Growing up on the Gulf Coast, I always had a melancholy soft spot for old cemetery angels. It was the main subject of my photography for many years.
So a couple of weeks ago when I found this newly manufactured statue at my favorite antiques mall, I grabbed it and decided to try a process outlined in one of Annie Sloan’s books. It really takes it from sorta sterile statuary to a piece with age and a story.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Your subject (the piece you want to paint)
A sample cup of Chalk Paint™ decorative paint by Annie Sloan in Old White
A cup of clean, dark, potting soil
A quality paint brush
A good stiff brush
First you’ll want to dampen the potting soil just enough so it’ll stick to your piece. I pushed the dirt into every crevice and nook, then rubbed it loosely all over.
While the dirt is still damp, lightly stipple the paint all over. On deeper crevices where you may want to call out detail, sort of lay the brush along those areas rather than paint strokes. That will keep the paint from going down into areas which, if this were truly as old as we want it to look, would have collected dirt and moss through the years. The paint will mix with the dirt, creating a wonderful wash of aged color with tons of character instead of a consistent opaque coverage.
You may want to add more dirt in with the paint as you work. This is a sort of freeform project. Just work with it, enjoy letting it do whatever it’s going to do.
Once the dirt and paint has dried, take a stiff brush (I used a dish brush) and whisk all the loose material away. Ahh…lots of character. Looks like it could have been plucked out of an ancient garden.
Whew! My right arm feels like Jell-O.
Typically I paint at least one piece of furniture a day in the shop. It’s relaxing for me after spending 15 years as a graphic designer. I enjoy the fact that I’m unplugged and the chalk paints I use have a sculptural feel to them. They’re thick and full of wonderful texture.
If you have a piece sitting around that’s not thrilling you, why don’t you bring it in? Let’s look at it and see if we can make it into something fabulous! [Click here for more info on furniture painting services]
Here are some of my favorite pieces in the shop right now: