How To Get A Super Smooth Finish with Chalk Paint™ Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan

Now before you whip out your sandpaper and take it to your new furniture,
read this post in its entirety.

For those of you out there who like to paint furniture, this post is for you!

Do you use Chalk Paint™ Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan? (or any other porous paint?)
Want to get the most luxurious furniture finish that feels as smooth as glass?

Well then, you need to visit a an auto parts supply store like AutoZone or Advanced Auto Parts and pick up some 400 and up grit auto body sandpaper (I love the 800 for a final polish.) This high grit sandpaper is the type that is used on the side of a corvette to make the fiberglass super smooth! (and did you know you can get sandpaper all the way up to 2200 or more grit?) Now, that is not necessary for what we are doing, but I thought it was interesting.

High grit sandpaper is absolutely wonderful for using on your pieces painted with Chalk Paint™ Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan! The fine sandpaper makes them as smooth as glass!

Here is one approach to try: (NOTE- this will not work with Latex Paint. If you do not believe me, the best thing is to try it yourself.)

* Paint your piece with Chalk Paint™ Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan and let dry thoroughly.
* Then gently polish the piece with the high grit sandpaper. Basically what you are doing is burnishing your paint.

To burnish is defined as => to rub (a material) with a tool for compacting or smoothing.

And that is what we are doing when polishing with fine sandpaper. We are knocking down any surface tension that existed from those micro small – can barely be seen by the naked eye – brush strokes.

Something to be aware of – is if you burnish your Chalk Paint™ (we call this the Modern Look) that you may not be using Clear Wax on top. In fact- you may have a problem having the Clear Wax being absorbed into the Chalk Paint™ since by sanding the surface excessively to get that super smooth feel, you create a hard- compacted surface and the wax will have a hard time penetrating it or the Chalk Paint™ will have a difficult time absorbing the wax now. Slight sanding is fine!…I do this all the time and then apply Clear Wax. But if you are “polishing” the surface, please be aware of this caveat.

After a couple of coats Chalk Paint™…a quick safe light dusting with a 220, 300 or 400 grit sandpaper and your finish will be super incredible. I like to do this on the top of a dresser or a table, but not always the whole piece just because sandpaper can get to be expensive and personally do not feel doing the whole piece is necessary. Then wax or not wax – it is up to you! Personally, I like to wax. This is just one of the many tricks you can do with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!

Besides using a paint brush- try using a sponge kitchen cabinet roller and apply a few thin even coats of paint and then lightly sand. Sanding is best when there are a few applications of paint….not when there is a single layer.

I also like to use sandpaper to get a worn aged effect when decorative painting.

For instance, this Coca Cola chair that I painted for my shop (and no, this is not for sale – I painted it for myself to sit on – so don’t get crazy about copyright issues!) Anyway, when I painted the lettering I applied my paint and in some areas, the white paint was heavier (thicker) than in others. If I was using latex paint, this would have been a concern for me, but with using Chalk Paint™, I knew I could take my 200 grit sandpaper afterward, and strategically sand in a lateral direction, and sand down the high points of the paint. This gives a more uniformed “worn” effect and feels fantastic. Some people refer to this as a “distressed” look. I could have used a higher grit to polish the chair more- but the 220 sandpaper worked fine.

Look at the photo and notice the horizontal worn sanding lines across the seat. Be strategic if you sand and not just go at it in a circular motion.

Sanding with 400 grit can also be done after waxing. For example:

I love Old Denim Jeans! Not just the feel – but the look of them! They are like “comfort food” after a long day of work. You come home and put them on- or on a weekend morning when you get dress….there is just something about the effect they have on you. So, I played around when painting and recreated that worn denim look on this little table. I did all of this using Old Violet and made a glaze with Dark Wax (if you do not know how to do this- read my post here on my website called “Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark”) and applied it and wiped off. Then once dried and cured for a few weeks- I sanded it with some 400 grit sandpaper and then clear waxed. The grey you see is where I sanded. What do you think?

I suggest you experiment on your own with these techniques- especially since it is difficult to communicate all the details associated unless you can actually feel the difference yourself! Sort of like trying to describe the softness of a bed pillow. The best way to buy one- is to go to the store yourself and touch them.

I also used the sandpaper to smooth out the front of the crown on this dresser painted with Louis Blue.

Now, if only I could get the jingle, “Get in the zone…Auto Zone” out of my head!
Hope this was helpful!