30 June 2020

Rainy Day Rainbow Projects: Part 2

Welcome back to ways to entertain your children (or parents) at home with a little Chalk Paint®! If you missed Part 1, catch up here.


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.

Instructions:

1. First, Sophie’s Mum Kate helped her by taping off sections of the tray. (Top tip: Kate taped sections of different sizes and got Sophie to start with the edges and then work her way inwards. This allowed each paint stripe to dry fully before Kate applied the next bit of tape).

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!

All you need to Chalk Paint® your own video call backdrop is:

Instructions:

1. First, Evan painted strips of colour down his wooden board. Because he’s something of a pro and a very creative and confident artist he didn’t need to use masking tape for his rainbow pattern. This also means he didn't wait for each colour to dry before adding the next one, blending the colours next to each other. I love the artistic flare! 

If you’re less confident the use masking tape to create a guide. Spots are a good pattern too – and you can use bowls and plates of different sizes to make circles in all kind of shapes on your backdrop. You could use blue and yellow to paint a starry night sky. Or perhaps you’re more of a wild child – why not use a base of Barcelona Orange then add wiggly stripes of Athenian Black for a roarsome tiger print background! 

2. Once you're happy with your design and the Chalk Paint® is completely dry, make sure to apply Chalk Paint® Wax. This will mean you can pick your backdrop up and move it around without messing up your finish! 

3. Finally, take lots of photos to show your friends and family. Perhaps you can Zoom your grandparents and show them your colourful creativity – and your lovely face (even if your face isn’t lovely, I guarantee your grandparents like it). Use the hashtags #AnnieSloan and #ChalkPaint if you share on social media for the chance to be featured on Annie’s pages!

Please let us know in the comments if you tried any of these ideas and how successful they were! I'd love to hear from the next generation of Chalk Paint® maestros!

Yours, 


Annie. 

Rainy Day Rainbow Projects: Part 1

Ways to entertain your children (or kids, how to entertain your parents) at home when it's raining are more important than ever during lockdown. If you’re wondering what crafts to do with children that are educational, fun, and best of all, easy to clean up, then look no further. Let cooped up imaginations run free with these four easy rainbow projects, suitable for children of all ages. 

Project One – by Bailey (12), Orla (9), Eden (4), and Mum, furniture painter Chloe of Maisie's House



The Kempster family have hung these rainbow mobiles outside their door to spread a little joy outside their home, and I love this idea. Sharing your creativity with all your neighbours is the perfect way to bring your friends together, make new ones, and you're sure to be the envy of the street.

For these hanging rainbow mobiles you will need:
  • 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
  • String
  • 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)
  • Scissors
  • Sequins, glitter and sparkly stuff (optional)

Instructions:

1. Paint a toilet roll in your chosen colour and leave to dry, this will make the main part of your hanging mobile.

2. While that is drying, cut a paper plate in half, then paint in fab rainbow colours! Bailey, Orla and Eden love a bit of sparkle so they also added extra glitter and sequins to the rainbows using PVA glue.

3. Once your rainbow is dry, attach it to the front of the tube using a glue gun (make sure you have an adult to help with this bit).

4. Take your hole punch and make 2 level holes at the top of the toilet roll tube on either side, then thread the string through to create a hanging loop.



5. Get help from your nearby adult and add upholstery trim to the base with a glue gun. You could also use tissue or crepe paper cut into strips, or ribbon, or anything you have lying about. 

6. For extra finishing touches, a trim was fastened to the top of the toilet roll with a glue gun and also glittery stars and sequins were added.

7. Ta- dah your rainbow mobile is finished and is guaranteed to bring a smile to those inside your home – and out, if you make like Chloe’s family and hang yours on the front door to spread some joy.



Project Two – by George (7) and Mum, furniture painter Kate of High Birch Interiors 


George painted this crate for a project his Mum Kate undertook for The Hygiene Bank, a charity which gets much needed toiletries and sanitary products to those in need. It is being used as a collection box in a local supermarket. What a wonderful way to help you community and have fun whilst doing it. 

For George’s Rainbow Crate project you will need:

Instructions:

1. First paint the inside of your crate in your chosen colour. George chose Chalk Paint® in Pure. 

2. Next, use tape to mark off bands of colour. If you’re painting a crate exactly like this one, cover the lower half of all three slats where the different bands of colour will go.

