We had an amazing evening and I for one was inspired to trot home and distress the legs of my kitchen table, which I have been daring to do for the last year!  Success.

Vanessa told us about her degree in Fine Art and how when she moved over to the Middle East,  was inspired by the pigments used by rug makers and stitchers.  From there, she moved to Oxford where she met Annie Sloan and discovered Chalk Paint. They first worked together over 25yrs ago.   As Vanessa said, with Chalk Paint, you can’t go wrong with upcycling.

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Annie Sloan paint is almost organic.  You don’t need to strip wood or sand it before painting, you just paint! It is raw and beautiful and comes in a palette of 36 colours, which can be mixed or layered depending on the required finish.  Brush strokes are crucial depending on what sort of finish you want and texture is built up with layers.

Vanessa charmed us with her easy manner.  A lady who can definitely multi task – speaking to us while apply paint or wax in the same breath.  In true ‘Blue Peter’ fashion, she came with a chair that she had ‘prepared earlier’ and then talked us through the skills of applying paint, distressing, varnishing and waxing.  Vanessa showed us how using clear and black wax can lighten and darken areas and the effect was amazing.  She made it look so easy!  She recommended a decorators varnish, which when applied gave a dead flat finish.

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The Marmalade House runs courses and will also bespoke an item of furniture for you.  Annie Sloane, Chalk Paint and Wax can be bought from The Marmalade House, who are based in the Loft in Bath.

Have a look at The Marmalade House website.  I’m sure it will tempt you to tackle that old chair which has been languishing in the attic for a few years!