Friday, 6 December 2013

Painted Bureau in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Following hot on the heels of last week's Annie Sloan painted coffee table, I have been busy again this week with my Annie Sloan Chalk Paints transforming a mahogany bureau that I bought  from a friend.

It had been sitting sad and unwanted in her garage for several years, and when my friend heard I was looking for a little bureau desk with drawers and a flap down lid, she showed it to me and a deal was quickly struck.

This is what the pretty little bureau looked like before - a well-made bureau, with a little surface damage to some of the drawers, and a bit scuffed around the legs, but otherwise in good solid and sound shape and in need of a facelift.

And several days later, here it is........

Using Annie Sloan Country Grey and Original, the same colours used to paint the coffee table in my last post, this is what I did.

Annie Sloan Painted Bureau

Removed all handles from drawers and dusted down the bureau - I didn't need to wash it down as it was clean.

Painted one generous coat of Annie Sloan Country Grey using a large flat brush and working quickly -  don't be tempted to go back and touch up an area that you missed as you can sometimes end up taking paint off - better to go back later when dry or leave it altogether. (I painted over the key plates too, then sanded and scraped off most of the paint afterwards to leave a slightly shabby look)

When dry I painted a second coat on the bureau top and desk lid as I wanted a good coverage here.

When the second coat was dry, I lightly sanded all over using a fine grade sandpaper, gently distressing edges and corners which would naturally get knocked and worn. I like a subtly distressed look but you can distress as much as you like, or not at all. Even if you don't want any distressing, I find you achieve a much smoother, silkier finish if you sand before waxing, and it also highlights the brush strokes for a bit of depth and colour variation.

I then used a fine artists paintbrush to paint the bevelled edges of the desk lid and the raised drawer edges with Annie Sloan Original, to add some contrast and highlights.  I also added a highlight to the little pull out runners that support the desk lid. This took several hours as I wanted a fairly neat job. 

I then sanded the white edges, dusted the whole bureau down, then waxed it using Annie Sloan clear wax applied with a soft cloth, applying sparingly but covering it well.

After allowing the wax to dry for a day I buffed it with a duster, then using heavy duty sandpaper I roughly sanded all the handles to remove most of the dark brassy finish. I then re-attached the handles.

And voila! 

Now I must confess at this point that I haven't completely finished the bureau, as I want to paint the inside too - in a contrasting colour, perhaps a pretty pale duck egg blue or pale green - not sure yet.

I'm thinking of maybe mixing up a paler shade of either Annie Sloan Duck Egg or Provence - I have both colours in my paint stash. But it may have to wait until after Christmas now (especially as I have asked Santa for this book...........!)


Last week I popped along to the local Antique and Flea Market with Jane from the flower house - she came away with several vintage goodies which I expect she may share with you on her blog (if she hasn't already done so) and I found a few buttons and bits and bobs, and some fabrics.

some pretty vintage hankies, one with lilac crochet and one with a beautiful tiny tatting trim.

some sweet little cross-stitched napkins

vintage hand-painted buttons on original card in dark brown

and more buttons in the same design on white

a delicate handmade lace collar made from tatting

another collar, this one machine embroidered

a very delicately crocheted cream coloured teacosy - presumably to be place over a padded one

a very faded and stained vintage apron made in the prettiest tiny blue roses cotton - am hoping to be able to salvage enough to make something from this

2m of Anna Maria (Horner) fabric for £2, in a very 70's chocolate and white design, from her discontinued Chocolate Lollipop range

and a little xmassy tablecloth for £1

A pretty good haul again!

Hope everyone's Christmas preparations are now well underway - not many weeks to go now, so I'm glad to have most of the present shopping done, and much of the xmas food safely stored away.

Our Christmas cards will be written this weekend ( Bella plans to sit at this very desk to do the job for us which makes me happy - I'm glad it will be used ), and we are planning to get the Christmas tree from our local Christmas Tree farm just outside the village - they open the barn for just a few weeks each year to sell them.

How are you getting on with your preparations?? 
 Are you like my sister, totally organised, and so already finished??!!!

Enjoy the run up to Christmas!

