29 October 2015

A painted and gilded bath at Annie Sloan HQ

We’ve got a room here at HQ that we use as a studio, workspace and course room. It’s where I play around with ideas, create new pieces and explore techniques. It’s also where I hold training sessions for my Stockists (all my Stockists are trained as paint and colour experts). There’s a small room leading off this space where I’ve had an old roll top bath plumbed in – this is where we dye fabric with my paint! It’s a practical room, but there’s no reason why it shouldn’t also be beautiful.

In my book Colour Recipes for Painted Furniture and More, I describe how I transformed the white enamel bath in my Normandy home by adding a resplendent copper leaf to the outside. I decided to do the same with our rather dilapidated old bath here in Oxford.

I’ve gone for a recreation – or perhaps an exaggeration! – of natural copper by applying it over a base of my colour Florence. If you like this idea, play around with it and make it your own. You could try this with silver leaf – perhaps over Emperor’s Silk, or gold with Aubusson Blue.

The soft, warmer tones in copper and rose gold are popular at the moment, and the natural progression of copper is to form verdigris. The pinkish-orange of copper and the pale green of a true verdigris patina form opposites on the colour wheel, a complementary colour scheme. I used Chalk Paint™ in Florence to paint the base of the bath. I then brushed it with my Gold Size and, when the size was completely clear, applied my copper leaf over it (crumple the leaf in your hands before putting it over the size to make sure the look isn’t too uniform). I let small gaps and cracks appear in the leaf so that a sublime flash of Florence green would peek through.

Once the whole thing had dried, I applied my Clear Soft Wax all over to give it some protection – this flattens everything out, giving a smooth finish. Next to the bath, a series of tiles provide a patchwork splash back (these beautiful Welbec tiles come from my Stockist Rock Pool in Cornwall, UK. I sent her several old postcards and letters to make the tile designs!).

Behind it, I painted the wall with Chalk Paint™ in Emperor’s Silk. I’ve stencilled the whole thing with two different designs (my Arctic Poppy and Petrushka stencils) to create a wallpaper effect.

The bath is so small it has to stand on a base to be practical as mixing heavy swathes of fabric can be pretty back-breaking. However, by painting it in Olive, a cooling green next to the bright red walls, the whole effect is rather grand and certainly pleasing.

Yours, Annie


  1. Gasp! This is truly lovely. I really like the use of the red stencilled walls against that glowing bath. An inspiration ..... need something warm to lift the coming Winter months. Off to look in the painting shed at the Annie Sloan colours I have and get out that stencil book. Thank you!

  2. Hello, I got comments to other items as the one above.(altough it is beautyfull) Your new Website is very professional and easy to use - but the old one gave a chance to browse around seeing all your stockists all over the world -full of Inspiration. Could it be possible to create this sort of overview again.......Sincerly yours

    1. Hi Molly, it's so hard because I have so many stockists now. The old model just couldn't grow to accommodate them all in a browsable way. You could always try to zoom out of the map if you like. Or I also have boards listing my stockists on my Pinterest

    2. Thank you very much, that's already helpful........

  3. Sorry to bother you - but I am realy keen on choosing stockists. I can'nt find any map and Pinterest seems to be good for Inspiration, but.....
    For example, I live in Salzburg, Austria (seems we are still a little backwards with chalkpaint) Last January I had time for a Workshop. I found stockists in Graz, Wien, Hainburg and Bad Fischau.Altough ist was far, Bad Fischau fitted and I had a good time with Mrs.Baek's Workshop from 'aufgemöbelt'. Now searching for a stockist I get the closest - seems to be a new one in Tirol. The new model keeps me blind for all the others.. Just an ordinary, but complete list would be wonderful.
    Greetings from Austria

  4. Hi Mollyflint! There is a map on the new web site of you can see all the stockists on Austria at once by clicking on the minus sign which will give you a view of all of Austria. heres the link.

  5. As usual - it's not the programm it's the Person who failed. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer.

  6. How would one best get a gold burnish as a base coat for a two color item? Obviously using your leaf sheets would be very expensive. Wondering if using a gold leaf paint works with chalk paint layered on top and then sanded, then waxed?

  7. I am looking for a paint to paint my bathtub (inside) . It seemes to me that if you can paint the surrounding tile and the floor tile, it should work on the inside of the tub as well as the outside. Could it work? I have had tubs reglazed in the past and the toxic smell is terrible as well as the expense.

  8. The most affordable option for new bathroom suites is a Double Ended Bath. They’re so versatile and can be used for more than you might think! They can be fitted with a shower and screen to transform it into a shower bath too so you can be extra flexible with how you wash.