Thursday, March 22, 2012

Grab your Brush and Follow Your Gut!

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 Ă  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!

With Best Wishes and Blessings,

sharing with these fun link parties:

Creative Things Thursday at The Vintage Farmhouse
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Potpourri Friday at 2805
Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Sew-Crafty Tuesday at Ruby Jean's


  1. I have to say that paint finish is GORGEOUS! So pretty.


  2. Just beautiful! That is art if I've ever seen it!

  3. Amanda, it's gorgeous, clearly you have the knack with those waxes! Love how you've used the different colors for the detailed work, can't wait to see what you're doing with it!!

  4. Amanda,
    Love the color combinations you used.It really shows the detail especially with the dark wax.

  5. The frame turned out fantastic. I have not tried dark wax. I have always used a glaze to achieve that but I am thinking it may be time to try wax. Looks like it might be a bit easier to manage. Great job.

  6. Oh, so much better than the gold - looks beautiful - bravo!!

  7. Beautiful. I love chalk paint too and playing with it. It is so fun to see where a piece can take you. The dark wax really brings out the details of your frame. Lovely.

  8. Beautiful frame and a gorgeous finish. LOVE IT!

  9. Beautiful work! I love Annie Solan chalk paint! How wonderful to be a part of her company! You go girl!

  10. This is an excellent visual for people like me that need to see the after effects of the dark wax. I'm a waxing novice, still trying to get it right, the visual really helps.


  11. I just stumbled upon chalk paint today at an antique store in NC, and the owner referred me to your blog to see what it can do. 10 minutes here, and back I headed to the store to pick up some paint and wax for myself! You have such great ideas and are clearly very talented. I only wish I lived close enough to see your shop!

    (sorry if this comment submits more than once. Blogger is being testy)

  12. It looks beautiful! I've done a few projects that hit the 'ugly' stage and I wondered if they would turn out but they usually do if you keep going.

  13. This frame that you painted is exquisite! I love the colors that you chose as well as the way that you used both waxes. Beautiful!
    And thank you, Amanda for the new image of the Purple Pear as well as your referral to my workshops. You are such a giving person and I am flattered by your words. I consider you a dear and lovely friend as well. I am so happy to have met you at Funky Junk Sisters. One never knows how connections will be made, but this was such a perfect one. The pieces that you paint are amazing and so inspiring. I am also glad you described the dark wax in this post.

  14. That turned out lovely! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  15. Wow... Gorgeous! Had to pin it!

  16. I have great collection of photo frame. As well as you share such beautiful and wonderful image of your Paris Gray frame. I like so much after brush your frame so much.

  17. This is gorgeous! Thank you for explaining about the dark wax. That would intimidate me first time using, but I, like you, would rarely stop there. :)

  18. Love this frame! Thanks for showing how dark wax can look if applied with clear wax...I'm learning more every day!

  19. What a stunning piece you've created. After seeing it pinned by someone on Pinterest, it inspired me so much that I did my own version.

  20. Really love what you have created! The depth!


Thank you so much for your sweet notes! I love hearing from you!