When you start a painting project, do you map out the steps you will take to achieve the look you're after, or do you just grab your brush and paint from your gut? I picked that term up from Annie Sloan. She's a "paint from your gut" kinda gal and I tend to be as well. Chalk paint suits us follow-your-instincts type of artists. Listen to me, sounding like I'm all chummy with Annie Sloan!
A girl can dream, can't she?
Often times, inspiration hits me mid-project, as was the case with this over-sized wood frame.
It hung around in our garage for a few weeks before I finally set it out on the kitchen island along with several different pots of paint and a variety of brushes.
A mix of Paris Grey and Old White covered the entire frame in 2 coats.
The beautiful raised details on each corner were just begging to be highlighted. I chose Old White, Duck Egg Blue and Antoinette to properly show them off.
At this point I felt that there needed to be another dimension to these lovely details. I lightly dry-brushed over them with Old White. The next step was to apply the clear wax and I could have stopped there, but I didn't. I rarely do. There is just something special about that dark wax that I love. I knew it would pull the whole look together and make this frame look like it was just pulled off of a centuries old wall in un appartement à Paris!
I frequently get comments from readers who say that they just can't get the hang of the dark wax, or that it scares them! I can see why. This isn't pretty...and I try not to share unsightly images on my blog, but I wanted show how the dark wax looks when first applied, and maybe give those of you who have been intimidated by it the confidence to give it another go!
Because just moments after your project looks like this...
It could look something like this...
The most important thing to remember is that as long as you have applied a good coat of clear wax first, and wiped off the excess, you can manipulate the amount of dark wax that you want to see on your project. Just keep rubbing in more of the clear wax until you end up with the finish you had hoped for. I also encourage you to attend a workshop with your local stockist! Phyllis at the Purple Pear was a tremendous help to me and we had a marvelous time together when I first visited her at her at her lovely shop in Portland, Oregon! Just weeks later and I now consider her one of my dearest friends! So, don't be shy! Seek out your local stockist and sign up for a workshop! You will learn so much, gain confidence in your painting and waxing skills and surely make a new friend or two...or more!
I am really pleased with this frame's new look! You will be seeing it again in just a few weeks when I reveal a very special display that I am currently working on!
As always, I thank you for your sweet visit! Have an incredible weekend!
I know that many of you are waiting to hear about my experiences at the Annie Sloan workshop in San Francisco. Now that I am back home, rested and settled, I am ready to share!
I posted this photo on my Facebook page Monday just after Annie signed a copy of her "Quick and Easy Paint Transformations" book for me! I just have to say that Annie Sloan was every bit as lovely, kind, personable and genuine as I knew she would be! I think it's safe to say that her audience was on the edge of their seats soaking up each and every captivating syllable that came out of her mouth on Monday morning! I know I was! After her awe-inspiring talk all about color, paint and how she started her successful company, we broke up into groups of about 20 ladies, strapped on our ASCP black aprons and got to work experimenting with a variety of fun techniques! Annie made her way around the building, visiting with one group after another to field questions from her (dare I say) groupies? Well, I felt a bit like a groupie anyhow!
As if meeting Annie wasn't enough of a thrill, I also met some very wonderful kindred spirits among the group of artists and stockists who attended the workshop. I hope to keep in contact with each and every one of them! One sweet little gal that I enjoyed getting to know had not heard of chalk paint until the weekend just before the workshop! She knew nothing of painting furniture and admitted to having a very modern home with furnishings straight off of showroom floors. She shared with me that she was inspired by a decorating blog to make some changes in her decor, read an article about the Annie Sloan Workshop, called in sick to work and showed up to learn about chalk paint! I am so excited for her and hope that she'll keep in touch and share her project stories with me!
In addition to chatting it up with Annie and a lot of fabulously creative and lovely women, I did manage to learn a lot about chalk paint, color and techniques! I came home with pages of notes, a few sample boards and a snazzy new apron! I promise to share my newly acquired chalkpaint tips and techniques with you all as I get to work on some fun new projects!
