I had a discussion on the phone recently with a potential customer asking me about Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint and how it was used. We talked for some time about the many uses of this great paint as well as how easy it was to apply, no prep work and how the finish was simply a wax application. Then I recalled a project I had completed in 2003 in a small studio in Mendocino, California.
It took me many days to complete. I used a milk-based paint, casein, that I had to heat in a double boiler before I could mix it with the powdered pigment that I intended to use. As base, I used a yellow ochre and after I completed the four walls with this, I applied the red powdered pigment, Irgazine Ruby. I wanted the yellow to show through in parts so I applied it in large brush strokes. At first, I used a rag, but I was not achieving the look I wanted. However, the chalky look was just perfect and to this day wears the colors and the matte finish beautifully. I did not put any glaze or wax over it so it took awhile to cure.
Long story short, it was all a long process to achieve the same look I could achieve today with Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint with a much simpler method.
My first project with the paint was a small table using Annie's "Old White".
I started with the table upside down as Annie suggests and continued painting until all the wood was covered, no sanding or prep. The color was beautiful, a very soft and creamy white.
I added a second coat, but if I had to do it again, I would have painted the first coat another color and then the top coat, Old White so that when I stressed it later after buffing the wax coat, this other color would have shown through in parts of the piece.
I painted the inside of the drawer with "Paris Grey" and then stenciled some birds inside. I liked the idea of the drawer having another color and surprise element.
This is my current project, a small end table with barley twist legs.
I loved the Paris Grey so much that I decided to do a base coat with it and then either add another color on the piece or do something interesting with the waxes or another color just on the top.
I am still undecided. It is completely covered in grey now so my next step will be the one that adds a bit of magic. The paint is amazing, so forgiving, and so much fun to play with. I get the first shipment of all the colors tomorrow and can hardly wait to open the cans and take in all the beauty!