DIY Finishing

How you can simply transform old pieces of furniture

Do you remember the Annie Sloan workshop I attended last month? I said then that I would try to find out more about these products and what can be done with them. In the meantime I discovered that Annie Sloan paints are much more present in Romania than I thought. They can be found in Brasov, Târgu Mureș, Satu Mare and Miercurea Ciuc, not only in Bucharest. And workshops like the one I attended are held in all these places, where you can learn, among other things, how to change the look of old furniture, giving it a new life.

appearance of old furniture

About the experience of transforming old furniture we spoke to Melinda, who brought the paints Annie Sloan in Romania. When I asked her what transformation is closest to her heart, she told me about her first work, in which she used a template as she had seen Annie Sloan do a few weeks before at a workshop in Austria.

"The piece of furniture was made in 1967 - it's written on the back. It's neither special nor beautiful, but I found it in the shed and thought it deserved a chance." This is how Melinda begins her transformation story. She brought the cabinet out of the shed and started by getting it ready. The old, cracked paint was removed with a chisel (a tool very similar to a squeegee) and then the cabinet was sanded all over, but not too hard. As you know, Annie Sloan's transformations are charming precisely because of the imperfections, bumps and overlaps of the paint layers.

appearance of old furniture

Applied 2 coats of paint Chalk Paint, color French Linen outside and Provence on the inside, then fixed everything with Clear Wax - Transparent wax used as a top coat, but also for some special effects.

appearance of old furniture

"The first time I did so. I said to leave it like that, but I didn't like it, it was too grey, too boring. And then I had the idea to apply a template with the technique I saw in Austria. The idea is to put 2 colours side by side in the tray and dip the roll in both at once.

appearance of old furniture

That way, when you apply the paint over the stencil it comes out beautifully. At first I put 2 patterns on the doors, but I didn't like the way it looked.

appearance of old furniture

Then I started putting the patterns on top of each other. This time the result was to my liking."

appearance of old furniture

The colours used for the pattern were Provenceand Old Ochre. At the end everything was waxed again with transparent wax, and a very thin layer of dark wax was applied over the stencilled part - Dark Wax - to give it depth.

A brush was used for paintingAnnie Sloan Pure Bristlesmall, number 8, and for waxing the special small wax brush. The stencil Melinda used for her cabinet is called Petrushka, the colour is applied over it with the roller.

I asked her how long it took her for this work. She told me it took 2 days, but only because she was indecisive, she didn't have the plan well laid out from the beginning. If she hadn't let a day go by before she decided to apply the stencil, it would have been ready in 4-5 hours, because the paint dries quickly, in 30-40 minutes it's dry.

"In the end it was a good experience, very useful. I learnt - and it has since been proven several times - that pieces of furniture have their own character, I would even say soul, and you can't just paint them anyway, not just anything will suit them. As we transform them we have to let them lead us, that's the only way to get what we want."

appearance of old furniture

In the small shop-workshop in Ciceu, Melinda "plays" with colours, with wax, letting the pieces of furniture choose how their new life will be. She transforms the furniture of those who "have the courage" to leave it in her hands and shares her experiences through blog. Sometimes they go beyond the virtual space into the real one. One of the experiences in this space was the transformation of a school in Odorhei with the help of some committed parents. Everyone - children, parents and teachers - enjoyed the new look that the benches and desks got with the help of Annie Sloan paints.

appearance of old furniture

appearance of old furniture

It is clear that a community is gathering around these paints for which refinishing of furniture or redecorating your home is more than just a side job. This is about passion, inspiration, about ... emotions.


About the author

Mihaela Radu

Mihaela Radu is a chemical engineer but has a great passion for wood. She has been working in the field for more than 20 years, wood finishing being what defined her during this period. She gained experience working in a research institute, in her own company, as well as in a multinational. She wants to continuously share her experience with those who have the same passion - and more.


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  • Hello
    Where could I find clogs like the one on the grey cupboard?
    Can I get an e-mail address for Annie Sloan paints?
    Thank you

    • Hello.
      You can find the sandpaper on the grey cupboard here. There you will also find the email address for Annie Sloan products.
      All the best.


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