…chalk paint problem areas

Let’s talk about paint today.

I have good news – problem areas with your piece and your painting job are not a deal breaker! Wha-hoo! What I’ve learned over the years is that you just need to work with these areas and in the end they should actually add to the character of the piece.


We do not Chalk Paint for perfection. The look is not to be consistent. The look is not to be completely coated like a dipped chocolate bar. The look is to make something look weathered and loved. As you know we acheive this through our sanding and dark wax primarily.


An important step not to gloss over is the touch-ups. When I get to the stage of clear waxing a piece, I am looking at every inch of that piece. I can see if there are dried drip marks or cracks in an older piece or blemishes in the wood that just would not cover with paint. These are the times that I stop what I’m doing and grab my 3M sanding block and 100 grade sandpaper.


I sand off these dried paint drip (don’t worry, we all get them!) and see what happens. Sometimes I like what happened to that area once it was sanded/distressed. Does it add to the piece? If yes, then I leave it. If it’s just too much wood showing through then I go back and paint this area. It may take a few coats in this spot to come up to the same consistency as the paint job around it. Just keep painting & letting it dry until it matches. That’s the beautify of Chalk Paint. You can do touch up spots without having to repaint the entire piece.


I do the same thing if there are places where the wood is cracked or slivered. I sand these areas and see what happens. Do I like it? Step back. Look it over. Take a day and come back to it and look it again.

The good news is that IT IS NEVER OVER. You may just hate how your piece is turning out. You may have used way too much dark was or maybe you went nuts sanding it and you just want to put the piece on the side of the road for the garbage man to collect – or in my case, your hoarder neighbor. Don’t. Step away from it for a few days to a week. Do not look at it or try to fix it. When you are ready, after some time, return to the piece that has betrayed you, crack open your paint and start completely over from scratch. This time go slowly between steps. Step back and view your piece. Let a few days go by before you sand and think about the areas that would look good. Look at pictures. Look at pictures of pieces that I’ve done to see where the sanding really works. Then give it a go. Too much sanding? Paint these areas.


Inconsistencies in our pieces and our painting are part of the process. Don’t get discouraged. If you really want to see how the piece will look go into your house and grab a few items to accesorize it. This will give you a visual as to how the piece will look in someone’s home. You may surprise yourself and fall in love.

PS – I know, you guys, I should TOTALLY be sitting down right now instead of at my computer resting my brain. It’s the OCD, I’m sure of it.


  1. As always GREAT tips and GREAT advice! Thank you! Thinking of you in your recovery, prayers! 😉

  2. You’re amazing…even feeling crummy, you’re still giving out FANTASTIC advice…this is totally what I needed today…I hope you get the same kind of inspiration that you give!

  3. Hi Christen- Thank you so much for your postings! I love the colors in the last pictured piece and have been trying to guess… Is it Emperor’s Silk with Duck Egg on top?

  4. Great advice! Thank you!! I have been praying for your recovery and health! Hope things are a bit better!! :). My question is about the clear wax… I painted a dining room table over a month ago. Wax is still coming off if scratched and impressions are being made from my sweet kiddos :). When does it ever finally cure? Thank you so much!!!

  5. Lynne Humphries says:

    This has been so helpful, just completed a piece in the same colour, and 1st attempt with using dark wax. Was not sure as I did not distress the top of this piece. Kept saying to myself yes not the norm but it fits, looking at your piece I am now totally convinced, I was right.
    Thinking of you at this difficult time

  6. We love you, but yes, go close your eyes!!

  7. You make my day!! I look so forward
    to what you will say each day!! Wishing you a speedy recovery!!

  8. Thanks Christen. I have exactly this issue. I painted my entire bedroom suite in ASCP duck egg blue and got over zealous with the sanding. I am not happy with the outcome and so will go back and repaint some areas and try again. Can you just start painting, or do I need to do something before I do it? Thanks

  9. Hi Christen,
    I did my very first ASCP job – a credenza for our dining room – and I am super happy with the result! I was very nervous, especially with the first sanding strokes and oh boy, the dark wax!, but thanks to your great tutorials and inspirations, I managed it all!
    I was looking for a new credenza for several years (!) and never found one I was completely happy with. Now I have to smile every time I enter our dining room. 🙂
    Thank you so so much for sharing all of your wisdom and experiences!! I hope you are getting better and I wish you all the best!

  10. Heather Stone says:

    Hi Christen,
    I’m new to the chalk painting world and know from your youtube videos that Annie Sloan is the way to go. We do have one place to get it in Savannah but it’s apparently pretty pricey and that’s OK, but not for every piece I want to paint. If I were to make chalk paint what is the best recipe that you have found and what wax would I need to get?
    Thanks for your time. I love your video’s your kids playing in the drive way cracks me up. 🙂

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