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Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on a brick fireplace

Listed under Blog Posted Feb 16 2020

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on a brick fireplace

Ron Taylor, Traditional Painter for Warwickshire, had an interesting challenge recently with a “red” brick fireplace. Over the decades Ron has seen it all, and has more paint specifications up his sleeve than most decorators. He has painted a lot of kitchens and furniture and is a go-to expert in the world of spraying. In this case his technical solution for a brick fireplace was Gardz plus Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on a brick fireplace

I was recently asked to come up with a way to make 2 brick fireplaces look lighter.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on a brick fireplace

Meeting the brief

The customer didn’t want a solid colour so we decided to go with a distressed colour wash type finish. Broken colour or faux is a useful tool if you want to add interest and depth to a solid surface.

The main fireplace was still being used, so any paint finish on the hearth would mark fairly quickly. Therefore painting would be limited to the facing surfaces only.

Down to work, preparing the bricks

After cleaning down the soot from the brickwork, I applied a coat of Zinsser Gardz. This is a clear water-based penetrating sealer that would stop the chalk paint soaking straight into the bricks. It is really big in the USA for sealing plasterboard before wallpapering or as a primer before painting. A good addition to any UK painter’s armoury when dealing with absorbent problem surfaces. There is Gardz info here on the TP site.

Painting a base coat

After the Gardz was dry I applied a coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Country Grey, to all the brick and mortar. One of the many plus points of Annie Sloan’s chalk paint is the opacity. It has great coverage. But as we didn’t want a flat finish, it was time to get creative.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on a brick fireplace

Distressing the base coat

We wanted to define the brick edges, but as the mortar was fairly flush with the brick faces, I’d had to warn the client that sanding off and distressing the finish would be quite time consuming.

I sanded some bricks more than others, and gradually the aged look started to take shape.

One characteristic of chalk paint is that it needs a finishing coat to protect it. What to do?

Fellow Traditional Painter, Scot Hindley and I worked with Annie Sloan’s tech team on their innovative clear lacquer, testing it for spraying over chalk paint. It really is a tough coating and certainly makes Annie Sloan chalk paint a viable alternative to conventional furniture paint enamels. But the artist in me decided that in this instance, a light coat of Annie’s traditional clear wax would be sufficient protection and would add more colour variation and interest to different areas.

Waxing on, waxing off

When you know how to apply Annie Sloan’s protective wax, (thinly thinly) it is easy, but when you read online, there seem to be a lot of “waxing fails”. With the way social media works these days, disappointed users who don’t know what they are doing can give a bad rap to a perfectly good product. So to head off potential issues at the pass, several years ago we wrote some tips on using wax over chalk paint.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on a brick fireplace

Job completed, exactly what the customer wanted. What do you think?

Ron can be contacted via this website or direct on his site

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