prep and have applied the 2nd coat and am due to finish the piece with the third coat but don’t think the finish is going to be as smooth as what I would like. The 2nd coat has still got quite a few brush marks in it how do I get the 3rd coat a lot smoother? Also when I do finish the piece should I use a matt varnish or wax to seal the furniture? Your advice would be very much appreciated.

    • Hi Lorraine,

      If you’re not getting a smooth finish with the Autentico paint, then there’s a problem. It could be that the paint is a little too thick, or that your brush is a little too stiff. A 3rd coat painted onto a brush strokey 2nd coat will only make matters worse, so you’ll need to sand before 3rd coating.

      Using a 120 grit (fine grade) sandpaper, lightly sand the 2nd coat to remove the brushstrokes – be gentle as the primer and paint won’t be fully cured yet. I find that a gentle circular motion works well on getting rid of brush strokes. You can wrap your sandpaper around a small block of wood or something similar (to get a flat surface), if you find it easier to work with this way. If you’ve gone through the layers of paint with sanding, just patch paint those bits and leave to dry. Brush off any paint dust from your sanded paintwork. Dilute your paint with a little water (adding a tablespoon at a time and mixing until you get a smooth creamy consistency).

      Apply the 3rd coat as thinly as possible with a good quality, soft bristled paint brush. Dip your paintbrush in the paint about an inch deep. Wipe one side of the paintbrush on the side of the pot (yes, you need to be quite mean with the paint). Work in fairly small sections at a time, painting in neat ‘lines’. Allow to dry overnight. Sand any bits that look brush strokey before waxing (but I find this isn’t usually necessary with Autentico paint, unless I’ve got a ‘blob’ of grit or dust in the paintwork).

      Waxing is preferable, as varnish might add to the brush strokes problem and you’ll be back to square one. You can apply the wax with a cloth (a piece of old white t.shirt is perfect) or a brush, whichever you prefer. You’ll need about a teaspoon of wax at a time on your cloth, and you just wipe it onto the paintwork. Mop up any excess wax with a clean white cloth as you go along. I usually wax again after a day or two, but this isn’t compulsory – I just find that the Autentico paint absorbs the wax slowly, so a second, thin coat applied a few days later is beneficial.

      You should get an almost perfect finish using this method.


  11. Linda Hulme said:

    Hi Jackie, I have just started working on a coffee table. I am using Annie Sloan paint – can you please tell me what the best finish is to put the table top i.e. wax or varnish – if varnish what type?? Many thanks Linda

    • Hi Linda,

      It’s a matter of taste really. Wax gives a more ‘natural’ looking finish, varnish is perhaps a touch more practical, as it’s easier to wipe clean and is a little more durable.

      If you decide to varnish – a water based, matt, non-yellowing is the type you want. Do try it on a small section of the table first though. I’ve had the occasional problem with varnish reacting with the paint and turning brown. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s annoying when it does:-) Kind regards. Jackie

  12. Linda Hulme said:

    Gosh that was a quick reply – thank you so much – will have to get busy now – will let you know how it goes! Lx

  13. Hi Jackie,
    I have recently discovered your blog – where do you find the time for it along with all the lovely furniture you refurb. I have an old French vitrine which i have been planning on lining with fabric but have not decided how i’m going to go about it – what adhesive and method do you use when lining your furniture with fabric? Any tips would be appreciated.
    Kind regards, Olivia

    • Hi Olivia,

      In the final year of Bar school, I had to churn out 10,000 words a week, so I do write very, very quickly (although not always to the standard I’d like!).

      Any adhesive will do, but make sure it dries clear so as not to mark the fabric. There are several brands of fabric adhesive available, which do the job nicely.

      Good luck with the vitrine.


  14. Beth Elam said:

    I am new to painting furniture, distressing anything, and your blog and I think I love all 3. I have two questions for you; the first is about some of the paper/art on your pieces, specifically the french paper you placed on the knobs on one of the pieces. Do you decoupage them on or use some other method. I know nothing about that process so I would appreciate it if you would share what products you use and direct me toward a tutorial or blog, etc to learn about the process. My next question is about how you ship your items. Obviously most of your pieces are large, to very large so I can’t imagine the UPS guy arriving in his little brown shorts to pick up your kitchen hutch, so how do you do it.
    Thank you,

    • Hi Beth,

      With regards to getting my furniture to customers. I do a lot of the deliveries myself, but those too far away, I use couriers who specialise in furniture. There’s one who is local to me who does most of my long haul deliveries.

      The decoupage is just a simple glue and varnish (lots of coats). Any decoupage tutorial will show you how, but you can’t really go wrong. I guess there will be lots of expensive ‘specialist’ decoupage materials out there, but I use standard products that I use on a daily basis for multiple purposes.


  15. Hi wondered if you would be so kind as to give me some advice, I recently purchased a Solid Mahogany table – but on further investigation ie getting it home and looking at it in decent light, I think it is veneer. It does have a few scratches and needs a bit of TLC, what is the best way to restore the veneer,clean and remove the scratches?, I dont want to go full pelt with a sander as I probably wont have any top left!.


    • Hi Lorraine,

      I’ve found that sanding is the only way to go. I’m sure a French polisher would disagree, but my skills in that department are limited, and ultimately you don’t want to be spending days and days just working on the top, before tackling the base.

      I have sanded mahogany veneer with success. Take a look at the edge of the table, you might be able to see how thick the veneer is. On older furniture the veneer is often a decent thickness.

      Waxing a scratched top doesn’t really cut the mustard and the thinners in the waxes tend to dull the old varnish, making matters worse.

      I always start my sanding by hand to retain some control and if an item is a bit delicate or fiddly, I’ll hand sand all the way. It’s a bit of a faff, but better than ripping through the veneer.

      As an alternative, you could apply a stripper to the top, but I’m not a fan of stripping and my efforts on a mahogany sideboard failed miserably. I ended up with a gloopy mess and still lots of sanding.

      Once the old varnish is off, you can proceed as usual, with waxing, or staining, or varnishing.


