My First Annie Sloan Paint Project / Before & After

I have been SO ridiculously excited about this post. And you all know what happens when I get excited! I babble! But I’m going to make great effort in not doing that, this time. (Deep breath. I can do it! I know I can!).  I’ve just had to focus on getting our current $100 Gift Card Give Away together (located in The Big Picture ; ).

So, we’re talking Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  If you visit many creative-type blogs, surely you have heard of it by now. It’s ‘all the rage’ right now, as they say. And frankly, I was believing it.  So we ordered 5 cans of paint, and both the clear and dark waxes.   Now, I’m not going to get into exactly what colors we ordered right now because, we have a very long list of refinishing projects we plan on doing with this paint, and I feel like each one will be more of an exciting surprise for you all as we blog those ‘Before and After’ projects, if you don’t even know the colors we have to work with.  Am I right? I even went so far, as to digitally cover the paint colors, the day our order came in, and I was so excited I had to share a photo on our Facebook Page.  I know.  The lengths that I will go to.

But anyhoo, that’s the preliminary chat!

I have never worked with chalk paint before, or waxes.  So because I expected this to be a whole new experience than any I’d had before when painting, I wanted to start with a small project.  You know, something fun, but o.k. to experiment with, so I could get a real feel for how this paint worked, and practice waxing, etc.  I know that sounds wise.  ; )  But in other words, I was scared to just jump in with this stuff, and re-do some important family furniture piece for our home when, frankly, I wasn’t sure I’d know exactly what the heck I was doing.

Now, as a little related side-story, there is an elderly couple who are very dear friends of ours, and almost a couple of months ago, {A} helped their daughter move them to a more suitable and helpful place for folks their age. Not a rest home. It’s a lovely community. But in the process of packing up one place to move to the next, they were down-sizing and getting rid of a whole  lot of great stuff.  They were bringing it all to a consignment place, but before they did, they gave us dibs to go through it all, and take whatever we wanted.  We didn’t take a whole lot, but what we did take is pretty cool stuff.

One of those things, was this bird house.

The daughter believed it was really an indoor home-decor piece. But I told her, “That’s o.k. I’m still putting it outside.” Because I new just where I wanted to put it. Under the apple tree, near our gardens.  And I have to tell you, every time I have caught glance of it over there, it has made me smile, and bubbles up joy inside me. I just love to see it standing there. It’s charming, isn’t it?

 

But I also new, it was the perfect kind of piece, to take the wrath of my experimental Annie Sloan endeavors. I couldn’t imagine I could possibly ruin it, really.  Could I?  My challenge was, what color should I paint it? Because  I actually really liked the color it was, already. And I knew A.S. (Annie Sloan) had a color called Versailles, that is like a tannish-green, of sorts? Pretty similar to this. But if I was going to paint it, I wanted it to be look different enough in the end, to be worth the work!  So as much as I loved the color it was, I was going to veer in another direction.

 

I can’t tell you how pleased I was to learn, that every little piece of window framework, and even the door, came off!  Gosh, how could I possibly screw this up, right? The way I saw it, I’d hardly even need any brush control, now.  This was going to be a breeze.

 

Because I had intentions of seriously sanding and distressing the piece when I was done, to make it look somewhat old and weathered,  I felt like I needed to paint a new color, under the top new color. So I painted the entire house Paris Grey first.

 

As well as the entire stand.

Then it was time, to really get down to the fun parts.  And because of that, I completely got lost in my own world. Completely. If you know me, you know, that once I get into my creative projects, I’m in a zone of my own. Time FA-LIES.  I feel so much joy inside as I work, being creative, and frankly, I’m oblivious to much else going on around me, or what else I should be doing.

Like….taking photos as I go.  I mean, the project was over the course of a few days, because I have lots of responsibilities and priorities, with my family, that need tending to. But I was right back to my project, every-chance-I-got.  Like…”Let me back at it!”.  I was also pretty much a mess while I was doing it too, so touching my camera was really not in the forefront of my mind. Still, I will tell you all about my process to the final piece.

Ready to see a little transformation?

