7 April 2021
20 August 2020
Welcome to Polly Coulson, my Painter in Residence for the closing months of the year 2020!
Polly’s love of interiors started young, and though nascent during her early adult life (at which point Polly forged a career as a dancer, travelled the world, and met her husband), it was something she found herself returning to once she began making her own home. The pair undertook renovation projects together, maximising their small budget by undertaking work themselves and making the most of Polly’s talent for redesigning furniture.
In 2013 Polly and her husband moved from the UK to Queensland Australia. Polly tells me, “I was so homesick I needed a project and I quickly started to pick up old pieces to paint and up-cycle. It was hard to find and made it all the more exciting when I did get an old unloved piece to make a new life for it.”
Another motivation to paint was the environmental aspect of reusing and restoring rather than buying new. “I also feel that if I can save something from going to landfill, I have done a good deed and helped the planet a little in my own way. I try and keep things as sustainable as I can and I love that Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan is low in VOCs as well as having the most beautiful pigment and texture”.
Polly began sharing her work on Instagram under the name ATTIC Furniture QLD, where she caught my eye with her confident, quirky, playful use of colour. In 2019 we actually used a piece of furniture painted by Polly for an official Annie Sloan advert which appeared in magazines across the US and Europe! Polly was also making a splash in her own community, curing that initial home sickness by connecting with local like-minded creatives, artists and makers.
What most charmed me about Polly’s work is the joy inherent in each piece. I spoke to Polly about how she achieves that and she told me; “I love using colour and like to have fun with my style, I guess I’m still not wanting to grow up so by using playful colour and patterns I get to feed my inner child”
“Attic Furniture” was a name that for me had a nostalgia of home, the idea of searching around in my Nanny’s or mum’s attic and finding forgotten treasures and giving them new life really appealed to me. Painting furniture is really a part of my soul; something I can do to feel happy and fulfilled and I think most people get that”.
I can’t wait to see what Polly produces during her residency and I’m hoping my own painting will become more childlike and celebratory as I follow her journey! Do make sure you’re following on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or sign up to my newsletter so you never miss a piece!
30 June 2020
Project Three – by Sophie (5), with assistance from Mum, furniture painter Kate of High Birch Interiors
At 5, Sophie is officially our youngest ever contributor to the Annie Sloan blog! For this reason, Sophie needed an extra helping hand from Mum.
For Sophie’s project you will need:
- Chalk Paint® in your favourite colours (Sophie used Provence, English Yellow, Scandinavian Pink, Antoinette, Emperor’s Silk and Pure)
- Clear Chalk Paint® Wax
- A brush (Sophie used Annie’s Medium Chalk Paint® Brush)
- A piece of lint-free cloth (an old t shirt or pair of cotton boxers will be sufficient).
- Tape – Kate and Sophie used frog tape but masking tape or packing tape will also suffice.
- A tray to paint. This can even be an old plastic tray although wood will be easiest, especially if your Chalk Paint® assistant is as young as Sophie!
- Optional: a stencil to add to your tray to give extra character.
2. Then Sophie got stuck into painting! I love the colours she chose for this project.
3. Chalk Paint® is water based and extremely low in VOCs. (VOCs are chemicals that are added to paint to help it last longer. They’re good for paint, but they’re not so good for humans, which is why I only uses trace amounts in the Chalk Paint® recipe). This means it’s easy to clear up if you get any on your clothes – just take your clothes off straight away (not all your clothes! Just the clothes with paint on! Stop taking your clothes off you silly goose!). Then wash the paint away with more water. Try to skip this step if possible!
4. Sophie wanted to personalise her tray with an “S” stencil. If you don’t have any stencils at home you can find lots online to print off, trace onto cardboard, and cut out. Definitely get an adult to help with this.
5. Allow your Chalk Paint® base to dry completely before adding your stencil. Tape the stencil in place to avoid any smudging. Then paint your design in a contrasting colour.
6. Leave your Chalk Paint® to dry completely. This is a good time to finalise plans on the rocket ship you are building to get to Mars, read your favourite book, or hoover the living room.
7. Next, apply Clear Chalk Paint® Wax to your tray to finish and protect your beautiful work! Sophie used a Wax Brush but you can use a lint free cloth and massage the wax into the paint gently so that it soaks in properly.
8. Allow to dry fully then take lots of photos to show your friends and family!
Project Four – by Evan (11)
Our final rainbow Chalk Paint® project is by Evan, 11. Evan’s Mum is an official Annie Sloan Stockist and at her shop, Five Fields, Evan has painted loads of brilliant projects (including a bath). Evan lives in Canada and has been attending school through Google hangouts during the pandemic. He wanted a cool backdrop to cheer his friends up and he knew Chalk Paint® was the only answer!