  16. Thankyou for getting back to me so quickly,I will pluck up the courage to tackle the table this weekend.


  17. Hi Jackie,

    I have recently had to leave my job due to stress but have found recycling old furniture my therapy!
    I am curious to know how you treat the inside of some of your pieces. I am currently sanding a beautiful old chiffonier but am not sure what to do with the inside of it. It has been painted (I think!) with what looks like orange paint throughout the inside and it’s very dusty. The shelves were lined with sticky back plastic but i’ve managed to get that off as it was peeling anyway.
    I also have an ercol dresser/cupboard like the one you painted earlier in the year. That too, is very dark inside with signs of wear on the drawers as the lighter wood is showing though the dark stain. What did you do with yours?
    Finally, I want to say thank you for inspiring me. I have always been very creative in the past but since leaving teaching in April of this year, have felt quite lost. I need a sense of purpose and hopefully doing this will get me back again.


  18. Hi Mandy,

    I don’t tend to buy furniture that’s very poor on the inside because of the work involved. It’s difficult for me to make a profit on an item if I’ve had to spend hours and hours on the inside.

    I always wipe out the insides twice; once before I start the refurb and once again at the end. Sometimes I leave the drawers as is, sometimes I line them with fabric. Only once have I painted the inside of an item – I’m not keen on painted insides, but that’s just me – I prefer the contrast of the original finish with the new paintwork.

    Not sure what to recommend with the chiffonier. I’d probably line with fabric, leaving the old paintwork.

    As for the Ercol; a little wear and tear isn’t the end of the world, so long as it’s nice and clean… A dark wax will help to revive the woodwork and will even out the wood tones a little.

    Good luck

  19. Thanks for your speedy reply, Jackie.
    I shall get cracking tomorrow, I’m very grateful for the advice!


  20. Hi I have taken the plunge and bought some your autentico paint and wax, only used eggshell before. Do i need specific brushes for chalk paint?

  21. Antonia, Tidy Away Today said:

    Hello, I’ve just found you by googling Lebus furniture – I’ve just started painting some furniture and have acquired a Lebus wardrobe I know nothing about. Do you know what era it could be from, it has curved sides and a little flourish at the top of the door – possibly 1950s? I have got some Annie Sloan Old White I am thinking of using, I thought it might be nice in a little girl’s room. Glad I found you – some lovely inspiration here!

    • Hello Antonia,

      I think you’re about right with the Lebus era – although it could be a little earlier.

      I refurbished a Lebus chest of drawers a few months back and they were straight forward from what I remember.

      If the wardrobe is dark oak, I’d recommend a sand and prime, as dark oak’s a bugger for stain bleeding. Or you could do a sample section to see if you can get away with just using chalk paint.

      Good luck and glad you like the blog.


      • Antonia, Tidy Away Today said:

        Thanks for replying so soon and for the advice. It is dark and glossy, would you sand by hand with a block? Also, would water based primer and undercoat in one be fine? If so, could I then water down the chalkpaint a bit to make it go further?

        I only have some Briwax and when I used it on a chest recently, it turned out ok but I could see a few ‘oily patches’ – was I too heavy handed with it? I don’t know if should use a brush or rub the wax on with a rag.

        Your Lebus chest looked amazing, If my wardrobe turns out even half as good I will be pleased!

  22. I tend to sand by hand when prepping, but it’s down to personal preference. If there’s lots of flat areas, a whizz with an electric sander on the flat bits will speed things up.

    Yes, water based primer/stainblock/undercoat, all in one is perfect. 2 coats.

    Yes, I tend to water down chalk paint a little; it’s a bit less brush strokey that way.

    I’m not too keen on Briwax for waxing paint. I’ve used it a few times, but I find it a little too ‘stripping’. Better to go for a soft wax with less thinners added. I prefer to use a cloth for waxing, but that’s just personal preference.

    I’m sure you’ll be just fine. Take your time, allow plenty of drying time between each process – job’s a good un:-)

  23. Hi Jackie,

    I’ve been asking myself the same question about women painting furniture!
    There is also a far more pressing question that’s been niggling me for some time – what happens to men once they hit their fifties? I’ve been to several auctions now and every week, I witness large groups of older men wearing strange coloured trousers! Pink or yellow cords seem to be a big favourite but a few tartan ones have received a few ‘double takes’ from passers by. Do they suddenly lose all their inhibitions?!
    Anyway, another question for you:
    I’ve sanded an old dark unit recently only to find dark stains coming through the wood primer as I apply it. Is there a primer that can block the staining? Does one particular primer work better than others?


  24. Morning M & M.

    Blame David Dickinson for the clothing – those men in lurid trousers all aspire to be on the telly and he’s their role model:-)

    As for the stain bleed. You need to wear tartan trousers whilst applying the primer for it to work properly:-)

    Joking aside, a shellac based primer is what you need. Leave each coat for 24 hours. Five coats is my world record to get a stain blocked.

    Looks like the rain’s stopped – time to paint!


  25. Amanda/Jackie

    I had problems with a 1920’s drawleaf table it was stained a dark oak, I sanded down but the stain bled through the primer no matter how many coats I put on. I went to Brewers a main paint dealer near me and they advised Aluminium paint, it worked a treat only needed one coat, it is quite potent though so best to use outside.


  26. Hi Lorraine,

    I’ve tried a couple aluminium primers, but couldn’t get on with them. I found them too ‘gloopy’ to achieve a smooth finish. But I guess if it works on really stubborn stains, it’s worth putting up with the ‘gloop’:-)

  27. Hi Jackie,

    yes it is like a really thick gloss paint, you have to work pretty quickly with it, I found if you put it in the fridge an hour or so before you paint its not so sticky.I then lightly sanded it before priming with my usual water based primer.

  28. Tried the Authentico paint I purchased from you this evening, have to say I love it, painted a chair that had been stuck in the back of the shed for ages, husband thought I was mad when I told him you dont need to prime, washed it down waited for it to dry, two coats of paint later and it looks fab, one more coat tomorrow then I will wax, How long do you leave the paintwork to cure before you wax?

    • I’d leave it a day before waxing Lorraine. If you wax too soon, it can pull your paint off and in the current damp, cool weather, it’s best to let the paint cure overnight.

      You will find that the wax is very easy and quick to use, but slow to absorb. For this reason, it’s best to apply another quick coat of wax a day or two after the first. Be sparing with the second coat of wax – just a quick wipe. Keep your waxing cloth in the tin – that way it stays moist and soft and you won’t need to use much ‘fresh’ wax on your cloth for the second coat.

      Glad you like the paint btw.


      p.s. I always find it’s best to add a little water to paint when going for a third coat. It helps stop a build up of texture/brush strokes.

