how to use chalk paint

Honestly I've always been a bit cringed out by furniture painting. I think the word 'upcycling' should sometimes be swapped for 'over decorated tat'. Shabby chic is not my bag at all. Paint effects? Dubious. So, me doing an Annie Sloan furniture painting workshop was going to be a fun experiment, right?!

I was approached by Dulwich based Rigby & Mac to go on one of their Annie Sloan furniture painting workshops in South London. My impression of Annie Sloan has always been that it's for bored middle aged housewives who love a bit of Cath Kidston and want to 'get into interiors'. That sounds incredibly judgemental but I guess what I'm trying to say is that it didn't seem like it would be up my street at all.

I was totally wrong!

I took my mum along with me to the Volcano Works coffee house in West Norwood for the workshop, which is hosted every Saturday. 

During the workshop, hosted by the softly-spoken and super, super nice Lucy, we learnt a few different techniques varying from paint effects, distressed shabby chic looks - GASP, trompe l'oeil and even gilding (my fave). 

how to use chalk paint

I should have realised that anything involving paint and colour I'd find fun.

I love the getting messy side of decorating and this was a brilliant way for me to bring out my creative side. 

Lucy checked in as we went along, helping us out with tips and techniques from her vast experience. 

how to use chalk paint

The paint itself is super easy to use, nice and thick and dries really quickly. You can even water it down to create a different finished look but it'll still have the same pigment strength. It really is a clever little paint and I can see why it's so popular! 

I have a kind of weird obsession with paint and wax and things like that so I was in my elements for many parts of this. Just stirring the paint, mixing it, using the wax... it made me realise that

sometimes it's not about the finished effect but the fun you have doing it. 

I won't spoil the fun for you by telling you each step in the paint effects, but we were given really thorough instructions and had pieces of wood to try each effect out on. It was cool to see how each piece varied from person to person - it really was about putting your own spin on it. 

Happy mother!

Happy mother!

I really liked this grey and pink splattered kind of look, and I really loved the gilding (I mean come on people, there was gold leaf)!

how to use chalk paint

Ok - I may not end up using these techniques on anything for my own home but it's super handy to know how to do it for future clients and more importantly for me things like set design or interior styling projects where it should be required. 

how to use chalk paint

Me and mum had such a fun day and I'd really recommend it to anyone. Even if you don't fancy doing any actual furniture painting at home, it's just a fun, creative and relaxed little thing to do on a weekend.

Tickets are £99 and you can book via Rigby & Mac here.

Have you ever tried using Annie Sloan paint? Is it just for Cath Kidston lovers or have you found more interesting uses for it?

S x