Spraying Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan with a Paint Sprayer

INTERESTED IN USING A SPRAYER FOR YOUR CHALK PAINT® in Liters?: Seriously- if you are planning on painting your kitchen cabinets and are looking to get a smoother finish- using a sprayer is a great option. Or, painting furniture but especially wicker or dining room chairs and again, you want a smooth finish – this sprayer is a total game changer and will expedite the process!

And we have the Wagner Home Decor Paint Sprayer for sale HERE.

The Purple Painted Lady likes to use the Wagner Home Decor Paint Sprayer. We retail it for $90. A cool feature that makes this accessible for anyone, is that you do not need an air compressor and this little tool is the bomb! The learning curve is not bad and it is really super easy to use.

Before using the sprayer – make sure to thoroughly clean your cabinet doors. We like to wipe the cabinet surfaces down using Krud Kutter and a paper towel or a Scotchbrite Scrubbie. After cleaning the door, use a fine mist spray bottle and spray the surface with fresh water and wipe away any residual cleaner with a rag or paper towel.

Once the surfaces have been cleaned and you have given them enough time to thoroughly dry, then you can begin painting. This is the fun part!

If painting cabinets, I like to remove the doors from the cabinet and also – remove the hardware. Put the hardware from each door into its own plastic baggie and label it so you know door which they coincide with.

  1. Prepare your surface you want to paint by cleaning as described above.
  2. Prepare your paint for the sprayer by warming the paint can in a hot bath – literally while the paint container. This actually helps a lot. See our photo immediately below. Fill the container with super hot water and then place the container in it but make sure that the water level stays at least an inch below the top of the can.
  3. Next, pour some paint into the Wagner container – it is important to thin your paint with very, very warm water or use paint extender will also work.

AGAIN- you should use very – very warm water for both the bath and thinning your paint!

So, pour some the paint in to the pot of your spray gun….. but do not fill more than 50% because you still need add to water and/or XIM. There is not a set recipe ….most will be around adding about 10% to 20%.  (start with the less water, because you can always add more paint if you add too much water, but try not to waste your paint!)

You know you have the right consistency when the “worm casts” fall from a stir stick and just blend in to the paint versus leaving textured ribbon on top. What are “worm cast?” Think about when you have cake batter and it is thick. If you pick up your spoon and the batter that drizzles off, sits on top of the batter ….that ribbon of batter is a worm cast. You know you have the right mix of paint to XIM or water when you do not have worm casts. You must make sure also- the consistency is the same all through out the pot so mix it well! The tricky part is NOT making it too thin- so experiment with less paint to not waste it in the beginning.

4. Having your work space and the cabinet doors (or whatever it is you are painting) heated to about 70 degrees is important. Work in a reasonably warm space.  And this is not while you are just in it painting. Meaning- you heat your garage while you are working in it and then – turn the heat off when you are done but leave your painted piece and sprayer there.  The space should be kept at this temperature consistently prior and for the entire cure time!

5. We suggest playing around with the sprayer’s spray pattern settings.  We like to go back and forth horizontally. If painting cabinet doors, we will paint all four sides of the door, then do the flat top surface.

6. Start with a Test spray on a wall. Hang a drop cloth up or use large sections of cardboard.

7. Begin painting with super thin coats. We will actually apply 5 or 6 coats of paint with the sprayer overall, but keep in mind- we build the coverage up gently. Each application is super fast and again- is applied thin.

8. The paint will self level quite a bit! You will be surprised at how it does this. But if you apply it too heavy- you can get an orange peel look. Give each application ample time to thoroughly dry. I would suggest to be safe- wait an hour between coats.

8. Start with a Test spray on a wall. Hang a drop cloth up or use large sections of cardboard.

9. Hold the gun anywhere from 6 to 12 inches from your surface.  (Play with this distance based on your sprayer)

10. Once you begin spraying your cabinets, get a line of paint sprayed down and then start your second row and cover the previous about 50% to have a uniform outcome.