  29. Received my transfer today,thankyou, not sure what Im going to use it on yet but will let you know.
    Thanks again

  30. Hi

    Just wondered what your thoughts are on waxing / finishing a table painted in Farrow and Ball? Would you wax like with Annie Sloan or would you matt varnish to protect it.. would be great to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks Lisa

    • Hi Lisa,

      I’m assuming you’re referring to the Eggshell finish? I used to wax F & B paint when it was an oil based formula, but I find it streaks on the water based eggshell and leaves smears. I wouldn’t varnish either as I don’t think it adds anything to the already wipeable finish. The eggshells are designed for skirting boards, doors etc., to withstand some wear and tear, so I don’t apply any other finish these days… why ruin a lovely finish.


  31. Beth Elam said:

    We bought this gorgeous Federal Secretary that someone promptly broke the door off of the upper section. When the door was yanked the side wall of the cabinet split. It appears the hinge screw holes were previously shimmed in an effort to deal with a stripped screw. We think that repair actually began the split by placing too much pressure in the hole. The debate at my house is on how to fix it. Option 1: wood glue the piece of wood that is the outer face of the cabinet back on, this incorporates some of the area around the screw hole. Then drill a slightly larger screw hole and place a rawl plug in the hole which would provide the screw a hole it would grip into; Option 2: glue the side back on as before but then fill the screw hole with wood glue place the screw and hinge as they should end up so when the glue cures everything is solid and strong; Option 3: The correct thing to do.
    Thanks for your help, Beth

  32. Hi Beth,

    I’d be looking to place the hinge in a fresh position, so that you’re not anchoring to a weakened area of wood. You’d probably have to re-position the ‘twin’ hinge too, so that they don’t look odd.

    Kind regards

  33. Hi, I have been a regular follower of your blog for many months now. I paint furniture destined for the tip for my personal use. I have purchased a nest of tables for a family member that I would like to upcycle as a Christmas gift. As they have recently moved to the coast I would like to add some beach hut images to them. Can you advise me on your technique for transferring images to furniture.
    Many thanks in advance.
    Lucy Gardner

    • Hi Lucy,

      I don’t have a set method for images on furniture. Sometimes I do a freehand artwork in acrylics, sometimes I trace an image (and either leave ‘as is’ or add colour with acrylics), and sometimes I decoupage. I’ve yet to try one of my iron-on transfers onto chalk paint, but it’s on my ‘to do sometime before Christmas’ list.

      I’d have thought that for a simple beach hut design, I’d trace the outline from a clip art or similar, then ‘colour in’ with pastel acrylic art paints.


  34. Thank you for your reply, I will try the trace and color method and let you know how I got on. I would be really interested in knowing if the iron transfer works. Ooh maybe I can try it with the transfer you very kindly sent me.

  35. Hi Jackie
    Loving your blog the vision of you pacifying your horse this evening made me chuckle.
    Have a query on the Autentico paint, I used the Regency white on some dark oak chairs, I did prepare and prime/undercoat as I wasnt sure what paint I was going to use but went for the white, after 4 coats I still had the dark oak showing through, not bleeding or stain just the shadows of the dark oak, was the dark oak too much for the white?.

    • Hi Lorraine,

      I haven’t used the Regency White myself, so have no direct experience of the colour. But, I’ve had a similar experience with dark oak chairs and some of the F & B pale shades. So, yes, it sounds as though the R. White can’t offer enough pigment to cover the dark oak hues.

      There’s no magical solution as such, the quickest ‘fix’ will be to sand back lightly and opt for a darker coloured paint. Failing that, you could sand lightly, then apply another coat or 2 of white primer/sealer/undercoat, leave for 24 hours, then try again.

      Not much use to you now, but the Autentico ‘Almond’ offers good coverage, even though it’s quite pale.


  36. Thanks Jackie
    Did opt for a darker colour Elephants Breath F/B, think is was just that the oak was too dark as you say, lovely paint to work with though and sure I will find something lighter to use it on.


  37. Linda Hulme said:

    Hi Jackie,
    Firstly just had to tell you how I love to read your blog – you always manage to bring a smile to my face – especially the tales of your horse!

    I am painting a pine dresser. As the top of the base was quite damaged I sanded it down which took it back to some bare wood. I did put a primer on then a coat of Old White then Versailles but the bare wood is still very slightly bleeding through. Would it be a good idea to put a layer of water based varnish on and then another coat of Versailles and then wax? Do you think this might stop the problem or have you any other ideas?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best wishes Linda

    • Hi Linda,

      Don’t think varnish will help much. You don’t say which primer, or how many coats, but you need a good one with a knot block and you’ll need at least 2 coats. Leave each coat 24hrs to cure, and if there’s still resin/stain coming through the primer, keep going with another coat or two. Leave the primer to cure 24hrs before painting.

      You won’t need to sand everything back fully to re-start the priming, just go back as far as needs be to get a smooth surface – the primer should adhere to the chalk paint without any problems.

      Good luck!


  38. Linda Hulme said:

    Hi Jackie,

    Thanks for the info – I will start on the primer again. My problem is I am impatient and the thought of waiting a few days for each coat of paint to dry drives me mad!! But it will be worth it in the end. Many thanks and have a great weekend…… just hope the rain stops – it has poured all day here.

    Best wishes Linda

  39. I first came across your furniture on eBay and have just discovered your blog. I’m just starting out painting furniture for myself and I’m unsure what paint brushes to use. I’ve read you use Harris brushes and was wondering if you could let me know which one of Harris’ is the best to use for the chalk paint?

    Thanks in advance, Ruth

    • Hi Ruth,

      I don’t think there is a particular brand of brush, as such, that’s better than another, but you need a soft synthetic for chalk paint. Go with a decent brand, as you’ll find they’re more sturdy. The rest is a matter of personal preference… what feels right in your hand. I do tend to use different brushes from time to time, as I find that my wrists ache if I’m really busy painting, and by changing to a different brand/type of brush, I hold it slightly differently and this eases the strain on my wrists/hands.

      I’ve just bought a Wooster silver tip, but haven’t tried it yet.


  40. Tidy Away Today said:

    Hi, enjoying your blog – your sense of humour appeals to me! I know you said you tend not to paint the interiors of an old piece like a wardrobe, but would you do the top and back? I’m thinking, what’s the point? But hubby thinks I should, especially if I am planning to sell this particular wardrobe. Would appreciate your thoughts!

