Sunday, October 20, 2013

Easiest Furniture Fix: Chalk Paint

Currently every woman I know is in love with Annie Sloan. In case you've been living under a design rock, she is the leader of the painted furniture revolution taking America by storm. She is kind of the Beatles of DIY.  A furniture British Invasion. Here is a link to her site with all the information you need about placing an order or finding a "stockist" near you, plus tutorials and advice: Annie Sloan-Home of Chalk Paint

But her paint and waxes are expensive. At $38.00 a quart from an authorized dealer in my area and aging wax running about $25.00

A quick breeze around Pinterest makes it clear that there is a basic recipe and that it is beyond simple. 

The paint: 1 part Plaster of Paris
                  1 part water
                  3 parts paint

The wax:  any paste wax (I used Johnson)

The aging wax: stain in whatever color you choose (I use Minwax Ebony)
                          a bit of the paste wax

Remember to follow all the safety instructions when using Plaster of Paris. You can paint straight away without sanding or priming. When you have applied the number of coats you need, which is usually 2 or 3 depending on what you are trying to cover, allow it to fully dry. Next apply a coat of paste wax. I wipe on the wax and work it into the paint. Then age the piece with sandpaper around details, corners, and edges.

Today, I'm showing you a mirror I recently finished. This is the mirror that previously was attached to the French Provincial dresser on the landing. They work so much better as two separate pieces and when you look closely you can tell that they didn't even match. Someone just stuck them together at some point.

On the back of the mirror, I found this...

My in-laws purchased this "set" (none of the pieces matched) in the 50s. My husband had written his name on it at some point during his childhood.

Here is the mirror with the painting completed.

After applying the coat of clear wax I sanded and aged it.

The last step, and the most fun is the aging wax. I brush it on smashing it deep into cracks and crevices. The entire process is very forgiving. You can play with it a lot. 

The last step is to buff the aging wax until you have a smooth glossy finish and enjoy your beautiful new masterpiece.

Hey, look! There's Decor-Cat!

One more thing (isn't there always?): Annie Sloan's products are known for their quality and lack of fumes and odors. The waxes I'm using here are quite smelly so if you are very sensitive the added expense may be worth it to you.

Happy decorating!


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