My second project: this time in the kitchen

My second painting project was a storage unit for the kitchen. We live in a small house, where storage space is limited, and we were always finding that our kitchen cupboards were too packed full to find anything.

Here is a step-by-step guide to creating some pretty yet functional extra storage!

Firstly, we did what any Brit does: we tootled off to the nearest branch of Ikea. After viewing about 9,000 unpronouncable Scandinavian-named products and completing several hundred laps of the store, we found a piece just the right size, and super-cheap, too!

Here it is on Ikea’s website.

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And a closer shot of the wood.

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Next, I baked some scones and nipped to the supermarket for some jam and cream.

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The point of said scones was to entice my brother to pop by for a freshly-baked snack. ‘Oh, while you’re here’, I said, ‘I’ve got some flat pack furniture that needs assembling’

Result!

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Next up: choosing colour.

I thought I knew what colours I wanted for this piece: my plan was to paint a thick under layer of Paloma, and then a lighter wash (1/3 water) of Old White over the top. However, when I tested the Old White on the wood, it turned out to be too pale and creamy for our kitchen. It is a gorgeous shade – don’t get me wrong – but I wanted something a bit more colourful.

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Old white – I am sure I will find another project to use up all this lovely paint soon!

Unexpected step 4: hotfoot it to gorgeous little gift shop in village to buy a tin of Emile. My next plan was to do the under coat in Emile, then wash with Paloma.

I was much happier with this. Here’s the unit with the thick layer of Emile underneath.

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Using an Annie Sloan medium brush, I splodged this layer on willy-nilly, not bothering too much to make it look neat. After all, it would be covered by another layer, and would only be showing through where I sanded it.

For the second layer, I mixed around 1/3 water with the Paloma to achieve a smoother, more spreadable consistency. I applied this a bit more carefully, as the paint obviously drips more when watered down.

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Once this was dry, I started sanding. I was really looking forward to this, as it was the first time I’d done any sanding with chalk paints (for the first item I painted, I wanted a smoother, neat look).

I wasn’t really sure what to expect: I knew what I didn’t want (I didn’t want it to look too old or distressed), I just wanted it to have some texture and interest.

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I’m really pleased with this grainy effect that has started to appear – despite the wood was super smooth to begin with.

In Annie Sloan’s FAQ’s there is a section on painting Ikea furniture – which can need to be treated differently because they sometimes put a finish on the wood. Either they hadn’t done in this case, or I didn’t notice – I couldn’t feel any finish to it and the paint adhered really well.

Next up is for me to wax it all over with Annie Sloan clear wax. I’m really looking forward to this part and I’ll post some more pictures when this is done!

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