I’m very excited to share with you the results of my latest at-home project, painted walls with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan!
At Suite Pieces, we get so many customers who ask us how the paint works on walls. They want to know what finish it will give, how much it will cover, and how easy is it to apply. The perfect project came along as we moved to a new house this summer. This was my chance to experiment, try new color combinations,new techniques and get some experience working with the paint as it applies to walls.
The first two rooms in the house in desperate need of color change were the living/dining room and our bedroom (I’ll be showing you my work in the Living/dining room now and will reveal the bedroom makeover on my next post). This new living space has the dining and living rooms joined in an open floor-plan. There is one large wall that connects both, the focal point of the space. I wanted to add color, but not commit to one that I would get bored with in the future. A color that would work with an ever-changing design palatte. Here is what I was working with, a chartreuse green? mustard yellow? can’t tell, just had to cover it asap!
For the focal wall, I fell in love with this image I found on Pinterest that has multiple layers of color. The dominant color is black, but the edges show browns and teals. The wall also appears to be waxed.
Both the furniture and the layout in this image resonate with my space, and the colors on the wall make a statement that is still neutral enough to work with future changes in the room.
Amanda, my color mixing guru, advised that the undertones would be achieved with Coco and Florence, while the dominant color would be Graphite. I painted both Coco and Florence in separate areas, on the top and bottom of the wall, and in some areas in the middle as well. This was done with an Annie Sloan paint brush. We recommend this brush, as it picks up tons of paint, and it bends easily to allow for movement in strokes without splattering.
After each color was dry and a second coat was applied to each patch, I started the first coat of Graphite with a roller to cover more surface area more quickly. I did not go over some of the areas where I wanted the base colors of Coco and Florence to show through. On the second application of Graphite, I went back to using the Annie Sloan paint brush. Although a longer process, it is important to do subsequent coats by hand in order to achieve movement on the walls. Movement can be described as looking at a painted surface and seeing a subtle change in direction of brush strokes. The wall no longer looks flat, but slightly dimensional, like a painted canvas. Many of you who have painted furniture with Chalk Paint can see this on a finished piece, but it is much more obvious on a large surface such as a wall. (You will see more examples of movement on my next post about the bedroom and more on matte finish….stay tuned for that!)
As I covered the wall with more and more Graphite, I needed to step back in order to see the wall in its full scale and decide where it needed more coverage and so forth. I was also checking for some symmetry and if it looked somewhat like the inspiration photo. It became difficult to do this with a brush around the edges of the wall where I wanted less blending and more of a sharp contrast, so I switched tools and dragged the paint with a plastic dust pan, not the most professional of tools, but it worked quite nicely in a moment of total experimentation!
Completing the project took me 2 days, no priming (awesome!), 1 can (1 quart size) of Coco, 1 can of Florence and 2 cans of Graphite. Measuring the square footage of the wall, the paint covered approximately 100 sq.ft of a single coat. This will vary depending on the technique used, brightness of color that is underneath and the darkness of the color chosen to paint with.
I realized after looking at my wall that I was not getting an exact replica of the inspiration photo, instead I was getting a more 80’s version of dragged paint and bolder color contrast with lots of imperfections. I was fine with that, in fact, I love it! I think an inspiration should be just that, a starting idea that you make your own, that evolves along the way. Now there’s only one wall out there that looks like mine, and it’s right here in my living room:)