June 30, 2014

Piero Fornasetti and Annie Sloan

What do Piero Fornasetti and Annie Sloan have in common, you ask? Actually many things.  Besides being talented artists in several mediums, they turned their art into a successful business based on their unique visions, ideas, and products.  Both focused their talents in the interior design, decorative painting and furniture industries.  They both also serve as the inspiration and process for today's post.

Using an image of classical architecture, I traced a simplified outline onto the previously painted chest of drawers from this post. Using the image as reference, Napoleonic Blue Chalk Paint® and a small artists brush, I was able to paint what you see below. I have tried variations on a Fornasetti inspired theme many times before, all disasters. This time I kept it very simple in a primitive style and I think that made a huge difference. The only tricky part was the frame between the drawers. At first I left them empty, but then went back and added a bit to continue the lines. I had removed the knobs, so they weren't really a problem. And the result?  Good enough that I didn't feel compelled to paint it solid blue.

Inspired by Fornasetti, painted with Annie Sloan.

June 29, 2014

Any Way You Want It

On Friday, I posted about a chest of drawers I had painted Napoleonic Blue. I felt it needed something more and finished painting it over the weekend. Tomorrow, I will show you what I did. Today, I gathered some other ideas to inspire your painting, when you are in a blue mood.

June 27, 2014

It's a Military Blue

Originally, the plan was to paint this chest of drawers in various shades of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®, Napoleonic Blue. Although I like the blue, it is looking a little bland to me. It needs something more, I'm not sure what exactly. Possibly additional color, or maybe some art or a stencil.... Stay tuned...On Monday I will be back with the next version. And you can decide if you like the results. 

If you love blue as I much as I do, check out my posts, Chinese Apothecary Cabinet where I use a combination of ASCP blues, Country Blue Wardrobe  and how to make a Denim Blue.

Have a lovely weekend,

June 25, 2014

Inspiration Ideas

Inspiration photo found on Pinterest and saved on my iPhone. Hand painted Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® color swatch cards.

June 21, 2014

Trying Something New

There seem to be certain colors and finishes that I paint more frequently than others. So I am always on the lookout for inspirations for new ideas. The photo of this distinctive and beautiful door was found on Pinterest and it challenged me to think how I would duplicate it using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®.

In order to recreate this soft, translucent blue, each color would be applied as a wash, even the first coat. Aubusson Blue brushed on first, followed by  mixes of Aubusson Blue and Paris Grey, and Aubusson Blue and Provence also applied as washes. Primer Red would be added very sparingly in an even more diluted wash.

Whenever I am trying something new, I know I am not going to get it right in the first application. It always involves reevaluating, adding more paint, and taking off some paint. And there is never just one correct method. Different techniques in various combinations can yield similar results. Paint can be removed with a wet or dry towel, sponge, newspapers, plastic, sandpaper.... You can use a wet or dry brush to blend the colors. There are always options.

Enjoy yourself, have fun with the process. If it becomes frustrating, stop and a take a break from it. Sometimes all you need are fresh eyes, to see it differently. And sometimes unpredictable results can be even better than what you set out to do originally. That is what I love about Chalk Paint.... you can just keep painting until you  like it.

If you love blue as I much as I do, check out my posts, Chinese Apothecary Cabinet where I use a combination of ASCP blues, Country Blue Wardrobe  and how to make a Denim Blue.

June 19, 2014

Little Step

This little step has too much character as it already is, for me to paint. A perfect color palette of Chalk Paint® colors, although probably painted long before there was an Annie Sloan paint. Authentic and inspirational.

Small accent pieces can add a splash of color to your room. For more inspiration see my posts, Paint and Pattern ,  A Slice of Lime, and Violets and Daffodils

June 18, 2014

Weathered Zinc

Today's post is a follow-up to Monday's Patina and Verdigris. I appreciate everyone's patience as I continue to learn how much information is too much and how much is not enough. My mailbox was full of questions so I'm going to interpret that as not enough.

When I first started using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint there were very few retailers(stockists) in the US. Virginia Weathersby of The Southern Institute of Faux Finishing was one of the few who sold it online. Many times included in my orders were suggestions for new projects with step by step instructions.  One of the projects was for an outdoor planter. I don't remember all the details, but basically, you painted your planter with 2 coats of Graphite and maybe another color.  The instructions were very clear to not use wax on anything left outside. I tried this on a few planters and they looked great not only that summer but every year since.

