Thursday, December 5, 2013

Advanced Paint Effects - Aged Patina the Annie Sloan way

If I ran furniture painting workshops or should I say when I run as no doubt it will happen one day, one of the techniques I would teach people as part of an advanced class is how to do what I call a "Restoration Hardware" finish. Or perhaps you could call it "Wisteria" finish as they also do it so well. 

Annie Sloan calls it a distressed finish although it's not distressing as you would normally think of it.

Color Recipes by Annie Sloan; photo by Christopher Drake

 A dragged two layered paint effect that is beautiful and has an aged patina.

There are several (probably many) ways to achieve this look but Annie Sloan has a fantastic and easy way. I have done this on several pieces now and am always happy with how they turn out.  I gave this little side table a similar paint treatment but I was more subtle with my brush strokes (than Annie Sloan has been on the above piece) for a finer look. 

My table started out a little worse for wear. The varnish was quote crazed and so I gave it a light sand but thought that the ageing would work to my advantage anyway so didn't strip it. For pieces like these it's always good to start painting upside down so you don't miss any spots. I painted the whole piece in one coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint French Linen painting in the direction of the timber grain. The look is to mimic aged wood so you want your paint brush marks to follow the grain and not be cross-hatched.

 I then mixed equal parts of Paris Grey and Old White. I probably mixed a tablespoon of paint of each. I then added some water to make the paint flow easily. It probably was a little over a tablespoon of water but I wasn't measuring exactly. You can decide for your self how runny you want the paint to be and what works for the look you are wanting.You will not need much. Do this step of mixing the paint before you wax as the wax needs to be tacky while you apply the paint mix.

Once the French Linen paint was dry, I started waxing with Annie Sloan Clear Wax.  It is important to work in small defined areas and to work quickly. Wax an area and then brush on your pale grey paint wash with a flat brush. Wipe off the paint in long wipes with a clean rag to achieve the distressed aged timber effect.

Work in small areas QUICKLY with a clean rag for each wipe pass until your piece is looking how you want it to. Your aim is to wipe the paint over a greater area than you painted it.

I then waited a day for the piece to fully dry and I sanded and gave my piece another coat of wax. I was really gentle with the final wax coat as I didn't want to lift the distressed paint layer.

It's a subtle look on this piece but the piece sold extremely quickly so it obviously worked!

This way of achieving this look is easier than dry brushing as the wax allows a great control and longer working time than just applying the paler paint on the first coat of paint.

So if I hold furniture painting classes in 2014, who's signing up?

Fiona xx

Sorry for the terrible photos. I painted this last week with all the hassle after the lightning strike and was too rushed, too busy to spend time getting good photos - sorry!


  1. Such a dear little table and love how you've explained how to get the look. thanks. I hope things are going well for you Fiona. You look very busy currently. Hannah x

  2. your table looks fabulous! and hello that armoire.... it needs me. it told me in a whisper.

  3. I would sign up for your class, Fiona. I live in Melbourne but Sydney's not that far. I am just about to start my first attempt with Annie Sloan paint this weekend and I'm nervous ;-). Thanks for your tutorials on this site - you are very generous with your knowledge. Karen

  4. Sign me up, I love the table, although I may need to do the beginners course first!

  5. Well I shouldn't have to say it but I will be there with bells on-love dee x about time

  6. Ha! How you tease us Americans who live on the other side of the globe of painting classes with Fiona! Or maybe you could set up a webcam so we could all join, even though it would be remotely! :) Just thinking creatively here...what can I say? :)

  7. I will definitely be signing up!

  8. I'm signing up from Melbourne too!


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