New Projects from Old Things -Jan 9, 2019
Making old things (or newer ugly things) look better has become a passion for many people. Since Absolutely Fabulous began selling Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan nearly three years ago, everything that needs an update in my house is a paint target. In the countdown to Christmas a few weeks back, the small bathroom on the second floor started calling out to me. It said, “I’m dated, I’m too full of towel bars (five in a room measuring less than 6’x9’, with a shower stall), I’m dingy, you don’t like me”. All of these things are true so the pressure was on.
First, the walls. All the towels bars, hooks and rings were removed and holes patched. Then I painted over moody grey/blue with the same soft pink I used in the French Room (from the At Home With Cathy video series in 2018). Now the trim looked horrible so on went two coats of fresh white. Lovely. The bathroom was feeling much more inviting until the vanity started to whine. A pink countertop (yes, this house was built in the 50’s) over a plywood base painted beige was something to whine about. I intended on painting it Paris Grey, a lovely neutral in the Chalk Paint family but then I remembered a Monet print we had stored away during the move in 2017. It’s a reproduction (obviously!) with lovely blues, greens and mauves, with hints of pink and coral. It is the perfect print to hang in this pink bathroom.
Feeling as though I needed to echo the colours from the print somewhere in this tiny room, the vanity was the only thing left to paint. I pulled out my Chalk Paint colour sticks, and decided to try something a bit crazy. First, I painted the whole vanity, drawers, doors and base, with two coats of Duck Egg Blue. Once that was dry, I mixed up a wash of Giverny, a bright blue, and another of Emile, a soft mauve, and started to add some colour over the Duck Egg Blue. I kept a fan on the paint and was delighted to find that I got the watercolour washing effect I wanted. It took about an hour to wash, wait, wash again, wait and then touch up. The fan blew air over it the whole time so it dried quickly. Now the vanity has a similar background to the Monet print. I used Clear Wax over everything, put the hardware back on and slid the drawers into place.
The vanity is about 5 feet long, with three drawers and a set of doors under the sink. It took about 4 hours from start to finish, with drying breaks. During the drying breaks, I painted the big plastic mirror frame for over the sink in the same manner.
If the effect had not turned out to be what I hoped for, this article would be written about something else. Since I am so happy with the finish, I’m going to add it to our new series of At Home With Cathy, which we will begin shooting this week. Look for a finished bathroom picture on our website. There are other chalk paint options out there; Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan, the original, is certainly the most versatile and consistent, and the colours are fabulous!
Join us for workshops and follow the new At Home With Cathy YouTube videos to find ways to transform your home.
Did you know? There is no chalk in Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan. The term ‘chalk’ refers to the finish of the dried paint, which is chalky and matte.
Cathy and staff
- Catherine Reid