Top 10 tips for using Annie Sloan Paint

Whilst happily painting my dining table yesterday, I thought I’d offer my own personal instructions for using AS paint and wax. Everyone works differently and you may find something works better when done in a different way and that’s fine! The reason I love AS, is that it is so versatile and so are the people who use it 🙂

1. Preparation

Preparation you say?! ‘One of the main reasons I’m using AS paint is so I don’t have to prep!’ I hear you say. I’m not talking about prepping what you’re going to paint, as in primer or sanding. I’m talking about your materials! Make sure you have everything you need before you get started. There’s nothing worse than getting most of the way through a project and realising you’ve forgotten something. I’ll mention things throughout the post and there’ll be a full list at the end.

Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade

2. Clean your piece

Okay, I lied a tiny bit… You do need to clean your piece before you begin or you’ll be painting with dirt! Ewww. A simply light wash with soapy water will do the trick with most pieces. For clean items, I usually just use a micro-fibre cloth to get all the dust off.

3. The fun bit – painting!
This is the best bit. However an important thing to consider is your brushes. These are something you should take time to consider and also invest in. I have one large AS brush and a small and medium ‘cheaper’ brushes I bought from Amazon (see link at the end). Now these cheaper brushes are all well and good but they seem to swallow the paint and leave quite a textured brush stroke. My AS brush is an absolute dream. It spreads the paint out well, giving good coverage and leaves a smoother brush stroke. I use my AS brush as my main one and use the other two for detailing which my big brush struggles to get into.

4. Paint trays and techniques
This may seem like a simple point but I learnt the hard way with this. Pour some your paint into a tub or cup to use when painting. Do not leave your can open whilst you’re painting! This causes it to become thick and you will have to do a little mixing with water to get it back to it’s former glory. This is work that doesn’t need to be done if you don’t need to do it. I find the plastic containers that takeaway food comes in are absolutely perfect for this 🙂

As for the technique for brushing… There is none! That is the beauty of AS paint. It covers anything, the colours are beautiful and it’s so versatile!

How good is the first coat?

How good is the first coat?

5. Sanding and second coat of paint
I recommend sanding lightly between layers of paint. This creates a smoother overall look to the piece. However this is totally down to the finish you want. Sometimes paint can collect in edges of details and sanding can get rid of this.

How many layers of paint is personal choice but for most pieces I do two coats. I have yet to try two coats of two different colours but it is on my to do list! Have you guys done this? Let me know!

6. Waxing – technique
Once you’re happy with the paintwork, it’s time to wax! I’d recommend waxing your piece if it will get any use because an un-waxed piece will be easily scratched. If it’s a lonely side table in the corner of the room, this may be okay. However, most of my pieces will receive some heavy use (my most recent project being a dining table and chairs!). I wax heavy-traffic pieces with 2-3 coats of wax.
My technique is to scoop out some of that lovely wax with a knife onto a paper plate. I then use my AS wax brush to work some of the wax in to the brush. Then with a mixture of horizontal/vertical and circular strokes, work the wax into the paint. Concentrate on a small patch at a time and use a micro fibre cloth to gently rub off the excess and work it into those little nooks and crannies. You’ll find the wax slightly darkens the colour but it adds depth and really does protect it.

Time to wax

Time to wax

7. Optional sanding and re-wax
If you want to distress your piece, do this after the first coat of wax. Using a softer sandpaper, distress the piece in places where it would naturally have if it was an old piece i.e. on the corners. Once you have your desired level of distressing, re wax the piece.

8. Dark wax
If you want to achieve a real aged look on a piece, use dark wax in place of the second coat and re-seal with clear wax afterwards. You don’t want to use dark wax on the entire piece, use lightly in areas to accentuate certain areas of the piece. This may sound a little vague so search Youtube and Pinterest for some really good tutorials on how to successfully use dark wax.

9. Clean your brushes
Once you have finished your painting/waxing, it is super important to take care of your brushes – even your cheap ones! I use baby oil to cut through the paint, then use washing up liquid to clean the paint off. By squirting the oil/washing up liquid into the palm of your hand, then working the product into the brush and rinse it out.

I then use the edge of the sink to dispel all of the water and then wrap the brush in a kitchen roll and putting them in a mug face down to preserve the brush shape. After a couple of hours, I remove the kitchen roll and leave the brush facing up to dry. Once they are dry (usually overnight) I rub a little bit of baby oil into the bristles to keep them soft. The natural bristles will split and dry out over time if they are not cared for properly. So protect your investment!