    • Hi… Well the short answer is ‘it depends’. I don’t always paint the backs of items; if they’re presentable I’ll leave them ‘as is’. On some really big items, I’ve left the backs, but do state so, just so that the customer knows. There probably aren’t many customers who would pay an additional £100 to have the back of a big item painted, but if you’re talking 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint, that’s a lot of hours painting and it’s got to be accountable when it comes to earning a living.

      On chalk painted items, I tend to give the backs a single coat to freshen. On old items, where the backs look a bit untidy, I do paint them. I don’t paint many wardrobes, but the last one I did was painted on top (just as well, because the buyer wanted it for a hallway and it was near to the stairs), and the back was given a single coat of primer and 2 quick coats of F & B. The back was a ‘straight run’ with no nooks and crannies, so it didn’t take too long to paint.

      Sorry I haven’t really answered your question; it’s a matter of choice and price and the condition of the item.


      • Tidy Away Today said:

        Actually that is helpful; I agree it probably depends on the piece. I’m using primer & chalkpaint so may do a ‘freshen up’. I hadn’t thought about a possible view from above, if something is going near to stairs, so that’s worth remembering, too. Thanks, Jackie.

      • I don’t suppose I’d thought about the wardrobe being viewed from above, but the top of it felt quite rough to the touch (I think it was bare wood) and I thought it would be a problem to wipe/dust, so painted it.


  41. Hi Jackie,
    Dare I say it, I would like to make some of my own fabric transfers for some personalised gifts. Do I use special printer paper or buy a kit? It’s not that i don’t like your transfers of course….!

  42. Eugenie Noonan said:

    What’s the best way to avoid drips when painting with annie Sloan. Say when doing legs on furniture

    • Hi Eugenie,

      Use a smallish brush (1″ – 1.5″) and paint a small section at a time. Dip your brush an inch into the paint and wipe one side before painting. This should do the trick.


  43. Antonia, Tidy Away Today said:

    Hi Jackie, I just wondered if you had any advice about getting veneer off. Is there a straightforward way? I’ve got an old chest of drawers which the previous owner kept in a bathroom. The moisture has got into the top and lifted off some of the veneer, which I easily peeled away (couldn’t have saved it). The rest is stubborn as anything and won’t shift! Any help appreciated.

    • Hi Antonia,

      The best way is to steam off the rest of the veneer. Wet (old!) towels placed on the veneer, then a warm iron, then chisel off the veneer bit by bit (think of it like wallpaper stripping). Just be careful – use a circuit breaker, or switch the iron off when you’re using it, then plug it back in to warm it up again between pressings.

      That’s the only way I know of removing veneers, but maybe one of my readers can chip in?

      Good luck:-)


  44. Antonia, Tidy Away Today said:

    Hi, thanks Jackie and Loraine. I saw the ironing method on the Internet and have given that a little try this evening on one area. It did seem to allow me to chip bits off, but they were tiny so I think it will take a long time. Jackie, do you tend to avoid buying damaged furniture that needs this sort of work doing on it? I thought I was getting a bargain, but it could be a false economy if I have to spend ages on the prep when I just want to get on with painting!

    • Try soaking it with a damp cloth a few times to give the moisture time to penetrate. If needs be, score the veneers with something sharp to help the moisture seep in. You’ll get there in the end, it’s just painful getting there.

      I buy furniture with repairable veneers, that just have bits curling here and there. And I did have one very unfortunate mishap. I bought an item with beautiful, perfect veneers and was gleeful and smug. Then we had a gale and my paint shack doors blew open during the night. And then we had torrential rain during the night and the item was right at the front of the shack. You can guess that my self satisfied smugness didn’t last long; the bloody veneers were ruined. On the plus side, the storm had done the trick and the veneers just peeled away without too much effort at all. Very plain ply wood underneath:-(


      • Antonia, Tidy Away Today said:

        Oh no, what a nightmare that must have been! I would have been fuming for at least a week. I will try the soaking and scoring – makes sense. I probably didn’t get it wet enough earlier and give it a proper chance to seep through. Thanks again.

      • Hi Antonia,

        Yes, give it plenty of soaking time. I’d probably wipe it with a wet cloth every couple of hours during the day, and set about chiselling late afternoon.

        Let me know how it goes.


  45. Mary Anne said:

    Hi there,
    Read all of your blog today and enjoyed it very much. Can’t remember who’s blog mentioned using shoe polish-the wax type-for dark wax look! what a way to save some $$$. Haven’t tried it yet, still have ASCP dark wax. Also on Heavens Walk blog, she made a glaze using ASCP paint, odourless mineral spirits, and ASCP clear wax, tried it after applying a thin coat of clear, slopped the ‘glaze’ on anf wiped off. Well the possibilities are really endless. Love your lovely horse!!! All the way from Washington State USA!

    • Hi Mary Anne,

      Your recipe for the wax glaze sounds good – I’ll be giving that a try.

      I’ll pass the love onto Jasper; he’s quite a ladies man and there’s plenty of him for all to share:-)


  46. Tidy Away Today said:

    Hello, its me again, Jackie. The veneer stripping was a bit tedious, but I got there in the end – thanks for the tips. I’ve dinted the wood in a few parts, though, so will need to use a little wood filler I think before painting. Even though I’ve not finished it, I’m already thinking about my next project! Do you have the Nearly Black paint in stock and would it go over a dark stained, slightly glossy finish without any undercoat, just a bit of sanding?

    • Hi Antonia,

      Glad you got there with the veneer removal.

      Yes, the nearly black should be fine, but I find with all the dark chalk paints (Annie Sloan and Autentico), that they don’t adhere quite so well as the paler shades. So you’ll need to sand before painting; no need to sand right back, just enough to take the gloss down. And yes, I’ve got the nearly black in stock.

      Good luck

  47. Hi,
    I find that whenever I have a question to ask about autentico, yours is the first website that pops up! In a departure from normal furniture painting, I’m painting some brand new kitchen cupboards for a client and I’ve suddenly developed ‘the fear’….This is what I had planned – wood knot and resin primer, 1 coat of AV clay, 2-3 coats AV cocos, sand and effect, clear wax, dark wax, a further couple of coats of clear wax to ensure durability. But should I be using a primer aswell? And if so what would you recommend? Many Many Thanks

    • Morning Sarah,

      I think an all-in-one knot block and primer will suffice – 2 thin coats, rather than 1 ‘gloopy’ coat. Bear in mind that if your rubbing back (distressing), you will get white primer showing through, as well as the two shades of paint (unless you tint the primer). I don’t think you’ll need 3 coats of Cocos, 2 will be plenty on top of ‘Clay’.

