Catherine had been itching to get some painting and decorating done. Ever since I smashed a load of holes in the wall to network our house with super fast broadband. For some reason polyfiller alone wasn’t enough! I was also dragging my heels on the decorating as I’m aiming to finish the garden first, then continue onto the list of unfinished jobs. The problem is the list is too long and I’m reluctant to start the list! So Catherine was on a mission to do some painting. And last weekend she decided it was paint a coffee table with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint day.
Annie Sloan developed her own brand of chalk paint and has been long associated with the style. I remember watching a documentary about her and her inspiration. As a busy mother she wanted to paint her children’s rooms with a lack of air pollutants and minimum downtime. Ideally a product that could be applied while the children were at school and dry and finished when they returned.
Annie Sloan’s style of painting revolutionised the way furniture was painted. It is mainly used to achieve that Shabby Chic look as it is rough and ready. What amazed us is that you’re told that you don’t need to sand down the furniture before hand. Just paint it with one thick coat and if it’s covered you can wax it and it’s done.
Chalk paint is an emulsion type of paint that dries very quickly and will fix to many different surfaces. However the painted finish isn’t complete until it has a wax layer applied on top. This seals the paint and keeps it durable.
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is one of many different brands available. Other brands include Authentico and Rust-Oleum Chalk Paint. If your really into your up-cycling you could even mix up your own chalk paint with plaster of paris and emulsion paint.
How to Chalk Paint Furniture
We took some advice from 161 Interiors in Whitley Bay. As a stockist of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint we thought it was the best place to start.
We looked at all the colours and eventually decided to go with Paris Grey. This was being applied to a chest of Drawers in the shop when we went.
The staff guided us through the steps for covering our table. Although your told you don’t need to sand it, you can sand the furniture. This would help with getting a smoother finish. The chalk paint is quite thick and can be watered down to about half as much again. So, a 1 litre tin will stretch to 1.5 litres of paint. Unlike the documentary, a suggestion of applying two coats versus one.
Finally, we were told about the wax coat. Again it was Annie Sloan (if your sold on a brand you may as well keep with it). Apply a coat to the painted surface with a lint free cloth and leave for about 10 minutes. Then rub away the excess. It will leave a semi gloss finish. For a polished look you simply need to rub and shine up the wax coating.
Painting Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on Furniture
First select your furniture that your itching to convert. Catherine really started to turn on this Coffee Table… which will also follow onto the Sky box Cupboard and fireplace.
After a quick sand, we watered the chalk paint down and applied it with a brush and a small foam roller. The roller was to achieve a smoother finish and reduce the brush marks.
After about 30 minutes, the first coat was complete. We let it dry for just over an hour before applying a second coat. If there were any runs a light tickle with sand paper quickly removed them. Almost a little too quickly. The first attempt took it back to wood.
After the second coat we applied the wax with an old shirt. Let it dry for 10 – 20 minutes then buffed it off. Removing any excess, but also stretching it out if we had missed a section.
We were expecting a shabby chic effect, but probably ended up more contemporary with a semi gloss uniform coating. I believe a little sand paper and two layers of different colour paint, would be more shabby chic.
Our Wax layer was clear wax, but there is options for coloured wax too. This would highlight grain and dents in the wood and leave a much more detailed finish.
We’d also like to thank Cheryl from All Round Creative Junkie, who answered loads of questions I had before we committed to the project.