How much Chalk Paint® do I need to paint my cabinets? ~ How to determine your square footage

So you want to use Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan your kitchen cabinets. 1,000’s and 1,000’s of other homeowners have already done this using Annie’s paint. But you may be wondering where do you begin. Let us help you!


A litre of paint will vary on how far it will go. The paint tins state that Chalk Paint® will cover 140 sq ft. That is for one coat. At The Purple Painted Lady- we will say to use a number more like 120 sq ft. You will almost always need more than one coat and depending on the color you choose and what base you are painting over- you may need three full coats. Determining how much surface space, otherwise known as square footage you have to paint is important because it will guide you on how much paint to buy. Chalk Paint® has great adherence ability and you will be surprised how far the paint goes.

Here are some things to keep in mind though:

  • Are you painting the back of the cabinet doors? I recommend doing this so when you open your cabinet it looks cohesive. If you leave them unpainted, it will be a constant reminder of how they use to look.
  • Make sure to account for the end caps or the side sections
  • Are you painting the bottom of the top hanging cabinets. (this is the side you would see if you were laying on your kitchen floor looking up toward your ceiling)
  • What color are you choosing? Lighter colors require more coats of paint compared to other colors


Personally, I like to draw out sections of the kitchen I am going to paint and break up the layout into vignettes. For example, I will draw a rectangle for the cabinets under the kitchen sink. See my drawing below.

Besides paint- you will consider to purchasing:

PREP before painting: Use Krud Kutter – that is what we recommend and use to clean customer cabinets prior to painting.


Want a smoother finish? We recommend Annie’s 2″ Flat Large Brush.

For the actual cabinet base- try using Annie’s 1 1/4″ Flat Small Brush

If you want a little more texture, or get more paint applied to the surface faster- try Annie’s SMALL dome top brush.


Not all top coats are made equally or will perform the same.  Be careful if painting your cabinets with a light colored paint…especially white and you choose to go vogue using some poly top coat you pick up at a hardware store.  Many will eventually yellow – even when they say they won’t.  I recommend strongly- using one of the top coats I have listed below.

Annie Sloan’s Clear Wax was formulated to work perfectly with Annie’s Chalk Paint®. You will need to apply a few coats. It is quick and relatively easy. The first coat may not look great, but the second coat will bring it all together. You do not need to wax every few months or year- so disregard that if you have read that somewhere online. I strongly recommend to purchase Annie’s Small Wax Brush if doing your cabinets and a roll of Scott Shop Towels

Annie Sloan’s Lacquer. Annie’s Lacquer comes in both a Matte and a Gloss. Do not use Matte Lacquer directly over dark colored Chalk Paint® because the flattening agents can create a white hazy effect. Make sure to read our post on best practices of Annie’s Lacquer HERE. It is important because Lacquer does not behave like paint.

Painting with “White” colored paints? Like Old White, Pure, Original? Top coats that yellow are a serious issue. Wax will never yellow. But another option is Artisan Enhancements Clear Finish. This will have a satin to shiney sheen and keep in mind, the more applications you apply, the shiner it will become. Make sure to purchase their varnish brush to apply it with.

Chalk Paint® (Dark Color) Streaking?

When using Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan and mixing water with the paint to thin it slightly and get a smoother finish – we recommend pouring out some of the Chalk Paint® into a separate container and then mixing water with it directly. Then, throughout your project, make sure to remix it to keep all the pigments incorporated because it can start to separate a bit. This is especially important with darker colors like Napoleonic Blue, Athenian Black, Amsterdam Green, Graphite.

What you should NOT do… just dip your brush into water and then into the paint or use a spray bottle- it can cause the end result to look streaky. Below is an example of what can happen.

Another suggestion is when painting, to paint the whole surface and not going back and feathering specific spots here or there. This is especially important when adding water to your paint.

Chalk Paint® Color Chart – don’t always judge a color by a 1″ swatch

Don’t always judge a Chalk Paint® color just by that tiny 1 inch square on the Color Chart.

When you look at painted swatches against the bright white card stock of the color chart – it could give you false perception. So does holding the card flat vs vertical …the amount of light bouncing off the swatch can effect how your eye perceives the color.

This kitchen project shown further down in this post is a perfect example of what I mean. The Chalk Paint® color Original – is a warm, slightly creamy, traditional white. When you look at the swatch, it has a slight ochre base to it, and may appear as if it is too creamy but once painted, it is a perfect soft warm white and seems much more neutral. Purchasing a sample pot of potential colors you are considering is always a great investment… especially if you are doing a large project like your kitchen cabinets. Paint one door and see how the color works with your wall paint color. Keep in mind other things like the amount of light you get in your home and your flooring and countertops can make a difference too.

**** Sorry- I interrupt this post quickly to insert a link to a video I made where we opened every LITRE container of Chalk Paint®, stirred it and described the color. There is a key to jump to a specific color too. CLICK HERE to watch the YOUTUBE Video.

