Décidément Française!! (decidedly French)

I have just finished a cabinet- I bought it from Allegro (like Ebay).  This cabinet was imported from either Holland or Germany.  Here is the before:

It has beautiful carvings on all sides, particularly the doors.  The legs are a lovely cabriolet style and the hardware is in good shape.

But….looking at this picture it looks like your average mass produced oak furniture of days ago  (late 80’s early 90’s) and you can’t really see the details.

Being a stockist of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint has its bonuses –I have all the colours in store- the hardest part is deciding which colour to paint!  I knew I wanted a colour besides whites or beiges (which are my “go-to” safe colours) and the Duck Egg Blue was screaming at me- use me, use me, use me –Je suis français, Je suis français!!

So…..I painted the entire piece Duck Egg Blue and used Old White on some of the carved details.

I also used a heavy hand when distressing- to give the carvings some added dimension.

Then I gave this lovely lady a spa treatment!  She had a waxing and a buffing.  A very thin coat of the clear wax was first then I added some definition with the rustic wax.

Here are some of the details:

The hinges and key plate are metal and were a very cheap looking bronze-ish sort of colour.  I simply painted them with ASCP and now they look as though they were meant to be there!

I also painted the drawer pulls- they were the same metal as the hinges.In the before photo you don’t even notice all of the carving details –and there are so many on this piece!- the dated oak really hides how beautiful they are.

I also wanted to answer a few questions that have come up about Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint.

How long does it take for the paint to dry?

One coat will dry in about 20 minutes- seriously!  However, if you are in a damper climate it will take longer.  For example, my store is in a prewar building that is made from brick.  I am noticing how damp it is in here- my baseboards are having a hard time sticking to the walls and the doors in my carpenter’s custom cabinet have swollen a bit.  It takes slightly longer for the chalk paint to dry here as compared to my home.

How long does it take for the wax to dry?

See above.  However, if you do a really thin coat of wax it seems to dry immediately.  It is more work but the buffing takes much less time.

Do you sand before or after wax application?

Either.  I personally like to sand before I apply the wax.  I don’t mind the paint dust that comes off but also if I make a mistake, for example, take too much paint off while distressing, I find that repainting in a spot has a better match before the waxing is done.

I also find that distressing after waxing really gums up the sand paper and I like to use sandpaper  till there is almost no grit left on it.

Hope that helps for anyone looking for information about ASCP.  It really is great paint and so worth the extra money.  On the label it says that one litre will cover one piece but I find that I can get about four pieces- probably more with one litre.

On the 13th of October I am flying to Oxford to take Annie Sloan’s day course in her shop.  I am sure I will have loads to report after that!!

56 thoughts on “Décidément Française!! (decidedly French)

  1. What a beautiful beautiful piece!! You did a fabulous job! I would love for you to come over and share your treasure for Treasure Hunt Thursday! Have a fabulous day!

  2. Visiting from No Minimalist Here and I just have to say, this is the *most beautiful* piece I have seen in a long time…maybe even ever! I literally gasped out loud when I saw the linky party photo. Bravo on a job well done!

  3. This is so gorgeous, so gorgeous! Sharing it on my link up party tomorrow. Thanks so much for linking up with me! Come check out your feature, will be up at 6:00 a.m. California time.

  4. Just beautiful! This was so helpful as I’m about to try AS chalk paint for the first time. This is the exact color and amount of distressing that I’m hoping to achieve. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Carley

    This look is exactly what I’m hoping to accomplish on a dresser that I’m turning into a changing table. Is there any way you can give me more of a step by step? I’m scared to death to even start it…but I rrreeeaaallllyyyy want this type of look. Love the wood showing through, then the white-ish, and finally the top blue…. HELP!!!

  7. Katherine

    Absolutely stunning! I am about to start a project using this color and this has certainly convinced me, I made the right choice.

  8. Leah Davids

    Hi love the paint colors! did you sand the oak piece before painting on the duck egg blue?? Also how thick and how much coverage did you paint with the old white? what brand is the clear and rustic wax? thank you so much

    1. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint so I didn’t need to sand at all! I painted the whole thing with the blue first and then added the details with the Old White. The wax is Annie Sloan soft wax.

  9. Debi

    This is one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve seen. Your use of distressing and waxing wonderfully highlighted the lovely carving. I’m new to using ASCP and furniture painting. What a wonderful inspiration piece. Thank you.

