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My name is Gerrie Wydeven doing-business-as Wydeven Designs. I have been conducting this small GREEN business since 2004. Wydeven Designs, based in the Atlanta, Georgia area, sells CHAIRS, LOVESEATS, CHAISES, SETTEES and other fine, well-constructed refurbished upholstered pieces. I love to travel, cook, take photographs and generally follow style and decor topics as well!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Loving the Chalk Paint Colors and Finishes!

I have now been using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (link to website) for over three years and regularly feature my great pieces under what I am calling "The Custom Chalk Paint Collection" example on eBay. I have accumulated quite a few colors and am into my 2nd, 3rd and even 4th can for some.
Old Ochre with Dark Wax

Old White (most used)
Old Ochre
Paris Grey (least used)
Chateau Grey
Emperor's Silk (like best)
Duck Egg Blue (like second best)
Country Grey (most recent add-on)

I have tried a number of techniques but have not necessarily achieved the "advanced" state - most of my techniques are fairly straight forward. By far, the most common application method is just several (at least two - often three) coats of paint with a clear wax finish.

See illustrations below of simple techniques:
Lightly distressing the woodwork is the simplest technique. It works best when done before waxing but can be done afterwards (wax over distressed areas again if doing after initial waxing). I use a sanding block for best overall application and consistency. Truthfully, sometimes I do the distressing after the piece comes back from the upholstery shop if it has gotten dinged and scratched quite a bit in places that I cannot easily touch up. It's a pretty good trick!
This technique is not difficult but each time i use it, I always start in less obvious places and then move slowly around the piece - usually several times to make sure it is evenly applies. I have had to repaint the base coat and redo the overcoat when it has been too darkly covered.  The trick is to use only a slight amount of paint on a fairly dry brush to do the overcoat. 
This is my trickiest technique. It involved doing an initial coat of clear wax and following that with a coat of dark wax (I use a tooth brush to get it into the crevices). The dark wax coat needs to be managed (and sometimes removed with more clear wax) to keep it consistent. I love the way the technique highlights the curves and crevices of fine woodwork.
I have created several photo boards to demonstrate the use of the different colors I've accumulated. They are all versatile colors.

This is my biggest color - I am on my 4th can. It is a great off-white color that matches most cream/white backgrounds. 
Duck Egg Blue was a very early purchase because I just loved the color. It has worked well on many pieces but does need a lighter fabric to complement it. 
I have always admired black and white combos and like the look of black wood. This is the closest to "flat black" that Annie Sloan carries. It can be made darker by using only dark wax but it is never totally black. I have found that many people love the look of black woodwork (and it works in SO many settings) but it is not as easy of a sale as either natural wood or white/neutral wood finishes.
I love the brightness of Emperor's Silk but have found it hard to sell. I am about to add at least one more red piece to my inventory.
This color was one of my first purchases. White it is called "grey" it definitely has a greenish caste. I have used it when it complements the fabrics and only then. I am in the process of having a vintage love seat upholstered in the same fabric as shown in two of these photos (Chelsea Linen called "Pineapple") . I used this color paint on that piece.
I bought CoCo because I wanted a color that somewhat mimics real "brown" wood. This is the closest color. I am enjoying using it and sometimes just add dark wax to get even closer to the color of brown wood.  
I love this vanilla shade of white - almost a very pale yellow. I hadn't realized that I have used it exclusively with blue and blue and white - although I do see that it works beautifully! I should try with some other combos!
If Old White is too "white", I used Old Ochre. It is a nice neutral shade with just a hint of pale taupe.
Here is a close-up of a "gilding" technique over graphite. I have only done this once but liked how it turned out.
Well, this was nice trip down memory lane and I enjoyed seeing the versatility of the paints. I would like to experiment some more but am always concerned about broader customer appeal. Maybe I'll pick up a can of the bright green in celebration of the upcoming St. Patrick's Day!!

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