Thursday, June 30, 2011

Look at My Roll-top Desk Painted in Provence!

No, I don't mean that my desk was painted in Provence, France (I wish!)...or that I am in Provence, France (I wish, again!).  What I mean is that this baby was painted with the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint called Provence.  I am so in love with this color that I am painting all sorts of things in my home with it. 

I was going to wait until I finished this desk to show it to you, but I am so in love with the color (did I already say that?) that  I decided to show you the "in process" look.  Isn't it amazing!  This was the ugliest looking dreary dark-toned desk and I can't believe how much the paint has already transformed it.  So far only the exterior has been painted in Provence.. The inside hasn't been painted yet and I'm going to do that in another color.  You'll have to wait and see which one!  When all is said and done, this charmer is going into our home library (fancy name for the room that holds our 4 bookcases of homeschooling books) to make mundane tasks like opening the mail or paying bills more inviting!

While I had the paint can out, I quickly brushed some Provence on the roof of this birdhouse.  I'm not done, but, it looks pretty awesome already, if you ask me!

New Finds!

Here are some of my latest finds that I'm going to transform with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint - my favorite paint!

This bench will probably be a keeper for my home.  I like the mustardy yellow seat already and even though I'm not normally partial to vinyl, this will hold up easily to my boys.  I'm thinking of painting the wood in Aubusson Blue or Emperor's Silk (a gorgeous red!) to give it a nice French Country look.

My husband found this at the end of a driveway that he was passing in  our neighborhood on his way home.  The sign read "FREE!"  Sounds good to  me!

There is nothing wrong with this table that a little work can't fix.  A leg support under one of the drop down sides is a little wobbly.  Nothing major!  I can't wait to paint it!

Monday, June 6, 2011

My 7yo Painted His Own Chair with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!

My 7yo Painted this Chair with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Wouldn't you know that after writing my earlier post the clear wax arrived this afternoon! lol I easily applied it on my son's chair with the wax brush that Annie Sloan also sells.  Have you seen it?  I'll try to remember and post a picture of that soon. It is so easy to use and gets the wax into every crevice.  After applying the wax, I rubbed it in with a soft cloth.  It really brought out the richness of the paint color. I love it, and as you can see, so does my son! 

My First Experience with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

My First 11 Quarts of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!

Here's my first 11 quarts of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  My first impression?  Dreamy colors and awesome creamy textures.  I couldn't wait to try them out! 

I looked through my stash in the basement and picked out a small brass basket.  Next, I had to choose a paint color.  Hmmm, decisions, decisions...  I was torn between Provence and the Duck Egg Blue and went with the latter. Checking the time, I dipped my brush in the paint and, wow - it spread like soft butter - definitely creamy.  In no time at all, I was done.  Only 11 minutes had passed. Nice.

Brass Basket in Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint

Still going with the Duck Egg Blue, I worked on one of our 10 dining room chairs  next.  My 7yo came along and I handed him a brush.  Delighted he pitched in and painted most of one side while I painted the other. How cool is that!  With no fumes I was happy to include him in the experience.

This time around, the paint seemed to be a bit thicker.  However, later I read that if you leave the lid off, the chalk paint becomes like a thick impasto.  (That's what was going on.  I had left the lid off while painting the brass basket.)

To counteract the thickness, I just dipped my brush in some water and began painting.  It began to run, but I knew immediately it was because there was too much water in the brush.  I squeezed it out on a paper towel until it was just damp and then the paint went on like a creamy dream, as before.  After dampening  my son's brush, I drizzled some paint on the paint lid and we loaded our brushes from there.

Forty minutes later we were done.   In that time, I noticed the brass basket had already dried.  I also noticed that the top of the chair (where we had first started painting) was dry to the touch by the time we had finished the whole chair.  To me that is pretty fast drying, compared to the latex paints I'm accustomed to using.  I think it's important to note that the drying didn't interfere with my painting. I had plenty of time to work on each part of the chair with the paint providing plenty of maneuverability.