Squeaky clean!

Squeaky clean!

10. Admire your work!
Well done! Enjoy your little masterpiece 🙂

Here’s some I made earlier – https://lyatesblog.wordpress.com/category/the-summer-of-2012-projects/

RECAP OF THINGS YOU’LL NEED

  • Brushes in a number of sizes – I suggest AS brushes but here’s the link for the cheaper ones I buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/HQ50-50mm-5cm-quality-FURNITURE/dp/B00IOY2LME/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432971574&sr=8-1&keywords=wax+brush
  • Containers for paint
  • Paint
  • Wax
  • Wax brush
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Paper plates
  • Sandpaper
  • Cleaning materials – fairy liquid/baby oil

Thanks for reading and please comment and/or follow my blog for email updates.

Talk soon,

Lauren x

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5.5 weeks in…

Another week has passed and unfortunately not much has moved forward! Apparently the property search service didn’t receive the application when it was originally entered so we’ve lost a week. Luckily, our Solicitors are on the ball and have resubmitted them as urgent. One week has passed since then and one search has come back – the Environmental search. This details anything within the immediate and up to 500m around the property, that may be of concern or interest. It lists lots of things (it’s a 60 page document!) and good news, we passed everything with no concerns. We have three search reports to come back; local, water and mining.

To keep ourselves we have been reviewing/researching all the kitchen stuff we need! How exciting – more for me, than Matt 🙂 I’m going for a cream and duck egg colour scheme in the kitchen. We will be having a new kitchen eventually but lucky for us, the current kitchen is in excellent condition. After living at University and seeing some of the delights there, it’s like a palace! I thought I’d give you an idea of some of the things we’ve been buying.

KITCHEN APPLIANCES

The kettle and toaster are super important in a kitchen. Not only do they need to be functional and hardwearing, they also need to be aesthetically pleasing. No one takes kindly to an ugly kettle! I decided on the Breville pick n mix traditional kettle and toaster – cute right?

Kettle!

Kettle!

Toaster!

Toaster!

They are affordable and get good reviews. I wanted cream but found all the others have a sort of yellowish tint to the cream colour. These are more of a whiter cream. Excuse the colour-OCD I have with things.

My Grandma has also offered to buy me something important and useful for my kitchen. So I chose a mixer and I’ve decided on this on in the most pretty blue colour. As with the kettle/toaster, good reviews, affordable and comes with fun attachments. What do you think?

Food mixer!

Food mixer!

Finally, we are also purchasing a Breville Blendactive. I’ve heard amazing things about this little gadget and can’t wait to whizz up some lovely smoothies in it! Matthew also has big ideas about frappicinos and other fancy coffee related drinks! At £29 from Amazon with free next day delivery on Prime, and with four bottles, it’s a good buy! Especially when I found out replacement bottles are £10! Yikes!

Blendactive!

Blendactive!

FURNITURE PAINTING

The best thing I bought this week was my Annie Sloan wax brush! I’ve been dreaming of one of these bad boys for ages and have finally decided to take the plunge and invest in one. At £29.95 they aren’t cheap but this bad boy should last me for years. I’m in luck because a local shop has begun to sell Annie Sloan stock so I don’t have to make a 1.5 hour round trip now.

Here’s a picture:

Wax brush!

Wax brush!

I chose the larger of the two for the handle. I held both in the shop and this one felt much more supported in my hand. I’m hoping the weather is better tomorrow so I can paint my table legs and wax my chairs. So I’ll let you know how I get on!

Overall, not much of an update but there you go 🙂

TO DO

  • Get the other searches back
  • Get a date!
  • Decide on final colour schemes – post to follow

Until next time,

Lauren x

The Re-vamped Rabbit Lamp

The Floral Rabbit Lamp!

The Floral Rabbit Lamp!

This little beauty started out as one of those projects that begins with good intentions, then sits under my bed in a box for months collecting dust. However this little Rabbit Lamp’s luck changed when I was shifting through some lovely fabrics at my local fabric shop and I saw the one. I knew when it when the pastel blue floral fabric caught my eye and decided that it was destined for my forgotten project.

On arrival home I spread my choice of weapons around me in the conservatory and set to work!

