I have been so excited about finally getting to write this post. The challenge of painting this wardrobe, which I got for free, thanks to Freegle, was the main reason why I sought out Annie Sloan Chalk Paints in the first place. And to finally paint it was just the best feeling – I felt so happy grabbing a few spare moments where I could.
As you can see, this poor wardrobe had been subjected to a bit of happy slapping when paint was concerned. Layer, upon layer of paint had been daubed on and there were dried drip marks, shiny yellowed white paint and flaking.
Ah, yes, the flaking.
Annie Sloan Chalk Paints are said to paint over anything and everything easily, without the need for sanding. And while I don’t dispute that – they are so pigmented and work like a dream – there is little sense in painting on an unstable surface. The chalk paint will stick to anything, yes, but it will stick to the old layers of paint that will eventually flake off and then you are left with a patchy wardrobe.
So, despite hating the sanding part of any upcycling project, I spent a good couple of hours sanding back the top layer of paint to reveal a smoother layer underneath. It was hard work. I wasn’t happy. And my arms ached afterwards. But it made such a difference.
I took my time with the paint. Making my layers as thin as possible to ensure an even coverage. I did the back and sides first, followed by the door, leaving a strip along the bottom of each side, which I would paint last, so I’d still be able to move the wardrobe if I needed to. I’m lucky that my conservatory is a perfect place to paint. Airy, cool and spacious, with a hard floor that can handle the odd drip (or the odd toddler who dips the brush from our dustpan into my precious chalk paint, because he wanted to help, and lets it drip all over the floor and himself while exclaiming: “Oooooh noooo Mama!”)
I could only snatch the spare hour or two over the course of three weekends. It’s not easy doing this sort of thing with a toddler in tow and a partner that works different shifts to you, but my gosh, was it worth it…
I’m so proud of it. It is such an enchanting piece of furniture and I do wonder what life it lived before now.
I’ve dressed it with tiny twinkling lights and let it be the focal point as soon as you walk in the door. It’s my version of the entrance to Narnia, or Doctor Who’s Tardis. I want to fill it with old coats and leather boots, but I expect I’ll do my best to leave it free for guests.
The wardrobe came without its key, so my Gramps kindly fitted us a new one, with a gorgeous shiny key that I tied this trinket to. Doesn’t it look beautiful?
You may remember those old cameras I won for 99p on eBay. They now have pride of place on top of this dinky wardrobe, safe and sound from tiny hands, but noticed every time you walk by.
As always Annie Sloan Chalk Paint didn’t let me down and Provence is possibly my favourite colour from the range. It’s just the most perfect aqua, sea blue.
Next up in my upcycling tales is the Duktig mini kitchen from IKEA to customise for a certain boy’s Christmas present. I’m thinking a mix of Provence and Old White to make a perfect creamy blue. Complete with a chalkboard shopping list and blue gingham tea towels.
And after that? My dining room chairs will be getting a coat of Old White and reupholstered in hessian. And then there’s the case of the sideboard, which I’m wondering if Antoinette will be perfect for?
Can you tell I’m hooked?