April 30, 2014

Paint and Pattern



There are so many creative ways to enhance vintage furniture beyond simply painting a solid color. Texture and patterns, in the form of stencils, wallcoverings, and illustrations can be transferred, painted on or decoupaged making it a piece of art. My post today explores different options for a simple bow front chest. Pieces like this are easily found anywhere, and depending on the condition or just plain luck can be quite inexpensive. Perfect for trying out new ideas and experimenting. Sometimes I just jump right in. But if it involves more planning, measuring, materials, I will sketch my ideas or take a photo and load it onto my computer. Using a program like Photoshop allows me to think out of the box, push my boundaries, experiment and refine my plan before I begin. 
In my image above, I have tried out four different ideas on the same generic piece of furniture. These are virtual representations, I have not actually painted or decoupaged this chest yet. But it is a great place to start before committing to any one idea.

April 29, 2014

A French Pink



Annie Sloan Chalk Paint colors are easily mixed with Pure White to form tints. On this cabinet, various tints of Antoinette are layered over a first coat of Pure White to create depth and texture.

April 28, 2014

Only Three Colors



Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Arles, Arles mixed with Old White, and Graphite on the top. Clear and Dark Wax. Easy and fast.

April 26, 2014

Antique and Mondrian



My inspiration for today's post is the great modernist painter from the Netherlands, Piet Mondrian. His series of Composition paintings feature a dynamic use of lines, space, rectangles and primary colors. Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on this simple, old, multi-drawered pine cabinet, I used Graphite, Pure White, Emperor's Silk, Napoleonic Blue, and English Yellow for a straightforward interpretation of antique and modern. Or more accurately, modern on antique. Not my usual style, but I think its important to push your boundaries. I am also still trying to determine what to do with the Chinese Apothecary Cabinet I showed in yesterdays post. Consider it a trial run. So what is your opinion? Does it work or not? Love it or hate it? Keep it modern or repaint it in a more traditional antique style?



April 25, 2014

Decisions, Decisions....

I have a Chinese apothecary cabinet that looks almost identical to this one and I can't decide what to do with it. It doesn't quite fit with the rest of the house, so at this point it is inhabiting our basement and serving as storage for all our Christmas ornaments. Painting may help. Or it might be better to let it move on to a new home where it is better appreciated as is.

Sometimes when I am immobilized by indecision, I will try out ideas on a smaller, less intimidating piece. Which leads me to my post for today.


Although hard to see, the scale of this apothecary cabinet is quite different. It is a tabletop size, something you might use as a jewelry cabinet. It was painted with a combination of Old White and Old Ochre. A little Louis Blue was added to the Duck Egg and used on the face of the drawers. I used more Dark Wax than I usually do. It adds the shading and shadows and gives it more dimension. I like it on this, but I still don't know what to do with the large chest. Any ideas?

April 24, 2014

Opposites Attract


Opposites on the color wheel (Blue and Orange) not only attract but are stunning when paired together. This old pine pie safe, notice the vents for cooling, is a perfect example.  Mix and layer a little Emperor's Silk with Barcelona Orange over Greek Blue. Old White lightens each of the colors and is dabbed on for texture and highlights. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint makes this an incredibly easy technique for a vintage, distressed style.

April 23, 2014

Green with a Touch of Blue


Adding a little Aubusson Blue to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Chateau Grey will result in a green with strong blue undertones, as seen on the antique blanket chest above. French Linen and Country Grey for shadows and highlights.

April 22, 2014

Watercolor Pops


Annie's Blog last week featured a  great new technique of watercoloring with Chalk Paint. I love to experiment and try new ways to use her fabulous paint. I hope to have something to post on it later this week.
However, in the meantime, here is another of my color cards, this time based on watercolors and popsicles...... just for a little fun.

April 21, 2014

Chinoiserie Chalk Paint


One of the techniques I have been working on lately is using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to create a Chinoiserie style paint finish. A shiny lacquered surface is usually made by spraying several light coats of lacquer based paint. It is almost impossible (for me) to brush on lacquer correctly, it must be sprayed on for a smooth finish, meaning several cans of Spray Lacquer (limited colors) or  High Gloss Spray Paint. Because this must be done outdoors, when the temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, for me it is only an option about 6 months out of the year. There are also numerous environmental reasons to find other alternatives.

