November 20, 2013

Road-testing Annie Sloan Chalk Paint


I've had a few furniture repainting projects sitting on the 'to do' list for a while now. Dreading the idea of sanding and priming all that polished timber, I was intrigued to discover Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Chalk Paint (totally unrelated to blackboards, the 'chalk' is a reference to the finish), reportedly paints straight over most surfaces, without any prep work required. So I thought I'd try a little road test. Here's how I went...


The piece in need of painting was a side table chewed on by a much younger Georgia the Corgi. Highly polished and with a reasonably dark stain, I thought it would a good test of the Chalk Paint claims. After a quick dusting, I applied the paint straight on the timber (shown below on a rocking chair, another project I've now got underway)...


The paint has a very different texture to anything I've used before. It has quite a dry, chalky consistency and can be worked very easily. It also dries extremely quickly. I found that I only needed to leave it for ten minutes before re-coating. Here's the side table after one coat...


The brush marks were a little more prominent than I would have liked, so I thinned the paint for the second coat (as easy as stirring in some water). To finish, I rubbed in some Annie Sloan Bees' Wax (as recommended), and Farmer Joe fixed a new ceramic knob from Provincial Home Living...


And voila!...


My rejuvenated side table has a new life in the guest bedroom. I am so impressed with Chalk Paint that I've already started work on a pair of second hand rocking chairs recently acquired by Farmer Joe.

If anyone is looking for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, I bought mine online from Brocante in the Barossa. They offered wonderful service, with the paint arriving promptly along with detailed instructions and a lovely hand-written note.

Happy Painting!

November 11, 2013

Before and After... Entrance

Entrance 'before'
Our new entrance needed to do several things. It needed to welcome guests, set the tone for the design of the home, and create an impression of generous space (to disguise our homes' actual, very modest, proportions). Come on in...

Entrance 'after'


To the right of the entrance (and immediately next to the front door) I hung three antique newspaper sketches of prize winning cows from the late 19th century... 


Our centrepiece is an antique farmers' workbench (our best loved piece), with custom arch mirror above, bone inlay boxes, marble pear in a cloche, and a hand carved sandstone lotus bowl we bought in India...


To the far right of the entrance hangs an abstract we commissioned in Thailand, with demi lune bench below...


 We're delighted with how this space has come together, and I can't wait to show you the rest of the house! Until then...