I’ve moved recently. We needed some extra storage to house all our clothes, so I leapt at the chance to paint and do up some furniture myself.
We had some pretty raw starting material…
A lovely old Stag chest of drawers of my Granny’s (thanks Granny!). A bit too dark for my liking, with nasty brass circular handles that weren’t to
my our taste at all, that had inexplicably all fallen off. So, I did some research on easy paints to use. F started issuing dire warnings about ‘sanding’, ‘grains’ and other technical terms that I did not care for. I had heard rumours of a supremely easy to use paint that was velvety to the touch and came in an array of colours to rival Farrow & Ball.
Enter Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint – all the better for being a global brand that can only be found in independent shops. And look how lovely it has turned out to be! The handles were a bargain from a kitchen shop that was closing down – all with a cracked marble cream finish.
All you need is a tin of paint and a tin of wax (clear or dark, more on that later). It really does what it says on the tin (pun intended) – but in case you wanted some extra hand-holding, here’s my guide.
- Tip your can of paint upside down for 5 minutes before you get going. Wash any dirt off your piece of furniture (it paints plastic, metal, wood – so be careful of wearing any rings whilst painting!).
- Get yourself a stirring stick (I picked one up from an obliging tree). Prise open the can and give it a good mix – you’ll see how beautifully thick it is.
- Using a nice big brush (ideally around 2.5 – 4 inches or one of the lovely Annie Sloan brushes), dip it in to the top of the paint, without getting too much on the brush. Don’t overload it or you’ll smother it like a certain someone.
- Paint – either all over the shop for a more vintagey look or in straight lines for a more polished look (like mine). Tip: paint sides (like the slim sides of my chest) horizontally, so you get the paint right into the top and bottom with a smooth finish with no brush marks.
- Let it dry between coats – about 20 minutes in good weather but make sure it is dry!
- I put 4 coats on this baby as it was so dark. When you’ve done all your coats and you’re happy with the colour, get some super fine sandpaper out (if you want a beaten-up, vintage look). Rip off a small piece, and run over the edges of the drawers, sides and other parts of the piece that would naturally take some wear and tear. Sand down to your desired look.
- Whack open your tin of Annie Sloan Soft Wax. Use clear to retain the colour, or dark for an antique look.
- Dip a clean brush into the butter like wax and rub it into a small area. Using a clean, lint free cloth, massage the wax into the surface like moisturiser. Don’t skip this step – the wax seals the paint so is necessary!
- Let it dry and put in place! Use a coaster on the top and be kind to your lovely new upcycled furniture.
And then I went a tad Annie-Sloan-it’s-so-easy-I’ll-Annie-Sloan-everything crazy. So I did another chest from F’s parents exactly the same, so no more photos to bore you with. And these bedside tables…
Ralph Lauren lamp (similar but much more expensive!)
I’m especially proud of these – I wanted a light, clean blue so mixed a tester pot of ‘Greek Blue’ with 500ml ‘Original’ to get this shade. We picked up the tables from our beloved local junk shop. Lovely!
What have you been up to? Any summery home improvements?
P.S thanks to F for modelling the drawers!