The mahogany chest above had never been painted and the finish was in excellent condition. My client chose emerald green for the color and was willing to allow me to experiment with Chalk Paint. It took a little mixing and layering of the colors above to create this rich green. Graphite was used to finish the hardware and add the striping. It was topcoated and buffed with clear wax. It was an easy process for me and my client is delighted with the result.


April 19, 2014

April 18, 2014

Paint it Pink


An antique sideboard painted with shades and tints of Scandinavian Pink, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

April 17, 2014

Here Comes the Sun


Gradations and tints of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Emperor's Silk, Barcelona Orange, and Arles on an old pine cabinet.




April 15, 2014

While we are on Green.....


This color wheel features 6 of the custom colors made when Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Antibes Green is mixed with varying amounts of English Yellow and varying amounts of Arles.  Also represented are variations of each of these custom colors when mixed with different amounts of Pure White.

So how is this helpful?  Many of my clients are more familiar with paints made by other manufacturers, Martha Stewart, Sherwin Williams, Farrow & Ball but especially Benjamin Moore. They will bring me a color swatch from Benjamin Moore and ask me to paint a piece of furniture that color.


Although I think Benjamin Moore is an excellent paint for walls, I don't like using latex on furniture( I will explore that in another post). My client  doesn't usually care about the brand as much as the color, in this case Wales Green.   In order to use Chalk Paint, I must be able to match the color my client has chosen. This is where the color cards of custom colors are very helpful, because it gives you a good place to start. Mixing Antibes Green and English Yellow and then adding some white will get you very close to "Wales Green". It does take some trial and error,  and some fine tuning, but the more you do it the easier it gets. If it is very important to match the color exactly, I will pick up a sample of the Benjamin Moore paint just to be sure. In the end, mixing my own color to match, allows me to use my paint of choice. Usually for furniture it is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.


April 14, 2014

April 8, 2014

Shades of an Armoire

Sometimes it is not so clear what color to choose when painting a special vintage piece of furniture. Colors, Tints, and Shades can look very different from one piece to the next.  Painting a large Armoire, like the one above, involves a fair amount of time and energy, not to mention the cost of paint.  Any tool you can use to eliminate, or even narrow down, your color choice before you start to paint can save you from painting something more than once. 

The image above is a virtual representation of an Armoire painted in 6 different colors and shades (shades = color + black) of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I didn't actually paint the Armoire 6 different colors.  Each armoire image was tinted with shades of one color. The color cards below each show the color I used. This is only meant to be a starting point, but sometimes having a comparison on an actual piece of furniture is helpful.

Here is the real Armoire and the colors I used when I painted it......


April 6, 2014

Easter Eggs

Easter Eggs colored with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Shades (color +black) and Tints (color + white), of Louis Blue and Henrietta.

April 5, 2014

Shades of Old Violet




I have been working on color studies of shades of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Shades are made by mixing varying amounts of black, or in this case Graphite, with any color.  This is one of the ideas I have been considering for an old dresser using shades of Old Violet.   When mixing Graphite to make shades it is important to remember that it is not a true black. Rather it is a dark charcoal, with strong blue undertones. Any shades will become slightly more blue in addition to becoming darker. Notice how green Arles and English Yellow become as increasing amounts of Graphite are added. It is not necessarily a negative, just something to keep in mind.












April 3, 2014

French Chair

This beautiful photo was found on Pinterest and is the inspiration for today's post.



French Provincial chairs, like the one above, are plentiful in vintage and antique shops in singles and in pairs. To create a similar look with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, use Coco, and Old Violet. You can make additional strengths of each color by combining with Graphite (shades) or Old White (tints). Add a bouquet of Roses, Lilacs, and Hydrangeas, (sadly, mine never bloom at the same time), for the perfect photo op.



* I am working on Color Cards for shades: mixing each color with varying amount of Graphite. I hope they will be finished and ready to post soon.





April 2, 2014

Companion Colors



In nature, green is abundant, while purple is relatively rare. Yet when paired they make a striking combination as seen in this inspirational photo found on Pinterest.  Consider adding touches of Emile to your next Annie Sloan Chalk PaintⒸ, Antibes Green project.






April 1, 2014

Violets and Daffodils

To achieve shiny lacquer finish with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint use a high gloss polyurethane spray instead of wax.