Those martini glasses are actually full of paint, so lucky there where other cocktails or this might have been a different type of blog post! Annie Sloan Chalk Paint has a huge range of colours, and it paints on like a dream. It was invented (by Annie Sloan, der) to be a one coat product, and is suitable for plastic, upholstery, metal, resin, terracotta, glass, wood…you name it. I was very interested in the upholstery, the finished product was a little stiff from the protective wax but it was still soft and comfortable. An Annie Sloan expert was there from Paint it White, and talked us through the process – essentially just slap it on, don’t be overly precious about it. I stood there in shocked amazement as she literally slopped the paint on without any undercoat, sanding, or even going in the direction of the grain! So different from my usual furniture makeover. I couldn’t wait to get home and try it myself.
Luckily I could because we received generous samples to go home and play with. The colours in my goodie bag were Paris Grey and Graphite, as well as the Annie Sloan brush, and a sample of clear Soft Wax. There is also a Dark Wax, which gives an antique finish full of character and depth. Normally my round up would include a few different grades of sandpaper, some undercoat and maybe even some paint stripper. This seemed too easy…
So I chose to makeover this solid little two drawer pine chest, and I bet you have something very similar hanging around your home. We’ve used this for everything from DVD storage to a file drawer in teh office. We’ve had it for years and it is full of bumps and dings. Lots of character!
I taped off the drawer edges to keep the whole thing neat, and chose blue frog tape for the job. I love this tape immensely, it’s like masking tape but you can peel it off safely weeks after applying it; unlike masking tape which will tear horribly and leave glue residue on your paintwork unless you remove it within 24 hours. This is a bit expensive but so worth it.
First coat! The chalk paint went on very easily. It has a nice consistency, almost like very thin plaster of Paris. It’s water based so you can thin it down further if you like, and it’s easy to clean up later. The undercoat is built into the paint, so it’s especially good for filling in little bumps and scratches.
It dries very quickly, but I still had time to pick up some paint with my fingers and rub it into this metal candle holder. No surprises, the metal took it very well. The candle holder is still ugly, I’m thinking of maybe some metallic spray paint for the pair. What would you do? Pop it in a charity bin?
Second coat, and I think we are done. So easy! There are still visible ‘character marks’ but that is a good thing for me and this piece of furniture. I couldn’t help myself and had to give it a little sand with very fine sandpaper, and I think this helped with the lovely soft finish of the paint.
After that was completely dry, I rubbed on a few coats of Annie Sloan Soft Wax in clear, to add depth to the paintwork and protect it from spills. I am partial to the smell of of furniture wax and this smells absolutely divine, to the point I ran off to my husband to say You’ve got to smell this! He was on the phone, but came back later for a big whiff. The small print does say to stay away from the fumes, so no more sniffing wax for us.
I also wanted to have a play with the graphite colour, and thought this old catch all would be fantastic in a new colour. I made it a long time ago out of odds and sods, and I’ve been using it on my dressing table to keep various lotions and potions tidy. I like it, but I’m a bit sick of the colour. The thickness of the paint and the round brush really helped to get into all the nooks and crannies; this after photo is after just one coat. I loved the graphite but the detail was kind of getting lost in the soft chalky grey, and I didn’t want to sand it back for a distressed finish because as already mentioned – I’m sick of the blue. I had a tiny bit of French Grey left over, so I dry brushed it over the decoration, just to enhance it. I love the result, what do you think?