P.S  For those who missed my last post, I finally made a breakthrough and stocked my Etsy Shop at last!!! Just put in a few Christmas decorations, probably a bit late for most people but at least I now know how to stock the shop.  

I will put some of my vintage and antique cushions in to it in the New Year - I was so pleased to have finally done it, but it was a lot of work what with the photos, the measuring, descriptions and weighing for postage!


  1. Another painting masterpiece! :)
    Lots of treasure too...I really love the buttons!
    Listing items on Etsy is a mission isn't it!
    Happy weekend Gill and no not at all ready for Christmas here!
    V xxx

  2. Love the bureau, have a dresser in desperate need of painting. What gorgeous finds - enjoy them x

  3. You did well on the table Gill. Such a metamorphoses! The vintage handkerchiefs, buttons and lace look beautiful. Such pretty finds!

    Happy weekend!

    Madelief x

  4. The bureau looks terrific. I have never tried this paint before so I appreciate the lesson.

  5. Gosh, you are on fire with your furniture painting/makeovering. The bureau is beautiful, and I love the little white highlights. It looks like a totally different piece of furniture and so very much at home in your house with all of your lovely things. Your idea of the contrasting inside colour is a lovely one and it will look very pretty I am sure and a nice surprise when you open it. Good luck with your Etsy shop xx

  6. You did an exquisite job on the desk! I just did a rustic bench from my front porch and my front door which I haven't even scraped the window yet. I make my own chalk paint since I can't afford ASCP. I just take any paint I want and add 2 Tablespoons of non-sanded grout powder to 1 cup of paint and I'm good to go. I take the 2 Tbl of powder and ad a little water until it's thoroughly dissolved and no lumps and then add my paint to it. I make little batches because it will harden if you try and save it overnight. You might want to try it sometime or not.....your desk looks pretty neat...not sure I'd want to mess with perfection!

  7. A good job on the bureau, it looks lovely - I'm definitely on the look-out now! Is that little wreath hanging on the front from the CL Fair? I love those collars, so pretty. See you soon.
    Jane xx

  8. oh this desk is also very pretty in annie sloan paint lovely
    hope your new etsy shop runs like a train good luck with it
    have a great weekend leon10

  9. Oh my! What a lovely job you've done on that chest it looks wonderful. Good luck with you etsy shops I wouldn't have a clue how to stock it! X

  10. Oh my, I'm overwhelmed by this post full of pretty! The chest is *outrageously beautiful* - the detail in the lighter shade just takes it to a different level. I would turn the sofa to face it and just stare at it all day, it is so lovely...and soooo many pretty fabric finds! Chrissie x

  11. Oh wow, the bureau is absolutely stunning. I am completely jealous and want it for myself! And look at all those amazing treasures you've picked up - again I'm completely jealous! It's so lovely to visit you again after months away from blogland. Your posts are always so inspiring hon. Now I'm going to catch up on previous posts to see what other amazing things your been making/transforming.

    Have a fab week. See you again soon.

  12. Well done with the Etsy shop. Your things look great. It is so much work, I had a go a while ago but got sick of weird scammers. i hope you don't.
    The furniture looks great. I don't know if I would be brave enough to paint over wood but they certainly look modern.

  13. Love the bureau - we have a very similar one, which was my hubby's mother's, so not sure he would let me paint it white! Done most of the food shopping, but no present shopping yet - yikes! Am going to look at your Etsy shop now! xCathy

  14. Dear Gilly, I'm going to visit your etsy shop, I finally can take a breath and come visit you! This bureau looks fantastic and although I love old dark colors in some furniture, the outcome of this work is really great and I would like to have it in my house!Well done!
    So, best wishes for a happy week and until next post...Hugs from me!

  15. Your bureau looks really lovely now you have painted it with Annie Sloan chalk paint! What a great job you did! Love all your flea market finds, some real treasures there. Well done on getting your etsy shop stocked up! Wishing you a happy week, Gill.
    Helen x

  16. Beautiful re-do....and all your new treasures! Heidi

  17. Very nice! I finally tracked down some Annie Sloane paint; it's just a five hour drive away! I am determined to get some however. Love your thrifty finds too!



Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to leave a comment - I love to read them!
Gill x