I recently attended an Annie Sloan Chalk Painting class at CATFISH CREATIVE FURNISHINGS and came home with a great little painted piece and a head full of FABULOUS techniques, tips and ideas! This hands on class was invaluable and our teacher, Celeste, was fun and informative and so so creative! 

It was a day of ASCP total immersion! I learned so many interesting techniques! But there was one thing I thing I took away that will make a HUGE difference in the way I paint EVERY piece of furniture...

I think it is the best tip I will ever get and I want to share it with you...


This sounds like such a simple thing... a little extra step... 

But it is one that could make the difference between loving a newly painted piece and ruining it!

Painting a practice board will help you focus in on the colors and techniques you will use to transform a piece. You will be able to see what your piece will look like even before touching it with a paint brush.

And once you get the color and technique just perfect on your practice board you have something to use to compare your piece with as you paint it.

What a BRILLIANT idea!

Choose a practice board with curves and raised areas. It will give you a realistic preview of how a real piece of furniture will look! Don't settle for a flat board! Most pieces we paint have interest.

A piece of baseboard or crown molding makes a great practice board! Again, Brilliant! 

Buy a large piece and have it cut into 4 or 5 inch pieces. Most hardware stores will do this for you for free!

 Baseboard trim comes in 8 ft (or longer) strips.
That means you will get between 19 and 24 practice boards for under $20.00!

You can choose white or natural wood molding depending on the surface of the piece to be painted. If you have piece that has a finish on it you will probably want to use the white molding because it mimics the finish on a piece of furniture.

Here are a couple of practice boards I painted in class...

Rough Finish using Antibes Green. This finish was achieved by putting the paint in the refrigerator... can you believe it!

This finish is just stunning... it is a Color Wash using Old White as a base and a Coco wash. I can't wait to show you how easy it is to do a wash. You will be amazed how we learned to remove the wash to give it this grained look!

 I taped the practice board in half and then used the clear wax mixed with a tad of dark wax on one side and the dark wax on the other.

Taping a board is a great way to see what 2 finishes will look like and compare.

Detailed crown molding was base coated in Scandinavian Pink, top coated with Cream and then distressed back with 200 grit sand paper to achieve this worn look.

A tiny amount of clear wax was applied and then integrated into the paint. This left a beautiful sheen on the board.

This next practice board was so simple... just a couple of coats of Paris Grey. When the paint dried it was sanded to a smooth-as-glass finish by "massaging"  it with very very fine sandpaper. There really is a technique to sanding a piece!

I then gave the front a dark stain just to see how it would look. Because the practice board was sanded to such a smooth finish first, the dark wax "took" to the piece quite differently! 

And how do I remember all of this? I wrote the technique I used for each piece on the back of it!

I save all my practice boards in a basket. I am building a "technique library"

I will be sharing all kinds of great painting ideas and techniques with you... and an interview with Celeste from Catfish Creative Furnishings. Look for upcoming posts!

Happy Painting!

Join me for TUTORIALS TIPS AND TIDBITS tonight at 8:00!

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