Don’t get me wrong, I like having a nice home, I just resent spending any precious time myself creating a pleasant space for the family Johnson to reside in. I HATE cleaning (I have a hissy fit if our cleaner dares to be ill, which I know is very diva-ish but I can’t help it). I have no interest in DIY – I’d much prefer someone else do it while I go out and have a nice cuppa somewhere. And I completely skipped the nesting stage of pregnancy – I spent my days awaiting labour going out for long walks that almost always ended with lovely lunches and hot chocolates, rather than rearranging rooms and clearing out cupboards. So it’s slightly surprising that this weekend I not just willingly but completely enthusiastically took part in a workshop to learn more about painting furniture. And even more uncharacteristically, I absolutely loved it. I think I’ve finally been touched by the nesting instinct 16 months after giving birth!
How did this happen? Well, Baby J and I spend many blissful hours in coffee shops. I like coffee and my little girl seems to thrive on receiving soppy eyed coos about how adorable she is from the widest range of people possible – she’s worked out coffee shops are a great place for this. The vintage tearoom at the back of Tea and Roses in Bridgnorth is our current favourite. I love the food and drink and Baby J has discovered racing up and down the ramp that links the tearoom to its interiors shop frontage while giggling cutely is an effective way to attract admiring glances from her audience. Perfect. Anyway, while sipping on my usual black americano and chomping on a chocolate Malteser tiffin (yes, it’s as good as it sounds) I’ve found myself admiring the beautifully restored vintage furniture in the tearoom. All vibrant colours and stylishly distressed finishes. The secret, they told me, was Annie Sloan Chalk Paint – a decorative paint designed to give everything it touches that fashionable vintage look that fills interiors magazines at the moment.
I was intrigued straight away but my interest really peaked when they explained this magic paint can be slapped onto almost any surface without need for priming or even sanding. You can use it basically without any preparation. Dangling the carrot of skipping straight to the ‘make it pretty’ stage without the hard graft, lured me in further.
I can only assume it’s something they put in the coffee, but the more time I spent appreciating the splendidness of the Tea and Roses beverages, the more I started wondering – could I make furniture look this pretty? Mr J picked up on this vibe (I’m not subtle) and very kindly paid for me to go to one of Tea and Roses’ Annie Sloan Chalk Paint courses this weekend – a three hour session to introduce the basic techniques to achieve a fashionable vintage interiors look using this special paint.
It was a fantastic. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint really is as easy to use as they said and I left the workshop feeling slightly smug about my ability to transform a block of plain old wood into something akin to shabby chic. I now have grand designs to makeover the furniture at our holiday cottage in Cornwall. First things first though, I’d better buy myself a paint brush. But give me a while – I’ll need a few more cups of coffee first!