I heard about this chalk paint (Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint) from a decorator in my weekly painting group. She told me how she had tried it and that -most importantly- NO stripping, sanding, or priming of the old finish. This set is really old and has been stained more than once. I decided to go for it. What's the worst that could happen, other than completely ruining an antique dining set? I wasn't happy with it the way it was, so I figured it was worth the possibility of having to strip it down to bare wood if it didn't work out! I looked online at many blog posts about people using it and it seemed to be pretty popular already.
I had ordered 2 cans of the paint and the soft wax used to seal it. The paint is pricey ($35 per quart) but goes a long way. I used the same quart of Aubusson Blue to paint the whole dining room- that's a table, 6 chairs, china cabinet, AND a buffet. All with one tiny quart and I actually have a little left in the can. All that, and a soap and water clean up!
I started out by trying it on my dark wood wine racks- using Old White. I quickly realized how much I liked the paint, and was brave enough to move on to the larger furniture pieces. The painting was easy, and then you just brush on some of the soft wax and buff it off. I did buy the Annie Sloan wax even though I had read that Johnson's paste wax worked just as well. I have to say that I used both waxes and the Johnson's was less soft, but also worked.
I definitely will be using this paint again. I have some wicker patio chairs just calling out to be painted- and a pint of Old White ready to go.