Layering Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint

I have to admit, this project was a bit intimidating. The armoire was big, dark, and way too heavy looking. We love using Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan and the results are fantastic, if anything could make this transformation happen, it was Annie’s paint. So after pondering color and technique, and searching the web for inspiration, Lynn and I finally dove in. Armoire - Before

One of my favorite techniques that we teach in the Introduction class is washing one color over another. Layering Chalk Paint® gives a finish depth. Light plays on the tones and it produces subtle variations that you just can’t get painting with Latex. This piece was perfect for a multi-layered wash.

Our first step was to lightly sand. As you can see, the finish is quite shiny. This was a time for the “little” as in “little to no prep” to kick in.  Giving a shiny surface a quick sand allows Chalk Paint® to grab and bond to the surface. We used an auto-sander to lightly go over the entire piece, inside and out. After a quick wipe-down bathProvence - Louis Blue Wash and rinse, we were ready to paint.

We painted the outer shell, including the hardware, with Provence using Annie’s textured approach being careful not to goop up the carved areas, which could cause us to lose details especially after several layers. We let the cabinet dry thoroughly.

The next step was a wash of Louis Blue. Oddly enough, even though Louis Blue and Provence are totally different when dried, it was a bit difficult under our fluorescent lights to tell the difference between the dry Provence and the wet Louis Blue when doing the wash. We had to pay particular attention to be sure that our technique was evenly applied.

We let the armoire dry again and the result was this gorgeous light turquoise blue! It was tempting to stop layering at this point because the color was so pretty, but it wasn’t quite the look I had in mind for this particular piece, though I’m sure we’ll find another item that’s perfect for that combination.

Our next step was a wash using French Linen. It toned down the blue and quietly gave the armoire a more aged appearance. We also used two coats of French Linen on the interior cabinet areas. After drying, we very lightly and sparingly dry brushed Pure White for highlights.

Armoire after waxNow it was time to wax and here’s where I absolutely have to give Annie Sloan’s new wax brush a plug. It was the first time I used the new brush, and it was delightful! The soft clear wax went on so smooth, and it was easier than ever to get into all the nooks and crannies too!

While the clear wax was still soft, we applied Annie’s dark soft wax. Here’s a little tip – keep a stiff, clean, dry brush handy when working around the details with dark wax and use it to help pull back some of the wax from the details.

Almost there. The last decision was whether or not to use French gilding wax. I have to thank my fellow stockists for their resounding, “Go for it!” and their suggestion to mix two shades of wax to get the tone needed.after gilding

We mixed a soft gold with pewter/tin wax and lightly and sparingly brushed the gilding wax on, taking it back down a bit in some areas with small amounts of Annie Sloan’s Clear Soft Wax on a rag.

The final result from layering Chalk Paint® is an amazing transformation that I almost can’t believe we did ourselves. Maybe a talented faux finisher could have achieved this look with other products, but there is no way we could have done this without Annie Sloan’s incredible Chalk Paint® decorative paint and soft wax.

Unfortunately, computers are not calibrated to color. There are variations in this post that aren’t there.  Hopefully, at least one of these images will look as beautiful on your computer as the piece does in real life.

Armoire - final resultComparison_before_after

I’d also like to give a special mention to Leslie Stocker. Leslie writes a wonderful blog, PaintColorWays. It’s where we found the inspiration for this armoire. She imparts a wealth of information and is one of the most talented colorists I’ve ever seen. Check her out here!

Until next time, get that paint brush and can of Chalk Paint® and go for it. Experiment, try different colors over each other and have some fun. Chances are you’ll love the result and if for some reason it’s just not right, put on another wash until you get exactly what you’re looking for. As Annie Sloan says, “The possibilities are endless!”

2 Responses to Layering Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint

  1. mjubran85 April 5, 2015 at 1:31 am #

    This is fabulous. Wow, what a transformation.. How did you make a wash with French Linen, does that mean you just watered it down? Did you have to put clear wax over your gilded wax?


    • Kathleen April 30, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

      Hi, Thanks for the compliment, and great questions! A wash is created by watering down the paint a bit, applying it over your first color, and then wiping back with a soft rag until you get the result you’re looking for. As to the second question; Clear wax will remove gilding wax, so gilding wax application would be a last step. The gilding wax will harden and be protected. But…. with that said, another technique would be rubbing a little bit of clear wax over the gilding wax application to remove some. That helps to give an aged appearance and make it look a bit worn.

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