You know sometimes you find a great bargain in a Brocante or charity shop but it’s just the wrong colour for your French country style? Well, thanks to the versatile new chalk paints on the market you can now paint in the French charm with ease.
5 Ways to Use Chalk Paint on Accessories
If you have an old lamp base that’s the right shape but the wrong shade for your French style living room you could try painting it for a nice colour swap. The important thing to remember when curating a bespoke French look is to choose the right colour palette and shapes that add French flair. Try repainting a lamp base in dusky blue or grey and be sure to finish off with a light layer of clear wax to seal in your hard work. It’s always nice to be able to breathe new life into an old item rather than keep on buying new all the time isn’t it? You’ll just need to apply short strokes with the paint and cover all the decorative detail on the lamp base. I do believe it is possible to paint a lampshade with chalk paint too although I am yet to try that.
2 Side Tables
A very popular choice with furniture painters and an instant way to add French charm to a living room or bedroom. When painting a side table, choose an item with nicely turned out toes or shapely legs to add a period touch to your home. Finish with a wax to prevent cup stains and chips and voila.
3 Curtain Poles
I often find that the choice of curtain poles available here in France is not great. I think this has something to do with the fact that many French homes don’t bother with curtains because they close their shutters at night and in summer just use simple voiles to shade from the sun. So, inevitably, finding a chunky curtain rod can be tricky. If you happen to find one but it’s in a dark wood then a quick couple of coats of chalk paint with dark or light wax over the top to finish will transform an otherwise dark and oppressive curtain pole.
4 Jugs/ Vases
There does exist a rather brilliant product on the market called Saltwash which, when applied with paint to any decorative item, adds age, texture, and, well a salty wash. Think charming aged metal, seashore finds or Verde-gris. You have heard me wax lyrical about the amazing Jonathon Mark Love Mendes before but he is just a chalk paint genius. Look how fabulous his pots above look using this technique.
If you have a beautifully shaped jug or vase but it’s got a print that you no longer adore then you could consider painting it with a combination of chalk paint and Saltwash to achieve something that looks more like aged terracotta.
This would work really only for items used solely for decoration as I’m not 100% sure how the paint would survive a dishwasher cycle. You won’t need to paint right down inside the vase or jug either, just do an inch down from the lip so that you can’t see the original print on the inside when its empty.
I have previously painted stripes onto teatowels in the past to give them a jolie French look and also stenciled onto linen with chalk paint. I think chalk paint is by the nature of its consistency really good to stipple onto fabric. You’ll need to mark out clearly where you’re painting and not overload your brush – and once dried, place a piece of baking paper over the top and iron over to seal it in. You should then be able to wash the fabric at 30 degrees.
Autentico is a chalk paint brand that a dear friend of mine sells from her gallery The Loft in Caistor, Lincolnshire. It was during a visit last summer that she handed me a couple of tester pots knowing that if anything sits still long enough in my house it will highly likely be painted! Fast forward a year and during the pandemic lockdown period, some friends from the village sold their beautiful French house and passed on a couple of items they had no room in the lorry for.
So, this strange looking item was in fact a lamp and I don’t know why but I was strangely drawn to it because I love the shape of an artichoke and this reminded me of that. The wires were all old and broken so I pulled them out and for a while we lived with it on the kitchen window ledge just as an ornament of sorts. However, this past week I’ve been trying to get my house in order ready for the return to school and during that time been tidying, cleaning and painting. As I worked on my peaceful neutrals, the green sprout on the window ledge started to bother me! So, out with the Autentico paint!
One of the shades I was given of Autentico Paint is Scandinavian Blue which is a lovely dusty blue, perfect for my colour palette. The great thing about chalk paints is you can literally slap them on any old how. So with a smallish brush I stippled the paint on. A couple of coats is all it took and I finished it with a light coating of Annie Sloan Wax to protect it against any knocks and bumps, highly likely in this household!
The Finished Article!
So here she is – I really like how she looks after a refreshing coat of paint and wax. What do you think? I think next I will try painting stripes onto a lampshade and maybe try my hand at ageing a terracotta vase with a Saltwash mix. More coming soon X