Sunday, 17 March 2013

Questions Questions - Answers to the questions about Chalk Paint™ decorative paint by Annie Sloan Part 2

***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***

This is part 2 of a set of answers to questions that I see regularly coming up as search terms in my website statistics with regard to using Chalk Paint™. This set deal with waxing and although I have written an extensive piece about using the wax, here are a bunch of extra things that might I hope answer your queries and stop confusion. I hope I have covered everything 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.

Antibes Green antiqued with Annie Sloan Dark Wax

  • Can you put a sealer/another paint over wax and Annie Sloan Soft Wax? - No. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is the only paint product on the market that you can put over wax. And before you ask...even if you only put a little bit on?...NO. And again NO NO NO!!!! let me repeat - Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is the only paint product on the market that you can put over wax. And now please don't tell me you did it anyway and it seemed OK, because it will peel, scratch and other dull stuff. The answer is still NO

  • Can Annie Sloan Soft Wax be used over any paint? - possibly but with no guarantees, it is designed for the soft absorbancy of her own paint
  • Can I tint Annie Sloan Soft Wax? - yes you can, you can actually use the paint to tint

tinting the wax

  •   How long does Annie Sloan Soft Wax need to cure? - this is an odd question because drying and curing are 2 different things. If you are asking how long to leave it before buffing, I normally recommend waiting at least a few hours (vague or what eh?) If you are unsure I would say at least 4 hours. Easiest is to leave it overnight, grab some towelling or cheesecloth and buff. but if you are desperate to finish in the same day then leave it till it stops feeling sticky.

  • Can I paint over Annie Sloan Soft Wax/Annie Sloan Dark Wax? - yes you can with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™, see the first question.

  • Can I seal  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ with shellac so I don't use so much wax? - well, you could, but it is a bit of a silly idea. The wax was created by the manufacturer with the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ in mind as a flexible creative sealant and protector. If you paint shellac over the surface then it is sealed. It is sealed with a brittle rigid finish that has no flexibility in finish or style. Shellac doesn't like water much and will you could but for all the cost saving, I can't actually see the point.
  •  How soon after painting should I be waxing? - when you are sure the paint is dry. Dry time for the paint is variable depending on how humid it is and how much air flow you have where you are painting. Air flow helps speed drying in a warm dry atmosphere; humidity is not your friend if speed is on your mind....
  •  Do I need the wax brush - no you don't NEED it ......but you want it I know, it is a lovely tool and will aid your waxing over larger areas
  • What does Annie Sloan Clear Wax do? - it seals and protects, it is water repellent and strong and makes a good connection to the paint and it is a flexible creative material to work with that gives a soft attractive lustre that ages beautifully.
  • What does Annie Sloan Dark Wax do? - You use the dark wax to age and enhance any texture to your paintwork. You apply Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax first then apply apply Dark Soft Wax. Wipe off any excess, then use the Clear Soft Wax to take more off if you need to.
  • When you wax with Annie Sloan Dark Wax can you just do some areas?- yes, you can use it as much or as little as you want
  • Can you use Annie Sloan Soft Wax over cabinets - yes you can, 3 coats really good protection on kitchen cabinets. Here is what Annie says about it "Refresh every now and again with some more Soft Wax when its needed. Wipe over with a damp cloth to clean. Using a strong cleaner like Mr Muscle may be necessary for stubborn marks but it will remove some wax and the area will need rewaxing."
  •  How much buffing does Annie Sloan Soft Wax require - well, just enough LOL. The more you buff the higher the how shiny you want it?? high shine will dull over time but a wee buff will bring it back up....maybe refresh the wax every now and again.....just the same as you would with fine wooden furniture. Like it dull? well don't buff, or buff a bit and allow to dull over time.
  • How do you clean the wax off Annie Sloan Wax Brushes - if your brush is a dedicated wax brush then warm water and soap. If you use the same brush to paint as you do to wax then I would suggest you use a little white spirit to rinse the brush first and then warm water and soap
I hope these tips will help everyone with successful painting and waxing....more than anything Chalk Paint™ is designed to be fun and easy, if it feels difficult then think about changing how you do it...thin the paint maybe, use a brush to apply wax instead of a cloth, keep it simple and fun and please feel free to ask questions about the process here.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Tortoiseshell Bravura

I know it has been forever since I posted must have thought I had forgotten about you, but I hadn't. I am back and determined to post here more often as we have so many lovely things happening.
Here is a little job I did toward the end of last year that was just a sweet project and I have been meaning to write about it ever since.

It's a long time since I was asked to do a bravura finish. What is a bravura finish you ask, it is one of the rather over the top finishes popular in the 1980's tortoiseshell, malachite, lapis lazuli and other dramatic finishes. It was rather lovely to be invited to do a little tortoiseshell accent recently.
This little accent also had rather a lovely story behind it.

Faux Tortoishell, painted tortoiseshell, faux finish
Tortoiseshell accent
  The client is a theatre director in and had at one time worked at the Mermaid Theatre, sadly no longer here. He had been at that time writing for the theatre and was commissioned to co-write the story that became the musical "Cole" about Cole Porter first performed at the Mermaid. During his research he went to New York and had the opportunity to see Cole Porter's apartment at the Waldorf Astoria. which was designed by the wonderful and inimitable Billy Baldwin.

a momento of the theatre that is no longer there
Billy Baldwin designed a beautiful library for Cole Porter made from tubular brass floor-to-ceiling bookcase-étagères that were set against lacquered faux tortoiseshell walls and Alan adored it, always holding its memory as something he would like to pay tribute to in his own home.

Watercolor of the famous library with brass bookcases designed by Billy Baldwin for Cole Porter, painted by decorator Mark Hampton as seen in Hampton's 1992 book, Legendary Decorators of the Twentieth Century.

The return to Scotland and a new home to decorate gave him the perfect opportunity and so we set about adding a decorative accent, just to 2 small areas of the drawing room....just enough to give Billy his tribute.

The first stage of the process applied over an alarming yellow

Since the time of the Roman Empire Tortoiseshell has been considered a beautiful luxurious material and well into the 20th Century tortoiseshell was used to make elegant combs and brushes, jewellery boxes, and ornaments but tragically it was made from the Hawksbill Turtle shell and the exploitation of the turtle  for its shell decimated populations and this turtle is now an endangered species. Thankfully, in 1977 the tortoiseshell trade was finally prohibited and the production of new material is banned, although I believe that there is still an illegal trade in the material. So save turtles have painted tortoiseshell!!!

The natural material would normally be made up as a series of small pieces, and on certain projects I would consider painting it as if it was small pieces but decided in this instance that the flow would be spoiled.

A Burst of Baldwin
I think that bravura is back....I hope so!