Hi I’m Gill,I run Giddy Goat Hand Painted Furniture and I have a confession to make….. well two actually… possibly more than two but two relevant ones anyway!
Firstly yes the ‘Giddy Goat’ bit does refer to me, as I have been known to have the odd’ blonde moment’ (and no, dying my hair red hasn’t made a difference…darn!) but I also have to admit to having a bit of an obsession with rummaging around and searching out unloved and forgotten pieces of furniture that have spent many years languishing in the back of a garage.
I simply can’t wait to rescue, dust off and decide how to paint these little treasures ‘tactically’ to bring out their best features, as I know they can look sooo good!! I have fun choosing which colours would suit them best and I love to think of them living on as a treasured piece of furniture in a new home for many years to come.
Now I’d like to inspire (recruit) you to rummage in your garage or shed for a neglected piece that deserves a second chance at pride of place in your home. The more of us out there on our furniture restoring crusade the better!
So that you get quicker results (let’s face we can all be a bit impatient at times!), I suggest you start on a smallish piece of furniture. It’s far more encouraging to transform a chair in a day, than starting on Great Aunt Mary’s old dresser, which will be a bit of a mammoth task quite frankly!
Hello, are you still here or have you gone for a rummage? ……..Ah good your back!
Now you’ve selected your target I suggest you take before and after pics of your work, so you will really see the difference, as changes happen gradually and you often forget how a piece started out. Plus when you’re showing off your newest accomplishment to your friends and family saying, ‘I did that!’ they’ll be soooo impressed!
I suggest if you want to avoid hours of strenuous sanding and preparation, (and let’s face it who doesn’t?) that you select a user friendly paint such as Annie Sloan’s chalk paint, which generally requires less prep work provided the surface you are painting is not loose or flaky.
If the surface has a very shiny varnish, a light sanding will help the paint to grip, (I know I said no sanding but it’ll be worth it for a perfect result!)
Occasionally you may have a problem with a knot in the wood or previously applied wood stain that may bleed through but this can be prevented with a sealer/primer (but I don’t want to put you off before you even start!). Waxed or varnished solid pine is usually a safe bet. So with nothing more than a quick clean and maybe a light sand, you can get straight to the fun bit, SHOPPING!
We all like a bit of retail therapy and you can justify it as saving money when you consider the price of brand new furniture, sneaky eh?!
Annie Sloan paints come in a range of colours and can usually be bought locally but if not there are several mail order suppliers. As well as your paint you will also need a tin of Annie Sloan’s clear wax, as this seals the paint for a durable finish. You will also need a good quality largish brush and another brush or cotton cloth to apply the wax.
Once you have your paint, most colours only need a couple of coats to cover and as the paints dry so quickly it won’t take long before you have a finished piece, (yay!)
Your colour choice will depend on your own personal preference and the colour scheme in the room where your piece of furniture will live. If the colours available don’t quite fit the bill then it is possible to mix Annie Sloan paints with each other! You do however need to be accurate and keep a record of what you mix, (I know, boring!) but if you don’t mix enough paint for a project you might never be able to get the same colour again and that really is a pain. So by measuring and mixing white with a colour you will get a paler version and then it’s just a matter of experimenting until you get it right.
So now you’ve selected your chosen colour, take your piece of furniture and if it’s a chair or a small table, turn it upside down and start painting underneath first. This way you won’t miss any bits! There’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve finished only to spy a bare bit! Use your brush to apply the paint but don’t over brush it or the paint will gunge up on you. If you find the paint’s a bit thick you can always add a small splash of water to loosen it and make it easier to brush, this will give you a smoother finish.
If you accidentally add more than a small splash (butter fingers) and over thin it don’t panic or curse (heaven forbid!), simply leave it in an open dish for an hour or so to dry out a bit.
Alternatively you can get a layered paint look by purposefully brushing it on thickly but you will need to allow it longer to dry. You can also get a ‘crackle’ effect with a hairdryer on thick paint but that’s a lesson for another time!
Once the paint is fully dry (patience!) and you have applied enough coats to cover completely, brush on a thin layer of Annie Sloan’s clear wax to seal the paint and make it durable. Once dry this can then be buffed to give it a beautiful sheen. If your piece of furniture will see a lot of wear and tear a couple of coats of wax will be best but thin layers are better than one thick layer which will just go sticky and you don’t want to go there!
You can also experiment with the dark wax for an aged look but make sure you apply this over a newly applied layer of clear wax or it will ‘grab’ the paint too much and you won’t be able to wipe away any excess.
Once you’ve finished, just stand back and admire, oh and take a few photos of course!
If you wish to put items on top of a painted table top, try to exercise a modicum of patience and allow a few days for wax to harden fully. Don’t spoil all you hard work now! (What… no, I’ve never done that!) These days I prefer to sand back and oil solid wood tops as I like the contrast with the painted areas and they are more stain resistant. Who says I don’t learn from my mistakes?!
So, I hope that this has inspired you to have a go at your very own rescue mission and if you need any more advice I’m always here and I’ll be happy to help!
Psst! (In a whispered voice)’ If you want to cheat then you can always have a look at my painted furniture for sale on Ebay or on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/giddygoathandpaintedfurniture or I’d be happy to quote you for a makeover on any furniture you already have. No one needs to know, wink wink, nudge nudge!’
All the best ‘til next time. Gill xx (Mrs Giddy Goat)