Hi Friends! Here are this weeks Q&A’s. Hope they help!

I understand that if you are painting a piece for the outside, you should not use wax – But does the paint not weather badly, and chip and mark easily?”

Did you read this some place? I have done a few outdoor benches and have always waxed.

When you are painting a large area ( Dinning room table), what type of brush do you use or do you prefer using a roller.

If I am painting a large surface area like a dining table I will use my large Annie Sloan brush. You want a good quality brush to cut down on the brush strokes and it will help apply paint more evenly. I have never used a roller with my Chalk Paint as I want to maintain more control over the application.


How do you weigh your items to determine shipping cost?

When I ship furniture I use USHIP. You plug in dimensions, estimate the weight and more importantly post a picture. Shippers going your way will bid on the job. Aranging for shipping is a bit tedious, but can be worth it.

But here’s the last thought I had, no spray urathane or varnish?  Just use the wax, either clear or dark?  This will help with wear and water drops? I am OK with the daily life & wear, it’s all about real life.  But I do want it to look good and be able to clean up.

For my style I do not want a high sheen on my pieces. I want it to be matte and that is what the clear wax offers. It is a bit like putting melted candle wax on your piece. It will give you a smooth look, but it will not shine like a poly.

I painted a table today and after the second coat dried, it is a very uneven look. I tried to touch up the less covered areas but the paint still looks uneven. Normally it would be ok as it would fit the design but I am looking for a crisp, clean look on this piece for our new house. Any thoughts?

Try, try again. Did you shake your can? Stir the paint well? Did you let the first coat dry for long enough? In my experience I find that I need to let my first coat dry for a day. I have found that even if it feels dry, the second coat never seems to gain coverage if I try to paint again shortly after. Sounds like you are not letting it properly dry if even the touch ups are not working. Don’t rush the process. Do as many coats as you need to get the desired coverage/evenness.


To me the painting was not smooth – definitely brushstrokes all over (just kind of copied how Annie painted in her video back and forth brushstrokes).

Yes, I’ve seen one of Annie’s tutorials where she criss-crosses when painting. I don’t tend to do this myself because most of my clients are looking for a smooth surface. If this is the look you want then simply take your good brush and move side to side. You should not have as many brush strokes this way.

I have seen comments about sanding before waxing for a smoother finish, but I haven’t seen or heard how, what grit or any advice on how to do this.

When I sand and distress my pieces I do it before the clear wax. I used to do it the other way around, but prefer this method. I use 100 grit sand paper and sand the edges and any bumps that make have come up. It is then important to take a dry brush and wipe off any dust before doing your layer of clear wax.

The pieces I painted for my daughter were not “distressed” because the furniture was a wood laminated top of a pedestal kitchen table. I put 2 coats of wax on the table top. If I were to go back and sand this for a smoother look would that be ok and then just wax again?

You mean sand the surface for a smoother look? Yes, once your clear wax is completely dry you can go back and play with your piece and then repeat your waxing process.

I am doing a table and chairs in old white. Like the one you did in your “old white” tutorial that where blonde and white. Could you please share a picture of them completed and give advice on the dark waxing. I know you said to go light on dark wax. I’d just love to see a picture of them when you finished with the dark wax so I can see what it looks like. 

Yes, you definitely want to go lighter with the dark wax if you are using a white color. It will look muddy really easily. Here is an example of the Old White with dark wax.


Here is a picture of the exact chairs from that video.


I was thinking about painting the wood part of my table however it has leather on top. With your experience in painting with different colors do you think the old white will look good?

You should be fine using Old White to cover the leather. Just be sure not to sand it as it will scrape and pull.

 I was wondering how come one some videos they say that you have to apply the dark wax on top of the clear wax while its still wet. Could you do it both ways or did I miss understand?

No, the clear wax should be completely dry before you go onto the dark wax.

I was wondering, can you use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint over laminate wood and it actually stick to that? Or is there some of primer/prep work involved? I just don’t want to go through all the trouble if it scratches off when I’m finished! 

Yes, you can totally paint laminate. Just don’t sand it if you choose to distress.


“I have an older cedar chest with the same kind of hardeware & am still debating on paint or no paint. Have you ever used a product called rub n buff to rejuvenate hardware?

No, I haven’t. Please let me know your thoughts after trying!

I bought an old china cabinet and it has that old musty? smell and it is driving me crazy!  I have tried coffee grounds,  vinegar & water candles,  baking soda and Lysol.  I then thought to paint the inside thinking that would cover the smell but none have worked.  Do you have something that works for you that you could pass on?!

Check out all the great advice my readers gave to me in the post called “Smelly Furniture”.


Do you have any tips for us on how much to charge for refinishing a piece for someone else? 

It’s not a straight forward answer. You need to think about your area & market. Consider the cost of the paint (which is pricey), your time and the size of the piece. No one has an infinite amount of time in the day so please don’t sell yourself short if you are servicing someone.

Just wondering if you like milk paint or the chalk paint best.

I started out refinishing furniture with milk paint and love it. Just be aware that is a different process as the paint is powder based. For my life style at the moment I use Chalk Paint because there is no prep for your piece and all I have to do is open and can and paint. That being said, Miss Mustard Seed was super kind to mail me a bunch of paint to try and I cannot wait to get a chance to do it!

I have a big faux leather box that holds photos. It is red and no longer matches my decor….do you think i can paint it with ASCP?

Absolutely! I’ve done little boxes, frames, etc. Go crazy!

Hello do you use chalk paint on all of your pieces of painted furniture?

Why, yes, I do 🙂


How long dry time do you usually give between clear wax and sanding and dark wax?

I personally like to wait a day. That may just be me, but I find that the wax likes to sit and hang out before another layer. If you are in a crunch you can wait until the wax does not feel tacky to do your dark wax.



Got questions? Email me and I’ll post: cbensten@blueeggbrownnest.com


  1. Great site – Love your work! I think there is a typo on your “services” page. In the first sentence I think it sould be “your” not “you”.

    Anyway thanks for all the video’s!


  2. Shelley Turner says:

    Thank you Christen, for all your advice. Watching your videos has gotten me started on this Annie Sloan Chalk Paint addiction. I LOVE IT!!! I’m painting everything I can find. Makes it so easy to change the look of a room. Thanks again for all your help!

  3. I am a faithful reader (check your blog everyday!) and these Q&As along with your videos are so helpful! Thank you!

  4. Hi!
    I found your blog during the summer, while debating to re do my bar stools! I love the color red!!

    I have learned so much from just watching your vidoes and reading your blog!

    Keep up the wonderful work! You truly have a gift! And you are a awesome teacher!!

    I only have 1 question:

    Can you move in to my home?? Love everything you touch!!


  5. Hi!
    I found your blog during the summer, while debating to re do my bar stools! I love the color red!!

    I have learned so much from just watching your videos and reading your blog!

    Keep up the wonderful work! You truly have a gift! And you are a awesome teacher!!

    I only have 1 question:

    Can you move in to my home?? Love everything you touch!!


  6. Hi Christen- I know you mentioned you were going to post a tutorial on painting hardware.
    I was just wondering if I missed it?
    Thanks for all your wonderful tips and technique posts and videos.

    Best, Denise

  7. Thanks Christen! Great advice. I love your pieces. They are such an inspiration!

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