Using Annie Sloan Lacquer – Important Tips!

The Purple Painted Lady® is always here to help her customers!   (please LIKE my Facebook page by clicking on my business name to the left)

Annie Sloan introduces 750mL containers of Gloss and Matte Lacquer in May 2019 that can be used BOTH inside and outside!

The photo above is not an optical illusion. The containers shown are side by side, but the container on the left, is Annie’s Gloss Lacquer that is packaged in the 750 mL tins. The container on the right, is Annie’s Lacquer that was packaged in the 1000 mL . The 1000 mL container will be phased out through 2019. Besides the obvious packaging difference above, something to point is that in May of 2019, Annie Sloan introduced a new sheen- that being her Gloss Lacquer since in the past, only a matt was available. In May of 2019, Annie’s also introduced her Matte Lacquer in new packaging of the 750 mL container. The very exciting quality of both the 750 mL containers of  Gloss Lacquer and Matte Lacquer, is that can both be used for interior and exterior projects…. where as in the past, the Annie’s Lacquer that was packaged in the 1000 mL container was only for interior use. Annie’s Lacquer packaged in the 750 mL containers also has UV Protection so it will help minimize the fading of bright colors from the hot sun. Something to keep in mind- is that applying Lacquer is not like applying paint! It does not like to be over handled. If you click HERE it will link you to a detailed post that we wrote with detailed instructions and tips on how to best use Annie’s Lacquer.

Also, as noted in the spec sheet below, be careful when applying the Matte Lacquer over “dark” colored colors! You do not want too many coats or for it to be too thick because it can cause white hazing.

DIFFERENCES IN THE 750mL vs 1000mL Lacquer Container:

  • the coverage per square foot has increased. The 750mL containers will cover approximately 200 sq ft the 1000ml was specified to cover 100 sq ft. (I know what you are thinking, less Lacquer but more coverage…but that is correct)
  • the 750mL can be used on BOTH inside and outside painting projects
  • there is a UV protector
  • it is certified “Toy Safe”
  • Gloss is now available as a sheen

If you are considering using Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan on your floor, no matter if it is concrete, linoleum, slate or wood – you will want to protect it using Annie’s Lacquer.

The Purple Painted Lady Lacquer Annie Sloan - Check us out on-lineIf you own a container of Annie’s Lacquer and are going to use it and are reading this prior, go now and flip it upside down and let it sit like that the whole time you read this!  It will get the flattening agents at the bottom of the container loosened a bit! 

Ok…….here we go!  Using Lacquer however, is NOT like using or applying paint.  There are some special steps and directions you should be aware of BEFORE opening your quart and using!

First and foremost- one thing I want to drill home is that if you OVER brush your Lacquer when applying – it will look bad!  Often you will get a white haze – professionals call this “flashing.”  Moisture and humidity can cause hazing, blushing and Whiting.  So, use the product at room temperature and if you are going through a serious wet season with lots of rain…consider waiting till the humidity levels are more reasonable.

If you purchased Lacquer from The Purple Painted Lady®….we included instructions…READ THEM CAREFULLY!

We suggest adding about 10% water to your first coat only.  If you do NOT add water to the first coat – like we direct- it can look bad!

So, please read all of our instructions! (did I stress that enough?!)

Annie Sloan Lacquer is a clear matte water based varnish.  It is a strong penetrating Lacquer meant to be used over wood, linoleum or concrete floors painted with Chalk Paint® for interior use. (in other words- Note- this is not recommended for outdoor use.)  It is the penetrating characteristic which makes it so hard.

Also- since it is strong penetrating Lacquer…. if painting over an old wood floor, you may want to consider doing a test spot painting and sealing the floor in an inconspicuous area to confirm that the “strong penetrating Lacquer” does not pull up wood tannins or yellow hues up through your paint – especially is using a “white” Chalk Paint®.   If it does- then you may want to consider sealing your floor first with Zinsser bullseye Shellac.

