Though the substance now has many imitators, the original—Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan—is the invention of British artist Sloan, who developed the product when, while working as an artist three decades ago, she was frustrated with other options on the market. "What was around at the time was either watercolor or temperas that would do one thing, either flat or watercolor, or there were household paints that were very, very strong or artist acrylics, also very strong," Sloan tells House Beautiful.
So, she developed her own formula, mixing a trademarked concoction in a carefully curated selection of colors. Now, her chalk paint is a go-to resource for designers and DIYers alike.
The water-based product can be applied with no sanding or primer, making it an easy option for vintage pieces. Once the paint is applied, it's topped with a wax to give it its unique sheen.
After you've applied two coats of chalk paint (or one for a more distressed look), let the paint dry, then finish off with wax, using a wax brush, let dry, and buff with a cotton cloth. Or, for a more high-gloss look, you can top off your chalk paint with lacquer. One of the best things about chalk paint is that it will take to a wide range of surfaces. You know when people have those big brick walls that are kind of orangey and really dated?