Industrial Bathroom DIY: To Chalk Paint, Or To Annie Sloan
I can be pretty impatient once I get inspired and have a great can-do attitude and insistence on saving money. That's good, most of the time. But it can backfire when you fancy yourself a plumber, disconnect the basin and find you have to get the real plumber out to put it back.
Aside: Great guy, by the way. Clayton and his team from Elgin Plumbing comes highly recommended by Tassels & Tigers Interiors.
That's part of the reasons I did not use the Annie Sloan products for my (drum-roll please):
December Industrial Bathroom Makeover Project
Also, I didn't go on an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Course (although I would very much like to, should the opportunity arise). So this is a complete chalk paint amateur's take on the decor product and paint technique that has become synonymous with makeover.
So that covers why I didn't do a course.
But let's get back to why I didn't use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
a) Again with the money thing
There are at least two other brands I have come across in my local Builder's Warehouse, both of which are more affordable, so seem a better option for someone just fooling around at home.
b) All the hype has left me intimidated
Buying a product that's oh-so-easy to use and basically fail-proof, is sure to fail in the hands of an amateur and make me feel bad.
So here's the chalk paint I did use
Fired Earth, in Bistro Grey and clear Soft Wax.
b) I like the name
It comes in a beautiful range of French inspired muted colours, such as King Louis Blue and Eiffel Green and is also lead free and non-toxic!
They don't seem to have the special round and flat brushes the Annie Sloan range has, but it's probably just as well because you can use any good quality natural brush (that won't lose bristles) and soft cloth for applying the wax (oh and an unused chopstick for mixing the paint).
One of the touted advantages of using chalk paint is that you do no need to prep the surface. This, unfortunately wouldn't do in our case, as the bathroom basin stand we wanted to paint was completely rusted under and around the basin, and the varnish was peeling everywhere. Hygienic, no?
So we also had to sand it down, use this wonder product and silicone the basin back into place. The way the guy at Builders Warehouse explained it, it solidifies the rust and, as the label says, turns it into a paint primer. This is one instance where you should use a cheap brush, as it will have to be thrown away.
Duram's Rust Buster reacts the moment it comes in contact with the rust, so you need to pour some out and read the cautionary instructions carefully.
This was my chalk paint experience
a) Add water when you need to
I often paint in watercolour and as the chalk paint got a bit thick (the fact that it's fast drying is one of its advantages) and my strokes become streaky and pasty, I was overwhelmed by the urge to add water. So I did. And it tuns out that's perfectly OK. This is what will ensure you get an even, modern finish as opposed to the shabby chick look often associated with chalk paint.
b) Wait before polishing the wax!
I did not let the wax, once lightly applied, dry before polishing as the YouTube videos advise. So the paint started coming right off again in a couple of places and even while I was just applying it in others. (Another touted advantage of chalk paint is the ease with which it distresses.)
I decided to just go with it on the towel hook's lettering and hoped the distressed look would make it more legible, but when next I have that paint out I'll definitely touch up the bath's feet.
c) Don't let it get too wet
We got a massive fright the first time our beautiful new basin stand got wet and the paint kind of bubbled up. Luckily it returned to normal once we wiped it off and let it dry, but turns out even Annie Sloan doesn't recommend using the product on areas that get excessively wet.
Now you know.
As you can see, I got a little carried away and didn't stick to the stand only, but here is the final product.
Let us know what your chalk paint experience was like, and rest assured that we would never practice our DIY skills on client projects.
When we have the skills, we're not afraid to use it, but we're OK to admit when we're still getting there and would much rather offer a professional service to happy customers.
Tassels & Tigers