Last October, My mother and I took a course on different painting techniques using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, and we had SO much fun! We both got so hooked on painting with this stuff , and were amazed at how easy it was to work with!
When my grandmother passed a couple of years ago, I moved into her apartment. My father owns the house and so he offered to rent to me after I graduated school and moved back to Toronto. The nice thing about this was, not only did it feel much more like home, since I pretty much grew up in and around this apartment, but also that the place came fully furnished, which is a dream find for any twenty-something with practically zero budget for interior decorating.
The only downside was that the place needed a lot of updating, and some of the furniture was a little rough around the edges from many years of wear and tear. However a lot of the pieces themselves are beautifully made and have so much history, and I tend to be really sentimental about these things, particularly when they’ve been in my family for so long and I grew up with them, so I didn’t want to let them go completely! I asked my dad if I could experiment with painting some of the old pieces, and he gave me the go ahead.
When I discovered Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, I instantly knew it was the solution I was looking for. The colour range that this line offers is very French inspired, which has always been one of my favourite styles of design/ways of life. (France is pretty much #1 on my bucket list of places to travel). Also, the “chalky” finish that the paint dries in is perfect for giving old furniture that beautiful “aged gracefully” sort of look. It can be easily distressed if that’s the look you’re going for, or, it can be applied smoothly for a much more “put together” sort of look.
The other, and possibly best part about this paint is how amazingly easy it is to work with. Seriously, this stuff requires almost NO preparation, goes on easily, dries in less than 30 minutes, and will adhere to almost ANY surface (you can even paint FABRIC with this stuff!).
I decided I wanted my first project to be my living room coffee table. I absolutely love this table, and thought it would be a great canvas to experiment on. The problem with this table is that it’s nearly IMPOSSIBLE to get rid of smudges, fingerprints, or other marks on its surface. I’ve tried just about every method of removal I can think of, to no avail. So I was happy to be able to cover those up!
For this project, I used “Paris Grey,” which is an absolutely beautiful, warm, soft, faded grey colour. My mother was also super generous to gift me one of the Annie Sloan paint brushes, which are amazing quality and are specially designed for use with this paint, so that helped a lot too!
I had the idea that I wanted to use the paint more like a wash. I wanted the beautiful grain of the wood to show through, and not cover it up completely. So I mixed it with water until I got the paint to a consistency I liked. Then I just went to town!
At one point I realized that since the table had been polished quite a few times in its life, I would have to rough it up a little for the paint to adhere the way I wanted it to. So I sanded the top to strip away the glossy finish. This was probably the most time-consuming part, and wouldn’t normally be necessary for any other project, unless you’re super finicky like me. But in the end it helped a lot to allow the wood to absorb some of the paint before wiping it back with a rag.
I spent quite a bit of time playing with it, and building up the layers, brushing it on and wiping it back until I got it to where I liked. Somewhere in here I decided to have the legs be more opaque, and just leave the wood showing on the top.
I was still having problems with the trim around the edge though, and it felt like it needed something extra in my mind. It was here when I decided to add an accented trim.
I had this tube of Multi-Surface Craft Paint by Martha Stewart (in the shade Rose Copper) in my drawer from another project, and thought it would be the perfect finishing touch. So I grabbed a small, flat paintbrush and went to work painting the trim (after letting everything else dry for about an hour or so.).
As soon as I started putting this colour on I KNEW it was just the perfect finishing touch! Look how preeeeetty!!
I finished up the job with a quick layer of Soft Wax, and ta daa! Finished result!
I’m loving the beautiful, aged look this piece has now. Plus, I think this finish will be way easier to maintain.
All in all, I’d say that I really enjoyed working with this paint. My one complaint is that it can be a bit pricey (I’m very much all about finding a good bargain wherever I can, so splurging is hard for me to justify!) but because the prep work is so minimal, and the paint goes such a long way (I only used a VERY small amount out of a 1L can!) it evens out pretty well.
I’m thinking I may add a layer of dark furniture wax to make the colour on the legs pop out a bit more, so if I do, I will be sure to make this series into a two parter and post an update!
Oh, and, for the record, this is NOT a sponsored post, just my honest thoughts on the products! 🙂
What piece of furniture in your home are you DYING to update? Be sure to leave a comment letting me know!