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