Monday 13 July 2015

Crafty Adventures: Chalk Paint 101

On Saturday, I attended an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint workshop, at Suite Serendipity (in Saint John, NB), and I'm so glad that I did. I always see people refinishing furniture, and think it's a great way to affordably add new furniture to your home. I do not like the idea of having to sand, sand, sand before starting, and I've never had very good luck with painting. I always recoat too soon or paint on a humid day, so it always ends up sticky. And did I mention that I hate sanding. Ugh. When I first read about Annie Sloan paint, I liked the idea that you don't have to do any major sanding or stripping, that it dried quickly, and that there were no harsh fumes. (With a little boy in the house, that's really important.) I also like the folksy-rustic-shabby chic look, so I figured Chalk Paint was the thing for me.

I'm not going to get into a how-two, because there are so many of those out there, and if you're really interested, I suggest that you look for a workshop to learn from an expert, not a newbie.

In the workshop, we learned about the paint and got to use it to try out different techniques and colours:

The four basic finishes, clockwise, starting with the green:
Smooth Finish, Two Colour Wash, Two-Coloured Distressed, & Rustic Finish

Without getting into the technical details, here are a few things I learned:

1)  Chalk Paint is called Chalk Paint not because it's chalkboard paint; it's due to its matte, chalky  finish. I'm sure you could write on it with chalk, but that's not the best part. "Chalk Paint" is the trademarked name specifically for Annie Sloan paint.  All other "chalk paints" are imposters!

2)  Annie Sloan is a real person! Apparently, in the DIY up-cycle world, she's a total rock star. I'm not judging though, because I'm sure that after I watch some of her online videos, I'll feel the same.

3)  Chalk paint can be used on pretty much anything - wood, metal, plastic, glass - even upholstery.

4)   People who sell chalk paint are called "stockists." To earn the fun title, they are hand-picked to be trained as stockists. I love that Annie Sloan products are only sold in independent stores, so it's a great support for small, local businesses.  The training they receive makes them a perfect go-to resource to help with trouble shooting, or to learn how to use the paint. I think most offer workshops. I'll be watching for more workshops in the future.

5)  ASCP (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint) can give you a finish that is as rustic/shabby as you want. I worried that everything would turn out looking "dirty." I'm all for a rustic look, but I don't like my furniture to look TOO shabby.  There are four basic finishes - some are distressed, while others aren't. You can create that darker vintage "dirty" look with dark wax, but you don't have to use dark wax, and if you do, you don't have to use  a lot of it.  Overall, Annie Sloan products are pretty versatile.

I'm now working on my first project:

I've had this cart from Ikea in my kitchen for about 3 years, and I never did anything with it. Because it's unfinished, it has some staining on the top, from spills. I'm not sure how it will turn out, but I'm excited to get started!

If you want more information on Chalk Paint, I suggest checking out: or . Of course, as with all things in life, Pinterest is a great place to look, too! I've started pinning already!

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