If you are are considering of purchasing Chalk Paint® for a larger project- like a kitchen or a whole bedroom suite consider investing in a sample pot of chalk paint first. They are very affordable and really the only way to truly see how a color plays in your home with your lighting, other wall colors, etc. Sample Pots are 1/2 cup.

So, if you have any questions regarding the swatches on the Annie Sloan Color Chart – just contact us. You can reach Trish by phone or text at 585.750.6056.


And YES! We are shipping online orders.

#originalchalkpaint #anniesloan #softwhitechalkpaint #thepurplepaintedlady

Annie Sloan’s Lacquer on Outside Projects

Annie Sloan is dedicated to helping you make your house a home! Even, outside in the yard and garden.

First and foremost- here are FOUR of the most IMPORTANT tips we can share if using either Gloss Lacquer or Matte Lacquer on outside projects:

  1. Wait 14 days after applying your last coat of either Annie’s Gloss Lacquer or Matte Lacquer BEFORE putting your finished items out in the direct elements of Mother Nature.
  2. Make sure when using either Gloss Lacquer or Matte Lacquer on a piece of furniture or whatever you are coating, that you completely coat 100% of it. Meaning, even the bottom of the feet or if a table, the side that faces the ground.
  3. When using Annie’s Lacquer over dark colored Chalk Paint, always use Annie’s Gloss Lacquer or apply it first before using her Matte Lacquer . The reason is that the flattening agents in the Matte Lacquer can leave a white, hazey, cloud like appearance.
  4. Annie’s Gloss Lacquer is more robust and is better for outside projects.

Annie recently shared that using Chalk Paint® outdoors is incredibly easy. Read this blog and learn all you need to know to ensure your garden Chalk Paint® projects stay colourful and cheerful for years to come! Annie made a video for you to enjoy at the end!

  • Do use Chalk Paint® outdoors. It’s one of the things I’m most frequently asked, and the answer is yes! You can use Chalk Paint® outdoors.
  • In the North East of the USA however, make sure to use it when there will be weeks ahead of you of warmer weather versus in late fall. You want the sun to be able to have time to “bake” and cure your piece.
  • Don’t sand! As with using Chalk Paint® indoors, there is no need to prep or prime your outdoor furniture.
  • Do remove old peeling paint or rust. You will be able to paint over these…but if you don’t get rid of them they will continue peeling under your Chalk Paint® – and will eventually flake off, taking your lovely new paint job with them! Rust may even show through, so best to tackle it head on.
  • Do wipe away any cobwebs or dirt, pop open your Chalk Paint® tin and get stuck straight into the fun part.
  • Do know when to Lacquer and when to not. Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint® Lacquer is your garden furnitures’ best defence against UV rays, fading paint colour, and peeling paint caused by water damage.
  • Do Lacquer: Garden furniture – anything which will be touched a lot, sat on, or has a horizontal surface which will collect water or fade in bright sunlight needs to be protected with Chalk Paint® Lacquer to ensure paint won’t transfer, peel or fade.
  • Don’t Lacquer: Vertical surfaces – shed walls, fencing, and brickwork are all a) porous (making them IDEAL Chalk Paint® surfaces) and b) vertical facing. This means they are much less prone to the key causes of outdoor damage – UV rays and standing water. Twin enemies of garden furniture!
  • Do use two coats of Lacquer! Apply two thin coats or more of Chalk Paint® Lacquer so you can be sure the entire painted piece is fully protected to prevent any water ingress. Note that curing time for maximum protection occurs over 14 days. See out Fact Sheet here for more info.
  • Do check the weather forecast! Rain will wash away Chalk Paint® and compromise the Lacquer if either hasn’t dried sufficiently before being exposed to water.
  • Don’t use any of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint® Wax on outdoor projects.
  • Do play with bright colours – being bold is easier outdoors and adds some fun and whimsy….and let’s face it, right now – we need it!
  • Do seal outdoor metal furniture that has rust with Rust-Oleum® Clean Metal Primer before painting or using Lacquer.

If you’re in need of some extra confidence boosting before you commit paint to brush and brush to furniture – watch Annie’s quick video on using her Lacquer   on a metal garden chair here.

The Purple Painted Lady is going to be painting the outside brick of her Macedon, NY location in June using Chalk Paint® . Follow along with us on Facebook and Instagram to watch!


Although our store fronts are closed for walk in shopping……we are shipping online orders! To purchase online – CLICK HERE!

We always encourage you to visit your local Chalk Paint® stockist…but if you are stuck at home and do not have anyone local… The Purple Painted Lady is here to help and we are shipping! Please just place your order online and we will ship it out ASAP! In fact, if you place an order- be confident in knowing that The Purple Painted Lady has everything in stock! What does this mean in the end? With the team we have in place- your order ships the out via USPS or UPS the same day you place it – Monday through Saturday. (note however, this is as long as your order came in before 3pm EASTERN TIME, because UPS picks up our packages around 3:30pm)

To purchase online – CLICK HERE!

Please follow the recommendations being directed by local, state and federal government to flatten this curve! Stay home, be safe and paint on!