I laid down old newspaper so my Mum wouldn’t get all grumpy that I had gotten paint everywhere and began deconstructing the lamp. Once the lampshade had been removed, I used masking tape to protect the electrical wire and the lampshade stand. You will be happy to know I actually took step by step pictures for this project! Not as many as I should have though because I was too excited to get it finished.

I used my favourite paint (which you should all know by now is…) Annie Sloan’s ‘Old White’ and surprisingly, this only took one coat! Because the Rabbit was originally black, I was convinced I would need two coats. Which is a problem for someone as impatient as me! However, after one coat, the Rabbit had been transformed. Whilst this was drying I set to work on the lampshade. It was good quality and very sturdy so I found it easy to measure the size of fabric I needed. Although I did learn a hard lesson on this step… and it is to ALWAYS double check the size of your fabric before you cut it out. I did not do this and went straight ahead with cutting and found that when I went to wrap the fabric around the lampshade, it fell short by around 2cm!

However, I improvised and decided to cover the gap with a piece of white ribbon so all was not lost! Next came the issue of fixing the fabric to the shade and as I am fairly new to this whole thing, I did not have any fabric glue at my house. I quickly disregarded my usual tool (my Grandad’s epic stapler) and raided the garage in search of something I could use. I can only describe what I found as a spray can of glue, primarily designed for attaching wood and metal together. I decided this would do, even though the can looked older than I was!

The spray glue was horrendous and I managed to stick the fabric to my hands and also my dog, who got too close to the project! However, after some not-so-professional techniques of holding the shade between my knees so I could use both hands, I managed to fix all the fabric down!

Luckily for me the glue dried with no marks and it held fast. Next time I will curb my impatience and buy some fabric glue! After scrubbing my hands raw, trying to get the glue off, I waxed the Rabbit in Annie Sloan’s ‘Clear’ wax and let it dry.

It was dry within half an hour and I carefully re-constructed the whole thing. I hope you’ll agree that even though I cut a few corners, the project turned out well! It now sits proudly in my room and looks fab when it’s turned on.

Love, Lauren x

The bench I should have kept.

This weeks blog project is the bench that only took me two and a half hours to re-vamp! How good is that?

The much loved bench seat.

Me and my good friend were hunting around charity shops one Saturday afternoon and were having no luck what so ever! We had found a few bits and pieces but nothing special. Then, in the very last charity shop, we came across a what I can only describe as a bench seat. Normally I wouldn’t have chosen a project like this as I am still getting to grips with upholstering and this was a large piece! However, after some confidence boosting from my friend, I bought the bench for a mere £10. What also caught my eye was the condition… It was immaculate! Even the hideous brown velvet seat covering was in great condition.

After some logistical problems of getting the bench home in my teeny VW Polo, the bench arrived in my garage! I knew immediately that I would have to upholster this project in fabric that would completely clash with my room, or I would definitely keep it! So I chose some large pink floral print material that would compliment the Annie Sloan ‘Old White’ paint I planned to use on the legs.

Luckily for me the following day was a sunny Sunday afternoon and perfect for painting furniture on the garden. I began by putting masking tape around the edges of the legs that touched the fabric underneath and used two coats of the Annie Sloan paint to give them the shabby chic look that I love. This took no more than half an hour due to the unusually warm English sun! Once they were dry I sealed the paint with the Annie Sloan clear wax and distressed the legs with some sandpaper. Due to the dark vanish of the legs underneath, the distressing really looked fab on this piece and I don’t think the pictures do it justice!

Now, on this project, I am afraid to admit that my impatience and enthusiasm definitely got the better of me! Due to the great condition of the existing fabric and my lack of tools to remove the existing staples (I did try!), I simply upholstered the new fabric on top the old one. Luckily for me, it really turned out well. After cutting out the correct size of fabric needed, I simply fixed it to the underneath with my Grandad’s epic staple gun and the project was finished!

The bench was released onto the world of eBay and sold to a lovely lady and her daughter who loved it like I did. I hope I come across something similar one day soon so I can keep it for myself, as the space at the end of my bed is crying out for something like this!

Unfortunately at the time of this project, I hadn’t started this blog and only took a few photos for eBay. For future projects I solemnly promise to take more, better, before and after photos for you all.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and if you did then please subscribe via email!

Lauren x

The chair that was destined for the skip.

 

The chair in all it’s glory!

