Bookcase makeover with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

how to use annie sloan chalk paint

For a long time I have been wanting to paint some of the many pieces of shiny pine we have in our holiday cottage. As we have refurnished rooms at home, the obsolete pine furniture (we were married in the early 90’s – LOTS of pine!) has gradually moved north up to the cottage. Of course I forgot to take a photo BEFORE I removed all the books ….. bad blogger!

However I was too scared to ruin something, and there always seemed to be lots of complicated steps involved.

how to use annie sloan chalk paint

A few months ago I discovered Annie Sloan Chalk Paint…..and Dandelion Lane, a local stockist who also runs painting furniture workshops.

Attending the workshop gave me the courage to finally go for it….. but actually the paint is so easy to use that the workshop bit is not entirely essential……but a child-free afternoon playing around with paint is thoroughly enjoyable!

So this week I did it – I painted 2 pieces of furniture, a small bedside bookcase and a large pine bookcase.I have more photos of the bookcase, so I will focus on it in this post.

Here are the 10 easy steps

1. Choose your paint

I went for Original, a shade of off-white (but next piece I paint I will be braver and maybe go for a slightly creamer “Cream” or maybe even “Old Ochre”.  I also wanted to have a contrasting back to the bookcase, and initially thought I would choose “Duck Egg Blue” but it was a lot greyer than I wanted, so chose “Provence” and LOVE how it turned out.

how to use annie sloan chalk paint

2. Gather your other supplies –
a few old clothes,
some brushes (as well as an Annie Sloan brush (lovely but not essential) I used a couple of cheap brushes from the diy store)
masking tape (only really necessary if you are using 2 colours which will “meet”)
a dust sheet to cover the floor (although even I didn’t manage to make much mess!)
sanding paper (if you want to go for a distressed finish)
Annie Sloan soft wax (it was a dream to use, but having never used any other wax, I can’t really complare)

3. Be brave and go for it!

4. Apply your first coat – depending on what is underneath, and how thick a covering you require, one might suffice.  Here it is after one coat of Provence on the back of the book shelf.

I just used one coat of the Provence blue, but it took 2 coats of the off-white.

It dries really quickly, so soon you can do your second coat.  It paints really easily, and the slowest part was using the masking tape and touching up the “join” between the 2 colours.

5. Allow paint to dry – probably overnight is best

6. Apply the soft wax with a lint-free cloth – rub on lots, and rub off again.

7. Use medium or fine sandpaper if you want to go for the distressed look. Go gently, subtle works best!

8. Apply another layer of soft wax – rub on, rub off.

9. Look back and appreciate your efforts

10. Put back the contents of your bookcase, and encourage your family and friends to admire your efforts too!

how to use annie sloan chalk paint

(Step 11 – write a blog post about it too!)

I would love to hear what you think …… and have you any furniture crying out to be painted?

Similar Posts


  1. I love it – we’ll done – and it does appear much easier then I thought –
    Must try!

  2. I love it and would have at least two pieces I would love to do but hubby won’t let me as they are distressed vintage pine pieces

  3. Love it Janine! I’ve plenty of pine furniture too. Did we get married the same year? But what I want to know is… how come you got a child free afternoon???? I need one of those too.

  4. I’ve just discovered annie Sloan myself, such a great paint. You did a wonderful job in your bookcase!

  5. oh my, it looks so lovely! I found your blog by doing a search for “annie sloan paint makeovers” and am so glad I came to visit 🙂

  6. Your bookcase looks great… I wonder can you help… can I use chalk paint on Mdf funiture?. does chalk paint on veneered funiture?
    Would appreciate info ..

    1. I think it should work ok – it seems to work on most surfaces. Maybe you could buy a small sampler pot to try first – let me know how it goes.

  7. Hello, your bookcase looks great! I’ve shiny pine stuff myself and was wondering, did you sand it first or just put the paint straight on?

    Kind regards


    1. There was no sanding involved! I didn’t quite believe how successful it would be without sanding, but didn’t need to do any 🙂

  8. Love this idea, but I am in US and can’t seem to find this paint. Are there any comparable paints that I could find in Oklahoma, US?

  9. The bookcase looks great!!! I recently purchased an entertainment unit in knotty pine and want to paint it. I had read the “knots” could cause a bleed through. Have you noticed any problems?

    1. I have never had any problems with it, and have painted quite a few knotty pine pieces. It is always possible to add another coat if required if it was a problem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *