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My first Annie Sloan

It’s official: My first Annie Sloan chalk paint furniture project is complete.

First, a few pictures ~

For the body of these bookcases, I used the color French Linen, which I absolutely love.  I’ve always been a fan of the Farrow & Ball paint colors due to their their almost muddy, gray undertones.  Annie Sloan chalk paint is every bit as muddy, chalky and yummy as they claim.

I didn’t actually taste it.  I’m just sayin’ yummy to express how wonderful it is.  But you knew that.

A bit unfortunate is that these bookcases are not your high-quality, all-wood pieces.  We purchased them at The Office Place probably 9 years ago and they have served us well ~ have looked quite handsome, actually ~ in many rooms over the years.  When we moved to our new house spring of 2010, I stuck them in the living room, haphazardly arranged some books & accessories on them, and let them sit. 

The top and the bottom moldings screw off so you can slide the bookcases together to look like one unit, or leave the molding attached when the piece stands alone.  This explains the crack in the top molding, as seen:

I did not prime the shelves since ASCP claims you don’t have to, and they also claim one coat is enough coverage on most pieces.  However, I did go back and apply a light second coat in a few spots that I felt needed a bit more coverage. 

But it was the distressing part that won me over.  This stuff, with light sanding only, came off like a charm!  As I lightly sanded the corners and edges, I was impressed how much easier it was to get the distressed, slightly worn look I was after. 

Which is why everyone says this is the premium paint choice for the type of furniture I paint.

I accented the molding with Provence, a gorgeous blue color (I actually let escape a hushed “oooohhhh” when I first opened the can…not kidding). 

Here is how the piece looked prior to antiquing:

I also painted the underside of the shelves Provence:

After painting, I went over the whole thing with Minwax Provincial Stain, applying in small sections with a sponge paint brush and rubbing/wiping off with a dry cloth as I worked. 

And here is what I would do differently next time:  Although I am happy with the final look, it came out much darker than I anticipated from my sample molding. 

At first I felt that panic surge of “Oh No!” when I realized how dark it looked, but by then I was committed. 

In the end, I think I’m pleased with the final color, but I am also drawn to the original lighter, chalkier gray I started with.  Doing a glaze instead of a stain to antique would be a better choice next time.  However, given the darker wood tones throughout my house, this darker gray is probably a better fit.

I finished them off with Wipe-On Polyurethane, then styled them over a couple days.  I framed & displayed some pictures of my siblings and mom and dad that we had taken at a family reunion awhile back.  I love seeing their faces now, every day. 

I also found some wonderful blue and white ceramic pieces Michael’s just began carrying for spring: the turquoise fish made me laugh out loud when I saw it.  Such a quirky character.

The number five is indicative of the five members in our family, although I didn’t immediately have an 8×10 of our family to display in that frame, so it’s sitting next to another picture of me and five of my siblings gathered around our parents.  Which makes 8, not 5.

But I’m okay with that, and the 5 doesn’t appear to be conflicted either.

Last but not least, I had to reserve room on the bottom of these shelves for some special little people in my life.  My nephews and nieces love to rummage through our collection of Zoobs, Jenga blocks, Legos, and what have you.  They all know right where to go when they visit our home, and I couldn’t disappoint them:

The last thing I’m wondering, though, is if I should have painted the back of the shelves white.  What do you think? Due to the fact they turned out so dark, maybe the white would lighten things up a bit? 

I had to laugh when I read Shaunna’s recent post expressing the same dilemma….and she’s painting her hutch French Linen as well!  I’m eager to see what she decides.

Anyway, finishing these shelves brings our sitting room one step closer to completion, and that’s always a good feeling.

From old-fashioned average:

To more our style:

All in a week’s work ~

Blessings 🙂

Reader Interactions


  1. Jody says

    Gorgeous! You did a beautiful job. I have to admit that the idea of painting the backs of the bookcases a lighter color does intrigue me a bit. 🙂 The siblings photo put a big smile on my face – as did that awesome turquise fish. If you ever see another one of those please snatch it up for me. I love it!

  2. Anonymous says

    Thank you. This was exactly what I have been looking for to give a hallway bookshelf wall a fresh look.

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