Most people interested in furniture restoration have heard of Annie Sloan – the inventor of “chalk paint” – and it so happens that she has her headquarters and shop in Oxford. If you have a morning to spare on a visit or holiday in the area, you should think about booking one of her half-day workshops. You will find out how to use the paints to create a fashionable shabby chic look.and can also buy paint, wax, brushes and materials to take away.
With only two of us booked for the morning, we had the full attention of a delightful tutor from 10.30 – 1.00 and, after coffee and biscuits, we donned our Annie Sloan aprons and learned how to create three different looks on a plain wooden board:
1. distressed (rubbing through a top coat of paint to reveal a different underlying colour);
2. crackling – paint on layers of thick paint and use a hair dryer to rapidly heat the paint and cause it to crack naturally; and
3. ageing by rubbing dark wax into thick layers of paint
In a short time, I gained confidence in using the paint as well as wax and was inspired to go home and tackle an old bedside cabinet. Although quite expensive – £65 for a morning – it is well worth the money if you are serious about getting to grips with this painting technique and have had enough of wandering round Oxford shopping or seeing the sites..
This workshop would suit anyone of any age, so friends, grandparents, mums and teenagers as well as single travellers could all enjoy themselves and develop an interesting craft hobby.