Getting to know Annie Sloan

Before I dive in, I just need to say this - even the Annie Sloan paint cans are beautiful.  Don't you feel more sophisticated and classy just looking at them?

So if you follow DIY blog world at all - especially any kind of decorating blogs - you've seen Annie Sloan pop up allovertheplace.  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is everywhere.  It's basically touted as the best paint for redoing furniture because it's just about fool proof, easy to use, and you don't have to prime or sand because it sticks to virtually everything.

I have been reading about Annie Sloan for months now, but with all the praises for this paint there were a lot of people who found it difficult to use at first.  Some said it took some getting used to, some had big fat fails with it that needed interventions - so I was hesitant to work with it.  Well, that and the hefty price tag.  This stuff is no joke, peeps.  You're going to shell out $36 for the paint and then another $26 for the wax. I'M JUST KEEPING IT REAL, YO.  It's EXPENSIVE.  And it's not like you can run to the local Home Depot and pick it up.  No, Annie Sloan is carried by exclusive ASCP STOCKISTS - or you can order it online.

Somehow I stumbled across some information about a place 10 minutes from my house that happened to carry ASCP - and since this place was also an antique mall, I decided I was going to go check it out and see what happened.  Beckett and I spent a couple hours roaming around, picked up a few small items and then found the aisle o'Annie.  There they were - cans upon beautiful cans of paint and wax, displayed on beautiful pieces of furniture that were done with the chalk paint.  Before I knew it, they had found their way into my stroller and we were marching to the register before I could change my mind.

I already knew the piece I wanted to use this paint on.  Last week, Jamie & I took the kids to Cline's Antiques in Mt. Pleasant, NC.  Honestly, this place needs an entire blog post in and of itself - it's insanity times eleventy but amidst piles and piles of junk you can find a few really great treasures.

This, my friends is my $10 end table.  And I know what you're thinking - you're thinking, 'that table is cute!  It needs no redecoration or repainting!' and you'd be mostly right - but the top of the table is actually pretty stained up, which was impossible for me to capture in a photograph, even though I tried.  So, just trust me on this.  Plus, I'm over my white furniture phase, and am ready for some color.

Before I got to work though, I read blog after blog after blog about Annie Sloan.  There are tons of blogs out there with tutorials, videos and tips.  You can find some at Southern Hospitality.

Once I felt overwhelmed sufficiently educated, I was ready to get going.  I gathered my supplies and headed to the garage.  (Side note: You can buy a special ASCP paint brush, which will run you like another $30.  Or, you can be like me and decide enough is enough and head to Home Depot for a paint brush.  I did read that the ASCP paint brushes were pure bristle brushes, and I found some by Purdy for $10.  I was feeling really sneaky and pretty darn good about my frugal ways until I discovered several other bloggers also recommend Purdy brushes.  Ah, well...)

I opened up my can and stirred it up a bit, although it didn't really seem to need it.

And then, I took a deep breath and got to work.  This paint goes on really easily and dries very quickly.  Basically by the time you finish the first coat, you can start on coat number 2.  The other thing I LOVED about it was that it's not runny or gloppy.  I had NO drips - it stays where you brush it, and doesn't run down or pool around small detailed areas.  

It took 2 coats to cover my piece the way I wanted it to be covered and then I ran errands for a few hours and let it dry completely.  When I got back, it was time for the waxing.  I used a soft, white cloth and applied a thin layer of wax all over the furniture.  You don't want a heavy layer of it, just put it on light and slowly and rub it into the paint.  Then you'll rub off any excess wax with your cloth.  (PS, yes ASCP also makes special wax brushes but my cloth worked just fine).  Don't be alarmed that some paint will come off onto the rag, it just adds to the whole hand painted/distressed look.  

After your first coat of wax, you can take a fine grit sandpaper to add a distressed look to the piece if you want to.

When you have the piece distressed like you want it, go over it again with another coat of wax.  I used Annie's clear wax, and she also has a dark wax.  Again, use a light coat, rub it into the furniture and buff off excess with your rag.

You'll want to let the wax dry overnight - and then you'll buff it one last time with a dry, lint free rag.  It shouldn't feel tacky, but dry and smooth.  I replaced the drawer knob with one of these fun, vintage looking knobs I got from Mindy Mae's Market

And that's it!  Honestly, I found both the paint and the wax really easy to work with.  I absolutely adore not having to prime or sand my furniture first.  And I have a ton of it left over, so it looks like the paint will last me awhile and I can complete several projects with it.  This project was so much easier than my gossip bench redo.

I will definitely, definitely use this paint again!

How about you?  Have you tried ASCP yet?  

And, don't forget to enter our giveaway from The Posh Daisy!