3. Paint above the masking tape. Here, George began by painting stripes of Emperor’s Silk, English Yellow and Giverny. 

4. Allow the paint to dry – perhaps this is a good time to try some maths homework, have lunch, or go for a walk as it will take an hour or so and you don’t want to rush. George recommends a kick-about in the garden! 

5. Once the Chalk Paint® is dry, and before removing the tape, apply Clear Chalk Paint® Wax. Use a clean corner of the lint free fabric, or, if you have one, a Wax Brush to apply the wax. Rub the wax into the paint like hand cream rather than painting it on too thickly; less is more. Remove the tape once the wax is applied. 

6. Leave the Chalk Paint® Wax to dry – you can use this time to wash up your brushes, help Mum by tidying your bedroom, check under the bed for monsters (always best done in daylight) and check back in about an hour to make sure the wax is touch dry.

7. Once completely dry, apply tape over the painted stripes ready to paint with your next three colours. Mum, Dad, or any other helpful adult may need to assist at this point. You want the lines to be straight and the tape to be adhered gently enough so as not to remove any paint on removal, but firmly enough to ensure crisp lines. Look how neat the lines on George’s crate are!

8. Repeat step 3 - but this time use Barcelona Orange, Antibes Green, and Paloma (or your chosen colours). You could even use the same three colours but in a different order. DON’T paint the same colours next to one another – if you do this you are very silly and have wasted a lot of time and masking tape.

9. Repeat steps 5 and 6, and when you get to the waxing part make sure to wax the inside of your box too. This will prevent the paint from chipping when you’re getting things in and out of your new treasure chest/memory box/Charity Donation collection point (delete as appropriate).




10. Allow to dry fully then take lots of photos to show your friends and family! Use the hashtags #AnnieSloan and #ChalkPaint if you share on social media for the chance to be featured on Annie’s pages!

That's all for now! Come back for Part 2 here to see more rainbow projects and colourful inspiration. 

Yours, 


Annie. 

7 May 2020

11 Dos and Donts when using Chalk Paint® Outdoors!


Using Chalk Paint® outdoors is incredibly easy. Read this blog and learn all you need to know to ensure your garden Chalk Paint® projects stay colourful and cheerful for years to come! I even made a video for you to enjoy at the end!
  • 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.

If you’re in need of some extra confidence boosting before you commit paint to brush and brush to furniture – watch my quick video on using Chalk Paint® Lacquer on a metal garden chair here.

Yours,
Annie

30 April 2020

Mother's Day Gift Inspiration

On 10th May, people across North America, Australasia, Europe and other countries around the globe honour the maternal figures in their lives. I know that Mother’s Day can be a difficult time of year, for those of us who have lost our mothers or for those whose relationship has been strained, it can be a reminder of what we’re missing. For those of us lucky enough to have happy relationships - be they with our biological mothers, representative figures, or our own children – it’s a good time to reflect on how lucky we are and to show those people how special they are to us.

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.

Charleston




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!


Mini Project Pack



Similarly to the Charleston gift sets, these Mini Project Packs have all you need to transform a small piece of furniture – but rather than letting Virginia Woolf and her cohorts dictate the colour scheme, you can choose the colours inside yourself to suit your mother’s taste and style. I recommend choosing one neutral and one joy-bringing colour, perhaps a spring-like pastel. Your mum can have a pleasant afternoon painting and waxing and perhaps will rediscover a nascent love for painting, interior design, or DIY! The pride she’ll take in showing you her completed project will be a poignant reversal of the times you proudly showed her your own creative accomplishments as a child.

The Colourist 




The Colourist is a Bookazine which recognises that women don’t necessarily want to read diet fads and relationship advice. Packed with colourful inspiration, travel tips and home tours, this glossy coffee table time will have one’s creative juices flowing and imagination running wild – all from the comfort of one’s own sofa. And there’s no washing up of brushes to do afterwards! Perfect for the mum who doesn’t like to get messy, and who deserves a quiet half hour or two to herself with some stimulating reading material. Perhaps consider some chocolates too!