Whether your paint is applied as a wash or applied solidly with a foam roller, this robust lacquer will seal it perfectly when directions are followed.


Always be patient when mixing your Lacquer!  Flip your container upside down and let it sit like that for a few hours, if possible.  Take your time once you have opened it and get a sturdy paint stick and scrape all the way to the bottom to mix in the flattening agents. Flattening agents can appear a bit sludge-like.  KEEP MIXING ….you will eventually incorporate it all!    YOU CANNOT RUSH THIS PROCESS!

Always apply lacquer in thin coats.  If applied to heavy and thick, clouding will result.  Often customers will state after the first coat they see some slight lines in the lacquer if using a roller, but after the second coat is applied- it looks wonderful. (just sharing this so you do not panic) No need to sand in between either! Again, the lacquer will slightly darken the paint beneath it.

The varnish is quick drying, non-toxic, low odor, and non-yellowing. The lacquer will give you a very durable scuff resistant finish. Note though, it is not recommended in areas where there will be a lot of water. So, if using in a bathroom, plan on toweling up wet floors so there is no standing water for long lengths of time.

Annie’s lacquer is ring resistant- meaning it can tolerate hot cups. It is also resistant to alcohol spills, which if using wax as a top coat- is not.  However,… ‘resistant’ doesn’t always mean ‘proof’ …as in alcohol proof or like water proof…….. even resistant gives way from time to time … just ask my Spanx. 


The liter will cover approximately 107 square feet (depending on how porous the surface and how thickly the lacquer is applied.) Two coats are recommended for areas of high traffic (never substitute one thick coat if in a hurry- it will not dry uniformly and you will just have issues- this rule applies to paint and for that matter – ANY product on the market!) I applied it on the top of a heavily used dresser and it was dry to the touch within minutes!


Before use, turn the container upside down for at least 1 to 2 hours since all the “good materials”  that may have sunk to the bottom can get well incorporated again to the top and  well dispersed.


Also, this product should be stirred BEFORE AND  as well as during using it.  

DO NOT SHAKE the container of Lacquer since this will cause bubbles to form in the varnish which you do not want to happen!
It is best to gently mix the lacquer by rolling the containers around in your hands or pouring the contents into a bucket to stir.  If Lacquer is not thoroughly stirred, the finish will be shinier due to the fact that the flattening agents weren’t completely mixed in. Note that the thick stuff at the bottom of the quart is the flattening agent, and that needs to be totally incorporated …So, be patient and mix it well….which if yours has settled, could take a good ten minutes.Lacquer Clumpy Jan 2015


It is advised to add about 10% additional water to your FIRST coat only.  Second coat should be FULL strength- NOT watered down.

We recommend full strength for the second coat because most people do not batch their product, so if one container is mixed with 10% water and another is mixed with, let’s say, 15% water there will be a difference in sheen.  The more water that is added to Lacquer the lower the sheen level becomes because the flattening agents are dispersed over a greater volume of product.  A full strength coat helps to guarantee that the amount of flattening agents will be consistent throughout the project, therefore the sheen level should also be the same.

IF BATCHING ALL OF YOUR LACQUER INTO ONE LARGER BUCKET:   However, should a customer decide to batch the product first and then thin with water, that would be okay but they should be aware that it will lower the sheen.



Annie Sloan Lacquer Application Tips By The Purple Painted Lady


Apply the lacquer with a high quality sponge roller using a sponge brush to cut in at the edges.  Or- if brushing it on…Annie’s 2 inch Paint Brush is great!   Again- do NOT over play with the Lacquer.   OR- another option is to  have one person roll the Lacquer on using a roller, and another person go back over it immediately with Annie’s 2 inch Paint Brush .  This will leave the lacquer with a clear and smooth appearance after it has fully dried

The Purple Painted Lady Annie LARGE FLAT PAINT BRUSH

Apply two THIN coats for areas of high traffic such as a hallway, stairs, or sitting room but only one for a bedroom for instance. Again- it is best to apply two thin coats rather than one thicker one. You never get a head taking shortcuts

Something to understand when using Lacquer is that it does not want to be back stroked. Confident strokes in one direction for an even sheen is extremely important because varnishes do not like to be back brushed. This can cause flashing…meaning an uneven finish.   Thin uniform applications are extremely important over dark colored paints!    