      Personally, I’d matt varnish (2 coats), rather than wax on kitchen units – it’s that bit more resistant to grease. Autentico do a sealant, which is designed for such circumstances; I haven’t tried it because my ‘stuff’ is primarily furniture.

      I did paint my own kitchen units with Autentico paint, going for ‘Linen’ & ‘Cappuccino’ (matt varnish on top) – there are a couple of posts around November time which show the before and afters.

      Good luck.

  48. Thanks for the quick response! Can I ask which varnish you used? And do you think I could use a dark wax to get the finish I want and then seal with the matt varnish?
    Cheers for your continued help and ps, do you ship to France?

    • I used Ronseal matt varnish on my cupboards, but any quality, water based, non-yellowing matt varnish will be fine.

      No, you can’t varnish on top of wax, so you need to do it the other way around – varnish, let it dry overnight, then sparingly dark wax and wipe off excess immediately.

      I’m not sure what the shipping would be to France, but it’s likely to be a bit pricey. Let me know if you want me to get some prices (I’ll need to know what sort of quantities you need, so that I can estimate the weight).


  49. When I paint a piece of furniture I always like to use a spray primer first, then paint with my chosen color. I like to sand edges a little to antique it and expose the natural wood in spots. The problem is that in so doing I can’t expose the wood without seeing the white primer around the sanded spots. That’s not the look I’m going for. Just want to see the wood. How do I avoid exposing primer?

  50. I don’t think there’s an easy/perfect solution Mary Ann.

    My only suggestion would be to mask off the bits/edges that you’re going to sand back/distress. Spray prime, then remove the masking tape and proceed as usual with the painting.


  51. Lucy Farr said:

    Hello, I’m loving the blogs…seeing how you turn ugly ducklings into beautiful swans! Being a chalk paint novice, I was wondering if you could recommend any particular brushes? I notice your earlier advice was for a synthetic brush?, but on the AS website she seems to sell pure bristle with her paint? I’m considering using Autentico paint? Thanks very much for your help, Lucy

    • Hi Lucy,

      It’s a matter of personal preference I think, as to what sort of brush to use. I prefer the synthetic brushes because they are soft, so give a smooth finish. I can’t recommend a particular brand, but would advise going for a decent, good quality brand.


  52. Hi, I’m using some autentico paint and wanted to get a two tone finish, clay on first covered with cocos. However when I sand the cocos down to get the clay showing through it’s going straight through to the primer. If I do it by hand nothing happens, and when I use a sander it’s too deep. Am I doing something wrong? Thanks

  53. hi-i’m wondering if i can use Annie sloan paint on skirting and interior doors?Have you had any experience of this?and if so has it been a success?many thanks

  54. Hi, I have used AS paint for my front door, both sides, > 1yr ago and still perfect. Used varnish for floors to seal. I sanded between paint layers to get a lovely glass like finish but still has characteristic brush strokes. I did have some problems with bleeding though so I would sand and seal first. Good luck. Lucy

    • hi Lucy-thanks for your reply-the skirting board and architrave are new and bare so i will put knotting solution on those first? and the interior doors are all original white ones and i want to do it all in old white so do you think i’ll still need to sand and seal?idea was to save time prepping lol like i would with gloss 😉 thanks

  55. I guess old white on white should work without sanding. Try one door first and see how it goes. Do at least sugar soap first to remove any loose grime. You don’t want to waste that ecpensive paint. Even with some prepping the AS paint is easier IMHO to work with than gloss paint. But I am no expert. Good luck. X

  56. Hi I bought some annie sloane paint but want to varnish as an end result and not wax. I have painted dinning chairs could you tell me what varnish to use thanks.

  57. Stick to the painting- the bar is no fun! Long hours for less money than you’d think! I manage a team of crown advocates in the East Midlands and would love to give it all up and paint furniture!! Anyway – how much is your beautiful desk?

    • I won’t be applying this year Sheryl. I’ve put a lot of work into this business and can’t face going back to the starting post with a pupillage. Unless some fabulous offer falls in my lap from a top Chambers (miracles never cease!), I’ll be hanging up my wig and gown (they’re covered in paint anyway:-)) Which desk?


  58. Hi there
    Just started to refurbish furniture. My first project was the kitchen table, which I painted the legs/skirt with annie Sloan and sanded the top to bare pine. I waxed all but am having trouble with water/heat damage on the top. So think I need a more durable coating on the top. Do you have any recommendations on a) how to remove the two coats of annie Sloan wax and b) what to replace the wax with to keep the beauty of the wood but protect from water and heat?



    • Hi Jo,

      It sounds as though your table is a ‘working’ table, rather than a ‘stand on ceremony’ table. You’ve 3 choices:

      1) Just go for bare wood on the top (scrub the wax off with loads of hot water and detergent), which can be scrubbed down as and when it gets dirty – you can use dilute bleach from time to time to refresh stained pine, or just ‘spot sand’ any little marks.

      2) Sand back a little and try a different wax (one that’s water repelling) – 3 coats, allow the last coat to dry overnight, then buff to increase durability. You will need to re-wax from time to time. Go for a natural (not tinted) wax, so that wear and tear is less obvious.

      3) Remove the wax completely (you’ll need to sand and use something like a de-greaser to remove waxy residue), then varnish. Varnish won’t stop cup rings and it can look a bit naff if there’s too much gloss. Perhaps go for a durable, heat resistant varnish with a soft/semi sheen finish in clear.

      I think ‘3’ could be problematic. As you have already waxed, it’s going to be difficult to remove all the wax, because it tends to penetrate the wood and waxy residue won’t allow the varnish to stick properly.

      None of the above will achieve perfection, but then again a farmhouse style table will take a ‘lived in’ look much more so than a formal dining table.

      Good luck!

      • Should have added – you could try oiling the top, but personally I don’t think oiling makes much difference to durability and the yellow hues can make pine look a bit too garish.


  59. Hi, I have used annie sloan paint on furniture and waxed them for indoor use. I have some left over and I have painted pots for the garden to cheer them up. How do I seal them? With varnish? It is just to weatherproof them. Wold be lovely to keep the matt look. Thanks.

  60. Thanks. That was quick. Love Jasper btw. Have a good weekend

    • I was just replying to another comment when yours came in:-)

      Good luck with the pots – if they are terracotta, you could always just leave the paint unvarnished; I’d have thought enough pigment would soak into the clay to give a nice finish.


