For the Shabby Chic French look use Chalk Paint® the only paint for painted furniture. The exciting thing about the French Look is that there is not just one look but at least six distinct design styles.
This is partly because France is so big it encompasses the warm Mediterranean villas in the south as well as the cosy cottages of the north.
It has long been a nation with a strong rural economy and out of this has grown a robust rustic decorative style. In strong contrast to this is the grand and highly influential chateau style that developed out of the powerful aristocrats and royal family in the eighteenth century.
And then we have Paris. The 20th century saw Paris flower creating an exciting and bohemian art scene introducing to us new colour combinations and designs. On the other side of town the haute couture fashion world develped a cool elegant chic.
Whatever look you decide on heres some useful tips and techniques that weve discovered that will really help you to transform your furniture into outstanding pieces. If have the opportunity you can attend one of our workshops where these techniques and many more are explained and you get to try them.
- Apply two coats* of Chalk Paint® painting with a big brush in all directions, then wax with clear wax using a big brush or a cloth. Work one side at a time and then use some fine or medium sandpaper to take off a little of the paint to reveal whats underneath. Re-wax and then give it a bit of a polish the next day. Refresh every now and again with some more wax when needed. To clean use a proprietary spray cleaner.
- Two coats of either the same or different colours. If different then make the first coat thicker and less even and the second coat smoother and thinner. Then sand with fine or medium sandpaper (100 grade) after waxing to bring some of the background colour through.
- Painting with our paint should always be a pleasure. If its feeling like hard work then maybe the paint is too thick, add some water to make the paint flow easily.
- Are you working with a small brush? Switch to a bigger one to get the job done quickly.
- If it is hard work rubbing back with the sandpaper then use a coarser sand paper but next time paint a thinner top coat.
- Dont like the piece you are painting? Each piece of furniture, especially old pieces respond in their own unique way to the paint.
- Perhaps you had a very strong idea of the finished result? You may need to adapt that initial image.
And don't forget we stock Annie's books "Colour Recipes for Painted Furniture and More", "Quick and Easy Paint Transformations" and "Creating the French Look" pubished by Cico Books which will inspire you with step by step instructions for fabulous projects using Annie's Paint and Fabrics!
Tips & Techniques by Sweet Pea & Betty
Photo courtesy of Christopher Drake