DO NOT STOP HALF WAY THROUGH A FLOOR:  Always work off your wet edge when applying Lacquer.  If using Lacquer on a floor- I feel it is important to paint the whole floor at one time and then…when you go to apply the Lacquer – you need to seal the whole floor with Lacquer all at once.  VERSUS, dividing it in half and sliding furniture to one side and doing the floor in sections on different days because you will potentially see that break once all is done.  Sort of like painting a wall red.  If you do not do it all at once….you will see the “seam.”


Annie’s Lacquer is perfect for floorcloths … non-yellowing, flexible, durable, scuff-resistant … a great addition to Annie world!


Ithaca BandB Pink LacquerAll water-based clear coat products will be look milky or translucent while still wet.  I’ve seen blue, pink (see photo to right), and yellow undertones in the wet mix across different product lines. This shouldn’t really matter, though, because if applied properly the milky appearance and any undertones should disappear once dried.  I find that the Lacquer will often have a milky white-blue hue to it before using.


It dries quickly – but allow your floor or furniture piece to cure overnight before using.  And even then- do not drag furniture across a freshly painted or sealed floor.  Recruit some strong help and carry or lift pieces into place.  An average coating needs to dry 1- 2 hours BUT if it has been rainy or damp where you live- this will take longer before another coat can be applied..  Do not try to rush it.  There is chemistry in paint products and it is going to take all the time its needs, no matter how impatient you are!!!       Leave it overnight to “cure” before walking on it.  And initially- only walk on it in socks- NOT stilettos (high pointy heels) or hard soled shoes. Give the Lacquer a couple of days before the kids ride the big wheel across it too and again, DO NOT DRAG furniture. Carry and place it in position!  Lacquer is a very strong and durable product but this finish needs enough time to cure (water-based products typically need 14 – 28 days to cure).  If using in a bathroom environment, always wipe up standing water from shower or bath. I recommend this too if you have a wood floor.

If you are doing a bathroom and have little boys, …or big boys who lack aim skills, make sure to have a carpet in front of your toilet bowl.  (Sorry to write this, but I want you to be happy with the products performance and urine can be acidic.) I recommend this too if you have a wood floor.)


The Lacquer when applied properly, will slightly darken the color beneath it with a matte finish that has a slight sheen to give it strength.


It is impossible for any water-based varnish (Annie’s Lacquer is a varnish) to yellow. However, Annie Sloan Lacquer is a strong, penetrating varnish and it has been known to pull up underlying tannins from the wood, causing a yellow staining effect over light colors. This will only happen over wood cabinets or floors and not on every species of wood (mostly pine, oak, and mahogany).   This can happen when applied over new unsealed pine/ oak floors or old floors with broken down polyurethane top coat.  Lacquer shrinks down into the surface as it dries, pulling any tannins and bleeding stains with it.   Some may shellac the floor prior and seal it to prevent this bleeding, paint with Chalk Paint®, then apply Lacquer.  


If you have a problem with Lacquer turning your paint white after applying, it is because it was applied too thickly – this causes the flattening agents in it to appear as a milky area. Unfortunately, the only fix is to repaint.  So, follow my directions that I provide to you when you purchase Lacquer from The Purple Painted Lady


Please allow me to quote Annie Sloan … ” I hate polyurethane with fierce and fiery passion. It has a plastic-looking finish, it scratches, and it changes the color too much for me … polyurethane does not adhere to the paint; it sits on the surface … like a plastic sheet.”