  10. I am a first time visitor today, coming over from DYI Home Decorators….. That is such a beautiful piece. Those carvings – to die for. I really like how you accentuated them with the white paint. Do you find that blue furniture sells in your area?

    Small House / Big Sky Donna/White Oak Studio Design/SW Michigan
    Hand-Painted Vintage Furniture Transformations
    Blog: http://smallhouseunderabigsky.wordpress.com
    Facebook: donnaallgaierlamberti@facebook.com (for portfolio of chalk painted work)

    1. Hi Donna, thanks for the kind words. I actually never thought about the blue furniture selling- but now that you mention it, all the blue furniture I have painted really does sell quite quickly.

      1. Thanks that’s good to know. I know interest in colors varies from location and state to state. A LOT of bloggers decorate using blue, but I have wondered about the rest of home owners out there. In my “conservative” area of Michigan people still expect furniture to be stained a varnished! My experience is the 35-45 age group welcomes painted but the older, more conservative does not.

  11. Thank you so much for your post. The armoire is BEAUTIFUL! I am getting ready to paint an armoire myself, and these are the colors I was thinking of using. NOW it is confirmed! I am definitely gonna try this! Your tips on the Annie Sloan paint was just what I needed! Thanks a million!

    1. Thanks! I actually do sand after waxing- but this was done quite some time ago and I had my paint coming from a factory in Belgium. Now my paint comes directly from England and I do sand after waxing except when I paint modern furniture and the client wants a super smooth finish…which takes forever!

  12. Amscon

    Your dresser looks super fabulous. ASCP works wonders. But I have a question. Why is it that there are no testimonials on using this paint on kitchen cabinets? I would like to paint my kitchen cabinets with ASCP but not sure what I need to watch for, eg. Pitfalls. Finishing with wax might not be good for kitchen. Also, does the painted surface look smooth? Much appreciate your reply. Thanks.

    1. I have painted three kitchens and I am working on a fourth now! There really is no problem painting the cabinets as long as they are pretty clean- no grease or any bits of food! If you want a smoother finish just water the paint down a bit- until you get a yoghurty kind of thickness and paint away. Two coats of very thinly applied wax is usually enough but around high use areas, like the door for garbage or around sink, I would add three. The paint (ASCP) actually absorbs the wax so it really does create a strong finish….if it is applied well- not too thickly!! very important. One of the ladies that has one of the kitchens I painted does a lot of cooking and her stove is gas. I was quite concerned that the heat would damage the painted upper cabinets next to it- but she has said that there has been no problems at all.

  13. Amscon

    Thanks for your reply. Is there any way of protecting the cabinet surfaces other than wax? Wax attracts dirt and grime easily.

    1. There is also ASCP lacquer…..you might want to contact your local seller to see if they carry it. We have it in Europe- perhaps it isn’t available where you are?? The problem with lacquer is that most of them will yellow the lighter colours unless you find a good quality one. Sorry, I have no recommendations for you- but it is possible to use lacquer on Chalk Paint.

  14. Karen Diekema

    This is so gorgeous. You captured exactly what I want my bedroom colors to be. I have an old oak water closet I’m going to try this on. The kind that hid the potty bowl and your water basin etc. So plain the way it is. You did a beautiful job and should be so proud of yourself. Thanks for the inspiration.

  15. Jeannene Kogler

    desigindisorder: I am new at chalk painting and just now seeing this beautiful example on Pinterest. I have done only one piece, an old apothecary cabinet, and it turned out really pretty. I have a large three piece (wide) carved English armoire that I want to paint and detail. These colors are perfect for the room in which I want to place it. Please share how you detailed the Old White on the raised applied carving. Did you do it with an artist paint blush? Also, how did you distress the grooves without distressing the raised flat surfaces surrounding them. These may be elementary questions to a veteran chalk painter, but please bear in mind that I’m just getting started. I would appreciate any advice you may lend.

    1. Hi! So the raised parts I painted with an artists brush. Distressing the grooves was just a matter of using a smaller piece of sand paper and really getting in the space with your fingers. good luck!

  16. Paula McGoona

    Oh my gosh this is definitely the most beautifully done piece of furniture Ive seen to date, well done on such an amazing job!! Im totally inspired, off to look at (and hopefully buy) an oak dresser tonight, and this is the look Im going to try to achieve. Have those colours ready to go, but think Ill practice on a small stool first, total newbie here.

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