Of projects past

I wanted to revisit a piece of furniture I did last year.  This piece, without a doubt, is the most popular piece I have done.  It has made its way to South America, South Africa as well as Scandinavia –I just love the miracle of the internet where a question or a compliment is only a click away.

In the past month I have had a few questions asking how I painted it so I thought I would explain step by step how I achieved the look.  Unfortunately the photos are not step by step- this was one of the first blogging experiences I had and didn’t record a very good step by step.

So here we go.

This is the piece:

It has long since sold but I have a few pictures to explain the process.

I used Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Duck Egg Blue.  Of course it is possible to use a regular latex/emulsion in matte or semi matte finish, however, it is necessary to prepare the surface first- which means sanding the entire piece to scuff up any lacquer or old paint so that the new paint can adhere properly.

This photo shows the same finish but I did this with regular latex/emulsion paint and wax.


Step one:

Paint the entire piece of furniture in your desired colour- in this case Duck Egg Blue.

Step two:

Where there is carving details and door panels and door edges (basically interesting details) use a very dry brush with white paint (I used Old White) and lightly dust over with the brush- just to leave a hint of the white.  Don’t worry about it looking messy at this point- sanding is next.

Step three:

Distress the entire pieces or wax first if you used Annie Sloan paint.  Use a rough grade sand paper- something like an 80 or 100 grit.  Go over all edges and all details where you want the wood to show through.  It should be realistic- think about where the furniture would show the most distressing- edges of doors, around handles, legs and other places like around hinges.

Step four:

Brush the dust off and then add a coat of clear wax.  If you have used Annie Sloan paint- this is the time to distress- after the wax.  After the clear wax has dried give it a buffing then around the carving details, edges, etc- add some dark wax to give it a more rustic appearance and added dimension- like it is real dirt! Then give it another buffing with a soft cloth.

To recap:

prepare surface by sanding or removing old finish





If you used Annie Sloan paint:




2nd coat of wax


Hopefully this helps but please feel free to ask something more specific if I haven’t explained something clear enough!




2 thoughts on “Of projects past

  1. Louisa Hilbert

    I am curious to know what size paint brushes you use to paint your beautiful duck egg blue cabinet. I notice there are small, medium and large brushes by Annie Sloan. Did you need to use all of these or did just one size suffice? Thank you. I love that cabinet!

    1. Louisa,
      I usually use a medium sized brush- about 5 cm wide and then for smaller details like raised carvings, I use an artists brush.
      Annie Sloans brushes are very nice but they are also expensive for me to sell here in Poland- so I don’t use them.
      Thanks for the compliments!

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