21 July 2014

Brush up on your brushes

I’m delighted to write that you can now get to grips with my latest additions to the Annie Sloan brush range in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

I’m actually really excited about that because I spent a lot of time working on the functionality and feel of the brushes to get them just right. ‘Hold on,’ you say, ‘they’re just paint brushes?’ Uh-uh.

They are personally designed, bespoke tools-of-the-trade that’ll make painting furniture and finishes suddenly a lot easier and even more enjoyable! Here’s how…

Putting our brushes through the paces
It’s all in the detail the saying goes, so Felix Sloan and I started our designs by observing attendees first-hand at workshop after workshop, and we watched video after video of people painting with our brushes. (It really was more exciting than watching paint dry!) 

Our research, combined with my own innate sense of what works and what doesn’t (well, I have been painting furniture for several decades!) led us on a journey to hone the best-suited grips and brush hair for our unique decorative paint, Chalk Paint®, and Soft Wax.

Putting the brushes through their paces I noticed, for instance, how I personally (and others) hold the brushes on the ferrule (the metal ring), rather than the handle when waxing: so we designed the wax brushes specifically with an oversized ferrule. I hope you’ll like these new smooth, ergonomic handles (below). They give good purchase as you get into those hard to reach contours and crevices.

Tailored in Italy

My two new Wax Brushes (above) come with specially shaped tips so you can get the wax into detailed areas and move them around in tight spaces. As with my pure bristle paintbrush, the wax brushes are hand-made in Italy by a family-run business. It’s been running for donkey's years – one member who first worked there as a boy in the 1940s, still drops in every day. This firm makes brushes to the highest standards and bespoke quality doesn’t come cheap. But it does come with more pure bristles per pad than your average brush; and that concentration of pure bristles means you can hold lots of wax in one dip.

The tips have also been shaped rather than cut to keep the bristles' natural, ultra-soft split ends. The short bristles are super smooth allowing you to brush the wax on easily rather than labour with excessive elbow grease.

Quick care tip: As the bristles are real hair, treat them as you would your own hair, i.e. wash them well with warm water and a very little mild soap to wash the wax out.

Natural strokes for natural folks

I’ve designed my round, slightly tapered Pure Bristle Brushes (above) specifically for expressive brush work. These real bristles are naturally split at the ends so they can so they can give soft edges to hold a lot of paint – which you need to do to create my signature textured finishes! The pure bristles are very resilient so that as they slowly wear down, the ends will always naturally split keeping your brush in ideal condition.

Quick care tip: If you're only using them with Chalk Paint®, simply rinse with water. There's no need to use soap. Hang them up to dry so the wood and ferule don't get damaged.

Blue, blue my world is blue…

I’ve also introduced two new Flat Brushes (one small, one large) with super soft blue synthetic fibres, these are the smoothest fibres we can find.  The flat ends and soft fibres help you apply the paint evenly, eliminate brush marks, and give you a smooth soft edge for a silky finish. I think the colour is pretty funky too.

Quick care tipYou can tie through some fabric or shoelaces or string so they can hang out to dry after washing. Or just hang them on a wall hook or nail! (Photo above from Stockist Les Couronnes Sauvages in France)

All in all my latest brushes are totally tactile, versatile, durable and reliable. Ok, enough sales pitch, but I’m really proud of the way these have turned out. I think they are brushstrokes of genius. I hope you agree!

Yours, Annie


  1. Love, LOVE the new wax brush. I don't have the blue brushes yet. FYI - I put a zip tie through each brush for hanging. Works great.

  2. They look great!
    groetjes Marijke

  3. Hi Annie, my bristles seem to fall out on the brush I bought, from day 1. I look after it really carefully so not sure if its just faulty?

    1. I totally agree with this sentiment! I just painted my first item using ASCP, and using the smallest brush, and the bristles kept falling out throughout the entire process. I kept having to pick them off of the item and having to repaint it, etc. I was very surprised! Is this a normal occurrence?? I'm thinking of returning it.... :-(

    2. Oh dear, oh dear. I am so sorry! There was a faulty batch a while back and we recalled everything but a few may have leaked out. Please send them back to where you bought them and they will replace them. We sell an awful lot of these brushes and get very few complaints. You were sadly, unlucky. Annie

  4. Increasing the size of the ferrule is a good idea! Much of the handle acts as a balance, almost rudder like.

    So I picked up some of your paint here in SW France. Just done a dressing table and an old 'deco' mirror with basecoat Barcelona Orange, second coat Olive, clear wax and distress. Looks terrific -though the fun is in the doing.

  5. Love the look of the wax brush I must invest in one! Your paint is a dream to work with.

  6. We love the brushes Annie! Thank you from all of us at Maison Decor and Pioneer Goods Co in Boston!

  7. Love all of the brushes, but especially the wax brushes. They are far superior; much easier to use, the wax flows, no fatique, easy-breezy smooth wax coats. Someone above mentioned losing hairs on the paint brushes... I'm wondering if they properly conditioned the brush before using? Not hard to do and I'd imagine any natural bristle brush would need the same. Easy to show, but hard to explain in words, but here goes..... When you first open and before using, be sure to run your fingers through the bristles a few times and work the dry brush back and forth on your palm - similar to the motions you'll make when you paint. This helps dislodge any loose hairs before you start your projects. We do it every time we pick up a paint brush. I've also found it easier for clients to understand the motions by having them mist the bristle portion of the paint brush and work the dampness through. We don't mist the wax brushes though, but after doing the paint brushes, they get the gist. We may get the occasional stray hair, but definitely no problems with shedding.

  8. I need some more practicing I guess!

  9. I have purchased a few Annie Sloan brushes. One of them, the brush came off of the handle. Is there a way that I can get this repaired or replaced? I have only used this on a few pieces of furniture. I would hate to have to throw it away as it was almost an investment, LOL! Please let me know what I can do~ thank you!

    1. So sorry Boo to have taken so long to get back to you. I've been finishing a book and deadlines mean that everything else gets forgotten.
      I am so sorry about the handle. So I think the best thing to do is to take this brush back to where you bought it and they can exchange it. It does occasionally happen and I have heard that the handle can be stuck back on again with a sturdy glue. I am not suggesting you do that of course! Annie

  10. I love that you took they way we all use your brushes into consideration when creating your new ones, Annie. Thank you for that! I love your brushes, and can hardly wait to try your new design. :)

    xoxo laurie

  11. I recently painted a table for my craft studio. The paint peeled and scratched off easily where it hit the doorway and other objects. I left it in the garage for a week to cure some before we moved it. I used polycrylic as the top coat since it was going to be a heavily used piece. Did I make a mistake using that? Would love to know if I did something wrong.

  12. LOVE LOVE LOVE everything Annie Sloan! I am madly in love with the old style large flat wax brush and cannot find a replacement ANYWHERE! Please help! There has to be at least one out there😫

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