Some Saturday afternoon DIY

Now the cooler weather’s here I can’t work in the summer house any more – it’s time to cosy up indoors and light the woodburner, basking in its warmth whilst Daisy and Ben slumber on the rug at my feet.   But at the end of the working day it’s nice to clear away my laptop and other IT bits and pieces – whilst they’re very necessary, they’re not very decorative and if I just leave them on the table they’re at risk of crashing to the floor if Ben should wag his tail close by!  

A new interior design shop has opened in Totnes that specialises in Annie Sloan chalk paint and I was captured by their promise that no sanding, priming or undercoating was necessary, and that the paint was odour free and really easy to use.  In the living room I had an old CD player cupboard that was now redundant – these days I simply plug my iPhone into its dock when I want music.  And this cupboard was just the right size to hold my printer and laptop, with room at the bottom for spare paper and some files too.  The only problem was that, being nearly 20 years old, it has definitely seen much better days ….

Saturday DIY

But it’s a good, sturdy piece of solid pine furniture and I was certain that if Annie Sloan chalk paint lived up to its promises I would be able to transform it into something much more attractive.  So I set to work ….

Saturday DIY

The lady in the Totnes shop assured me that one coat would be sufficient.  But here is my cupboard following a single coat and I wasn’t at all satisfied with the finish at this point.  It was very patchy, though I know I do have a tendency to overwork my paint.  However, the paint was really nice to use, and washed out of my brushes, and Daisy’s ear fluff(!) very easily.  Perhaps if I’d wanted a very shabby chic look one coat would have been enough, but I wanted my cupboard to be just a little smarter and blend well with the rest of the room …

Saturday DIY

Look at all those lovely logs and my quilt, all ready for snuggling!  The wallpaper is Cow Parsley from Vanessa Arbuthnott, and I had a small remnant of Cow Parsley linen fabric  from some long ago project, that was perfect for the glass panels of the cupboard door…

Saturday DIY

And here is my previously unloved cupboard in its new home.  I’m very pleased with it, two coats gave (for me) the perfect coverage whilst buffing it with the special wax has given it a lovely sheen.  And …. I still have over half a can of paint left for my next project – result! 


It looks very smart – must go and look shop!
I agree with you one coat is not enough!
Julie xxxxxxx

Kathleen Robertson

Interesting. I’ve just bought an old side table that I’m going to upholster and turn into a pouffe. I’ve often wondered how good Annie Sloan paint is, seems a bit too good to be true that no sanding or undercoated is needed, but your cupboard is looking lovely. I may just be tempted after all 🙂


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