When Less is Best


We see them all the time. Those before/after paint projects when you think, “I liked the before better.” Even worse are those where you say, “I wish they hadn’t painted it all.” Because once it’s painted there’s no going back without the even bigger job of refinishing. But it doesn’t have to be an either/or when it comes to painting. You can choose to paint only those damaged spots needing help, leaving most of the original finish intact.

Florence and Provence


That’s what I did on this, vintage, not antique, reproduction sideboard. There were chips in the veneer and the finish was cracked and crazed. Repairing veneer is not a task I enjoy. Instead, I painted those damaged areas using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® with 2 colors, Florence and Provence. I used my technique where I put both colors on a paper plate, and using 1 brush, alternated between them. It’s easy and gives your paint more dimension and depth.

After spot painting. I sealed the complete piece with Clear Wax. The crazing was still evident, so I went back over the finish with a generous coat of Dark Wax, wiping off the excess. The dark wax stayed in the cracks and crevices, giving the finish a warm tone, and a look of age and patina. I love how this turned out, a subtle change, but a huge improvement. Consider this option the next time you find a damaged treasure and don’t want to cover the whole piece in paint.

I’ve painted my share of sideboards and buffets. If you’re not convinced the less is best paint technique is right for your next project, check out these posts where painting resulted in an equally attractive and authentic finish, French Green (also using Florence and Provence), Stepback Cupboard, and Graphite Buffet.

I like Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for my craft and furniture projects, but for walls nothing compares to Pure & Original Fresco Lime Paint. Checkout my most recent interior design make overs with Fresco. It can be purchased online at www.502paint.com


Gail LeMay

Totally love the technique posted today, May11,2015!! I have a black painted crdenza and mirror very simiilar in stuling to the black painted Hitchcock chairs that were popular in the mid-20th century and earlier. The finish a cracked along joints the the top is scuffed up, however it also has the greatest gold trim lines and the doors trim is gold. I could never replicate the accuracy of that detailing. It really makes the piece.

Your posting today makes me wonder if I could do a wash over this to retain the character but also update the look I tried to include a picture but this format will not allow photos. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! I also appreciate your always creative and inspiring postings which also eeps my imagination open to possibilities!!

Many Thanks!!

angela parrish

Thank you Leslie. I have a desk that I have been torn over and you have just solved the problem!


Very nice, Leslie!
Did you fill in the chipped areas before painting?

Gerda van mol

I really like this Leslie ,it’s stunning i have some furniture that need this :). i give it a try .
Thank you so much .


I really like this, Leslie. It’s sort of like reverse painting and a lot less work! I think it’s a great idea and I’d love to give it a try sometime. Thanks for sharing!


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