An interior designer by trade, Deborah Waltz started her business creating unique furniture that wasn’t available in a catalog. Finding well-made furnishings from Craigslist or the thrift store, she transformed them into statement pieces with creative painting methods. The only problem? She hated the laborious process of stripping, sanding, and priming required before she could let her creativity flow. After scouring the Internet for an alternative, she discovered Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan in February 2011, a discovery that quickly changed her creative world.
“I still remember the first two colors I ordered, Graphite and Arles,” she recalls. “When it arrived at my doorstep, I stayed up until 2:30 in the morning painting anything I could get my hands on.”
The discovery allowed her to quickly expand her business, opening a space inside Country Roads Antiques & Gardens in Old Towne Orange, California, where she started stocking Chalk Paint. By January 2013, she had opened her main store, Peinture (the French word for “paint”) in South Coast Collection (SOCO), an interior design center in Costa Mesa, California. The large open space at SOCO was ideal for Chalk Paint workshops, and Deborah also added a “chair wall,” where 32 chairs are mounted to the studio wall—each painted in one of Annie Sloan’s signature colors.
“I knew as a designer that not all people can visualize in their minds what their piece may look like by just looking at a paint chip,” Deborah explains. Add that the space had a 17-foot wall that needed decoration, and the chair wall was her ideal creative solution.
Here, Deborah shares how she refinished a buffet she found on Craigslist.
To begin, Deborah sketched out the project in the Annie Sloan Work Book. “I like using the Work Book because the paper it’s made with allows you to paint right on your sketch,” she explains. The book allows her to test color combinations before she gets started.
After cleaning the piece, she used shellac to seal an existing water stain. “Sometimes water stains like to peek through because of the previous varnish being removed by water sitting in an area for too long,” Deborah says.
She gave two coats to the areas she had decided to paint with Duck Egg Blue. Then she added Old White, cutting in the edges with a small pointed sash brush and then filling in with one of Annie Sloan’s signature round brushes.
Using an angled artist’s brush, she painted the harlequin pattern. She added the Coco accents last, again using an artist’s brush for small details.
To seal the piece, she used a 50/50 mixture of Annie Sloan’s Clear Soft Wax and Dark Soft Wax, wiping it back and buffing with a lint free towel. The mixture, Deborah notes, leaves an especially beautiful, aged patina on the piece. She adds that when custom mixing wax, it’s important that you mix enough to cover the entire piece so that the finish is consistent throughout. She usually makes extra, and stores any leftovers in an airtight container.
For a finishing touch, Deborah created extra dimension with just a touch of Dark Soft Wax to the door panel edges, ledges, and accents.
Deborah created a video of the buffet’s transformation on Peinture’s website, which captures not only the buffet’s transformation but also her lovely studio. Buffets, along with armoires, are among her favorite pieces to refinish, so the video was an ideal way to share her creative process.
As for the other ways that Deborah’s uses Chalk Paint: she’s applied it to walls, vinyl, leather, and metal. Follow her other creative endeavors on her blog.