In the video below we are using Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan in the color named Original. It is Annie’s warmest “white.”

11. The paint will look a little stipply.  But since it has been thinned- it will settle and smooth out.  After about an hour or two (if you are in a damp area time may take longer)….you can apply a second coat.

12. Finish your cabinets by sealing them with Annie’s Clear Wax or Lacquer. (by the way, Lacquer can be sprayed too!)

WATCH THIS VIDEO by Annie Sloan showing how to spray Chalk Paint®.

Additional IMPORTANT Sprayer Information for Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan:

Experiment to get the right results when spraying with your particular model. The most important thing to know is that there is no ‘magic’ ratio of paint to water and you will need to tweak it every time you spray, as site specific conditions mean that results can vary.  With that said, Annie Sloan Interiors recommends that you add 10% to 20% warm water as a starting point. 


An extender will thin your paint and by adding it, it will assist to get a smooth finish.  The Purple Painted Lady reached out to Annie Sloan Interiors and they shared that they have used XIM Latex Extender with good results in the past.  Don’t let the name
XIM Latex Extender fool you – since the word “Latex” is noted. Although there is no Latex in Chalk Paint®- this product is meant to work with any water based paints and Chalk Paint® is water based.   The container in the picture below is the brand Annie Sloan Interiors referred us to use, but others are available. Their spray consultant guys tell them that the main ingredient of these extenders is propylene glycol and that you can effectively make your own extender using this ingredient.  Personally, I would just suggest purchasing the product pre-packaged and ready to go.  

Even though you have added water as stated in the previous step – you still dilute with water AND add the extender – if you find it’s too thin to spray you can always add more paint. Don’t get too hung up on the amounts – the spray guys we work with just eyeball it!   Using an airless sprayer is not recommended – the high solids content in Chalk Paint® will damage the nozzle.  You will want to warm your Chalk Paint® because it will spray and settle better.  Place your container of paint in a bain marie of very hot water for 15 minutes.  Bain Marie is a container holding hot water into which a pan is placed for slow warming. After 15 minutes, When we have taught this in workshops in the past, we used a large crockpot as a bain marie. It doesn’t really matter how much water is in there just make sure it is not too high that when you set your containers in- that the water overflows into your paint!


When connecting the air compressor tube to your spray gun, make sure tube from the air compressor bows in a direction that makes sense. So, if you are right handed – have it bow away from your hand. The hose should not be bowed down toward the ground.down. Also, make sure the tip of your spray gun is in the right setting. You want your paint to come out spraying wide versus condensed. Think about using a garden hose and water flowers. You spray them versus having the water come out in a solid, florcefull stream.


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 two 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.  Get inspired by their shop that they lovingly curated – just for you!   Enjoy that one on one experience!   But for those who are in a location where there is no one selling paint products- and you must buy on-line- consider us.  With that said, visit www.anniesloan.com to find a stockist near you. We are here to help you, our customers!  We want you to be successful!   

SOME OF THE REASONS WE THINK THE PURPLE PAINTED LADY® CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THE BEST: *  We love our customers and it shows!*  Ordering online?  If you order before 3 pm EASTERN TIME any day Monday thru Friday – we will ship out your package that SAME day.   We ship orders out every since week day all over the US.  (THIS IS DIFFERENT than SAME DAY DELIVERY. We do not offer that)*  We offer low flat rate UPS shipping cost so if you are one town away or 10 states away- the shipping cost is the same.*  We have awesome follow up customer service, too!*  We sell Chalk Paint® for $37.99 SHOP ONLINE HERE  : )  And I will be here to help you as you progress through your future project!  And if I do say so myself- we offer the BEST customer service that you will ever experience!  Lastly- if I was helpful to you- ….please consider leaving a positive review on my Facebook business page sharing your positive experience or thoughts about The Purple Painted Lady®.  Here is a link to my Facebook page=> http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Purple-Painted-Lady/291882785710    This really helps me!  (wink, wink!)

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