DIY: Distressed Bookshelf
Annie Sloan shares step-by-step instructions on how to to transform an old bookcase using Chalk Paint™.
I had been looking for the opportunity to use a combination of my Barcelona Orange and Olive Chalk Paint™ colors for some time and this bookcase seemed like the ideal piece to try it out on. I painted the interior with Old Ochre to keep it light and neutral, so it would work with the strong orange and green shades of the exterior. I decided to use the water and wax method because I wanted to do something very soft and delicate that would show all the color combinations.
You will need:
- Chalk Paint™ in Old Ochre and Barcelona Orange
- 2 inch (5 cm) paintbrushes for applying paint
- Can of Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax
- 1 inch (2.5 cm) paintbrush for applying wax and water
- Cloth for polishing
Annie’s Tip: Choosing the right color combination is the most enjoyable but also the most difficult part of painting furniture. There are no hard and fast rules to follow, such as painting dark on light or cool on hot, but those principles can be a starting point. Looking for something in the room that catches the eye or will complement the finished piece, such as curtain fabrics, might also help you to make a selection.
Before: The bookcase needed just a little attention. The bottom curve had to be sawn off since half of it was broken, the glass replaced and a section of wood placed down the back.
Step 1: Start by applying a coat of Old Ochre Chalk Paint™ inside and out. Once dry, paint the outside in Barcelona Orange, working the brush in different directions to make the surface uneven. Some of the raised marks will show through when you start distressing the piece.
Step 2: When the first coat is dry, paint a coat of Olive all over the exterior and leave to dry.
Step 3: Take a brush dampened with water, put a dab of wax on it, then wipe it over the Olive paint, pressing harder in areas where you want to remove the green color, such as the corners and edges. The water in the brush will very gently take off the top layer of paint, while the wax acts to protect it.
Step 4: Leave the bookcase overnight, then polish the paint and wax with a cloth to give the finished piece a really lovely mellow sheen.
*Excerpted from Quick and Easy Paint Transformations by Annie Sloan