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Martha Leone Design: The blog is where I share thoughts on the creative process and share lots of pictures of each finished piece of painted furniture. Critiques are always welcome!

Filtering by Tag: annie sloan

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Modern Design

Martha Leone

mid century tallboy, mid century dresser
dresser in annie sloan graphite

Hi friends. Two pieces in my Idea Furniture Collection were on display last week at a reception at On The Purple Couch in DC, one of Annie Sloan's stockists here in the US. What a warm reception I received by the owner, Bahia, and from those who attended. It was a lovely experience. After posting these shots in Instagram, Annie Sloan and I had a wonderful short conversation about them.

Bahia contacted me a few weeks ago and asked that I design and paint two pieces exclusively using Annie Sloan Chalk paint and wax. I had used her paint in the past on many pieces but never on my modern furniture. I was up for the challenge and appreciated the opportunity! Thanks Bahia!

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I'm exploring the deconstruction of letterforms on a 3:4 grid, the letters V and Y are merged and placed in an asymmetrical layout on the front of this mid century dresser. Mid century pieces make for wonderful canvases for this type of design. Take a look at my other dresser in this series.

mid century dresser, mid century tallboy


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This piece was originally designed in the late 1930's during the art deco period in history where rich color and bold geometric shapes adorned much of the buildings. Using history to guide my design, I created a shape that was inspired by the iconic Empire State Building and wrapped it from top to front on this dresser.

dresser in annie sloan graphite by martha leone design
dresser in annie sloan graphite by martha leone design


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Mid Century Dresser: With Annie Sloan paint, I use her brushes. But, to get the desired look on the mid century piece, I revised my process by thinning the paint with water and by using a 6" foam roller instead of the brush. The end result was a smooth brushless finish. No sanding was needed.

Art Deco Dresser: I wanted this piece to look more textural than the other so I used Annie Sloan's flat brush and painted in loose strokes. Distressing also helped achieve the desired texture.


The next three photos show what the Art Deco dresser looked like after painting and sanding but BEFORE wax had been applied. You can see how dramatically the color shifts to a beautiful deep shade AFTER wax has been applied and buffed. I love the texture in the pre-waxed photos and have been looking into ways of maintaining this texture even after wax has been put on. On my Constellation Dresser, I used low grit sandpaper to scratch the surface and used a toothbrush to flick small specs of plaster on the surface. Those have worked but I am still looking for new ideas to get this look. Annie suggested that I wax but not buff. I'll try that and also try dry brushing varying shades of Graphite/Pure White mixes.

dresser in annie sloan graphite by martha leone design

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A step by step with Bahia, On The Purple Couch

After your piece has dried completely, the next step is up to you. If you want to sand the paint to a distressed or smooth finish, you have two options: 1. Wax first, then sand, then apply final coat of wax. This cuts down on the dust and allows more control over how much paint comes off while sanding. 2. Or, sand first, then wax.

The directions below assume the piece has been sanded first.

  1. Bahia recommends that you brush the wax on using an Annie Sloan wax brush with a light application.
  2. Before the wax dries, wipe off excess using blue shop cloths (they are lint free and can easily be found online or at your local home improvement store).
  3. Wait 15-20 minutes and buff to a sheen.
    **In the case of my mid century piece, Bahia added a second layer of wax one day later and buffed again using the same process.

These two pieces are available at On The Purple Couch! 301-896-0011. Or, you can purchase them through my etsy shop.

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Follow me on Instagram as I share more pictures of how I paint and prep my furniture and get sneak peeks of my approach to styling these pieces for photo shoots.