- Your favourite selection of Chalk Paint® colours (from left to right, Evan used: Paloma, Burgundy, Barcelona Orange, English Yellow, Amsterdam Green, Aubusson Blue and Athenian Black)
- A wooden board large enough to cover the wall behind your desk
- A paint brush (Evan used Annie's Chalk Paint® Brush)
- Clear Chalk Paint® Wax
Project One – by Bailey (12), Orla (9), Eden (4), and Mum, furniture painter Chloe of Maisie's House
- Chalk Paint® in your favourite rainbow colours (Chloe's clan used Emperor’s Silk, Barcelona Orange, English Yellow, Antibes Green and Napoleonic Blue. She then diluted them with water to make blending, mixing and painting easier)
- Paper Plates
- Toilet Rolls
- Hole Punch
- Paint & Brushes
- Glue Gun
- PVA Glue
- Trims (Chloe used a variety of upholstery trim, but ribbon, crepe or tissue paper will also work)
- Sequins, glitter and sparkly stuff (optional)
Project Two – by George (7) and Mum, furniture painter Kate of High Birch Interiors
- A crate or box to paint
- Chalk Paint® in Emperor’s Silk, Barcelona Orange, English Yellow, Antibes Green, Giverny, Paloma and Pure.
- Clear Chalk Paint® Wax
- A brush (George used Annie’s Medium Chalk Paint® Brush)
- A piece of lint-free cloth (an old t shirt, a tea towel, or even a pair of cotton boxers will be sufficient. Just make sure they are clean! You know what Dads are like).
- Tape – Kate and George used frog tape but masking tape or packing tape will also suffice.
7 May 2020
- Do use Chalk Paint® outdoors. It’s one of the things I’m most frequently asked, and the answer is yes! You can use Chalk Paint® outdoors.
- Don’t sand! As with using Chalk Paint® indoors, there is no need to prep or prime your outdoor furniture.
- Do remove old peeling paint or rust. You will be able to paint over these…but if you don’t get rid of them they will continue peeling under your Chalk Paint® - and will eventually flake off, taking your lovely new paint job with them! Rust may even show through, so best to tackle it head on.
- Do wipe away any cobwebs or dirt, pop open your Chalk Paint® tin and get stuck straight into the fun part.
- Do know when to Lacquer and when to leave. Chalk Paint® Lacquer is your garden furnitures' best defence against UV rays, fading paint colour, and peeling paint caused by water damage.
- Do Lacquer: Garden furniture – anything which will be touched a lot, sat on, or has a horizontal surface which will collect water or fade in bright sunlight needs to be protected with Chalk Paint® Lacquer to ensure paint won’t transfer, peel or fade.
- Don’t Lacquer: Vertical surfaces – shed walls, fencing, and brickwork are all a) porous (making them IDEAL Chalk Paint® surfaces) and b) vertical facing. This means they are much less prone to the key causes of outdoor damage – UV rays and standing water. Twin enemies of garden furniture!
- Do use two coats of Lacquer! Apply two thin coats or more of Chalk Paint® Lacquer so you can be sure the entire painted piece is fully protected to prevent any water ingress. Note that curing time for maximum protection occurs over 14 days. See out Fact Sheet here for more info.
- Do check the weather forecast! Rain will wash away Chalk Paint® and compromise the Lacquer if either hasn’t dried sufficiently before being exposed to water.
- Don’t use Chalk Paint® Wax outdoors.
- Do play with bright colours – being bold is easier outdoors.
30 April 2020
As a mother myself, I think the best thing your children can give you – especially the grown up ones, with their own busy lives, is some quality time and their attention. Thoughtful gifts that recognise mothers as individuals, creatives, and personalities all of their own with dreams and style and talents that go beyond the nurturing or domestic are touching to receive. With this in mind, I’ve compiled a list of suitable presents for the mother, or mother figure, in your life, celebrating whom may be finding it difficult this year with social-distancing and lockdown affecting many of us.
My Charleston gift sets are inspired by the Bloomsbury Set and their creative retreat, Charleston Farmhouse. They’re a fabulous, fun, time-saving present for your mother which include everything one needs to complete a mini-makeover (for example a chair or a bedside cabinet). Inside each set you’ll find paint, wax and inspiration booklets to get your mum off on the right foot with her creative endeavours. The only thing she’ll have to worry about is where to display her proudly completed upcycling project when she’s finished!