chalk paint counter top q&a and tour

Happy Saturday to you.
Some of you have emailed me about my
counter tops and cabinets
painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint,
urging me to spill the beans and answer some questions.

So, that’s what I’m doing!

It’s lengthy but I’m laying it all out there for you.

{Look familiar?}
If you read THIS post, you know that I’m pulling the ol’ switcheroo
and going with zinc counter tops
so I figure now is as good a time as any
to give you the skinny on the chalk paint.
Do I love my counter tops and cabinets?
Yes. I do.
Why am I going with zinc counter tops then?
I’ve always wanted zinc, concrete or rustic barn wood counter tops
and it turns out the zinc was a quite a bit more affordable than I thought it would be.
{Ideally, I’d love zinc on our big stretch of counter 
and concrete on my small ‘workhorse’ section so you might see a little of both.}
Are the counter tops durable?
Yes, if you’re careful.
They are high maintenance and certainly not as durable as the original laminate surface.
These are painted counter tops after all.
You have to approach them with care
like setting heavy things down gently, using a gentle cleaner,
wiping up spills, using a cutting board for chopping and a trivet for hot pans, etc.
In all honesty,
it’s like working on a painted tabletop.
Should you paint your counter tops with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint?
 Well, it depends on your own fuss tolerance in the kitchen.
Personally, I was willing to sacrifice a little durability for the gorgeousness of them
{and I loathed the color of my existing counter tops}.
I painted them knowing that I only needed them to last me another year

until concrete or zinc was in the budget.

They do require an extra bit of maintenance like more frequent waxing

(a fresh coat of wax every few months)

or a touch up of a nick here and there
should your nine year-old decide to knock it with the points of a meat tenderizer.
Just saying.
Also, the Annie Sloan Soft Wax isn’t water resistant, it’s water repellent
so if you leave a liquid spill on your counter top,
it will leave behind a hazy white spot when you wipe it up,
especially noticeable if you paint your counter tops with a darker hue.
However, the white marks disappear as soon as the surface dries completely
in about an hour.
This didn’t bother me because I {love} variegation and imperfections, even if it’s only temporary.

Annie Sloan has a relatively new matte floor varnish
that is a bit more durable and might be a nice option…
I’d just be careful not to work with your food directly on it
because I doubt it’s considered a ‘food safe’ surface.

What about my cabinets?
They are as durable as a piece of painted furniture too 
(a little more with an extra coat or two of wax)
and I {LOVE} the soft lustre finish.

For some reason,
the Clear Soft Wax seemed to warm up the Pure White just a tinge
but I think it’s just the way the sunlight hits one section of cabinetry.

I thought trying out a coat of General Finishes Satin PolyAcrylic (on one door) might solve this.
Although it’s a beautiful, smooth poly, I did not like the finish over chalk paint.
It changes the look and feel of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and

the slight difference in white is apparently only noticeable to me.

Moral of that story: 

Stick with the Soft Wax.

Again, the Soft Wax is water repellent so you don’t want any spills to sit too long if possible.

Water isn’t a problem on the white but somehow I ended up with some red juice splashes on my
newly painted doors and it ended up staining them pink after wiping it up.
(The juice splatters were already dried on before I even noticed them to begin with.)
A little spot retouch and a wax took care of it.
That said, after finally allowing the counter tops to cure for about a week,
I re-coated them entire with one coat of wax after another two weeks
and things are wiping up without staining, including juice and spaghetti sauce.

So, I either didn’t apply enough wax the first time or it hadn’t cured long enough.

Just want to lay it all out there though.

I spoke with my stockist, Patty at Classic Wall Finishes
and she said that the longer the Soft Wax cures, the more it hardens.
It takes 28 days for a full cure.
  I’ve definitely noticed that on my end.

I recommend giving your counter tops a solid week to cure before business as usual.

I didn’t do this and found myself reapplying wax to the stenciled section
(the section I use constantly) about every other day because I noticed that the white lettering
was beginning to fade away. I got a little nervous and did another Poly-Acrylic test on a small section by the fridge  and although the finish is really pretty, it changed the soft feel of the chalk paint and showed fine scratches easily.
Turns out, after reaching out to a few furniture friends with more ASCP experience,
I just needed to give the wax extra time to cure
and I haven’t had an issue on that section of counter top since.
I was trying to build coat after coat instead of giving what was already on there 
time to really cure.

How much paint and wax did I use?

Here’s a BEFORE reminder of the size of my smallish kitchen…
It took one quart of Pure White to paint my cabinets,
a half a quart of Graphite to paint my counter tops,
and 1 can of clear Soft Wax to wax everything.
[I originally inserted the tutorial here but this post was WAY too long

so I’ve scheduled it for tomorrow.]

The tutorial will concisely explain the steps,
which aren’t nearly as intimidating as I might have made them them seem here.
 (I sort of walked you all of my learning experiences in this post.)
Have a wonderful weekend

and I’ll see you tomorrow with some tutorials…
and possibly a picture of my baby Edyn in her ballet gear
She starts her very first dance lesson this morning!

UPDATE: Click HERE for the tutorials.




  1. Thanks for that! I am not interested in doing my countertops or cabinets but since I have never been able to attend an AS workshop, the info on the cure time of the wax was REALLY nice to get! I do work for clients and it’s good to know that bit of info. Thanks again…looking forward to the rest!

