We recently found this veneered piece on our travels and like much old furniture, it was in desperate need of some TLC. The beauty of using Chalk Paint is that no sanding or priming is required prior to painting. All you need to do is give the piece a gentle wipe down to remove any dirt – we normally use a wet wipe or sugar soap for older, more greasy pieces.
We often say to our customers who are looking for items to paint to look at the shape and detail of the piece rather than the current state. Painting will bring out the detail of furniture with curved legs and carvings and will look really pretty. The fact that you can paint over just about any surface means you aren’t restricted – you can paint over bare wood, pre painted, varnished, waxed and so on.
For this piece we chose a base coat of ‘Old White’, followed by ‘Paris Grey’. The two colour finish gives the illusion of multiple coats of paint over the years which looks great with just a bit of the original colour peeking through.
Once the surface was clean and dry, we began painting. The ‘Old White’ layer was thickly applied in a random, textured way using one of the fabulous Annie Sloan oval headed brushes – these are made from 100% bristle, giving very speedy results. Chalk Paint has excellent coverage so in most cases one coat is enough.
Chalk Paint can be applied to almost any surface and can be used indoors and out, meaning we could paint straight over all the hinges and handles! Once this coat was dry (after roughly an hour) we applied the second in ‘Paris Grey’. For this coat we applied a thin layer so we could easily sand back to the Old White which also saved on paint – why use more than you need?
Being such a thin coat, it dried in minutes which meant we were then able to begin waxing. When using Chalk Paint on furniture, we recommend you apply wax to seal the paint, to provide durability and protection and for a beautiful velvety finish. Annie Sloan’s Soft Wax is designed to sink into the paint, unlike some other more traditional waxes which may just sit on top.
We used one of Annie’s wax brushes to apply the wax and wiped any excess off with a lint free cloth – something like an old pillow case or T-shirt is perfect for this.
Then we were ready to get in there with the sandpaper, always fun! We started by sanding back in areas where there would have been natural wear and tear (around a few edges and on the corners and legs).
We usually find that ‘less is more’ – go too far and it won’t look natural. Think about where a piece of furniture would naturally have been knocked and worn over time and avoid symmetry and sanding all the edges as this can look contrived.
To finish we waxed back over the areas we had sanded and that was it, all done! A lovely little cupboard, transformed from brown and boring to something with a lot of character in just a few hours.
Meg and Julie x
8 The Hornet
Chichester PO19 7JG