For the body of the house, I went with the Annie Sloan paint color Province, which I think is so beautiful. Even in the can. I was a little concerned that it would clash with the greens of the outdoors. And yet, I wanted it to stand out too. In the the end, I was just dying to paint with this color. So it’s what I went with.  All of the window trims, house trim, and roof, was painted in Annie’s Old White.  As was the stand.  I did use 2 coats, because I knew I’d be sanding like the dickens, and I really wanted some contrast there. So once it was all painted and dry (it dries super fast, which is a good thing for impatient me), I waxed the whole thing with the Clear Wax, doing the little pieces individually, and put it all back together. The wax took some getting used to, to work with. There’s a ‘good time’ to wipe it down, after applying, when it’s no longer wet, and not too dry either. But just touching it, I got a feel for it quickly. After the clear wax coating, I sanded the dickens out of it with 100 grit sandpaper, really attacking the edges of pieces, and even the downward strokes on the roof and house walls.

Then, I applied the dark wax, and when ready, rubbed it in or off where I wanted. The dark wax is messy stuff. But FUN!!

Waxing and sanding, is not a glamorous job. I was a HOT MESS, while working at this point. It was hot and humid out anyway, so I was sweating, putting out such physical labors. The sanding of this piece was a messy job, that I decided needed to be done on the deck, from the paint dust.  The wax has a wicked strong odor too, as some mediums do, but I did that in my sunroom where the whole project was, with all of the (surround) windows open.  So imagine me: trickling sweat, hair stuck to my head, paint dust stuck to me everywhere, hands and nails a wreck with paint and wax, and possibly stinkin’.  But having the freakin’ time of my life!!

This is what I love, about creativity.  It’s contagious!!  Just look at the hot mess on this table, that looked just like this for days. But I’m NOT the only one who made it!!  The ‘other’ kids helped! Once one in our family starts getting creative doing one thing or another, someone else gets a hankering to do something of their own too, and so another does, and so on. We had coloring, painting, and even wood burning going on here in this room! Thank goodness we have other places to eat dinner together in the house. Because this was the sight in this one for a good 3 days.

But the birdhouse was not done. Did you notice the pink paint around in a couple of photos up?  ; )  All along, if I was going to paint my house Province, I envisioned tiny painted pink roses, and little green vines and leaves on it. I’d use acrylic paints for this part. Not Annie Sloan.  The problem was, I had never painted little flowers in this kind of paint before. I’ve been more of a watercolorist.

But….there is always my very best friend to turn to:  GOOGLE!  I was sure I could search up some quick how-to videos and get myself a quick lesson or 2. And so I did.  Then I squirted some pinks, greens and white plops of paint on a coated paper plate, got out some brushes, practiced a few roses on the plate, and then just winged it!!   With a pencil, I lightly traced the door and attic window on the house (for placement) and then removed them (to put back on after painting the roses & vinery), and then….I went ahead and painted the roses and vinery right on the house.  (This is huge for me, People! I don’t spontaneously wing things like this, with no real experience. Because I’m a serious perfectionist! Normally, I would want 100% confidence first because, this wasn’t going to come off the chalk paint!  But, because I am also working on this need-for-perfectionism-part of me, I challenged myself to do it anyway. Fearing….I came so far with loving my birdhouse, only to possible ruin it in a moment. Yikes! But that’s the assignment, you know? Looking fear dead in the eyes, and saying,

“You won’t take me down!! I won’t LET you!”

 

And there she was.  All done. I felt like I won.

Once the acrylic dried, I did rub some clear wax over the flowers and vines, just for protection.

 

I really, really, really loved the original door. Especially that rusty nail door knob!  So I really did not want to mess with it much. All I did with it, was give it an Old White wash (part water), let it dry, clear waxed it, distressed it good, and then used some dark wax on it too.

In the end, I distessed it so much that in parts, I went right down to the original wood.  So again, the whole process was:

1) Undercoat of paint. 2) Painting of top coat. 3) Clear wax application and rubbing in or off. 4) Distressing. 5) Dark wax.

And for this project, the added steps of the acrylic floral painting and clear waxing.

 

I could not wait, to put her outside, back under the apple tree.

 

I love the whole piece. But the door is still my favorite feature.

Do you forget what it used to look like?

With any kind of refinishing projects, I personally just love to see the side-by-side “Before & Afters”, so I’ve got one for you, with this project….

 

I loved it before. And thankfully, I still love it.

What do YOU think?  Would you have left it alone? Or do you like my refinish?  I’d love to know your preference. You won’t hurt my feelings much. ; )

The important thing is two-fold:

1) I got a really good feel for this paint, and waxes, and a certain new (healthy!) addiction.