Is your project on a piece that is pine and oak or mahogany or cherry?  You will want to consider applying Zinsser Bullseye Clear Shellac over it prior to painting and sealing it.  Bleed through can sometimes happen over certain species of wood when sealing with Annie Sloan Lacquer, particularly pine and oak. It’s most noticeable when using lighter colors of Chalk Paint®- like Old White, Purple White or Original White. Lacquer is a strong penetrating varnish that “drills down” through the paint layers, giving the finish a lot of strength, but it can also pull out the tannins as it dries.


(Read previous note and then)  You should apply one or two thin coats of shellac and then repaint and seal. It’s the only way to correct this situation. 

Wash brushes/sponge rollers thoroughly in water.

HOW The Purple Painted Lady Fabulouso Cleaner LacquerTO CLEAN A FLOOR FINISHED WITH LACQUER:

We recommend a product called Fabuloso. You mix it water and you do not let it pool on the Lacquer.

Note that Annie’s lacquer is NEVER applied over waxes!
However, you can apply Annie Sloan’s soft waxes over the lacquer.  Call Trish with ?s 585-750-6056



Painted Linoleum Floor bathroom Annie Laquer The Purple Painted Lady Chalk Paint


Make sure to know if the previous poly is water-based or oil-based? Annie’s lacquer cannot go over oil-based. Better to stick with the original coating for both compatibility and matching sheen level. Also, if it is a new unsealed pine/ oak floors – you will want to seal them with clear Zinsser Bullseye Clear Shellac OR if the floors are old with broken down poly… a thorough sanding may be needed and the two applications of Zinsser Bullseye Clear Shellac.  Please read this post HERE on using Shellac


To determine if the previous finish  is water-based or oil-based…..just rub a small area with a rag and a bit of mineral spirits. If the finish softens and a bit of color comes off, it’s oil-based.  This means- do NOT use Annie’s Lacquer.


A general rule of thumb … if stored properly one to two years … which is typical for most water-based clear coat products.

The Purple Painted Lady LOVES seeing “before & after” photos from her customers!  And in fact- we always send a thank you gift if we use your images and story.  So, please feel free to share your photos and a little write up by emailing them to Trish at!  Remember to include a few details of your project, any tips/tricks that you like to do that help you, or even something you learned through the process that another person could benefit from!


First- if you have a local stockist- go visit them and build a relationship with them.  Go to them with your questions and project issues.  BUT- if you do not have a local stockist- we invite you to try our customer service!

As for buying any of the products we mentioned earlier in this post- I hope that you select The Purple Painted Lady® to be your one stop resource!  We have four locations in western NY.  Check out our Information tab and come and meet us!  Otherwise- if you are not located near me- the following information may apply to you.  This information is directed to those who do NOT have a local stockist.  Because if you do – go and meet them, shop from them and build a relationship with them.  The guidance, information and knowledge they share with you – will be invaluable.  But, if you are in a location where there is no one selling paint products- and you must buy on-line- consider us.  With that said, visit to find a stockist near you.
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our MAIN STORE at 77 West Main Street in Macedon, NY 14502

77 Main street with phone number


Village Gate location, 274 Goodman Street North Rochester NY 14607



3200 West Ridge Road in Rochester, NY 14626 (The Shops On West Ridge)

The shops on west ridge pic 3200 The Purple Painted Lady


Our Syracuse, NY location at 1 West Genesee Street in Baldwinsville, NY 13027 inside The Savvy Chick

The Purple Painted Lady west genesee Baldwinsville Chalk Paint FRONT Savvy Chick


Using Chalk Paint® Outside

Living in a home that was built in the 1880’s – can be wonderful. And then on the flip side, it can also be very expensive and labor intensive. For example- since we moved in ten years ago, we have:House The Purple Painted Lady

