Recently, I received my first request to paint a piece of furniture, naturally I was thrilled. I have been looking for the opportunity to paint a piece of furniture for a “ real client”. While the new client was saying, “let me know how much…”, I was thinking, I just couldn’t charge for my first commissioned work. What a relief that it was a step stool and not an armoire!
My client (I love the sound of that), described the colors she was leaning towards in her home, but left the overall design up to me. No pressure right! After staring at the step stool for a week, inspiration finally hit. Then I had to decide between strips or plaid. Plaid won!
For this project, I used my favorite Annie Sloan Chalk Paints in Paris Grey, French Linen, Napoleonic Blue and Olive. My client was curious about the paints I’m always talking about. She wanted to know why I prefer Annie Sloan over all the other chalk paints on the market. What’s the old saying? “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I’ve tried it on ceramics, wood, metal and cast stone with delightful results. The colors are vibrant and gorgeous on their own or can be mixed. Annie Sloan Chalk Paints have also been on the market since 1990. That’s saying something!
Starting with Paris Grey, I diluted the paint with water, for the base coat My goal was to cover the step stool in a light coat of paint, as if I were staining the wood. The character of the wood grain was further revealed with light sanding and I love the personality of the wood knots peering through.
With a pencil and a ruler I made guide lines for the plaid. I applied French linen for the large horizontal stripes. Then Napoleonic blue was applied as the vertical stripes, which I also diluted with water for a transparent look. The finishing touch to complete the plaid were thin olive lines. The olive-green may seem like an odd choice but it has just the right amount of contrast with the grey-blue tones.
The reward in working with a piece of furniture, is the little unexpected details and scars that magically reveal themselves with paint and sanding. The imperfections in a piece of furniture become the source of its personality.
Just like an old flannel shirt, my client’s step stool’s true charm is relaxed and carefree.
This post was linked to Making Broken Beautiful | No.26 – The Curator’s Cabinet
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