Paisley Vintage Blog

Painting with Annie Sloan's Pure White

Painting with Annie Sloan's Pure White

Starting back for the year I've finished two new pieces, both in Pure White. I love how fresh pieces are in white, but I know many of us struggle working with Pure White Chalk Paint, so today I thought I'd share a few tips!

Pure White is a bright, sometimes called stark, white. It's a cool tone, so more on the blue side than yellow. It looks beautiful for a coastal look, and honestly I sell two or three times more Pure White than anything else in my paint store!

Annie's Pure White is one of my favourites, but it does have a thinner consistency than some of her other colours. This can effect coverage, so my first tip is to consider using something underneath as a base coat. You might like to use an undercoat; while priming isn't necessary with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, it can be a cost effective way of covering a darker wood ready for Pure White. I generally recommend the shellac based Zinsser tinted white, which is a fantastic stain cover, but any undercoat you might have will work.

Alternatively, you can also use another of Annie's colours as a base, and any of the softer colours can work well for this. Think Old Ochre, Country Grey, Paris Grey, or Paloma. All of these will offer great coverage and make a good base for your Pure White.

On the table above I've used Lem Lem underneath Pure White (Annie's newest colour that's supporting Oxfam, you can read about it here), which gives the piece a lovely little colour pop under the distressed sections.

Another way to increase the coverage of Pure White is to mix in a small amount of Old White. If you're content to loose a little of the starkness of Pure White, you can give it more body by adding some Old White, Annie's warm white. The Old White will take the edge off, and by adding only a small amount (say 5 parts Pure White to 1 part Old White) you can improve the coverage.

Generally, be prepared with Pure White to do more coats than you might be used to. If you've only ever painted with Paris Grey or really any other colour in the range, then you'll notice the difference in consistency immediately. While I can often do two coats of many colours and be satisfied with coverage, Pure White is most often four.   

So, once you've primed or mixed, you should always give your tin a good shake and stir before you start, and this is even more important that with Pure White. In fact, particularly with new tins, it's a good idea to turn your tin upside down and leave it for half an hour before you turn it right side up and start painting. All the good stuff will have settled to the bottom during transport, so its important to really scoop up the paint from the bottom of your tin. If you've ever opened a tin and found a thin liquid on the surface, it just needs a really good stir and you're good to go.

My final tip relates to sanding. If you've been to the shop you may have noticed that I tend to have little white pieces of sand paper floating round everywhere. 400 grit sandpaper is my absolute favourite for getting a smooth finish, and I nearly always use it when I finishing my Pure White pieces. With the great big windows in the shop I can often see tiny little brush marks that I may not have noticed whilst painting, and the 400 grit is perfect for smooth those out.

So there's a few ideas for using Pure White. Still my very favourite way to transform a piece of furniture. If you have any tips you'd like to share, you're welcome to share them below.




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