This project was probably my favourite of my Summer projects because I did so much work on it!

My uncle rang me randomly one day and said ‘There’s a present in your garage for you’ so I ran to inspect what had been left for me with all sorts of ideas running through my head. As I opened the garage door I was greeted with disappointment at first because in front of me was a broken, dirty skeleton of a dining chair. However, my creativity and determination soon kicked in and I got to work.

I sadly didn’t take a picture of the chair in it’s original state as I was too eager to get started and forgot! (Hopefully I will remember to keep calm and think of my blog in future projects!)

I began by sanding the chair in places, something which I don’t normally do, but the chair was covered in dirt and grime. Then I did a little research on fixing the join of the seat which had come completely away. I used some screws to fix that securely back in to place (and yes, I can use powertools!).

Then came the beloved Annie Sloan paint, which took two coats and was complete within two and a half hours! I also should add that this is the same can used on the previous Chest of drawers and Bedside table, which is great as it keeps my costs down! A coat of the Annie Sloan clear wax brought out the wood fantastically and some distressing with a bit of sandpaper really finished it off nicely.

Then came the most exciting part of the project for me… upholstering the seat! I have never done anything like this before so chose my plan of attack very carefully. I removed the seat by tapping it a few times with a hammer and it just popped out thankfully. I then removed the existing staples which held the old fabric on and cut my fabric to shape. I chose a simple but contrasting pattern to the Old White paint finish on the chair itself and cut it to size. I borrowed my Grandad’s amazing staple gun to fix the fabric into place, in his words it could ‘staple steel if you wanted to!’ so it seemed like it would do the job. I also added some more padding to the seat as the stuff already inside was looking a little worse for wear.

After refitting the seat, my chair was finished! I really loved this chair and would have certainly kept it if my bedroom was big enough! Although this project showed me how easy it would be to create another and I really enjoyed the work I put into it.

I think you will agree thats its a lovely piece and I hope the lady who bought it is very happy with it!

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Much love, Lauren x

The bedside table from the Isle of the Wight.

The beautiful bedside table!

I picked this wonderful find up in the same place as my chest of drawers (please see previous post)! I began this project by removing the drawer and the handle, which I decided to keep because it has some lovely detail. I used the Annie Sloan ‘Old White’ paint again seeing as I had some left over from my previous project, plus the fact that you do not need to sand or prime the wood is great for an impatient sort like me.

This was a very easy project to complete and I think you’ll agree that the transformation is fab! I only used one coat of the paint because the grain of the wood came through and really gave it the vintage look. After a coat of the Annie Sloan wax, the bedside table was complete! In a mere 2 hours, which I think was due to me painting outside on a rare sunny Sunday afternoon. I also had a try at distressing on this piece and at first I was very cautious with my sandpaper but soon found that the more I did, the better it looked!

I loved this table very much and used some of my excess wallpaper from when I decorate my room to line the drawer. This meant I just had to keep it! It now resides in my bedroom at home and really sits well against my floral wallpaper. This is one of my favourite pieces that I completed this Summer mainly because I can see it staying with me for a long time!

Much love, Lauren x

The chest of drawers from the Isle of Wight.

The very first project!

When on holiday to the lovely island of the Isle of Wight in May 2012, I heard about a fantastic shop which sold second hand furniture at very reasonable prices! After much convincing on my part, me and my Aunty ventured out to this place and found a warehouse full with many wonderful items! I could have spent my life savings in there! However, due to us living 250 miles away I was given strict instructions by my Mum to not bring the whole shop back with me.

 

Therefore, I settled with a chest of drawers (see the picture!) and a little side table. I also treated my self to a tin of Annie Sloan paint and clear wax, as I had heard many many good things about this. As soon as I got home I began working on the drawers. Unfortunately, in my excitement, I forgot to take a picture of the drawers before I began painting them! So only have photos of the finished piece – schoolboy error or what?

 

The paint went on fantastically, no sanding needed! Two coats of paint and a coat of wax later, the drawers were finished! Although I enjoyed this project very much, I did learn a few things… First and foremost, I need to control my impatience and let things dry. Secondly, do not paint the outside of the drawers themselves as you then unleash a whole host of problems with opening and closing them!

 

I would have loved to keep this piece of furniture but I had no room for it, so I let it loose on the world of eBay. It sold to a lovely lady who I hope loves it as much as I did!

Lauren x

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