I have also painted wrought iron tables and chairs, a porch swing, my potting bench, plastic pots and many light fixtures with Chalk Paint.  I am never disappointed. The light below was originally a plated brass, that had seen better days. Graphite was used as the base coat (no primer or sanding). Since I wanted this to have a weathered zinc look, more blue, I used mostly Louis Blue and Louis Blue mixed with Provence and Old White. If you want a copper, verdigris(turquoise), color you can use Florence, Provence or Duck Egg Blue. For highlights use a mix of Old White and your color and brush it on the edges.  Fast and easy.

June 17, 2014

Out of the Closet

Last week while cleaning out a closet, I rediscovered this small tray. I had painted it during the same time period (years ago), that I was working on my Chippendale Chairs so it also got a coat of Louis Blue. Not really happy with the result I stashed it in the back of a closet to deal with later.  Much later as it turns out, because I had totally forgotten about it, until finding it last week.  

Out of the closet at last, it was still looked a little too blue. Adding some different color in layers would help. I pulled out Provence and mixed in a little Old White. Adding a light layer of the Provence mix helped soften the solid blue.  But it still needed more. French Linen mixed with Old White as a last layer added the depth and texture it needed. Sometimes just a little paint makes all the difference. Finished at last!

June 16, 2014

Patina and Verdigris

The original finish of this outdoor light when I purchased it from Horchow several years ago ( I think they still sell them) was a dark bronze.   I wanted to take some the "newness" off and give it a more vintage look. It is easy to create a verdigris finish with a variety of products. Some are easier to use than others and they vary in durability. I have tried many of them, but my favorite is Annie  Sloan Chalk Paint®.  Since this light fixture was already a dark finish, I skipped painting it with a first coat of Graphite that I usually do for brass. Using Duck Egg Blue ( you could also use Provence, Florence, Louis Blue) and a small sponge I dabbed it on, still allowing some of the bronze to remain visible. To add some highlights, a mix of the Duck Egg and Pure White was lightly added. 

That was all! Maybe 30 minutes from start to finish.  No wax, no polyurethane, no topcoat whatsoever.  Also no touch up needed since painting it 3 years ago. An easy, fast way to create a look of age and patina with Chalk Paint verdigris.

June 13, 2014

Pretty in Pink

I love it when I have an opportunity to paint something pink, even when it is something small like this bench. With three boys, pink is rarely a requested color in my house.   It also gives me a chance to show how easy it is to expand the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® range of pinks with a little mixing.

For this project, I used three colors, Scandinavian Pink, Antoinette, and Pure White. The first coat was Scandinavian Pink. Next I mixed a little Scandinavian Pink with Antoinette and lightly painted a second layer (lightly means not a solid coat). The last coat was a mix of Antoinette and Pure White.
The reason I paint layers instead of custom mixing a color and painting it on in one coat, is that it adds depth, texture, shadows and highlights. 

Here are a few more custom pinks that can be made with Chalk Paint. By varying the amounts of each, you can have an unlimited range of colors. Adding a little white will make even more. There is no reason to feel limited color-wise when using Chalk Paint.


June 12, 2014

Two Steps

Here is another little step stool that I picked up for a few dollars. Sometimes it sits near the door where it manages to collect a pair or two of shoes. Other times it holds books, magazines,  plants and the mail.  It's also great for those times you need a little extra height to reach something on a top shelf.

I painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® using paint left over from other projects, French Linen, Paris Grey, Old Violet, and Old White. Finished with clear wax.

To see more inspirations of this painted finish see these posts you may have missed:  Secretary Preview,  Restoration Hardware Finish, and Chalk Paint Colors

June 11, 2014

A Denim Blue

This mirror was probably originally part of a dressing table, or vanity, but on its own I thought it still had interesting lines.  I wanted to paint it a denim blue that looks like old faded blue jeans. I used Graphite for the first coat. Aubusson Blue and Greek Blue each in light layers and also each mixed with Old White. Coco was used for additional shadows and Old White for highlights. Finished with clear wax.

If blue is a color you just can’t get enough of… you will love these posts, Trying Something New,  Chair of Many Colors  and Pop of Red

June 9, 2014

Chair of Many Colors

After posting about my Chippendale dining chairs,  I have received numerous questions and requests for more details. A follow-up seemed to be in order.

