Last week I was lucky to accept invitation to visit Painting Master Class by Sarah and Michel from Inspiring Interiors (Portlaoise fabric store). It was very interesting experience and would love to share it with you!
 
Every so often I have a deal with painting furniture, mostly encouraging my Clients to reuse old furniture if it has dated look but still in a good condition (not damaged). You will be surprised to see how easily nice paint does transformation. I usually recommend Rust-Oleum Furniture paint. It has fine quality, easy to apply and gives nice contemporary finish.
 
Therefore, my expectation from painting Master class was to see something different, more vintage and traditional.
 
You should know that Inspiring Interiors is official stockist of Annie Sloan paint.
 

I’ve never used this brand before but was curious to test it as I heard a lot of good about it from different people. The most attractive fact is paint collection has a wide colour range!
Impressive, isn’t it?!
 

Here we Start! And before to take brushes we’ve been shown different painted furniture pieces with various finish, such as chalk matt, lacquered and even clear and dark waxed surfaces.
 

Did you know that you can apply paint on any surface: wood (be careful with teak as it’s too oily), plastic, metal and even glass!
 

It was quiet inspiring, especially for people, who came to learn how to paint own furniture.
 
Now we all get opportunity to have a fun with paint!
 

It wasn’t as messy as I expected. Paint wasn’t drippy at all and has a good coverage even with a single coat. There is another great advantage that there is no need sanding before painting and you can use simple roller for larger surfaces.
 
During master class we had two wooden boards to try different techniques.
 

1st BOARD was divided on two parts:
 
First part we painted with a colour to be a base for decoupage.
 

If you aren’t familiar with this technique, here are 5 simple steps to success:
 
#1 Print and cut out picture or use pattern from napkin
 
#2 Apply decoupage on whole surface using brush
 

#3 Gently place picture
 

TIP: Don’t put picture flat at once. Start with one edge, then roll down and make sure there is no bubbles.
 
#4 If your picture is black and white, use tip of your finger to colour them in or at least add small accents.
 
#5 Apply second coat of decoupage.
 
#6 Let it dry!
 
It is fun and as easy as it sounds!
 
2nd half of board, we paint it using swirly bush movements to receive more antique look. When it is dry, we use stencils to add pattern.
 
This time we take several colours to make it multi-coloured for volume. What do you think? Not 100% perfect but absolutely worthy!
 

Here are more of successful looks from the class:
 

2nd BOARD divide on three parts. Now it is Cracking time!
 
Sarah and Michel showed us 2 ways how to achieve cracking paint effect:
 
#1 Apply VERY thick layer of paint! More is better!
 

Then we took hair-dryer and gave it a quick blow dry. It should give us deep and long cracks.
 

I was able to see them properly after applying dark wax.
 

#2 This time we use special Craqueleur, which guarantees that you get aged cracks.
 
First, apply Craqueleur Step 1 on prepared surface (our stencilled board).
 

Give it a quick blow-dry. For the finishing, we apply Craqueleur Step 2, blow-dry it again. While it is drying you will start to see many little cracks appear all over the surface.
 

As you can see each method works differently. Second way is more predictable. When in first case, result depends on your individual paint application and drying.

For the final 1/3 part of 2nd board, we tested technique distressing furniture with two colours in layers. It is very clever technique!

First, paint your surface with chosen colour (base). Let it dry fully. Then on top of first layer apply thin layer of second colour. Let it dry again.
 

Take medium sanding paper and sand some of top layer down. You will see how wooden grains shows up beautifully with base colour as a background.
 

To highlight grains, I use clear wax.
 

Fantastic smooth finish!
 
To protect painted furniture you can use lacquer, clear wax or dark wax.
 
It is very simple technique with lacquer finish using a regular paint brush.
 
For wax, you will need piece of cloth. Take some wax out of the jar and gently rub into the surface. For the best result, leave it over night and then wipe off excess with dry clean cloth.
Here you can see three lines with different shades, from left to the right: matt, clear wax, dark wax. It gives an idea how paint tone will be changed with different final finish.
 

I definitely recommend Annie Sloan paint for it’s great quality and easy application. And if you are a person, who likes colours then you will be glad to know that you can mix several colour paints by yourself!
 
We had only 3 hours class but if you are looking for more ideas, hunt for Annie Sloan’s books to find more unique techniques and pro tips.
 

It was productive evening with detailed overview of Annie Sloan products. We tested paints, tried different techniques and had a nice time in friendly and easy-going environment.
 
Be free to ask any questions, especially if you want to take a part in the future master class.
 
Alena C