Whack It With a Hammer

Adventures in DIY and Decor

Annie Sloan, chalk paint, country, Decor, DIY, French, Kitchens, shelves

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Makeover

This week I took my first dip into Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Regular visitors to my blog will know that I have got planning permission for an extension but this is a long way off at the moment and we need storage now! But we can’t have any old off the peg storage for our oddly shaped house and rapidly depleting extension fund so when I spotted some shelves going cheap in the YMCA charity shop they were measured and mine before you could make a joke about a Cowboy, a Soldier and a New York Cop.

wooden bookshelf £60
It’s fun to buy at the…
Shelves in back of large car ready for a chalk paint makeover
Luckily, this time it fitted in the back of the Galaxy with just the help of a ‘young man, there’s no need..’ (I’m going to stop it now)

I’ve heard so much about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint that I felt the need to discover whether it is a good product or whether they just have a good PR. Despite being a Farrow and Ball girl (yes that is a type) the thought of not having to sand or prime was enough to tempt me over to the Chalk side.

I really like the fact that Annie Sloan paint is only sold at independent shops but when I searched the suppliers part of their website the map just showed me where I was which wasn’t overly helpful. A Google search came up with a supplier at local furniture and gift shop Maison Blanc where the assistant was incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. She advised me to buy the Annie Sloan wax to go over the paint to give it a more hard wearing finish and if I used any other wax I should try it on a corner first as it may rub off the paint.

Annie Sloan chalk paint ready for a makeover
I chose Paris Grey
before shelves in covered alleyway
 after, shelves after  the Annie Sloan chalk paint makeover

The paint was quite thick so I added a little water and it went on really easily and stuck to the wood despite the varnished surface. I left it to dry over night in the covered alleyway by the side of my house so imagine my surprise to find strange water marks on the side the following morning.

Mysterious water mark on the side of painted shelves
Mysterious water mark

This left me really quite puzzled until I saw Merlot, our neighbour’s cat, sauntering off into next door’s garden, black tail waving with an air of satisfaction. According to Big Hubby this is a compliment (although he didn’t think that when he discovered the rest of its business on his vegetable patch) I think of it as one more reason to get a dog, and a water pistol! Turns out that cat pee penetrates paint (well there’s something they don’t put on the tin) so I had to do a wash down and patch up before waxing.

washing cat pee off the side of painted shelves

So on with the wax – I used bees wax left over from another project (its all about the budget at the moment). When I rubbed too firmly it did take a bit of the paint off but it was just on the edges and I’m quite partial to the aged French country look (and too lazy to go back to the shop and get the proper stuff)

Colron Bees Wax
Colron Bees Wax
Contrast between the painted and waxed finish
Contrast between the painted and waxed finish is quite distinct
corner detail of the Annie Sloan chalk paint makeover
It’s the little details that give a piece personality.

The wax finish really did make a difference to the colour and texture. These shelves are to go by the back door in the kitchen so need to be hardwearing and this makes it much easier to wipe away inevitable spillages.

Shelves finished and filled with jars of food and bottles of booze
…and more wholesome products!

The verdict on Annie Sloan paint? Rubbing wax on with a cloth is so much quicker than sanding and priming and this is the first paint I have ever used where one coat is genuinely enough. I wouldn’t use it if I wanted a modern or mid-century style but for aged, heritage and country it is spot on.

Now, if we can all pretend I inherited this piece from an elderly French aunt who had been using it in her farmhouse, the project is complete!

PS: If you liked this you might want to read about how I used the rest of the tin of paint mixing it with decoupage and revamping a vintage dressing table.


  1. mashfeed

    June 25, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    These were really good tips! Check out our post about all things DIY if you want to get inspired for other projects: http://blog.mashfeed.com/2015/06/03/best-diy-feeds-instagram-youtube/

  2. allijayne

    June 27, 2015 at 7:38 am

    Love it – I’m inspired to have a go myself. Thank you

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