And 2) I have to tell you, every time I have caught glance of it over there, it has still made me smile, and bubble up joy inside me.

I just love to see it standing there. It’s charming, isn’t it?

I’m telling you. If some little birds don’t move in to this sweet little pad, I just might!

******



 

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Comments

  1. Kristin K says:

    Super cute!!! Great job. You must have way more patience than you think. I think I am ready to move in!

    • Or more determined to bring to life the vision in my head! I think there is still vacancy, if you’re serious. What a great neighbor you would be. :)

  2. Nice birdhouse! And I get to see it every-single-day!!

  3. I love the intimate little details you added to the birdhouse! So adorable!
    I also love that you totally stocked up on Annie Sloan Chalk Paint can I ask where you purchased it through? Direct or supplier?! Thanks!

    Pamela @ pbjstories.blogspot.com

    • @Pamela, excellent question, and I’m so glad you asked because I meant to include that info.

      The short answer is from a supplier: Di Lucca Designs; Owner – Michelle Green: http://diluccadesign.com/

      Here’s my longer answer, with some perhaps helpful info:
      The original Anne Sloan site is apparently in England, I think. When I converted the pounds to dollars, it was quite a savings from any supplier, but I knew once the shipping was added it wouldn’t be. I also didn’t want to have to wait very long.

      By Googling, I found a supplier called Di Lucca Designs, and I cannot recommend this supplier enough! The owner’s name is Michelle Green. http://diluccadesign.com/ I had placed 2 different orders, and paid in 2 different ways. Michelle contacted me right after I place the order(s), to clarify a question she had. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated that, because *nothing much* is more aggravating to me, than being excited when a package shows up, and then finding it’s wrong. Add to that, the huge hassle of having to repackage it up, ship back, and have to wait again. So I thought Michelle rocked, to check with me, and then send my order right out. THEN….for the her own perceived notion of having to bother me with her question and our communications, she included a hand painted color chart! How sweet!….but it wasn’t a bother….but OK!! LOL.

      Di Lucca designs is in IL. I just knew it was in the states. I did find a closer supplier here in my own state of MA, when I researched who may have the new shade of Pure White. So I *may* try them next. But any issue at all, and I’ll be right back to Michelle.

      Best wishes in your own artistic endeavors, Pamela! I hope to see links to them on Twitter or my other methods of following others. Everyone else always inspire me so much. Please come around again.

  4. For those on the East Coast such as myself, here is the closer supplier that I have found:

    Massachusetts
    Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and the Islands
    Sea Rose Cottage
    Nancy Chace
    Bristol, Rhode Island
    Phone: 401-254-1166
    nan@searosecottage.com
    http://www.searosecottage.com

    I have not yet used this supplier above yet. If/when I do, I will come back here and edit this. It’s just a supplier to consider/try if you are closer to them as I am. I assume customer service will be great with any service/supplier, until I experience otherwise.

  5. So cute, I love birdhouses. I am a new follower.

  6. My husband said you need to stop dong all these cute projects because our checkbook can’t handle them anymore. LOVE THIS!!!

  7. I found you through TCB’s Get Your Craft On…your birdhouse is marvelous! The little flower detail really is the perfect highlight.
    It would be neat if you had a pot of climbing roses or sweet peas below the birdhouse to twirl up the post…or maybe you could paint that on…? :)
    Thanks for the paint and supplier info too. Will explore more of your site…cheers!

    • @Nik, thank you so much, and I’m glad you found us.

      Your suggestion WOULD be neat! I think I’m done painting on that piece, but I am ALL OVER the idea of climbing Sweet Peas from a pot! I think I’ll do that come next May! Thanks for sharing that idea! Hope you come by again sometime. : )

  8. That is definitely one adorable bird house for some lucky bird. I love it!

  9. I love what you did…
    It came out great!

    ~ Meredith From A Mother Seeking

    A Mother Seeking…

    This week, “When Life Hands You Lemons…”

  10. This is simply exquisite!! Love it!

  11. Beautiful job LLR!! So, you selling these? LOL xoxo

  12. I absolutely LOVE this! And I cannot believe you “winged it” with those roses. Wow. Wow. You are so talented! Seriously, can I just come and hang out with you for a week? ;) I also love birdhouses, so it was fun to read about this project!

  13. I LOVE this little house!! How cute and your painting is beautiful! Love the little flowers and vines! I missed this post!

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