I needed to paint a few props to use in my cushion photo shoot ( wee preview above ). Fortunately I also had a few wooden pieces just “lying around” waiting for such an opportunity. I tried to find the old “Paint Magic” paints, but they are not made anymore and then discovered Annie Sloan Chalk paints.
Not wanting to take on a chair as a first project I painted up a little wooden step stool from Ikea. I painted it in two layers, blue then orange on top, sanded it down to give it a distressed look. ( I rubbed candle wax on the edges, but I’m not sure that this is necessary with this paint.) And finally I finished it with the soft wax that is part of the range. Although a small item, it did take a reasonable amount of time to do the painting and the wax requires a bit of elbow grease to get a nice sheen. This finishing stage can be done with either wax or varnish – I opted for the wax and one nice thing about using wax is that you can either only buff it to just a slight sheen or with a bit more vigour get a shinier finish. Either way the result is very nice to the touch.
There is a bit of debate about whether to sand before or after the waxing. With this one I chose to sand before the waxing – it is a bit dustier, but as I had used the candle it seemed to make sense. I took the piece outside my studio to do it, so it didn’t make too much of a mess and the layers showed through just as I wanted.
Next up the first chair. I gave it an initial coat and it dried to a lovely velvety finish with all brush marks fading away. However, then I thought I should sand it and this made it rather uneven and scratchy. I gave it another coat in the worst affected areas but this did not really resolve the issue. Finally I applied the wax and buffed it. The final result, because of the sanding and retouching is quite weathered and aged which I quite like now, but it is not the even finish I was aiming for.
So, it seems from this that if you want a flattish finish and are not doing distressing then you don’t need to sand ?
That is the way I treated the next chair. Coat of paint followed by wax. The finish is nice and pretty even but actually, I think I prefer the slightly textured look of the first chair. Oh how fickle !
Last conclusions from this round of painting is that the paint really comes into its own when used for various distressing techniques, even if it is just tone on tone. There is a darker wax that can also be used to give a different aged look , but I haven’t had a go with that yet.
Once I have finished the photo shoot with the cushions I will tackle my next project which is the low table in my studio. This dark wooden piece had its surface ruined after an accident with a vase so its time to give it a colourful new lease of life.
The website above will point you in the direction of stockists for the paint and if you are in Edinburgh you can get it at the Laurel Gallery in Stockbridge.