  61. Hi there, just roaming through your blog and enjoying it, visuals and all. I don’t really use wordpress but find myself here today happily so I couldn’t see how to privately contact you. I had a little idea that might be sweet for your work which is for you to include a little personal signature to your work in an inconspicuous place (maybe underneath) A small visual signature as opposed to textual.. Maybe a motif or silhouette of a barrister on a horse. Yup, I have these random thoughts but I’m currently working on one for my pieces which I’m just doing. I’m a bit of a jack of all trades after my fine art degree so turn my hand to anything. Currently working on small pieces, less shabby chic, more va va voom.. lol Anyways, contact me if you need a hand on photo shop. Funnily enough, I originally trained as a stenographer in the Crown Courts… must be catching this painting lark 😉 Hope you get your pupilage sorted but continue this as a side line… far more money but maybe not as much peaceful satisfaction….

  62. Hi,

    I wondered how you shipped your furniture once it is finished?

  63. Hi Jackie, I love your blog and can’t believe how much work you do where do you find the time. Your furniture is beautiful. I also sell painted furniture and I have been asked quite a few times if I could revamp someones own furniture, but I’m never sure how much to charge, I wondered if you would mind giving me some advise on how to work out a reasonable price. Hope you don’t mind me asking.


    • Hi Dayle,

      I don’t do commissions anymore, but used to work on a figure of £120 per day + materials. I work long hours mind, so my ‘day’ is often 12 hours+.


  64. Michelle tivey said:

    Does it cost to subscribe

  65. Michelle said:

    Where did you get those beautiful drawers from painted in the pink and grey,are they for sale and how much.

  66. Chontelle said:

    Hello, Im rather new to your blog and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

    I have been refurbishing small pieces of furniture for my own use. I have been wanting a bigger project for a little while now and an opportunity to refurbish a lovely oak dresser has arisen (much to my partner’s dismay – he is already complaining I have too many projects on the go) This piece of furniture is too big keep so l will have to try and sell it on – a daunting prospect.

    I just want it too be perfect enough that someone will want to have it in their home. Do you have any tips at all for me on things I should definately do if I am intending to sell? would i use a paticular colour, are there certain steps I should take?

    I’m so excited to start the project but Im nervous about putting my work out there for people to see!

    • Hi Chontelle,

      Just take your time and it’ll go just fine. As for colours, choose something that will compliment most colour schemes – neutrals are always a good starting point.

      Good luck.

  67. Hello:) After reading your blog I purchased some paint from you via eBay. The actual painting has gone really well ( I keep nipping into the spare room to admire my transformed card table). However I have ran into difficulty with the waxing.

    I applied it with a cloth and then wiped off but it after a few hours it became streaky in places and had a white “bloom”. Not a good look:(

    I have given it another quick lick of paint but am scared to touch it now. Could you possibly advise me? I used briwax.

    • Hi Elaine,

      Two things spring to mind that could have caused the bloom:

      1) It could be lint off the cloth you used to wax; or

      2) Could be the thinners in the Briwax reacting with the paint. Briwax can be a little too brutal on chalk paint, so I’d recommend you use the Autentico Clear Wax.


  68. Alyscha Richardson said:

    Hi there..
    Im very new to this i have a round varnished table that i want to do .. ive brough annis cream chalk paint ..lint free clothes, soft brushes and just normal bees wax clear from hard wear shop oh and dark .. i dont know were to start or finush lol … please please can u help… also i want to coat the top in chalk paint to but dont want it to mark easily as got kids lol ..

    Thank you so much for reading and any advice u can give me would b great xxx

    • The steps you need to follow are:

      A light sand

      A thorough wash down (and leave to dry)

      Two coats of paint (leave overnight)

      Lightly sand any bumps and drips

      Wax (not too sure your regular wax will be suitable, but give it a whirl and see)

      A pristine painted table top is perhaps not a good idea with kids, but you could always use an oil cloth over it as a wipeable tablecloth. Or go for a distressed style, which will look a little less formal and will be more forgiving of the odd mark or two.

      Good luck!

  69. Janet Ch said:

    I love this blog it’s inspired me to paint my very old glass fronted china cabinet.(no drawers –it’s mainly glass windows with lead on the glass doors at the front.0

    It’s a dark varnished wood (oak or mahogany, I’m not sure) and I’m going to use cream Annie Sloan paint . The inside of the cabinet used to be pale wood (unvarnished) but years ago I didn’t like that, so varnished it with a coloured varnish It’s now a sort of orangey teak colour. (More of a transparent than a thick varnish –the wood grain is still visible). This goes well with the dark wood on the exterior, but it won’t go at all well with the new cream paint. What do I need to do so I can I paint on top of the coloured varnish I previously used inside the cabinet?

    • Hello Janet,

      Just a light sand, then a wash, then 2 coats of good quality primer to the inside of your cabinet. Go for a primer with a built in stain block.

      You can then paint as usual, or line with fabric/wallpaper.

      Glad you’re enjoying the blog:-)

      Good luck!


  70. I’m in the process of painting an aged, tired, bleached & waxed pine kitchen with Autentico Vintage – it’s a joy to apply, & we’re really pleased with the finish. I’ve just applied the first coat of Autentico sealant, and I’m a bit suspicious that the sealant’s actually just extremely expensive PVA – is this the case, or is it some magical solution that Autentico have concocted?

  71. Julia Hancox said:

    I am so delighted to have discovered your blog. I have just purchased Autentico vintage paint and am about to start on a small pine table which I have chosen to practice on, its been polished so much over the years am guessing it may be best to sand it down first would you agree? or should I just wash it down with sugar soap allow it to dry and then apply the paint?would appreciate your advice .

    • Hi Julia,

      You would be best to sand, then prime the table, as pine tends to bleed. Sounds a bit of a faff, but it takes no time on small items. Go for a primer with a stain block and apply 2 thin coats.

      Good luck!

      • Julia Hancox said:

        Thanks so much for prompt reply will let you know how it goes am so excited just retired from dentistry and been searching for an interest to keep me alive I truly hope this is it !

      • Well sometimes refurbishing furniture is a little like pulling teeth, so you’ll feel right at home:-)


  72. Me again:). I have finished a few smaller pieces and am now prepared to move on to bigger things. I have picked up a 1930ish dressing table which I am going to refurb for my daughter. I intend sanding the top and then either staining or just sealing the wood. But with what?

    She is a typical messy teenager who has a multitude of lotions and potions she seems to constantly knock over. Could you recommend something that would give a really tough durable surface?