* Painted every room since the whole house was white inside.
* Pulled out the big old-oil furnace that looked like an octopus and installed a high efficiency gas furnace. But before we could do that- we had to run the gas line about 700 feet from the road to the house.
* Then, we changed out the electric hot water heater to a new gas one.
* We had concrete walk ways added to three entrances to our home, cement aprons in front of the garage, barn entrance and had a patio poured.
* Next was the roof ..yep, it needed a total tear off – all FIVE layers! Fortunately (VERY fortunately) for us- we have a an incredible friend who is a commercial roofer and he stepped in to help us with this project. I do not think we could have afforded to have had this done if he hadn’t. (Thank you John S!)
* And lastly, about a month ago, we had all the old, drafty windows on the second and third floors replaced with new vinyl windows by Wonder Windows. What a difference that made with noise control and drafts. I am excited to see what a difference the new windows will be this winter.
We have also changed out the 30 year old appliances, put in new toilets and sinks, and …well, I don’t want to bore you with everything else we have done, but again….if you are thinking about buying an old house…heed my warning. Plan on spending some money.

Anyway, my “to do” list of smaller chores for our house is pretty long and does not get addressed often. It is not that I procrastinate in getting these chores done, but rather finding the time to do them is really impossible. But today I found myself with the luxury of having a little time where I did not have to be anywhere and thought I would tackle one of my many “to do” items!

If you live in a home that was built over 100 years ago, peeling paint is no surprise. We have two porches that both need painting. But the floor on the porch off of our kitchen had been screaming to be painted for at least the last four years now- and today it was going to be silenced!

To prep the porch, I used a big bristle broom and swept it really well- to remove any of the remaining loose paint. I had washed it about a week ago after I hosted my Barn Sale & Junk Jubilee due to the dirt that was all over it, so I knew it was still fairly cleaned. (you should consider washing off the surface of what you are painting outside, but give it a few days in dry weather to make sure there is no moisture left prior to painting. Moisture in what ever you are painting is one sure way to cause the paint to fail on you!)

Like I said, the porch has needed this for a long time- so the good thing about that was practically all of the paint that could peel off – has peeled! After aggressively sweeping it, I used the leaf blower and removed any dust or Hollyhock seeds I accidentally got on it while working in my garden that is directly in front of it.

Kitchen Porch being painted

Choosing which paint to use was the easy part. Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan is incredible paint. Besides creating luxurious finishes on furniture and cabinetry- it performs hard core for uses outside of your home. The important thing to keep in mind though, is that although Chalk Paint® is amazing, it is not a miracle! It will certainly work well if whatever you are painting is exposed to sun and the Chalk Paint® is able to dry really hard. Annie Sloan said, “I have painted many things outside and they are incredible but some don’t work that well because they have too much water on them and have been done when it is too damp I think. As long as that wood is not teak, then it should be fine.” For me, The Purple Painted Lady – not needing to strip, sand or prime are also a few additional bonuses when it comes to choosing Chalk Paint®. And if you live in an old home and have plaster walls versus dry wall- Chalk Paint® will provide an incredible beautiful finish to the plaster. (and it also works wonderful on dry wall too!)

Steve (my hubby) and I chose to use Old Violet. I love this color which is like a periwinkle in my opinion. Old Violet definitely has a blue hue to it – but works well with the various shades of purple and white that already are on my house. Oh, and this is how I named my business by the way. I started my painting/mural business about 10 years ago- and one night when I was sitting around with Steve brainstorming a name to call the business- he came up with “The Purple Painted Lady.” Since we live an old “Victorian” farmhouse- and Victorians are often referred to as “painted ladies” – “The Purple Painted Lady” was born!

Old Violet Sample Board

You may recall that I painted the cupola for the top of my barn last year with Pure White Chalk Paint®. It has been over a year now and my cupola – that is exposed to New York winter’s, changes between the hot and humid summers and the freezing cold months- looks amazing!

Cupola July 2013

For the kitchen porch, I used a foam roller, the 4 inch kitchen cabinet roller (Whizz brand) and added an extension to the roller handle so I could paint the floor without straining my back. Since the end of all rollers typically have a universal thread, so the extensions found at Lowes, Home Depot or Walmart can be used. Get one of these and I guarantee you the next time you paint a room or floor, you will cut your project time in half!

