Not So Simple

I love these old vintage chests that show traces of former incarnations in their paint colors. You know at some point it had been solidly painted all of the colors above and probably more. Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in these colors and the tints shown below will create a similar finish. 
Usually I layer the colors, purposely leaving gaps, to create a look of wear. Another technique I use is to dip one side of my brush in one color and the other side in a different color.  Laying your paint on in this way results in areas where the colors are separate, but also where the paint mixes and becomes a third color, increasing depth and texture.
To match the colors on this piece you will have to play a bit combining Pure White, with the Greek Blue, the Henrietta, and the English Yellow in approximatly equal parts or  1:1. Being exact is not important, and you may end up with more or less white in your color combinations. If you don’t have Pure White you can use Old White, although your tints will be slightly different. The character of a vintage piece is enhanced by these variations and imperfections.  Part of its charm is knowing it was painted by hand.


Peter Gray

Hi, Do you have a post where you explain how you do “layering”? I’m very new to all of this and quite enjoying being creative but I could use a little help with technique. For example, in the chest above–do you start with the colour on the left as your base coat and then move to the right with colours or is it more random? Thanks for any help. I really enjoy and am inspired by your blog. Peter

Leslie Stocker

Hi Peter,
I’m happy to explain “layering”. It is basically painting on one coat of paint, letting it dry, and painting another coat over the first one. You can use any type of latex, oil, milk, or chalk paint. When I’m trying to achieve a vintage, worn, distressed finish I like to use chalk paint. It dries very quickly and you usually put several coats on in one day. On the first coat I will cover my piece completely after that I will purposefully leave places wher the under colors show through. This gives a distressed look, almost as though the paint has worn away. Some people like to paint solid layers and then sand back parts to see the different colors. This has not as we’ll for me because it’s easy to take off too much paint. I prefer to keep adding paint until I get that time worn patina. If you decide to use chalk paint, it’s a good idea to topcoat with a varnish or wax – I usually use wax unless it’s surface like the top of a dining table that will get hard wear. Also know it is very hard to make a mistake with chalk paint. If it is too dark, too light, too uniform, or you it’s just not quite what you expected, just add a little more in places until you are satisfied. There are many tutorials available online that explain more techniques for working with chalk paint. I hope this helps but if you have any more questions you can also contact me at my email. Thanks for commenting.

Mary Mc Ewen

Like- I love chalk painting and want to start layering and distresson paint- like the feedback. Mary

Peter Gray

Thanks Leslie. I’ve been using ASCP for almost a year on various projects, but when I see your work it opens up a whole universe of other possibilities . . . . . Thanks for sharing your wonderful work with all of us. Peter


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