Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Mirror Re-do
You may have seen Annie Sloan(R) Chalk Paint for sale in boutique-y antique or hobby stores. Annie Sloan, according to her website, is no slouch. She’s a university trained artist who painted commissioned murals in homes in the 70s, had her first decorative painting book published by 1987, and developed “chalk” paint in 1990. She called it chalk paint, not because it’s like chalkboard paint (an entirely different kettle of fish), but because of its flat, velvety finish. At the time, she had three sons under seven and needed paint that was quick and durable. Enter chalk paint.
We have a mirror I’ve had since the 70s. Octagonal, gold frame, beveled glass. It’s been a good mirror. I’ve used it in halls, over mantels, in bathrooms. Good size for many locations. It’s versatile.
It’s now dated and shabby. And not in a chic-y shabby way. Just stained and a tacky shabby. Like everything we’ve done the past year, I have no “before” pictures, although this will give you an idea of how it looked.
I picked up a quart of Annie Sloan paint in French Linen. I also picked up a small jar of white— to lighten the finish a bit, if needed. She has over 30 colors that are excellent straight from the can or mixed to create new colors. There are two wax colors available: dark and clear. I chose the dark.
When you read through her site, you’ll see she has various products for different finishes and uses. Her original chalk paint and soft wax was what I needed. She has brushes, sponges, and all sorts of tools to help you accomplish your task. They, like her paint, are quite pricey.
This quart costs about $39. The little jar in the middle costs $13. The wax is $28. Her stockists (aka sales reps) swear it covers as much as a gallon. There was a 6′ x 4′ bookcase in the shop they said they’d painted with one quart of her paint. My mirror is about 2′ x 3′.
I will say, now that I’m finished, the remaining quantity of paint in my quart looks about like it did when it was first opened.
I didn’t buy any paint brushes for my one little project. If I were doing an entire kitchen of cabinets? I don’t know. My cheap little brushes and left-over t-shirts worked well.
This was an easy project. We had a ton of work left to do on the house, lots of company was expected in a couple of weeks, and I needed to refinish this mirror fast.
Basically, you paint, then wax. End of effort.
Her website and the stockist at the little shop where I bought her paint said there’s no surface prep, just paint away. I thought I should do a little. In my mind, I think the surface should be free of toothpaste splatters or grease. This mirror had been through a lot. I lightly sanded, blew off the dust, and wiped down with a damp rag. This took all of 5 minutes.
I taped off the mirror glass before painting. If you look back at my Sea Shell mirror, you’ll remember I had to start over because I scratched the first mirror cleaning up the paint splatterings. Lesson learned.
I gave the full mirror a single coat. Let it dry about 20 minutes. Repainted several spots that bled through. Waited 20 more minutes. Repainted a few places again. I don’t think this was any fault of Annie Sloan’s.
My frame surface was not smooth. It has a shell-type border and lightly carved filigree designs etched into the flatter portions of the frame. I hadn’t sanded those completed away, so the indentations showed through the paint. I added more paint to make them less obvious.
These two pics are of the finished frame. I painted over some of the molding with the white paint after the French Linen (which is a nice gray) had dried, but realized that using the dark wax was going to cover up the white and you would never know it was there. No point wasting paint that costs $160 a gallon.
If you tilt your computer screen to adjust the light on these pictures, you can see the scroll-type indentations showing through the paint. They’re minor and I doubt anyone will ever notice, but if I were doing this for a client, I’d make sure they were sanded or puttied over.
I let it dry after the last touch-up over night. I don’t think that would have been necessary, if I’d started earlier in the day.
I chose the dark wax. It chocolaty and thick. I wiped it on with one rag, then wiped off the excess with another, clean one. Don’t cover a large area, then go back and wipe it off. It doesn’t dry on contact, but you want a smooth, continuous finish.
You can see where I used some of the white paint, but it wasn’t making much difference, so it’s only on this rope-shaped molding. I don’t mind the cracks in the paint. There aren’t many and they give it character. They’re from me globbing on the paint too thickly over those indentations. This paint performs beautifully.
Here is how it looks now:
This is a tiny bathroom, with no other light than over the sink and no window. It fits in this little alcove perfectly.
But, best of all, it is still a versatile mirror. It would go nicely anywhere.
Just an aside: Those two baskets on the wall are drawers I mounted to hold towels since storage space is limited. They came from Home Depot, but the Container Store also has them.
Until next time. Be sweet.