    Many, many thanks for your help

  73. Thank you so much for the unbelievably fast reply. I really appreciate your help and advice.

    Is there a particular varnish you would recommend? I am not a huge fan of shiny:(

    • Nope, no particular brand, just a decent quality one. Go for a semi-sheen to avoid too much shine, but don’t purchase until you’ve sanded (to see if you need clear or tinted).


  74. Janet ch said:

    I’m back again.Thank you for your advice–really appreciate it.

    I’m planning to paint an old varnished oak utility sideboard following your advice on this blog. It has 4 drawers (each with two flat circular knobs/pull handles) with a cupboard each side of the drawers (with a circular pull handle/knob on each cupboard )But the drawer and door knobs won’t budge. I know they are meant to unscrew because just one of them is loose enough to twist off but the others are impossible to move . If I grip them with pliers I’ll probably end up squashing the cylindrical metal bit that sits behind the circular knob. Any advice would be great. Should I maybe try covering them with masking tape and working with them still attached? They are a dull gold colour so maybe made of brass.

    • Hello Janet,

      If they are the sort of handles I think they are (a circular metal disk, with a circular pull on top), they’re glued on, as well as screwed. Just use a small art brush to paint around them.

      Kind regards

  75. Janet ch said:

    Thank you. (They shaped like a short wood nail only much bigger — a cylinder with a circular disk on the end. The cylinder bit screws on to the drawer and the circle on the end is the pull.)

    I’ll get an art brush and paint round them carefully as you suggested. They are a sort of dull gold colour. Would I be able to paint them black to contrast with the new cream colour I’m going to paint the sideboard.

    And…What make of non-bleed primer should I look for for when I’ve sanded the old varnish?

    Thank you so much for answering my qiestions. i’ve never done anything like this before and want to get it right.

  76. Hi there,

    I have a metal garden table and chairs set that I am trying to brighten up. I bought some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in ‘Provence’ having read that it adheres to metal, however, the paint just seems to scratch off and wipe off when it gets wet, even though I sanded surface throughly before painting it. Have you ever tried anything similar and did you encounter the same problem? Should I be using a primer and, if so, which one would you recommend? Or is the paint just not really suitable for this sort of project?!

    I would really appreciate any advice that you could give me!



    • Hello Helen,

      You will need to use a clear, exterior varnish to seal the chalk paint for outdoor use. 2 or 3 coats should do the trick – it won’t be as durable as a specialist metal paint (such as Hammerite) but should suffice.

      Kind regards

  77. louise Mayer said:

    Girlfriend, I wish I knew you in person. I adored your style of writing- the funny quips, the timing. Keep up the good work.

  78. Hi Jackie,

    Sorry to be a pain but I am painting a wee teak dresser. I have sanded it and applied two coats of undercoat but there is stain bleed. I know I can use a blocker to counteract this but when googling I came across a blog which said that the oils in teak furniture made it unsuitable for painting as eventually the paint will peel.
    I wondered if you would be kind enough to advise me

    Many Thanks

    • Presumably the teak item was varnished? In which case, if the varnish has adhered all these years, there’s no reason why there should be a problem with paint.

      Good luck!

      • Thank you so much Jackie. I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to answer my questions.

        I have painted about half a dozen wee pieces so far and every one seems to come with its own set of problems. Not to mention the fact that I am running out of family members to force them on……


      • “I have painted about half a dozen wee pieces so far and every one seems to come with its own set of problems.”

        Welcome to my world Elaine:-)


  79. Hi i decided to paint my fireplace which was a shiny beech colour. Orginally i painted it with normal paint roughly about 4 times and sanded in between. Then i tried to put old ochre on top but it came out a brown/grey colour. I also tried it on another piece of furniture which was a beech colour. This came out fine. Could the annie sloan have had a reaction with the other paint?

    Any advise/help would be appreciated.

    • Hi Cheryl,

      It sounds like a reaction doesn’t it. Your only option will be to sand back the paintwork as much as possible, paint 2 coats of primer, then re-paint in your chosen colour.

      Kind regards

  80. Hi stranger, it is me again.
    I am going to try and word this so carefully but inevitably I will be stripping myself nekkid on the internet. First of all, I have been doing quite well with this furniture thing, I paint tasteful pieces and sell them to nice middle class ladies for far less than they are worth. I haven’t made any money but boy am I popular:)
    I have this cousin (tbh I have a huge amount of cousins) she has this caravan. She wants to paint the inside. It is some kind of horrible plasticky faux wood. Can you paint plastic?

    • Not too sure whether you’d get away with it or not Elaine. I’ve painted small pieces of plastic, but whether the paint would adhere well enough to big areas…? I painted the melamine pieces on the sides of my kitchen cabinets and it was a bit tricky – I had to leave the first coat a day before second coating, as the first coat kept pulling away when I brushed on the second coat. I got there with it in the end, but it wasn’t straight forward.

      Good luck.

      Kind regards

  81. Ciara McDaid said:


    I have painted a wardrobe using Annie Sloan paint but I find using wax for a large object is quite tedious and I was wondering would it be possible to use Autentico sealer or Farrow & Ball varnish over the Annie Sloan instead of wax

    • Although I haven’t used the two varnishes you mention, I have varnished ASCP successfully, so I imagine you’ll be fine to varnish the wardrobe. Perhaps do a test area first, just to be on the safe side.


      • Hi Jackie, have just had a quick look through the blog and it seems as though you have a lot of experience with working with chalk paints, which is great as I could do with a little advice!
        I’ve been painting with ascp for a few years now and never had any trouble but just went to paint over my kitchen dresser with AV paint and it won’t seem to stick. Do you think this is because of the Annie Sloan wax?
        I painted the two drawers on the front earlier in the year with more ascp over the wax and it took great.
        The av just seems so watery and dries faded and patchy.
        This is only the first coat so will see how things go but I was wondering if you have ever painted over Annie’s wax with AV paint?
        Sorry for the ramble!

      • Hello Charlotte,

        My feeling is that you have a bad batch of paint, as I’ve not noticed much difference with adhesion between ASCP and Autentico. That said, it might be worth taking off the wax with a de-greaser and seeing if that’s the problem?

        Kind regards

  82. Roisin O'Brien said:


    We have been painting various pieces around our new house and love the Annie Slone paint. We think that the tiles around our fireplace would look great painted however we are concerned that the paint/wax will react to the heat. Do you know if you can use Annie slone paint and wax on tiles around a fireplace?

