Sunday, 30 September 2012

Questions Questions - Answers to the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ Questions Part 1

***Please note that we have closed comments regarding Chalk Paint. Carte Blanche are no longer stockists and the paint has changed in UK a little and we feel that we can no longer comment accurately about its performance as we could in the past. We hope that the article and comments below are useful but for technical advice we would suggest contacting your local supplier or speaking to Oxford - Annie Sloan Head Quarters***

 I get a lot of emails asking me questions about the application of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™

And when I check my website statistics I see a lot of times that people are searching  for “Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ how to use?” or “Annie Sloan paint tips” and lots of other similar questions and I thought....."but it is so easy, why would you even ask?". But I am thinking that maybe we need to do a bit more to help folks so I put all the questions I could see were asked over and over and I answered them here ...I hope I have covered most of them and if you have more....just shout and lets see if we can answer them in the comments.
These responses and answers are drawn from my own experience and are my opinions and I am always interested if people can add more from their own experience so if you have more info please feel free to comment

  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paintprime before? - No. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ will go over most surfaces without the need for a primer - varnished, waxed, prepainted, french polished surfaces are all fine...concrete, masonry, brick and most metals. Those surfaces that might need some extra help are few and far between....UPVC doesn't accept the paint easily, glass isn't great....but it will hold well for the likes of shop window display painting (not permanent).

  • Do I need two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™? - sometimes yes and sometimes no. Very often one coat will suffice but it depends on what you are painting and the look you are trying to achieve. Experiment is the a cheap length of skirting or go and scrounge some off-cuts of timber from a builder and just try it and see. It always says on hair dye products to test 24 hours before but how many of us do??? If you are brave enough to dye your hair without a test then probably painting furniture (which is not attached to your body) should be less daunting. Putting right a mistake with Chalk Paint™ is a lot easier than with hair dye so why not just see.
  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint best book? - my personal view is that the best book for really understanding the paint finishes is Quick and Easy Paint Transformations - by Annie Sloan which has 50 step by step transformations of mainly old furniture but includes some other surfaces - floors, metal, new furniture, a cement pot. It is a really good basic course in a book.

Quick and Easy Paint Transformations

  • How to apply Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™? - you can apply it with brush, roller or spray although I think the best way to apply for most projects is brush. It is so easy and quick to use a brush and by the time you have go the roller and tray or set up your spray rig you an have had half of it painted. We use low pile rollers if and when we do use then (not often) and to spray we use HVLP and thin 10-20% depending on the consistency of the varies, being an artisan paint

  • How much paint should you put on brush with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint? -  this depends on the type of brush you are using and the length of the bristles, if I was using an Annie Sloan brush like this one I would put a little more than is shown in this image

I would say add a bit more than this to your brush

  • Do I need to sand Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™? - it depends on the look you want, you can use sandpaper to sand through to colours or timber beneath the topcoat and this can be done after waxing or you can just even out texture or rub through the dark antiqued paint to show some highlights. You need to play with the paint to see all that it can do

  • How to even out Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ? - OK well this pops up regularly and I am never sure what people I have 3 answers here. To even out colour, if, for instance you have applied the paint in a patchy way and not realised it till the waxing phase, add a little of the paint to the wax and blend that onto the surface; to even out brush marks if you are not happy with texture there are 2 approaches - first is to apply a thick coat first and then a very light sand when dry, then thin the second coat and apply with a quality brush and don't overwork, lay off lightly and deftly for a brush mark free finish; second is to put 2 coats of paint on and sand with fine sandpaper (220/240 grit). Dry sanding is not to be gone at like a dervish it is not a forgiving way to work (better for the less experienced to wax first and then sand if they are distressing etc) but if you want a "baby's butt smooth" - sorry about the technical terms there - finish then it is a great way to achieve. Just go canny as they say in Scotland

  • Can I use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on floor tiles/can you paint tile with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint/Can you use Annie Sloan Soft Wax  - This has to be a matter of common sense. You can paint concrete floors and you can paint slate and marble so the paint will stick to some surfaces but how hard wearing it will be on floor tiles I do not know, it all depends on how good the adhesion has been and on the top coating. If you apply 3 coats of hard-wearing polyacrylic floor varnish then it should be OK providing you have got the adhesion but if it is a high traffic area or if you have a lot of friends with high healed shoes then it will just be as hard wearing as any normal floor paint. If the varnish is broken right through to the paint beneath and then washed heavily the paint will maintain the varnish and keep it sealed. On tiles again I would use a good dollop of common sense. If the tiles are going to come into a lot of wear then...maybe not the best product but if it is an area that wipe sensibly and not have to scrub at then why not give it a try. Superslick tiles may need a primer or some heavy etching, tiles in the shower are not suitable to be painted at all. Wax is fine for wall tiles (3 coats for high traffic areas like kitchens. Wax is not right for floors.

  •  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ on brick/ Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ on brick on masonry?- yes it is fine for both if the surface is sound

  • How long should Annie Sloan Chalk Paint dry before waxing? - this depends on atmospheric conditions and also on how thickly applied it is. It can be as little as 20 minutes or as long as 2 or 3 hours. Some people say to leave it overnight and I am not sure why as there is no technical reason why it should be left that long. The paint does calcify over time, so it will get harder but if you are waxing I can't see a reason to leave it any more than ...until it is dry. 

I have a part 2 to do and this will deal with waxing questions but meantime I will leave you with this really delightful tutorial from Annie which will help the beginner get to grips with what the paint can do 

Monday, 24 September 2012

Copper Bottomed? NO Copper Topped!

Metallics are the new most fashionable finish and they are a lot of fun. Probably the colour we have used least of so far is copper in metal leaf and I have no idea why....maybe just no-one had asked for it. Recently we found ourselves using buckets of copper and what a wonderful finish it is!! My favourite is this copper dome in one of Fasque's bathrooms

Copper dome
broken copper over hot pink
And what was it made us think to even offer this look? Well next door is the most fabulous restored copper bottom bathtub.

J. Bolding and Sons Bath beautifully restored

Tony O’Donnell, managing director of Kent based bath specialists Catchpole and Rye, was stunned when he was asked to restore a 19th Century copper bath from the A-listed Fasque House near Fettercairn, where four-time prime minister William Gladstone lived.
The bath was custom made by John Bolding & Sons Ltd. in London and even in the late 1800s would have been particularly rare.

Matching mantel
 Here's a mantel we matched in broken copper again but a tighter finish than the dome....easier to show you a close up

Close Up
A great fun finish that links the with the traditional.

You can read more about the work done on the bath here