Detail Brushes


My Detail Brushes are a fabulous gift for the more experienced painters. If your mother has already painted a few pieces, she may be looking at extending her repertoire. These brushes have been specifically designed with tips that dictate four different patterns. Mark-making can be as simple as dipping brush to paint and applying to furniture (as demonstrated by my own son, Felix). More confident artists can paint freehand designs – such as this stunning piece by Maisie’s House


Pearlescent Glaze




Treat the Pearly Queen in your life to a little bit of sparkle with one of my latest products, Pearlescent Glaze. This water-based, light-reflecting finish creates a sublime, high-end, lustrous look and can be used over Chalk Paint® to create an intense opalescence, or mixed with very small additions of Chalk Paint® to create gently shimmering, translucent shades.  

Workshops



My favourite suggestion for a Mother’s Day gift is to contact your mum's local Annie Sloan Stockist and to book her on to a future Annie Sloan Techniques Workshop - a lovely treat to look forward to post-lockdown! Here, she’ll learn all the most popular Chalk Paint® tips, tricks, and effects to build her confidence and inspire her to get stuck in. Bonus points if you book a place for yourself, too, and spend some quality bonding time over a Chalk Paint® tin.

I hope there’s enough ideas here for you to give a gift that is thoughtful and will make Mothering Sunday, birthday, anniversary, or any day, a really special day for you and yours! 

Annie.

8 April 2020

The Colourist Issue 4: A celebration of colour!

Hurrah! Today is the launch of the latest issue of The Colourist, Issue 4.

Each issue is very special to me, it represents a time and a place in my life and career and I love looking back at the earlier editions to remind me of the fascinating cities I've visited and the amazing artists I've found along the way. However, I do have to admit that I feel like Issue 4 is that little bit more special... (sorry I know one isn't supposed to have a favourite child) because this is the issue that represents a very special time in my life and career - the 30 year anniversary of Chalk Paint®!



I curate a colour palette for each issue, based on the mood and the feel of the time. The palette for Issue 4 which just so happens to be timed with the start of Spring in the UK, is composed of luscious Lem Lem, grounding Graphite and the origin of Chalk Paint, Old White. Despite the hero of this issue being Old White, you'll find that the 132 pages are jam-packed with colour.



Thirty years! That’s how long it’s been since I started my Chalk Paint® adventure. Back in 1990, the first colour I created was Old White, which is why I’ve chosen white as the theme for this celebratory issue of The Colourist. And, since 30 years is a pearl anniversary, we’re launching something rather appropriate: Pearlescent Glaze. You can turn to page 128 to see how Dominique Malacarne used this beautiful, iridescent colour to create a subtle inlaid bone effect that I know you’ll want to try for yourself.



As this is such a special issue, I’ll be talking a little more personally than I do normally: reflecting, gathering and planning for the future of Annie Sloan Interiors. I’m sharing some stories about how I started this company in my 40s, and talking to other creative women following their passions and starting their own businesses.



I’m thrilled to share more about ‘accidental icon’ Iris Apfel, the fashion, textiles and interior designer who’s famous for being ridiculously stylish, witty and idiosyncratic. And, by the way, she’s in her 90s! We also feature illustrator and designer, Edward Bawden; Roland Penrose and Lee Miller’s surrealist home, Farleys House; a tour of a beautiful Dutch barge; and the home of our past Painter in Residence, Ildiko Horvath.

As ever, you'll find six inspiring step-by-step projects in the back section of the magazine, including a project by Annie Sloan Interiors' very own senior designer, Joanna Lloyd, showing you how to use the free Toile du Jouy-inspired paper pull-out. The toile features scenes from my home city and the home of Chalk Paint® manufacturing, Oxford.



That’s just a taster of what’s in store. I hope you enjoy the issue – it’s been a pleasure putting it together for you. Tag me @AnnieSloanHome on social media with the hashtag #ColouristMag so I can see what you get up to.

Yours, 


Annie. 

20 March 2020

Self-isolation soul soothing projects: Part 2

Hello everyone,

I am in the midst of letting you know ideas how to keep yourself distracted during the Coronavirus self-isolation days. This is Part 2 - if you missed Part 1, click here!


Projects if you’re in isolation at home 


And straight back into it. These projects are ones you can achieve with 120ml pots of Chalk Paint® which conceivably you may have lying around, or even opened tins of Chalk Paint®. Tip: if Chalk Paint® is old add some water and give it a really good stir. Keep adding water and it’ll go further! You can create a wash on furniture rather than a thick matt coat.