My sweet friend Kate brought me this darling little table on Saturday. She had fond memories of it in her parent's house when she was little. However, they were no longer using it and it was sitting in storage collecting dust. With their permission, Kate claimed the table for her bedroom makeover! She wanted it painted a color that would compliment the teal blue in her bedroom curtains. I went to work mixing Annie Sloan's Aubusson Blue and Antibes Green and came up with this color. The table was finished with several coats of clear wax.
I told Kate that I thought the table was quite old...maybe from the 1930s. She was curious and asked her dad if he had any information on the history of it. He told her that he had purchased it from the landlord of a Boarding House where he lived in the 1960's and that he remembered that he had considered it to be vintage at that time! Kate said that she told her father that his table was going to have a whole new life! I wonder what he will think of it's new look?
I sure wish my parents had vintage furniture just lying around in storage! It was a pleasure to work on this piece and I hope that Kate loves it in it's new finish with her bedroom decor!
I had just a little bit of the teal blue left over in my jar from painting Kate's table and decided to add some Old White to it. The result was this pretty aqua color which I dry brushed on the picnic basket. It reminds me of those iconic little Tiffany boxes....so very different from the blue of Kate's table. In fact, it's not at all what I was expecting, but it's lovely!
I love the amazing range of colors you can achieve by mixing Annie Sloan's paints. It seems that I am always pleasantly surprised when I start mixing. Isn't this a fun color for Spring?
I wanted to talk a little bit today about waxing painted furniture because I've had some really good questions lately here on my blog, email, Facebook and even Pinterest! I don't claim to be an expert in this area. I have only been using Annie Sloan's products for a little over 2 months, but I have learned a lot during this time and am happy to share any advice that I can with those of you who are just getting started!
Q: What is the purpose of applying the wax to ASCP painted surfaces?
A: The wax seals and protects the painted surface. It also gives the piece you've painted a luxurious, quality look and feel (in my opinion!)
Q: What tools do you use for applying the wax?
A: I have a set of waxing brushes from The Purple Pear that I use to brush the wax on, I then wipe it off with a clean, white cotton cloth. And here's a little tip... I first started using my husband's old white cotton t-shirts, cut into squares. When I ran out, I tried an old grey t-shirt but it left a great deal of grey lint in my wax! I recently came across a "bag 'o rags" at the Goodwill! In this bag was 1 dozen white cotton shirts in a variety of styles and sizes. The bag retailed for $5 but was it was half off the day I was there, so I bought 12 shirts for $2.50! I bought one bag, but looking back I wish I would have bought them all! I went straight home and dumped them into the washing machine, washed in hot water with extra detergent, dried and deposited them onto my clean kitchen island (not on the floor where they could collect dust and pet hair!) There I cut them into squares that I then stuffed into gallon ziplock bags to store until I needed them. There is nothing worse than wiping dust and lint into your freshly painted and waxed furniture! Incidentally, I was told recently that Annie Sloan cuts up old bed sheets to use when she does her waxing!
Q: How do you clean your waxing brushes?
A: I have heard of a few different methods for cleaning waxing brushes. One idea that floated around pinterest was to soak your brushes in hot vinegar. I tried this. It worked for paint brushes, but not so well for a brush with wax in it's bristles. I also read a response from a pinner who said that the vinegar made her brushes fall apart! Most recently, Phyllis at the Purple Pear taught me to use warm water and Dawn dish soap! This works brilliantly...and it's so simple!
I hope these little tips and tricks will be helpful to at least a few of you! Let me know if there are other questions you have! I know I am going to come back next week after my Annie Sloan Workshop with loads of good information to share! I am so very excited!
I hope you are having a wonderful week! Thank you so much for your sweet visit!
I like to start my mornings here, at the computer, cup of coffee in hand. My first stop is usually Blogger Comments, where I enjoy reading lovely notes from you sweet friends, old and new! Yesterday, I nearly threw my coffee across the room when I saw who my newest comment was from...