This is one of six mahogany chairs in my dining room. Sometimes when I paint I have a clear idea of what I want for the final result. Not this time. It was more that I wanted try out a new (for me) color of Chalk Paint, Louis Blue and I needed something to paint. So I painted all six chairs before I decided maybe Louis Blue was not the best color to go with a dark mahogany table in a warm white dining room. The second coat of paint was a mix of Old White and Louis Blue. Still not right. Next, out came the Provence, then a mix of Provence and Old White. Every time I added another color of paint, I would have to paint all six chairs.  Aubusson Blue was added in the crevices. Still not quite right. The almost final coat was Old White dry brushed around the edges.  

Almost perfect. Well maybe not, but the thought of painting six chairs again was too much even for me and I love to paint. So I proceeded to the next step.....clear wax (x6), and finally the dark wax (x6 again).  Finally, finished! At least for a while......until, months later I had finished another project involving Pure White. I had paint left on my brush and rather than waste it, I did a little dry brushing on one of the chairs. Yes!  That was all it needed.... except "it" was a "they".  Five more in fact and more waxing. I am happy to say, over the course of several months, every time I had some Pure White left over I would add it to another chair. Slowly I worked my way through all six, and now they mostly match. 

Lesson Learned. Never paint one in a collection unless you are absolutely sure about the color. Repainting one is no big deal, but painting six is.  And, more importantly, you can not ruin any piece of furniture with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  If you make a mistake, or don't like it, just keep adding paint until you do. If I had used latex or oil based, I would have had to strip and sand and probably would still be doing it now.  Or more likely, I would have given the chairs away.

June 8, 2014

Chippendale Chair

Chippendale chair painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®. First coat, Louis Blue. Accented with touches of Aubusson Blue and Provence. Edges, dry brushed with Old White and Pure White.

June 6, 2014

In the Looking Glass

Painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® in layers of French Linen, Paris Grey, Old White, and Louis Blue, with gold accents.

June 5, 2014

Arles and Old White

Cabinet painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®. Arles and Arles mixed with varying amounts of Old White.

I love consoles and sideboards. For more of my posts on these great serving pieces see,  Country Sideboard,   French Sideboard, and  Country Console

June 4, 2014

French Curves

This lovely antique chandelier was covered with grime when I found it in a small local shop. Made of wrought iron and 36 inches in diameter it was very heavy and quite sturdy, with lovely, graceful lines. However, the paint was peeling and it needed new wiring. I almost left without it.

After cleaning and rewiring, I painted it in layers with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, using Old Violet, Louis Blue, Paris Grey, and Graphite.   Gilding wax was used for the gold accents.
One of my most satisfying and successful projects.

June 3, 2014

Color Choices

In addition to the color options shown in yesterday's post for the chest of drawers, here are six more Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® colors to consider.

Sometimes it can be difficult to make a color decision from a small swatch of paint. And although not an exact color match, these images are based on actual paint samples scanned into my computer. So what would you do?  Would you paint it in one of these colors?  Would you do something completely different? Or would you leave it the way it is now, painted in Paris Grey with dark wax.

Mixing standard colors in different amounts and combinations is a great way to create a diverse and unique color palette. To see some the custom colors you can make from Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®, see my posts, Mixing for Green, Mixing for Purple, and Mixing for Orange.

June 2, 2014

Paris Grey Chest of Drawers

This is a Chest of Drawers that I currently have in my home. It was a dark walnut finish and I painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® Paris Grey, and Dark Wax. At the time, I had only painted a few pieces with Chalk Paint and was unfamiliar with many of the colors. As much as I like Paris Grey, I think it may be time for a change.

This makes it a perfect piece to try on different colors by virtually painting. You may remember an earlier post where an armoire was shown in six different colorways. This time I thought I would use this opportunity to compare 4 of Annie's whites and off whites. Pure White, Old White, Old Ochre, and Cream. The differences are quite subtle. This may prove problematic as computer displays are not all calibrated with the same color profile.  Use the image below as a guide, but always use actual paint swatches for color comparison.

So what do you think? Leave it as is, or paint it in one of these lovely neutrals? Tomorrow I will be showing this same chest of drawers in four more color options so stay tuned...