Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Little Free Chair

A couple of years ago, someone gave me an awesome (yet dated) Ethan Allen wing back chair. It was in mint condition. Sadly, the upholstery was very, very, very dated. It was originally a cream with mint green and peach stripes.

 I read that you could dye fabric with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, which got the wheels clicking in my brain. If you could dye fabric, could you paint fabric? A little research turned up some amazing results!

Painting fabric isn't hard, but it does take time and you might need a couple extra coats of paint as well as a little extra effort. It took about three coats of paint to cover completely. Here is what it looked like after paint. 

It won't cover the raised lines in the fabric, but will cover the pattern with full coverage. It already looks a million times better. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen for the body and Graphite for the legs. still wasn't done.....

The chair looks great but was lacking in character. Perusing my vast (OK, maybe only 10) stencil selection, I found a great grain sack replica stencil. I love stencils and find a lot of great ones at Maison De Stencil.

This stencil actually comes with the stencil for the strip, but it is really difficult to use on fabric, so I Frog taped lines and free handed it. I painted the strip in Primer Red. 

And finally stenciled the awesome German graphic in Graphite. 

After it dried, the entire chair got a coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in clear wax. Waxing fabric gives it the look and feel of leather! It will not rub off on your butt. It wears beautifully!

Steps: three coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen, with Graphite legs
           tape off to make stripes
           use Maison de Stencil Lucas Moller #3 with stripe

Have an inspiring Sunday!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The little yellow table grows up

A great way to give new life to old furnishings is with a bit of paint. A while back, I painted my living room tables in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Arles. Arles was fun for a while, but now it is time for Arles to grow up and become a little more sophisticated.

Recently, we purchased a new sofa for the living room and when it finally came (months and months and months of waiting....OK, so only the eight weeks as promised. But, I am impatient, so it seemed like months), the sweet yellow tables suddenly seemed so youthful!

Fortunately, I have almost all the colors of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint sitting in my cupboards. Yippee! I decided on Country Grey, which is a fabulously creamy color with very slight ochre undertones. It pairs nicely with almost all of Annie's other colors. So......out comes the drop cloth onto the foyer floor and voila! All four of the tables were instantly (a couple hours later) transformed into creamy goodness! I even decided to paint some old Ethen Allen upholstered stools while I was at it. (Do I detect a future blog article?....Stay tuned).

With every piece of furniture I paint, pieces tend to evolve. After clear waxing, the tables just weren't quite right and they were calling for a dark wax wash. To do a dark wax wash, first you need to clear wax and let this sit for at least 48 hours. Then, mix some dark wax, clear wax and enough mineral spirits to make a consistency of Hershey's chocolate syrup. Next, take an old rag and wipe on the wax mixture and rub until you get the look you want. Wait another 24 hours and top with a coat of clear wax for extra protection.
side-note: consider using disposable gloves or your hands will look like you have recently changed the oil in your car.

Here is the little yellow table all grown up!
Add caption

Feel free to add your own Country Grey projects in the comments feed! 
Happy Sunday!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th!

For just a few dollars you can make a fun American Flag table or coffee table. Pick up an old wooden pallet (often for free behind businesses...make sure to ask if it's OK to take one) or purchase one off eBay, Craigslist and some local lumberyards sell them.

Pick up some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Emperor's Silk, Napoleonic and Old White. I get mine from Shades of Amber in Monument CO (where I also work, so pop in and say hello). You can order an awesome star stencil from Royal Design Stencils

You can make something that is super quick and easy and only takes a few minutes to paint! See what did! How adorable is this!

Upload your photos of your projects!

Happy 4th ya'll!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Is it spring yet?

It sure feels like spring is never coming! We have had more snow and cold weather this year than any I remember in a very long time! What is a girl to do when it is so cold and blustery out? Paint, of course!

One thing I really love about using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is that it has almost no smell! That means, I can throw a drop cloth on the floor and paint a piece of furniture wherever it happens to be in the house. My favorite spot to paint is in our family room. The entire back of our house has huge big windows, so if the sun is out, it is a great place for painting.

Speaking of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (and paint in general), you need to keep your paint in the house during colder months because it will freeze and turn into something that looks like cottage cheese. Your paint and your furniture should be at about 67 degrees. You might not like the results you get if you try painting in a cold garage, with cold paint and cold furniture. Trust me on this one.

Here's a glimpse of what I am working on:

What would you like to see on this?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Not all paint and wax is created equal

Since it is sub zero degrees in many parts of America, I thought I would share a little paint and wax care and a little about why I prefer, and love, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and wax.

This time of year, it gets below freezing in many parts of the world. Paint, not just Annie Sloan, but most paints like an ambient temperature of about 68 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don't keep your paint inside (basement is usually fine), your paint will freeze and that will change the consistency. It will turn into paint cottage cheese. Yuck! And then, your paint is wasted! So, bring in your paint and hope it hasn't frozen already. Also, your furniture likes to be warm too, so you either need to bring it inside to paint or warm up your painting space a couple hours before you paint. Your wax is probably fine if it gets a little cold, but you will want to bring it to room temperature before applying as it will be easier to work with.

Is there a difference between Annie's paint and other so called, "chalk" paints. YES! Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is non-toxic (in fact my coworker Jen drank some thinking it was her coffee...she assures me it does not taste very good), very low VOC, lead free, odor free and EG free. You just can't say the same about most others. A lot of people have tried to make their own chalk paint by adding things like sandless grout, Plaster of Paris or baking soda to latex paint. Pretty toxic stuff. The other couple issues are: it is next to impossible to get your homemade paint to be smooth, so you end up with some pretty gritty paint and it is pretty difficult to get your color to match if you need to make another batch, and thirdly, when you figure the cost per item of using Annie's paint versus making your own, it comes out about the same, so why not use the best? Most knock-off paints are made using latex and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is not. I don't know exactly what's in this magical goodness of paint, but this stuff goes forever and is so delicious! (looking that is, not tasting).

A little on wax. Most waxes are designed to sit on top of a surface, whereas Annie Sloan Clear Wax is designed to actually be absorbed into this scrumptious paint to help in the curing process. Speaking of wax, more is not always better when it comes to wax. A little goes a long way. If you use too much, you are just wasting your wax! I even use Annie's wax on other paints like Miss Mustard Seed. There is a ton of really, really bad information on how to use Annie's wax, so make sure you are getting the right information from the right source. Try to find a stockist or go to Annie Sloan Unfolded to watch her tutorials.