Using Chalk Paint® on bedroom linens

Posted Under - How to

There’s just something so wonderful about making hand dyed or painted linens for your home. It adds instant personality and interest to any bedroom, and it’s lots of fun!

January is traditionally known for its “White Sales” when you can find some great pricing on bedroom linens.  Whether you’ve purchased new linens or you’re looking to freshen your existing ones, keep reading for fun and easy methods for personalizing your bedroom linens with Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan.

Dip dyeing (Hand method)

Dip dyeing with Chalk Paint® is a great way to change the color of your bedroom linens.  Natural fibers, such as linen or cotton, and even some synthetic fibers all work well with this technique.

The intensity of the final color depends on the ratio of paint to water, the shade of paint, the type of fabric, and the amount of it being dyed.  We went with Chalk Paint® in Aubusson Blue for a nice, rich, shade of blue. As a general ratio, I like to mix 1 part of Chalk Paint® into roughly 20 parts of warm water in a bucket, large bowl, or even a bathtub.

You can always adjust the amount of paint to water depending on how light or dark you wish the dye to be.  Be sure to stir this mix thoroughly to ensure the paint is completely diluted and evenly dispersed.  Working with one piece at a time, dip your fabric into the dye mixture, allowing the color to soak in.

Use your hands to gently agitate the fabric until the whole piece is evenly dyed.  Once you’re satisfied with the color, remove it from the water and leave to drip-dry.

Dyeing (Washing Machine Method)

For a soft color or when handling larger linens, I like to use my washing machine.  I know this sounds a bit scary but I’ve done it many times and it has not ruined my washing machine or stained my next load of clothes!

I start by diluting Chalk Paint® in Aubusson Blue in a bowl, adding enough water so the paint becomes completely diluted and doesn’t clump together.

I then pour this mixture into my washing machine, fill the tub with water, and let the paint and water agitate for a minute or two so that paint is well disbursed through the water.

Next I add my linens and allow the washer to continue through a normal wash and rinse cycle.  Don’t overstuff your washer; leave some room for the linens to move freely.

Once the spin cycle is done, I then pop them in the dryer to dry and heat set the color.  Simple and a perfect way to make beautiful soft pastel colors that are currently all the rage!

Ice Dyeing

For some fun pillow shams, I went with an ice dying technique to create a fluid, organic pattern. You could use multiple colors like I did or go with one color for more of an accent piece.

For this technique, just use what you have around the house.  Any big pan or bucket will work, and a baking rack will elevate the fabric with enough space for the ice and paint to drip through.  Wet your fabric first, then wring out all the excess water.  Carefully arrange the fabric to fit completely on your drying rack, adding as many twists or turns as you’d like.

Next, completely cover your fabric with ice.  Don’t worry if you can’t get your ice cubes to go all the way to the edges, the fabric will absorb the dye and spread throughout.

Now for the fun part!  Carefully pour some Chalk Paint® over your ice. We used Chalk Paint® in Giverny, Florence, and Provence. Less is definitely more here so start off slow.  Keep going until you’ve completely covered the surface of the ice with your paint.  Here’s where you could add additional colors for more of a ‘tie dye’ effect.

Now allow everything to sit undisturbed until the ice has melted.  Then remove your fabric from the drying rack and rinse with warm water until it runs clear.  Let the linen drip dry or toss it in the dryer.  Then enjoy the gorgeous pattern the ice dye created.


Stenciling is a great way to add a personal touch to your bed linens.  Choices can range from floral and scroll patterns for an elegant classical look or fun, more graphical patterns for a more modern retro look.  Let your imagination soar. Annie Sloan offers a wide range of Annie Sloan Stencils that can help you achieve any look you are going for!

This is where one or even two Annie Sloan MixMats will come in handy.  I like to place my first MixMat under my fabric.  The silicone has a natural grip that will hold my fabric in place (you could also use a piece of cardboard that has been misted with a repositionable spray adhesive), and it will also prevent any of my paint color from seeping through where it is unwanted.  My other MixMat will hold my paint and make it very easy for me to charge my Annie Sloan Stencil Brush or Annie Sloan Sponge Roller with Chalk Paint® to paint my design.

Place your stencil over your fabric and secure it in place with a small piece of painter’s tape. We went with the Annie Sloan Sand Dollar Stencil. Next put a small amount of Chalk Paint® on your MixMat.  Dip the tips of your stencil brush or roll your sponge roller in the paint and offload any excess paint on your MixMat.  Then brush or roll over the opening of your stencil to create your design.

If you are using multiple colors, be sure to have a separate brush or roller for each color.  The paint will dry almost instantly and you can heat set the color with an iron.

Stenciling is a beautiful way to tie together the different colors of a room.


For color fastness, you should heat seal your color by tumble drying in a clothes dryer, ironing once your linens have completely drip-dried, or drying in direct sunlight. You can then wash your linens on a warm wash setting with little or no color loss.

Note:  If you use a stronger quantity of paint in your dye there might be some fading of the color.

Head on over to our Pinterest board for more fabric dyeing and painting ideas and inspiration done with Annie Sloan products, and be sure to share your projects with us in the comments below and on Facebook or Instagram!

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  • christie

    RE : The Washing Machine Method … can you please provide some idea of the amount of paint and water you put in your washer ? Also, if you do not let the machine drain, can you remove fabric and put a second or third piece in ? It seems a shame to watch all that pretty color to go down the drain !!