February Blues, Chalk Paint® Style!
February blues can be a good thing. We have begun airing the third season of ‘At Home with Cathy’, our how-to series on using Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan. Chalk Paint® is one of the easiest, and fastest, ways to take on a décor project in your home. Over the past two winter seasons, we worked through two of Annie Sloan’s books on painting furniture, fixtures and other things such as fabric and frames. All sorts of techniques are possible using this paint, and one of my favorites is the Ombré effect.
As I wrote in a January column, the third season of our video series has a community component. Over the next twelve weeks, I’ll paint donated furniture and accessories, and video tape the process. In May, the finished works will be auctioned off as a fundraiser for Project Renew, the building fund for Chrysalis House. Chrysalis House is our local women and children’s shelter.
One of the pieces donated used to be part of a dressing table, I’m guessing. It is now a stand-alone little cabinet, with a door and a drawer. It would be perfect as a side table next to a bed or in the living room. On the side that used to somehow be attached to another cabinet, there are ‘missing’ bits of trim. As I looked for a way to disguise this bit of imperfection, I thought that using an ombré effect might be a good idea. And in the first issue of The Colourist, Annie Sloan’s inspirational magazine, there is a fabulous how-to step-by-step ombré page.
I used the same paint colours as the artist in the magazine, starting with a base coat of Duck Egg Blue and Louis Blue painted on at the same time and gently blended. This is done with two brushes, one for each colour. You have to work quickly so the paint doesn’t dry before blending. I use a small misting bottle to keep the surfaces damp. After this coat is fully dry, I start at the top with Amsterdam Green, blending into Pure White, then Greek Blue and finally, Napoleonic Blue. The trick to ombré is to have everything ready; paint, brushes, rags, water, misting bottle, coffee and the item to be painted. Once you start to paint, you can’t stop. The paint must be wet in order to be worked from one colour to the next. It’s a bit of a race, and maybe not the best technique to try for your first project!
One of my favorite things about Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan is that I can paint over it. If my finish is disappointing when I’m done, I can repaint. However, this cabinet came out just as I wanted, and is more a piece of useful art than a simple side table. It just needs waxing and the perfect drawer pull and it will be ready for auction in May.
I’m hoping you will join me in painting a piece of your own this February, either for yourself or for the ReNew project. Literally, you can come in to the store and paint with me on one of our ReNew paint days. Check our website for details. Painting is one of the best ways to embrace the February blues.
Did you know? Limestone is an ingredient used in Chalk Paint, and is the reason the paint adheres so well to almost any surface. Limewash has been used as a decorative finish since early Roman times.