Annie Sloan Chalk Paint DIY Vintage Paint Refinish on Chairs

I’d heard about Chalk Paint in the past, and seen the different completed projects online, but I wasn’t sure how well the paint would work for me. Turns out, it’s easy to re-finish and revitalize vintage furniture with Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint! With the French Linen colour I got, I thought I’d paint one of the vintage church chairs I bought from The Habitat for Humanity ReStore last fall.

diy chalk paint

What you need:

1 tin of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Stir stick

Paint brush (I used one of the long handled ones I use for acrylic painting with densely packed bristles).

Clear or dark wax from Annie Sloan

Rag for buffing

annie sloan chalk paint

This quart of Chalk Paint will cover a dresser, set of dining chairs and more—basically, it goes really far! Chalk Paint also comes in smaller containers for home décor projects, or if you want to use multiple colours of paint on your furniture pieces.

This is the vintage chair I’m working with:

Vintage chair paint diy

As you can see, it’s in pretty rough shape. I fell in love with the lovely turquoise colour of the metal frame on this chair, and the curved wooden back of the chair. This is the perfect candidate for a DIY project, because the “bones” of the piece are solid and sturdy. I didn’t want to do anything with the turquoise, because I love the colour – so I’m just painting the wooden part with Chalk Paint.

Vintage chair paint diyBefore you start any DIY project make sure that the surfaces are all clean and free of dust. Next, prepare the paint. I shook the tin of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint vigorously before using a stir stick to make sure it was all mixed together properly. This paint tends to separate easily. If you don’t mix it sufficiently, you’ll notice the paint looks quite oily.

I painted one coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on the chair, waited a few hours for it to dry, then added a second coat. If I had wanted to get really creative with the distressing, I could have used a second colour for the top coat.

Vintage chair paint diy

What I love about this paint is that you don’t need to prime the surface your painting first. That one less step makes this project go by pretty quickly. After applying 2 coats of paint, I used a clean, dry cloth to apply clear wax. This step is optional, but I wanted to make sure the surface was sealed so the chair can be used to sit on or put things on top of.

This is what the lovely vintage chair looks like after the re-finishing:

DIY Chalk paint chair

DIY Chalk paint chair

Key tips to achieve a great look:

– Thoroughly shake and stir the can of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. It tends to separate easily.

-Use at least 2 coats of paint – but make sure the surface of what you’re painting is completely dry between layers

-If you’d like a distressed-look, use different colours for each layer. Lightly sand certain areas to bring the bottom colour to the surface.

I wanted to keep the chair looking vintage-y, so I didn’t try to do a perfect paint job. I intentionally left some spots free of paint, so that the wood could still be seen (see the above pictures to get what I mean).

Have you ever re-finished a vintage piece of furniture? How did it turn out?

Looking for more DIY painted furniture projects? Check out my Pinterest board:

Follow Tazim @’s board Make Furniture DIY Paint on Pinterest.

About Tazim

A content creator based in Vancouver, Canada, Tazim Damji enjoys decorating, travelling and DIY. She writes the lifestyle blog Being Tazim.See more posts on Google+


  1. Looks really good, Tazim! I’ve never used French Linen, I might have to give that color a try!