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

4.5 weeks into the house buying process – updates and promises!

I will first begin this blog post with an apology… 13 days without an update?! How did you guys manage? I solemnly swear to update every week from now on 🙂

HOUSE SURVEY UPDATE

We got our Homebuyers Report back and in short, all is well! I read some real horror stories online before hand and was very nervous about receiving the report but thankfully, the house isn’t falling down. The Bank organises the valuation with the survey for the Homebuyers Report and this occurred two weeks ago on a Thursday, come Saturday we had our report back! Speedy, eh?

The report outlines all aspects of the house and gives them a green, amber or red colour depending on the severity of the issue. We got mostly greens (yippee!), all the walls, windows, floors etc are in good condition and there is no presence of mould or damp. Some ambers included easily fixable things such as cleaning out the gutters, doors from the kitchen need to be safety glass. Our red ones also included up to date gas and electric safety certificates and removing insulation that covered down-lighters from the roof into the bathroom (Me and Matt are pulling straws over who should go up in to the loft and do this… we are both scared of spiders!)

So, all very fixable issues 🙂 the bank deemed the house worth the money they are borrowing us and they got in touch with our Solicitors to let them know that the money was ready to go when the time comes. Good stuff!

SOLICITOR/PAPERWORK UPDATE

Since the last post, the searches has been requested on the property. These are requested by our Solicitors from the Local Authority. These include environmental changes, water drainage and other fun info like that. We also have to have a mining authority search due to being in a mining area. Once these are back and (hopefully) show no major issues – like they are going to build a road through our house – we can work towards a completion date! These can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to come back. Our LA website states they aim to return within 10-15 working days so we shall see!

PROJECTS UPDATE

My table and chairs painting project has slowed down due to my lack of a waxing brush! I previously ‘made’ my own by trimming down an old brush to make a short, stubby bristled brush. It has worked on one of the chairs for two coats but is looking very worse for wear and is pulling the wax up into the bristles, rather than coating my wood! So come payday, I am making the leap and purchasing an Annie Sloan wax brush… I cannot wait! I’ll do a little review on it when I get my hands on one 🙂

The tabletop has been assembled and stained and let me tell you, it looks fab! Can’t wait to show you the finished project!

TO DO

  • buy the wax brush!
  • finish painting the chairs and table – I have half term next week to do this!
  • patiently wait for the searches to come back
  • convince Matt we need big flowery wallpaper in our bedroom 🙂

Until next time,

Lauren x

2.5 weeks into the process – updates and projects!

Here we are! Two and a half weeks since our offer was accepted and it seems sooo much longer than that. Anyway, onto the good stuff.

UPDATE

Our Mortgage appointment went well. We have a fantastic Mortgage Advisor who since writing the last post, has found us an even better Mortgage product which means he has reduced our mortgage term! Good news for us! This means the length of our mortgage has been reduced and our planned payments have not increased.

Our valuation is going ahead tomorrow and after lots of discussion, me and Matt decided to have the Homebuyers survey on top of the Bank valuation survey (you have to have this for your mortgage) but the Homebuyers survey is an optional choice. This is for us, the buyers, and is a large document outlining the condition of all aspects of the house. This may bring to light some major issue that we have previously missed. This cost us an additional £250 on top of the £300 for the mandatory bank valuation and whilst this adds more onto our costs, it is a small amount in the long run to ensure the house isn’t falling down. We should get the report back on Monday so I’ll update you with the outcome of that when it arrives.

The Seller has returned his completed paperwork to our Solicitors and there is only one bit of paperwork missing. The Fensa certificate for the windows. This official document will complete the paperwork and means our Solicitors can request the necessary searches on the property and submit our registration of the property to the Land Registry. As the property hasn’t been sold since the law changed in 1990, we have to register the property with the Land Registry before it can be transferred into our names. Good news – it doesn’t stop us completing the sale and getting the keys. Bad news – it’s an extra £95 on our (ever-increasing) bill.

PROJECTS

I have begun to paint the table and chairs that my Mum’s friend has given us and thanks to the fabulous Annie Sloan chalk paint, my chairs are coming along excellently. (Blog post to follow soon). I am also building my own rustic table top from up cycled wood. The pieces have been cut and sanded but after a practice-put-together, a little more needs to come off the length. Hopefully I can get that done this weekend. Here’s a sneak peek of the table top:

It's coming together nicely.

It’s coming together nicely!

I also attempted to update my rabbit lamp (see original restyle here: https://lyatesblog.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/the-re-vamped-rabbit-lamp/) and failed miserably! In short, I ended up purchasing a reasonably priced grey linen lampshade for £6.99 from the Range on Sunday. I’ll pop a picture on of the updated lamp soon. I am toying with the idea of painting the rabbit a pastel colour but we’ll see 🙂

TO DO

  • Get the homebuyers report back and read through – hopefully the house isn’t going to fall down!
  • Chase the seller’s solicitors for the Fensa certificate for the windows so the searches can be requested
  • Trim and stain my table top
  • Finish painting and waxing the chairs

 

Thanks for reading,

Lauren x

 

PS – I realise my last post may have made Matt sound like he wasn’t excited by this buying a house malarky. Just to confirm, he very much is excited, he just has more concern for the financial side of things than I do. I, on the other hand, continue to expand my ‘Things I Want To Buy’ spreadsheet 🙂 We balance each other out well!

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