I checked back an hour later and the chair was completely dry!  No tacky residue, no brush marks.  Just a smooth, flat texture. 

My Duck Egg Blue Dining Chair (1st coat only)

Here's another chair from the same set  to give you an idea of a "before" pic since I forgot to take one!  Notice that the 2nd chair has primer that was painted on it years ago - yes, they've been long overdue for a makeover!

Duck Egg Blue on left - Old Coat of Primer on Right
(just before I did my 2nd coat)

I will say I broke a golden rule and we painted in poor light.  It was getting towards dusk and we were painting in the dining room instead of my brightly lit studio so it wasn't until the next day that I decided it needed a 2nd coat.  Second time around, I didn't need to dampen the brushes and it only took 30 minutes to apply.  I'm really happy with the results so far.  I just want to test the wax on it (coming in the mail) and then need to shop for new fabric. 

Okay, something I want you to see.  Look at the can below.  We hardly used any paint!  Like I said, I just dribbled a bit at a time on the paint lid and we loaded our brushes  from that. Same method for the 2nd coat.  Except for some telltale signs where the paint dripped down the can, you wouldn't even know any paint had been used.  I'm wondering just how many of my 10 dining room chairs I could paint with one quart!

Duck Egg Blue still full after painting brass basket & 2 coats on dining chair!

Another point - this paint is very easy to use and there were no annoying runs or drips (except when I put too much water on my brush).  Also, the brush clean up was a cinch.  Pre-chalk paint, besides the prep work and sanding between coats, cleaning the brushes is probably one of the most dreaded chores of painting.  This time, all I had to do was hold my brushes under a running faucet for a few minutes and they were clean! Holy schmolly, I love that!

My final thoughts on these first 2 projects is that I'm really enjoying Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and absolutely love that it is easy to apply and dries quickly without leaving any brush marks or drips.  It's a wonderful bonus that it didn't have any smell because  I'm chemical sensitive and often get "paint headaches" in my work.  Not this time!  Of course, my favorite part was that  I could include my son in the process which I've hesitated to do with past paint projects.

I also have to throw in a comment about the color - Duck Egg Blue leans more toward a green tint, than a blue, but if you like vintage, cottagey colors like me, you'll love it! 

I know this isn't a full review since I can't comment on the wax yet, but so far so good - I'm very pleased.  I've several more items lined up to paint and I've already ordered more colors.  And, I've already started painting more goodies with the Provence.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

On a Whim

In my last post I mentioned the really awesome pink polka dot silo and barn that I promised myselt that I'd return to one day.

And, I also mentioned in my last post that Alice & Jay told me about Annie Sloan Chalk Paints.  They had been so enthusiastic about these paints that as soon as I got home from Luckett's, I did a google search for them.  That led me to the Annie Sloan stockist list which led me to a store called On a Whim. Can you imagine my surprise and delight when I saw that On a Whim was the barn with the pink polka dot silo!

Can you believe it? I'd been "that close" to visiting the store and "that close" to getting my hands on the chalk paints.

As I scrolled down the page, I knew for sure that On a Whim was definitely my kind of place.  The shabby painted furniture looked like they could have come right out of my basement studio.  Then, I looked over at the "About Me' and the owner and I have the same first name.  Another amazing coincidence is that her shop's name is On a Whim and my ebay name is Out On a Whimsy.

I knew then and there I had to go back the next day, 3 hour drive or not!  lol  If you ever have the opportunity to go, you must!  I felt like I had walked into my dream store.  The place was filled with all sorts of cottagey treasures. There was also a building next door filled with the most romantic dresses.  You feel like a princess just being in the same space with them.  I wish I had pictures to show you!

I introduced myself to Donna, the owner, and it turns out we have the same middle name, too.  How crazy is that? 

Outside a group of us watched as Celeste gave a demo of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paints. I ended up buying 11 quarts and these pretty treasures, too.