  2. Renee says:

    Good post and very informative. I do think the wax gives everything a different hue. I noticed it right away on my furniture pieces, but I like the buttery softness of the color. (I painted my furniture in Old White.)

  3. Renee says:

    Good post and very informative. I do think the wax gives everything a different hue. I noticed it right away on my furniture pieces, but I like the buttery softness of the color. (I painted my furniture in Old White.)

  4. Hi Jami,
    I would be interested in going to the Boston show and would love to hook up with you! How fun would that be? Sending the link to mi kitchen cabs in an email…
    loved reading this information about the countertops. AS well as the info on waxing, its very helpful.

  5. Jill Elaine says:

    I MUST get me some AS chalk paint. i have a cabinet that is in dire need of repainting and I am determined it will be with chalk paint! AND I WANT ME SOME ZINC AND CONCRETE COUNTERS SOMEDAY TOO!!!

  6. I used Annie Sloan’s Primer Red to create a chalkboard on the insert of my pantry door. I did it about 8 months ago now, and I use it all the time and love it. It is holding up really well. It took 3 coats to cover the white but it was worth it.

    Here is the link to the post

    This was a super interesting post on the countertops. I was so curious. I am also considering painting my front doors in AS, but I am a little nervous so any info I can get on this paint and its applications, the more I like it!!

    Thanks again.

  7. Thank you, girls! Clearly, there was a bit of a learning curve on my end with painting counter tops. You should find the tutorial a bit more concise and helpful. I sort of figured it out as I went along.

  8. Megan says:

    I would LOVE concrete counters. and about passed out when I found out the cost. Its just concrete!!! WTH?

  9. {oc cottage} says:

    thx for ALL that info…and the plain talk! your counters are AMAZING…but if zinc is your hearts desire…then i hope zinc you shall have! ;}

    m ^..^

  10. Tricia says:

    That’s interesting about the countertops, I would’ve never thought to paint them. My dream counters are soapstone…someday :)

  11. janet says:

    Hey Jami!

    I will be assisting at the Leesburg Event and I am also involved in the planning. I can tell you ladies it is going to be a FABULOUS fun filled day of painting..connecting with other chalk painters..sharing ideas and painting experiences.

    I know at least at the Leesburg event you will be treated to a nice breakfast..enjoy 2 hours of Annie and her expertise on color and technique. A wonderful hot chef prepared lunch is included, with power snacks and beverages available all day…then you will spend 4 hours letting the paint fly with as you have said, trained stockists.

    It is going to be a once in a lifetime event and the best part is ….

    ANNIE!!!! You will get to meet the lady herself.

    So if you decide to come to Leesburg…look me up. I’ll be the chalk painting gal with the big smile on her face ;->

    Tkts are selling fast, so don’t wait!
    Thanks so much for spreading the word Jami.

    Janet xox
    The Empty Nest

  12. I just painted my cabinets with AS paint. I mixed old white and pure white and I am happy with the color. The one thing that I didn’t like is that some stains from the cabinets bled thru the paint. I waxed and then painted again but it came thru again. I got nervous about only using the wax so I read that someone used the poly acrylic so I decided to give it a try. Later I heard I wasn’t suppose to use it but I did and I am happy with it. I did notice that I lost a the total effect of the AS paint but I was just worried that these weren’t going to be able to stay clean. Today I went back over it with the AS in the areas that were stained and finally it didn’t bleed thru, thank goodness!In hindsight as many coats as I had to do I think I wouldn’t do my cabinets in AS, but that is just me.

  13. Lana says:

    I would love to attend one of the workshops, but live in Canada, so can’t get to any. I do have a wonderful Annie Sloan supplier here though, and she is going. Can’t wait to get my hands on some of the Antoinette paint. It will be great to read posts from all the bloggers who are going to attend.

  14. Anne says:

    Love how that turned out.I am going to attempt to paint my kitchen cabinets soon using AS paint.I am going to paint my dinning room set first.I think it will be a good practice spot for me.It is 90′s outdated so anything is an improvement.I just became your newest follower:-)

  15. I can’t tell you how intrigued I am by this. Thanks for the detailed information, pros and cons. I think of all of the options for helping my hideous cabinets and counter tops, this one seems to be in first place right now. Pinning it to my home improvement board in case I get the courage to try it!

  16. Great tips, Jami! Oh, how I would love to meet up with you and Marian at that class….! We’d have a blast together!!!! :) Learn alot – and be sure to come back and share it with us!

    xoxo laurie

  17. Anonymous says:

    I did a search on chalk paint and wood countertops and came across your blog. I have wood countertops in my kitchen and LOVE them and I’m adding a chalk painted area by my side door. I was hoping to find a picture of what a Black Walnut countertop would look like near the chalk paint (not paint on the wood itself, just in same room). But this is super helpful on the chalk paint side.

    And yes my wood countertops were Do-it-yourself…but I didn’t have the resources to actually glue the boards together myself. I bought an unfinished countertop on this website and finished/cut it myself to save big $$$. Helped a lot.

    anyway, thanks for sharing your project!

  18. Beth says:

    So how long were the counters painted? How did they hold up? I’m particularly worried about scratches and chips because my kids are not at all careful. With anything. Anytime. Ever.

  19. Angel says:

    I was just wondering if you are able to keep your doors from sticking to your face frames? I painted my cabinets with pure white as well and they stick and tiny flakes of paint pull off of the face frame every time i open a door. Is there any way to avoid this, or is it just a fact of life with painted cabinets?

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