Experiment 2: Painting a Metal Frame with Chalk Paint

I painted this mirror last week with Old Fashioned Milk Paint (which you can see here) and although I was happy with the finished product, I wasn’t thrilled with the fact that the light cream paint was really almost white. Since I’ve been experimenting and comparing Milk Paint and Chalk Paint over the last few weeks, I thought this would be a great time to try the Chalk Paint on the exact same item – the mirror.

Here’s my experience with Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint:


  • If possible, before selecting your paint color, see actual examples of it in person. If that’s not possible, look for some examples of it in use on-line using the color you are considering. Even though colors dramatically change on computer screens, it may be helpful. Here in Cincinnati, we are so fortunate to have an Annie Sloan retailer – The MissElaineous Studio. Owner Laine Discepoli has awesome samples on hand and offers first-hand advice to make sure you pick the perfect color. I wanted a french-like creamy color and she recommended Old Ochre with a mix of clear/dark wax on top. It was the perfect choice!
  • Invest in a good brush. An angled Purdy brush is my go-to now. You may think you are ever so smart  by saving money with a less expensive brush, but when 100+ bristles become stuck in you new paint job, you will question your frugality. In the long run, a good brush is great investment. You will get many, many uses out of it if you take care of it. A simple washing with warm soap and water after each use will do the trick.
  • I’ve read that if you don’t have round brush for applying wax, a clean large round (flat at the edges) make-up brush will work too. I haven’t tried it, but thought it was worth the suggestion.
  • Tape off areas you don’t want to paint.
  • Put the brush in an airtight zip-lock bag in between the first and second coat to keep it from drying out.
  • Enjoy. You really can’t mess this up and if you don’t like it, it’s easy to paint again!


  • Annie Sloan Old Ochre Chalk Paint
  • A Purdy Paint Brush (some people suggest using a sponge brush. I tried it, didn’t love it)
  • Annie Sloan Clear Wax (optional if not painting furniture)
  • Annie Sloan Dark Wax (optional if not painting furniture)
  • Round brush for applying wax
  • An old t-shirt or non-fuzzy rag for wiping off/buffing the wax
  • Sheet of fine or medium grade sand paper
  • Old box to hold the paint can so drips don’t get off. Perfect if you are messy like me!
  • Plastic plate if using wax


This is really quite brainless… my kind of project, haha! Quick with instant results!

Tape of any areas that you don’t want to paint. In this case it was the mirror. Brush on a quick coat of paint…

Let the first coat dry for an hour or so. In the meantime, put the lid back on the paint and store the brush in a zip-lock bag.

Apply the 2nd coat of paint…

I almost didn’t really need the second coat, but was glad I added it.

I only needed two coats. I let the second coat dry for an hour.

Once dried, you could lightly sand to distress and call it a day….

OR… you could be like me and decide to play a bit with the clear and dark wax. Because I was using the wax combination for the mirror AND also a coffee table, I mixed a large spoon full each of clear and dark wax on a plastic plate. If I was mixing wax just for this mirror, you would probably only need a tablespoon or less of each.

As always, when painting or stenciling, I used a plastic plate because it’s disposable, non-porous and the paint moves around well on it…

You don’t need much at all for the mirror. I lightly and quickly applied the mixture with my round brush and very lightly rubbed it back off with an old t-shirt…

This took all of 5 minutes.

Then, immediately (yes, the wax is still wet) I took my sand paper and randomly roughed up the raised edges.

That took less than 5 minutes. Note: It’s really not this dark in person.

Now wash your brush out with warm soapy water, rinsing well.

I let the mirror dry for 24 hours, buffed it with a clean old t-shirt for good measure and voila. It’s ready to hang!

This will hang in the guest bedroom which is a work in progress. See that French chair and table reflected in the mirror? I’m going to attempt to recover that and re-paint it with the Old Ochre Chalk Paint as well, but that’s a project for another day!

Overall, from start to end, this took about an 1 1/2 hours – most of that dry time. It took maybe a 1/2 hour of labor and 10 minutes to clean up. It’s a perfect project for an evening!


Funny you should ask that. I asked myself that as I was painting. Here are my answers:

  1. Chalk paint is less messy
  2. Chalk paint also covers better. Rarely the need for more than two coats.
  3. I like the finish of chalk paint and the option of adding wax for a bit of a sheen and/or depth.
  4. It’s not smelly.
  5. No need to prime.
  6. Nice choice of colors
  7. Easy clean up.

Have you tried Chalk Paint yet? I’d love to hear any tips!  xo Amy


2 thoughts on “Experiment 2: Painting a Metal Frame with Chalk Paint

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