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Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ Outside.

exterior of shop

As summer approaches and we once more venture in to our gardens to enjoy the sun, some of you no doubt will be looking around and thinking isn’t it about time to refresh and paint tired or worn looking painted woodwork or garden furniture.Edit – it is currently 32° outside. Summer is here 🙂

One of the wonderful things about Chalk Paint™ is that it sticks to just about anything. And some things you really don’t want it to. Case in point was when we had a dog and it landed up with a very nice painted tail. Yes a black and white collie with an Emporer’s silk tail ! Very fetching! Fortunately it washed out very easily. Now, most of us will have used Chalk Paint™ on furniture, walls and floors inside your houses but today we are going to move outside the house. Did you know that Chalk Paint™ even works outdoors ?! Oh yes, it is particularly good on brick, concrete, stone and terracotta – and there’s no need to wax. You can even breathe new life in to that tired looking garden furniture.

wall painted in Annie Sloan Coco
wall paint in Annie Sloan Coco

Now hold on a minute! Here are a few things to bear in mind before rushing outside with your paint brush in one hand and a pot of Chalk Paint™ in the other. What? What can possibly go wrong?? Well, First of all it will fade in the sun. Secondly it does age gracefully with the elements. Importantly bear in mind that it is a water-based decorative paint and does not have any weatherproof or protective properties. Let me repeat that. It is a decorative paint and not a protective paint. Depending on the look you want, and conditions of where you are, you may find it will need a fresh coat periodically.

I am sure I have mentioned this somewhere before but please remember Chalk Paint™ is not recommended for teak or other oily woods. To avoid any dissappointment always try painting a small test area first! The majority of issues that arise when people paint wooden garden furniture – you may be unaware that it is teak or another oily wood, or it may have been treated with something to make it more weather resistant (eg Cuprinol, Ducks back etc). Bear in mind that using a water based paint on a surface that is designed to resist water is never going to be easy. All of these things can affect the adhesion of the paint, and as I have already said the best advise is to paint a test patch if you are not sure.

Some colours can fade quite quickly if they are used in an area that is exposed to very strong sunlight – this is particularly the case with reds. Oh the joys of living in sunny France! A water based exter

exterior of shop
ior varnish with UV protection is advisable if this is likely to be an issue. On garden furniture, we would strongly recommend a coat of water-based exterior varnish which will protect against stains and keep the finish looking good for much longer. For the best results get a varnish with UV protection to prevent colour fading.

So far I have mentioned using a water based exterior varnish and here is why. Wax and Lacquer are not suitable for outdoor use. Both of these are water resistant finishes, but not completely non permeable – water can get underneath the sealant and cause the paint to flake or bubble. And apart from anything else in hot sun any wax will melt and disappear and it will also make floor lacquer turn yellow. Don’t waste your time or money doing this as it will quickly be undone.

If you are painting an outdoor piece ‘in situ’, wait for a spell of good weather and certainly not when rain is imminent (Yes I know, easier said than done at this time of year). Your piece should be COMPLETELY dry before you begin. If you can leave it to dry in the sun after painting, this will help the paint to bond with the surface. You are basically baking the paint onto the surface to creating a tougher finish.

There are of course exceptions to every rule and perhaps this post is erring on the safe side of things but if you don’t want a perfectly painted look then Chalk Paint™. And I hope all of you reading this will continue to do so! There are some amazing projects out there – trucks, cars and caravans to name but a few! If after reading this you would prefer to buy a paint that is more suitable to exterior use please contact us with details of what you would like to paint and the type of finish you would like to achieve.

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Since writing this article back in 2017 Annie Sloan has brought out a brand new Chalk Paint Lacquer for you to use outdoors. Chalk Paint™ Lacquer is a hard-wearing, water-based polyacrylic varnish with built-in UV protection. Use it over Chalk Paint™ for a robust finish that will withstand general wear and tear – perfect for dining room tables, outdoor furniture, floors and skirting boards. It goes on perfectly clear and dries quickly without yellowing over time.