Can you believe it? I still can't believe it! She had read my post, "Ten Projects...One Can of Chalk Paint!" I wanted to share her comment with you, not to gloat, but because she was clearly directing her words to my readers and the other post commenters as well!
Annie's Comment Read:
"Again thanks so much for this posting- This is one of those postings that makes me think- why didn't I do that! Such a good idea! Anyway, I just wanted to say that I am about to leave for my month long tour of the USA where I will be doing Workshops all over ---Dallas, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville, Washington (Leesburg) and Boston! Ticket sales are going incredibly well but there are still places. I will be talking about colour as well as doing workshops! I hope I see some of you there. Don't forget to tell me if you came via this posting - I love the connections we make here!"
Thank you, Annie! And what a perfect lead into another bit of exciting news...
My name was drawn for one of two tickets given away over the weekend at The Purple Pear for Annie Sloan's workshop in San Francisco! So yes, I will be seeing you very soon, Annie! I am beyond excited! Meeting Annie Sloan and learning techniques and methods from her is a dream come true for me! When I received word from Phyllis that my name had been drawn, I quickly called my husband, who went to work to find me the best deal on airfare, with the agreement that this would mean he was off the hook for my birthday and Mother's Day gifts this year! (He tried to work in Christmas as well...but I thought that was going a bit far!) I can't think of anything I would love more than to attend this workshop! So, I really must say thank you to my sweet husband for the airfare, and thank you, Phyllis for drawing my name for the workshop ticket!
If you're interested in attending one of Annie's workshops March 16-April 2, you can read more and even register at her website here!
On Saturday I received a call from Camas Antiques to let me know that my hutch topped desk had sold and was on it's way out the door! As happy as I always am to get that kind of news, it also leaves me in a bit of a panic. "What's next? What am I going to makeover now to fill the empty space?" I wanted to save this little vanity for when the Duck Egg one had sold, because they where somewhat similar in size and style. However, when I looked around the garage on Saturday afternoon, this was the piece that called out to me...and it stated, very clearly..."Scandinavian Pink and Old White!" So, I grabbed my paint brush in obedience and went straight to work!
I started by mixing a little bit of the Scandinavian Pink with a lot of Old White. I have experimented with this mix before, and the color is so soft and lovely. I especially love the look of it after the dark wax has been applied. I also did a bit of dry brushed highlights with Old White and gave special attention with a small brush to the carved details at the bottom.
I had spotted this sweet little vanity in a photo on Craigslist advertising an estate sale across town last month. When I arrived (later than I had intended) at the sale, I thought for sure the piece I had come hoping to buy would be long gone...but it wasn't, it was meant to be mine and I claimed it without hesitation! Down the hallway from the bedroom where the vanity was sitting, was another room filled with books and a few boxes of old photographs. I must have spent an hour rummaging through all of those photographs! Most of them seemed to be of the same family, a mother, father, 3 older daughters and a young son. Several were of the 3 daughters with one of their girlfriends. Someone had taken special care to make detailed notes on the backs of many of the photos, which I so enjoyed reading. I brought home a whole stack of these photos that day, along with the vanity and a few other treasures.
One of my favorite photos, was this one of the four girls and it was titled on the back "Single Bunch," listing their names and ages. Every photo of this group gave the impression that these were young ladies who really treasured their friendship. Girlfriends and sisters...out having fun and enjoying life together! I could imagine myself being a part of their little club.
Please feel free to use these sweet old images in your multimedia art projects.
I think these girls would be honored to have the memories of their dear friendships live on! I love sharing them with you and knowing that they are no longer tossed away and forgotten in an old box!
As I was working on the vanity this weekend, I started thinking about those young ladies in the photos and an idea crossed my mind. Maybe, just maybe this vanity had belonged to one of them at some point in time, only to be passed down along with the box of photos to some distant relative who treasured them and passed them on until there was no one left in the family who was interested in the history and nostalgia of these items. It's a sad thought, but I know it happens. Not everyone appreciates the history and significance in old things. You all know that I do...to such a degree that I just had to include a couple of the photos with the vanity, and a tag explaining why I had done so. Just in case Emmy had once sat at this vanity and clipped on her pearl earrings, preparing for a night out with her beloved girlfriends. Wouldn't it be fitting to let a couple of the photos go along with it to the new owner? I used satin photo corners to temporarily attach the photographs to the insides of the drawers, so that they could be removed for safe keeping when the drawers were filled with other treasures.