I painted two coats of the Chalk Paint® today and I think the porch looks amazing! Quite frankly, I could have done just about anything and the porch would have looked better. But most importantly, I wanted whatever I did- to last more than just a season.

Kitchen porch painted

TOP COAT?:For exterior use – there is no need to add a top coat to the paint since Chalk Paint®. Chalk Paint® cures and is very durable. I realized this quickly after we had a Chalk Paint® spill outside of my old shop. A sample pot of Old White was dropped in July of 2012 on to the cement walkway outside my store. That splatter of Old White- endured – even after we attempted to power wash it off. So, I figure a protected porch should be a piece of cake! Keep in mind that Chalk Paint® is a flat, matte finish. It will show scuffs and serious dirt, but you can rinse the dirt off- and I am good with that. If however, this was an interior floor- I would have chosen to use Annie’s Lacquer that is made for interior use only- specifically high traffic areas. It is water resistant, but not water proof. So, do not use the Lacquer if the space gets exposed to lots of water- especially if it is standing water (meaning where it is not wiped down.)

COVERAGE WITH CHALK PAINT®: My porch is about 16 feet wide and 6 feet deep. (that equates to 96 square feet) A quart of Chalk Paint® is noted on the quart label to cover approximately 150 square feet. I was able to get 2 whole coats completed out of one quart.

I am now excited about painting that little side table in the photo above in Annie Sloan’s Arles. Arles is a golden sunflower color that will compliment the Old Violet floor and the white and orange chair perfectly!
Arles Sample Board

If you are wondering if Chalk Paint® would be a good fit for your project, don’t hesitate to contact me. I am here to help you. And if you know me- I am not afraid to lose a sale if I feel what you want to do is crazy and not a good fit. For example, I had someone ask if they could paint the inside of their bathtub. My answer- NO! Or, how about your boat? NO! I am here to help you and when it comes to my customers- I am always available to answer project questions! So, with that said – did you know that I sell Chalk Paint® and other supplies. Visit our on-line store HERE if interested in placing an order. We ship every weekday and ship your order same day it is placed. We also offer the lowest flat rate shipping.

Now, with this side porch done~ I just have to hope this incredible warm spell continues so I can get the front wrap around porch done next!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog!
Trish ~ The Purple Painted Lady

Tips & reminders on painting unconventional surfaces:

1. Chalk Paint® is amazing- but it is not a miracle. Be realistic in what you are painting. Decide if you are looking for a “season or a lifetime” and get feedback on if it will perform to your expectations.

2. Slippery surface? Chalk Paint® does not require stripping, sanding or priming, however, if you are covering something that is super, super slippery- it would not hurt to scuff it up with some rough sand paper. Again, Chalk Paint® is amazing- but it is not a miracle. I have people write me about painting wall tile. Annie’s does not promote that, but I have a customer’s who have and they are elated. I would clean them really well. Use a little Mineral Spirits on a ScotchBrite scrubbie. Clean and then rinse with plain ole’ water. Make sure to wait a day or two to allow any moisture in the grout to dry. Scuff them up with some 180 grit sand paper. Blow off dust.

Apply initial coat of Chalk Paint- thinning it just a little. WAIT 24 hours before applying a second coat. This allows the paint to “do it’s thing” – basically scientifically – to let the molecules settle, connect and really adhere to the surface. Once done- clear wax over your paint or lacquer.

3. Allow your base coat to dry 24 hours before applying another coat. I am incredibly impatient- but in general – just like I wrote above- the wait time allows the paint to “do it’s thing” – basically scientifically – to let the molecules settle, connect and really adhere to the surface.

4. If choosing to use Chalk Paint® outside, it needs to be on a surface that will not be saturated with water all of the time. Most products will fail in this environment.