Aug 19, 2013

What’s the easiest way to spruce up a space on a budget? The answer: paint!

If you’re no stranger to interior design, then you've no doubt heard this tip time and time again. But, instead of just adding a new hue to your walls, why not try the latest trend and add a pop of colour to your home by painting your furniture?

Taking a brush to furniture is a great way to update an aging piece or to add character to a room. It might seem wild to paint your stained wooden coffee table, but just hop on Pinterest or open a d├ęcor magazine and you’ll notice the trend is brightening up homes everywhere.

However, before you jump on the DIY train and get paint happy, consider a few pro tips from expert painter and author Annie Sloan. Annie is a leader in the painted furniture revolution, complete with her own decorative paint line, Chalk Paint. Specifically designed for furniture, Chalk Paint can be used on almost every surface and rarely requires any preparation, such as sanding or priming.

For Annie, painting furniture isn’t just a trend; it’s her favourite design trick! Annie’s signature style is neo-classical boho chic, featuring distressed furniture and pops of colour.

We recently chatted with the expert herself to learn her steps for getting that vintage distress look done right.

Step 1: Choosing your Paint

The first step to any painting project is always choosing the perfect hue.

Annie likes to be adventurous with her paint choices, but she encourages those who are colour-shy to start by introducing a soft, restful hue. If you aren't afraid of a little paint, try using blue and green in combination. Annie predicts these two will be surefire trends for Fall 2013. Get even more creative and try mixing different paints together to make your own signature colour!

Start by using your fingers to mix colours together on a piece of paper or making small quantities in a paint tray. Use teaspoons and half teaspoons of the different paints to create the desired colour. Once you have determined the appropriate ratio of colours, then you’re ready to mix it in larger quantities.

Last, make sure you paint in daylight. Artificial light will not accurately reflect the colour.

Step 2: Tools & Materials

Before you start using your furniture as an easel, you’re going to need the necessary tools and materials to create a beautiful masterpiece. Once you choose the perfect paint colour, start gathering brushes, wax and sandpaper.

The brushes needn’t be expensive. Try those with a mix of synthetic and genuine bristle, with hairs that are fairly long and flexible. It is also helpful to have a number of different sized brushes on hand to comfortably complete the project. Smaller brushes are great for getting into the intricate parts, such as moldings and corners.

Furniture wax is another of Annie’s signature tools – she uses it for almost everything she paints to get the right finish on furniture and walls. Try a soft wax that can be easily applied with a brush. After adding a layer of clear wax to your item, feel free to apply dark wax or paint to alter the finish.

Afterwards, use sandpaper to give the piece a distressed look. Have a range of fine, medium and coarse sandpapers at your fingertips to properly sand the wax surface and reveal the wood or painted surface.

Step 3: Technique

Depending on the piece and the design style you choose, there are many different techniques to use. Basic pointers are to use long brush strokes and apply paint evenly to the surface.

When using Chalk Paint, add a little water to make it smooth and then leave the lid off to thicken it up. Use a flat brush for a smooth look and a bristled brush for a more textured look.

To get her signature distressed look, Annie layers paint and clear furniture wax. Before the paint is completely dry, she brushes on another layer of clear wax and wipes it off with a clean, dry cloth to create a washed, dragged and distressed effect.

Give your furniture a face lift with these tips from Annie Sloan and your Saturday afternoon DIY project is sure to look picture perfect.

Ask Annie your painting questions in person!  
She'll be on the HGTV Main Stage at our Toronto Fall Home Show, Sunday October 6 at 1PM.  
You can also catch her in B.C. on the HGTV Main Stage at our Vancouver Home + Design Show, Saturday October 19 at 11AM & 5PM. 

...& Enter our Annie Sloan Giveaways now!!
You could WIN a copy of Annie Sloan's DIY book, Colour Recipes for Painted Furniture and more
Click HERE for Ontario Only
Click HERE for British Columbia Only

For 2-for-1 tickets to either show order HERE and save today!