Let me start off by saying I love to re-use, re-purpose and re-paint furniture. It is such a fun, affordable and easy way to update something old or thrown out.
I don’t know about you but I find it to be somewhat addictive, yet it can also be time-consuming and exhausting, especially when there is a lot of prep time needed.
So of course I was excited when I finally found a line of decorative paint by Annie Sloan in any of 30 decorative and historical colours, that work great, looks beautiful, and saves me time, as no sanding is required!
Is chalk paint worth the money? I admit that I am cheap frugal and made my own chalk paint for a while because I was having trouble justifying paying so much for a small can of paint. But I took the plunge after my friend gave me an old dressing table as she was emptier her house just before leaving for her world backpacking tour. It was beaming with potential, I just couldn’t resist.
This is the table I decided to upcycle, before!
Pre-loved mahogany dressing table on classical legs
I decided to go for old white and a little tub of Paris Grey. I LOVE grey and white and felt that it was a safe first colour to go with because I could mix it with other paint if need be, and it was neutral and would go with a lot of things. Let me tell you… it’s so worth the money! A little goes a long, looong way!
I was really impressed by how thin the paint was, the coverage, and how quickly it dried. It was obvious that the quality was much better than the homemade paint I had been making, and best of all I didn’t have to worry if I didn’t mix it well enough or about gritty pieces randomly getting into the paint.
Annie Sloan pure bristle brush
I love the chippy, distressed look you can achieve with Chalk Paint®, but you can also skip the distressing for a more modern look. To add a touch of glamour, because when is mixing old and new not a good thing? I decided to add couple of traditional design cut glass cupboard handles that I got online at Abodent.
There are lots of options available online to add a splash of colour or add a twist to your furniture. It’s also a great way to have a quick change without much cost. If you are upcycling, be sure to check out their handles online here.
Basic Tips for Using Chalk Paint and Soft Wax on Furniture
1. Clean your piece. I simply hosed mine off, wiped down any spots the hose missed and let it dry. I also made sure to sand any terribly chipping paint and removed any of the contact paper that was coming loose off the piece.
Annie Sloan clear soft wax
2. You don’t have to sand down to the original wood or prime. Woohoo!
3. Paint your piece. This is the fun part! I used Old white and Paris Grey. I painted right over the layer of contact paper stuck on the cabinet and the paint worked beautifully! Watch Annie Sloan’s video for some very helpful painting techniques.
4. Apply Clear Soft Wax. I used a brush to apply it and a clean, lint-free cloth to rub it in and remove the excess wax. As one paint site said, it’s like applying conditioner to your hair. The conditioner absorbs into your hair and then you rinse away the excess. Similarly, the wax is absorbed into the piece and then you can wipe away the excess. Again, the video tutorial does a great job explaining how to do this.
Annie Sloan 10. Paris Grey chalk paint
5. Apply Dark Soft Wax in the same way (if you’re wanting the darkened look). I love how the dark wax gets into the crevices and grains of the piece, giving it a really cool antiqued look. The dark wax also helped soften the orange colour a bit. Make sure that you apply the dark wax OVER the clear wax. This way you can wipe off the excess dark wax easily without your piece becoming too dark.
6. Gently sand down any spots you wish to give more of a distressed look. I also sanded some paint off the hardware so that the originally colour showed through the grey paint.
Annie Sloan 1 litre Old White chalk paint
7. Leave your piece overnight and then buff it with a soft cloth to the desired sheen.
8. At this point your piece is done EXCEPT for one thing – it needs to cure, which takes about 30 days. Your piece can still be used during this curing time. However, until the wax cures and therefore has its full furniture protecting powers, you’ll just need to be a little more careful about water stains, scratches, etc. The good thing? If you do have any scratches or stains, just reapply the wax to that area to fix it!
Prior to applying Paris Grey chalk paint
To purchase Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan, check out their list of retailers and stockists in your area. Chalk Paint® stockists are full of helpful information to get you started using these incredible products. Questions? Visit Annie Sloan Unfolded, check out their FAQs page or ask us in the comments below 🙂
Buy the paint here: Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint – Antique White – 750ml