Annie Sloan Surface Preparation Guide  

Annie Sloan Surface Preparation Guide


Furniture History

It is important to note that Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is a decorative pint and should be used with discernment.

Every piece has its own unique history and function thus this guide serves as a practical tool to aid various common experiences noted especially in Southern Africa.


Getting Started

  • Do a test patch on furniture to avoid unnecessary problems
  • Always clean surface first – preferably with sugar soap
  • Benzine may be necessary to help remove surface oils
  • Surfaces must be dry before applying paint

Understanding Bleed Through

Bleed through can occur which is a yellow, brown or pink discolouration of the painted surface.


This can be caused by a number of things such as:

  • Tannins in the wood
  • A previously used pigmented stain or varnish from tobacco exposure, cleaning/ polishing/ waxing methods applied.
  • Knots in the wood or by simply painting on a dirty surface.


Be advised that sanding off varnish may release the natural wood tannins.

Remember, Annie Sloan paint can be painted directly onto a varnished surface with no need to sand and prime. Certain sealants can pull tannins through the paint, so test patch your sealant first.

Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax will not draw bleed through and is therefore advisable to use on all decorative pieces – especially when painting with lighter colours.


Possible Solutions



A stain block can be used to prevent bleed through but bleed through can also give an aged look that adds character to your piece so sometimes it is not necessary to block stains at all.


Grease marks

Grease marks look like dark blotches and appear as your paint dries. If you have already started painting and this occurs, benzine can be used on the dried paint to draw out the grease. A repaint will however be required.


Always ask your Annie Sloan stockist if you are unsure.