RE­FRESH YOUR FUR­NI­TURE

To­tally trans­form a sim­ple ta­ble and chair with two projects from dec­o­ra­tive paint ex­pert An­nie Sloan.

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Paint tech­niques for a ta­ble and chair.

OM­BRE COF­FEE TA­BLE

WHEN PLAN­NING TO REPAINT this fairly fea­ture­less lit­tle ta­ble, I thought I would draw at­ten­tion to the legs, which are sweetly pointy.

The grad­ual blend­ing of colours on pieces of fur­ni­ture seems to be a cross­over idea from the world of fash­ion, where hair or clothes are dipped into a dye to change their colour. Fur­ni­ture painted in this way is some­times also called om­bré (which means “shaded” in French) or dipped. The legs of the piece are usu­ally treated in this way, since they lend them­selves eas­ily to the tech­nique.

The colours should merge seam­lessly – I chose two colours near each other on the colour wheel so they’d look good when blended. Many peo­ple opt for a colour with white, so the colour made in be­tween is a pas­tel. A less suc­cess­ful colour com­bi­na­tion would be, say, blue and yel­low, as there’d be a dis­tract­ing band of green in be­tween.

YOU WILL NEED 2 medium oval bris­tle brushes; Chalk Paint in Am­s­ter­dam Green, Provence and Old White; large wax brush; clear wax; clean and dry lint-free cloths

ONE Use an oval bris­tle brush to paint the lower half of the ta­ble legs with Am­s­ter­dam Green.

TWO Use the other brush to paint the other half of the legs with Provence.

THREE Blend the two colours where they meet in the mid­dle of the ta­ble legs to cre­ate a mid-tone. Stroke very gen­tly and, if any­thing dries, al­ter­nate the brushes with the two colours.

FOUR Paint the ta­ble top in Provence and wait un­til the paint is al­most dry be­fore you blend. I added some Old White to lighten the table­top and cre­ate a cloudy ef­fect. Once dry, use the wax brush to ap­ply clear wax to the ta­ble. Re­move ex­cess wax with a clean cloth.

TRANS­FER IM­AGE CHAIR

THIS CHAIR ORIG­I­NALLY pre­sented as a slab of brown, un­in­ter­est­ing wood with a leatherette seat that had seen bet­ter days. But the large ex­panse of wood that forms the back of the chair pro­vided a space to make a big de­sign state­ment.

My son Felix cre­ated an ab­stract de­sign for me us­ing a com­puter de­sign pro­gram. The im­age was large enough to cover the chair panel, but had to be printed in two halves on smaller sheets, which were then joined to­gether. I wanted the im­age to be slightly larger than the panel, so it would not re­quire any cut­ting down to size. If you cre­ated a smaller im­age, then you would need to cut out the white bor­der around it.

Paint­ing the chair in Greek Blue and adding one large im­age to the back has brought out its de­sign po­ten­tial. I love how it has turned out! It’s been trans­formed and now I want more like this one!

YOU WILL NEED Small flat brush; Chalk Paint in Old White and Greek Blue; sand­pa­per (op­tional); pen­cil; im­age to trans­fer (printed on or­di­nary com­puter printer pa­per); scis­sors (op­tional); An­nie Sloan Dé­coupage Glue and Var­nish; clean and dry lint-free cloths; large flat brush; small wax brush; clear wax

ONE Use the small flat brush to paint the back of the chair in Old White, mak­ing sure your paint is smooth with no brush marks. Sand lightly if nec­es­sary. Mark the cen­tre of the chair so you’ll know where to put each of the de­sign sheets.

TWO Place the first of the two trans­fer im­ages the right way up (with the im­age up­per­most) and cover it with dé­coupage glue. Take care not to get any of the glue on the re­verse.

THREE Po­si­tion the im­age, pic­ture side fac­ing down, on the chair panel, with the edge of the sheet po­si­tioned along the cen­tre line. Re­peat step two with the other trans­fer im­age sheet to cover the rest of the panel. Let dry overnight.

FOUR To re­move the trans­fers, ap­ply wa­ter all over the pa­per with your fin­gers and re­move the top layer by push­ing your index fin­ger for­ward, so gen­tly eas­ing off the pa­per. Take care not to work one area too much or you will break the im­age and go through to the paint­work un­der­neath. Keep wetting your hands as you go along. Use a cloth to help you re­move the pa­per. Let dry.

You will find that some ar­eas are still very white with pa­per, so re-dampen and re­move these.

FIVE The im­age will still not be very clear, but the ap­pli­ca­tion of clear wax will re­veal the de­sign. First, use the large flat brush to paint the rest of the chair in Greek Blue. Then use the wax brush to ap­ply clear wax over the im­age and the chair. Re­move ex­cess wax with a clean cloth.

“Paint­ing the chair and adding one large im­age brought out its po­ten­tial.”

Dou­ble dipped This easy paint­ing tech­nique has an im­pres­sive ef­fect. 1

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From drab to fab Find a set of cheap sec­ond-hand chairs and give them all a brand new look. For more in­spo Edited ex­tract from An­nie Sloan Paints Ev­ery­thing,

(Hardie Grant, $39.99) TIP 5

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