Spend a day learning a new skill. Mindful and mind full (in a good way). Clare Gogerty joins an Annie Sloan workshop in Oxford
If you've ever attempted to paint a piece of furniture only to be disheartened by the laborious process of sanding, painting and waxing, the day you discover Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is a day of wonder. Developed nearly 30 years ago, it brushes onto surfaces including wood, leather, concrete and leather, with no need to sand or prime. Suddenly that tired old bedside table can be revitalised with just a coat of paint and a layer of wax.
You can develop your skills at an Annie Sloan workshop. I attended one run by Annie at her Oxford HQ, but her stockists in independent shops nationwide are all trained in her techniques and run their own. The morning was spent painting a wooden box with a neutral colour (Old White, in my case), letting it dry, then painting a thin coat of another colour on top (Paloma, a soft grey) and scrunching it off with newspaper. This process, known as frottage,
creates a two-tone marbled effect similar to rag rolling, and can be used on any surface, not just wood.
Colour theory was tackled in the afternoon, with Annie encouraging us to think of colours “like ingredients used in cooking”. She urged us to be brave with colour in our homes and, using her palette of 37 Chalk Paints, fabric swatches and an outline sketch of a room set, we created schemes for a living room and a kitchen/dining area. By the time I got home, no piece of furniture was safe from my brush.
To find your nearest Annie Sloan stockist and your nearest workshop, which also includes gilding and waxing, visit anniesloan.com.