Thursday, December 11, 2014

Chalk Paint® Wash Tutorial

At TLC Vintage Collection, central Iowa headquarters for Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan, we like to keep adding and changing the finished pieces throughout the store. This gives inspiration to our shoppers who are looking for a new idea. Well, some of the ideas are not that new really, but are simple to recreate once you have an idea of how to do them. So today I want to share how we get this wash effect.

Garage and estate sales are an addiction. I had to replace my trucks brakes after only 30,000 miles because of my failure to roll on by when I see a driveway filled with furniture! Among my favorite pieces of furniture to pick up are Martha Washington sewing cabinets or tables. I've found three of them over the past three years and they usually sell like hotcakes without doing anything to them.


This one stuck around a little longer, perhaps because of the scratched surfaces, so I got around to painting it with Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan in Louis Blue. This was quick to do. Just washed down the piece with Dawn dish soap, rinsed and let dry, followed up with two coats of paint.

This is a sweet powdery baby boy blue shade but it left the piece flat and one dimensional. I remembered a Coco wash I did several years ago on a bedroom set that was very popular and did not remain with us long.

Washes are easy on small areas, and a bit more difficult to get right on large expanses. This is because it is easiest when you do continuous brush strokes and wipe offs -- more difficult the bigger the piece is. I used Coco because I learned long ago that Coco loves Louis Blue, as well as Antoinette and other pastels, giving them dimension.

Chalk Paint® is so rich and creamy and thick that I like to mix it with a little water for my wash. Then cover a workable area because you do not want the Coco to start drying before you drag it off.
The area of a drawer is really easy to work with, so cover the entire front.

I like to use wadded up cheese cloth to drag off the paint. It is porous and can absorb a lot of the paint. But you could also use any lintless cloth, like a piece of old soft tee shirt. Drag the fabric from one side to the other in one motion.

Painting and dragging should go with the grain of the wood. You can pull off all of the paint, so it just stains your underlying color or leave more of a streaked look, which I have done here.

In the end you have a mellow look that helps age the piece. After the paint dries you can distress or wait until after the first coat of wax to distress. We distressed edges, the carved part of the legs and the bends in the wood where it was turned and cut originally.

The wash with Coco is an alternative to using Dark Soft Wax to give your piece an aged look. When people see a cabinet door sample with this technique they often confuse it for a Dark Soft Wax finish. I believe this gives a softer look to the finished product once it is waxed with Clear Soft Wax.

Someone will discover this sweet piece in TLC Vintage Collection. It is perfect next to their couch as a side table to hide knitting projects in because the top is hinged with long deep compartments on each side. The drawers are perfect to hide pens, notecards, remotes or other things you want to tuck away.