It’s six thirty in the morning (carefully chose in words and not numbers as getting up at 5am isn’t regular thing)… this is what painting projects do for you – get you out of bed.
I’ll just finish a coffee or two while listening to Radio 6 until I wake up before I dip into my unopened Annie Sloan dark wax first, shall I? Afterall, I don’t want to ruin my newly painted project, despite 3 coats only taking about an hour.
I am meant to be downsizing, but having never owned our own place before until now (had to snap a bargain up before the prices became unaffordable) but it was a bargain because, of course, it’s in desperate need of updating. This is where painting our current furniture will come in handy – focus on colour coordination and make our unfavourable eclectic pieces fit together.
Well, since I run a vintage business, I keep my eyes peeled almost too much of the time; yesterday for instance. On my usual trip to the post office, I drove past a filthy looking house clearance place (things always outside on show, rain or shine, but at least you know the prices are likely to be modest and affordable – after all, it’s only a pokey little shop, so their turnover of furniture will have to be very high – PERFECT for me to practice different painting techniques while making a living. Also, with all the house moves, there may very well be a influx in furniture, unless it is mostly furniture of the deceased.
So, getting to the point, I saw an antique over mantle solid dark wood mirror with spindles… very idyllic and the type of piece that would fit well in a National Trust home (The Poet, Thomas Hardy’s 2nd home comes to mind from the 1920’s (approx). Well, quite frankly, it impressed me and so I paid my 2nd ever visit to the shop since living in Bedworth and felt like I pretty much stole it for £10. I inspected it for a good while… a fair few scratches and discolouration – nothing that some chalk paint would sort out.
Here is the Over the mantle antique £10 bargain in its original condition:
Anyway, while on this shopping trip, I collected two Annie Sloan books that I had requested from my local library (Colour recipes and Quick & Easy Transformations) – normally I just buy these things, but after boxing up things ready to move, I found so many Amazon ordered books that never had their full deserved use, so thought I’d be wise after this… particularly if I find that, actually Annie, I don’t like Chalk Paint etc.
However, I must say if you have any queries and you are religiously nitpicking at your paint work… “why do I have to paint 3 coats… everyone I spoke to says they get full coverage with just one” etc… oh, just go away…! It took about 10 pages in (Quick and Easy book) to find that Annie suggests, yes, you are LIKELY to need 3 coats if you’re painting in white on dark brown etc, but 1 coat is likely to be successful in Antibes Green. It was just a relief… so if you are reading this, that is the book I would start with for some simple techniques to get started.
Here’s my 1st coat of Annie Sloan’s Original White (some people actually prefer this look then dark wax it, but since I’ve never dark waxed before, the thought scared me):
So, anyway, I can finally see daylight so best wrap this up as a people’s vintage pieces need posting shortly…
I found out the other day that Wickes have their range of Chalk Paint, but called Chalky Matt… I discovered that possibly the reason Annie Sloan has really taken off in America is that Chalk Paint is trade marked in America, but not in the UK since chalk paint isn’t exactly a new concept…. I believe Wickes is an American brand, hence not calling it “Chalk Paint”. During my frustration with this paint and various questions about bubbles, clumps, poor coverage (now solved), and there are possibly much better paints out there. I think I prefer the varnish look over shabby chic pieces as wax is something you need to be applying possibly yearly… who on earth wants to be doing that? And if I’m selling waxed sealed pieces, I’m not sure I want my customers to have to do the same. It feels like for every piece of furniture sold, it should include a tin of wax. So this is something I’m going to try… water based varnish on chalk painted pieces (apparently solvent based can yellow your pieces). And so, all in all, I feel I may have very well be sold by a heavily marketed brand. And so, since I’m out of paint, I’m going to try Wickes’ Chalky Matt (no priming needed) and I have seen other people’s furniture painted in this and it looked the same to me…. the price tag is a huge difference… wait for it…. £19.99 for 2.5L… Buy 2 Get the 3rd Free… Yes, you heard right… the downside however is the limited choices of colour. So this is something I will enjoy reporting on if it helps someone like me who has lost sleep with a hyper brain trying to figure out what will give me the best look (that I want)… It would help if I knew what look I preferred in the first place!
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