1) If painting is a good exercise for calming and mindfulness then sanding will help you get out some frustration! Plus, all that practice we’re having washing our hands for 20 seconds at a time has got my wrists up to anything, quite frankly! 

To paint this stool I used Chalk Paint® in Aubusson Blue and Lem Lem. For a two colour distress I like to use contrasting colours for maximum impact (I’m a maximum impact kinda gal) but sympathetic shades work well and are better suited for always-popular romantic or vintage looks. If you only have one Chalk Paint® colour you can still distress; varying the pressure you can reveal finished wood beneath - then with extra force sand right back to fresh wood. It’s a very rustic look. 


2) I have started to lose track of time but my husband loves hot cross buns so I do at least know that Easter is imminent! Maintaining fun family traditions and giving a sense of stability and normalcy is a big concern for parents when our children are going through stressful times. Building an Easter tree is fun and, honestly, is one of quite few crafts you can do with your children that actually always ends up looking quite beautiful! Send them into the garden to forage for branches, then spend the afternoon blowing out eggs and painting the shells to hang from the tree. This one is by my Stockist Deborah Meredith of Tea and Roses in the UK, and with its hopeful suggestion of new life, and indeed, chocolate, I think it would make a timely addition to any home. 

Deborah painted sheets of copy paper in Louis Blue and Antoinette. “Then let them dry. I went on walk and found an old branch in the woods. Great in the current situation when we need to get out if we are isolating! The flowers were the glued on with a hot glue gun. My daughter, aged  12, managed that with supervision. PVA could work just as well. Find easter decorations and hand them on, job done!”

Easter tree created by Deborah Meredith and her daughter with Chalk Paint®

3) Chalk Paint® picture frames! But, you cry, Annie, I don’t have any picture frames! Or I have, but I already painted them and I’m quite happy with them thank you very much. Well, firstly, I’m very happy for you and secondly, DON’T WORRY I THOUGHT OF THAT. I created these painterly picture frames on the walls and then blue tacked the pictures to the wall beneath. I think they’re witty and charming and they always make me smile. 


4) Painting plant pots is a no-brainer and because they’re cheap it’s a good activity to get the children going. This really is a doddle, and because Chalk Paint® goes on anything; plastic Ikea pots, terracotta, metal, you name it. Continue reaping the therapeutic benefits of wholesome home making during your quarantine by planting seeds in your new pots. Truly no greater joy then watching a plant grow and all you need is a sunny spot in your home or on your windowsill. 

Plant pot painted with Chalk Paint® in Lem Lem by Hayley Stuart

5) A potentially novel but very easy way to use Chalk Paint® is as a dye. This is a good option if you only have a little paint, though of course the end result won’t be as bold. Dip dye t-shirts, tea towels, and cushion covers with the children then leave to dry before machine washing on a hot setting and ironing to seal in the paint. 

Shibori cushions dyed by duo Abigail & Ryan Bell

6) Terrazzo is a very fashionable material consisting of chips of marble or granite set in concrete and polished to give a smooth surface. I’m suggesting this project because you can do a terrazzo effect over unpainted furniture or something previously painted, and you only use a little bit of each colour. There’s a link to my son Felix giving a demo – click here. Adding detail to something previously painted – whether by stencilling, or outlining the shape of a piece using a small paint brush, or adding a pop of colour inside - uses less paint but still gives the feeling of a refreshed furniture and home! Terrazzo is good because even if you only have teeny tiny increments of various colours left over…you’ve probably got enough to try this. 


7) Finally, this side table was painted with just a Mini Project Pack. So that’s 1 x project pot of Antoinette, 1 x project pot of Old White, 1 x 120ml White Chalk Paint® Wax and 1 x 120ml Clear Chalk Paint® Wax. And a brush! It’s fun to do and you can adjust the geometric shape to something else, or paint one drawer white, or paint the top, or mix the colours together for a lighter Antoinette. The world is your oyster, and the afternoon will fly by. Just know that you are going to be texting all of your friends with pictures of your upcycled piece and they may find this tiring (if this is likely may I suggest posting on Instagram or Facebook so I can see your work! I won’t get tired of seeing your projects ever).


I hope there’s something here for everyone, let me know in the comments of any crafty projects you’ve been involved in – Chalk Paint® or otherwise! Let’s make this page a bookmark of things for us to do whilst in quarantine, with stuff we have around the house already.

Sending much love to everyone.

Yours, 


Annie.