The sweet little bench which came with the vanity was painted to match, and I recovered the cushion with a drop cloth, striped with a muted floral flanked by two strips of vintage lace.
All of this talk of young girlfriends is stirring up so many wonderful memories! And the timing couldn't be more fitting as I plan to travel up North tomorrow morning to visit one of my oldest and dearest girlfriends and meet her first baby, born just last week! And so, I dedicate this post to you, Kaisa! ...and to girlfriends and sisters everywhere and the special bonds we share and memories we hold dear!
Thank you so very much for your sweet visit today! Until next time...
The price tag read "Prayer Bench" and that alone was enough to grab my attention. Upon further inspection, I concluded that it wasn't an antique...it wasn't even vintage "gasp!" It did however have the most lovely lines and design. It was solid and sturdy and it came home with me from the estate sale that Denise and I shopped last week.
It didn't take me long to decide that this would be the perfect first project for that Antoinette sample I had purchased from my Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Stockist, Phyllis of A Purple Pear just last month. I had been saving it for something special, and unique. This little piece fit the bill.
Truth be told, I'm not completely convinced that this is a prayer bench at all. I thought that prayer benches generally had cushions. I guess you could lay a little pillow down on the first surface to save your knees.
The space between the bottom and top steps is too deep for it to make a good step stool, but next to a comfy chair, it's the perfect height to set a stack of magazines and a cup of tea. I am curious to know if anyone has seen a little bench/table like this one before. Maybe you can fill me in on what it really is?
Hmmm...it looks awfully cute in our family room. The color and style work perfectly with our decor. Then again, it would be a lot of fun to work into a table top display at the shop.
To achieve this finish, I first applied one coat of Annie Sloan's Old White, followed by one coat of Antoinette. I then distressed the edges and sealed it up with both clear and dark waxes.
Antoinette is such a beautiful pink and I love it straight out of the can, but I am looking forward to playing around a bit with some layering and mixing for a variety of different looks.
I wanted to respond to a question I recently had from a fellow blogger. She had asked if I had any favorite chalk paint colors to recommend for a first purchase. Personally, I would start by taking a look at the projects you are planning to tackle. A piece of furniture may speak to you, and tell you exactly what color it desires. Another great way to decide is by perusing Pinterest and project/decor blogs for pieces similar to yours in finishes that you are drawn to. I have a pinterest board titled "Paint it Annie" where I have been collecting chalk paint inspiration from all over Blogland. It has helped guide me in making my own ASCP purchases. Once you've chosen a color, I would recommend also purchasing a quart of Old White. You will be amazed at how many different looks you can achieve by mixing a color with Old White, dry brushing one on top of the other, layering and then distressing to allow one or the other to show through, or simply adding a bit of white or color to the finishing clear wax.
Last week I shared some projects that I had painted with a mix of Scandinavian Pink and Old White, including this vintage bread box. I had a couple of readers assume that I was using Antoinette. Scandinavian Pink on it's own is a dark salmon color, bordering on orange. When I mixed it with a lot of Old White (about 4 parts to 1), I was able to get a lovely soft peachy pink color...very different from Antoinette.
Antoinette is a gorgeous pink, slightly more lavender than peach.
I adore them both!
It's the first day of March, and we have snow! It's hard to believe that Spring is so near, but I am hopeful! My mom surprised me with several of these beautiful little ruffly primroses last week. As soon as the ground thaws, I will plant them in our front flower beds. Until then, we are enjoying their cheerful, colorful little blooms on our front porch.
Thank you, Mom!
I hope your week has been delightful! Thank you so very much for your sweet visit!