    Many Thanks


    • Hi Roisin,

      I don’t think wax is a good idea near to a heat source, as it is flammable, with a low melt temperature.

      Sorry I can’t be of further help.


    • Shelly Adams said:

      Hi, there is a paint for fireplaces from charles products on line, you can paint over anything with it its called stone fireplaces paint, its easy to use as I have just done mine, altough mine wasnt tiles it was ugly green marble,I did the mantle in chalk paint hope this helps

  83. Hello again Jackie.
    I have finished the wall dresser and it looks lovely now.
    I left the tin of paint open over night and when I did the second coat it adhered fine. Must have just been a little slippery over the wax.
    Thank you for getting back to me.

  84. Sandy Davoren said:

    Can Briwax be used on unfinished wood in damp weather? I have some old doors I am putting Briwax on and they are too big to work on inside. They are outside.under my carport.

  85. Instead of painting several coats of primer on dark oak furniture could I seal the dark surface with clear shellac and then paint on the Annie Sloan chalk paint?

    • Hello Janet,

      I don’t see any reason why not. The only issue might be coverage of the chalk paint if you’re going for a pale shade of paint, as the white primers do help to block the dark hues of wood.

      Kind regards

  86. Michelle joy said:

    Hi, I’m going to buy a pine monk bench, it has already been waxed in dark oak but I want to paint it white, could you please advise me on how to prep it and what paint will be best to use please and also if I can varnish it afterwards or would I have to wax it .. Thank you for reading, michelle

    • Hello Michelle,

      Are you sure it is waxed and not varnished, as most dark oak is stained then varnished? If it is waxed, you need to remove the wax with some sort of de-greaser, such as white spirit or acetone. If it is varnished, you need to sand down, then wipe over to remove dust, prime (2 coats), followed by the paint of your choice. If you use an eggshell paint, there’s no need to wax, if you use a chalk paint, you will need to wax to provide a protective finish.

      Kind regards

  87. Michelle joy said:

    Thank you for replying Jackie, The bench is Redwood pine and it says finished in ‘dark oak wax ‘ I’m looking for a smooth matt finish, I haven’t used either eggshell or chalk paint before. Is there a paint you would recommend for someone who’s not the most experienced painter please.. Thank you Michelle

    • For a matt finish it is chalk paint that you will need. Although sometimes you don’t need to prime when using chalk paint, you will need to use a primer on your pine item to stop resin bleed, and also to help with coverage (because you’re painting pale over dark).

      Autentico chalk paint is easier to use and easier to wax than Annie Sloan chalk paint, but both brands are good. Allow lots of drying time between coats, particularly in this weather.

      Good luck.

  88. Michelle joy said:

    Thanks again Jackie, could I just ask if I use a chalk paint csn I use a varnish ? If so what one also if I wax would it be a clear wax I buy ? Sorry for all the questions .. Thank you Michelle

    • I wouldn’t use varnish over white paint without doing a sample patch, as it has a tendency to discolour. If you do decide to varnish, go for a decent quality, clear matt varnish; if you decide to wax, it is clear wax you will need.

      Kind regards

  89. foxybrushdesigns.com said:

    Hi – I love what you do and love Jasper – he’s just gorgeous – I wondered if I sent you a card with the colour I,m painting a bureau in you could maybe do two of your lovely knobs to match it – maybe butterflies or something nice – its basically a dusky pinky colour made of equal measures of Annie Sloan Emperors Silk and Antibes Green

    thanks so much Louize

  90. Hi There

    I saw your lovely fabric transfers on e-bay and hope to use them in an upcoming project. I note that you used unbleached calico cotton to make the display cushion covers. Please can you tell me if I could use the same material to upholster the seat pad of a dining chair? (it looks like you used the same material on a chair in one of the other photos). I have never upholstered anything before and am wondering if the material is durable enough for a dining chair as I really like the colour and texture of the material. I plan to scotch guard the covers to be on the safe side!

    Thanks in advance


  91. Hi there, cant find the answer to this anywhere. I have two beautiful chairs which i am going to paint using AV, but i want to paint the fabric too, i know that ASCP can be used to paint fabric, having watched a video of her on Youtube demonstrating, The chairs i want to paint are very similar to the ones she use. However, can you use Autentico to paint the fabric on a chair, nobody can seem to answer that. Thanks in anticipation, off on holiday for 10 days so hope to have a reply when i am home. Thank you, kind regards Cheryl x

  92. Emma Carnaby said:

    Hi, my friend and I are interested in attending one of your courses. Could you please advise of the dates in 2014 you are running them. Many thanks, Emma

  93. Michele said:

    Am using autentico primer and chalk paint for the first time on a dresser.
    Just applied the primer, is it ok that it’s patchy? I think I expected it to go on like a gloss so it was even
    With kind regards

  94. Hello, can you tell me when your next courses will be. Also, what is the difference between Autentico chalk paint and Annie Sloane chalk paint? Kindest regards

  95. Hilary Driver said:

    Hello. I have an oak telephone seat that looks like a twin to yours (the one you repainted with storage and a carved lion. It belonged to my parents who were told it was an apprentice piece. May I ask you how much you paid for it? Or roughly how much this piece of furniture is worth? Thanks very much
    Hilary Driver

  96. Hey,
    Can you answer a few queries I have on the use of Farrow & Ball paint on furniture? Really, I would like to know whether you use the Estate Eggshell or Estate Emulsion, how many coats you tend to use and, how it stands up to being distressed. Also, after distressing, do you use wax all over the finished piece or just on the distressed parts?

  97. Stephanie said:

    Dear Jackie,

    I hope you are well. I was wondering if you are still doing this or whether you have moved on to pastures new?

    Best wishes,


  98. Vanessa said:

    We are putting new skirting and architrave throughout the whole house. We have bought pine boards and there are pine doors to go with them.
    Originally I thought I would gloss the boards and put knotting solution on all the knots. However speaking with friends I’ve decided it will be less upkeep to keep the wood look. My question is what do I use? Wax? Varnish? Stain? Does it matter that I’ve used knotting solution already?
    Also what’s best to use on the doors?

  99. The telephone seat looks terrific! What wax did you use?

  100. Hello, I have a yew wall unit that I want to paint but unsure how to prep it , I have used a beeswax polish on it over the years. What do I need to do to it before I put a primer on and what would be the best paint to use? I don’t want to use chalk paint.

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