When we first moved to Johannesburg we didn’t have a coffee table and so a family member gave us one that they were going to get rid of anyway. It wasn’t really our taste so we set about sanding it down to remove the super varnished orange looking stain that it had. Well, we go about half way and then lost interest and so for the past few years we have had a half sanded down coffee table in our lounge. After I attended the launch of the new Annie Sloan colour, Lem Lem, I decided that enough was enough; if we weren’t going to sand the table down, I was going to paint it. It came out pretty darn well and so I thought I would share all the details of my Annie Sloan coffee table upcycle.
Annie Sloan is a range of decorative chalk paints that can be used on absolutely anything (even floors!), with zero prep or priming, the two worst parts of painting as far as I am concerned. These amazing chalk paints leave a velvety, matte texture to your piece that you paint. If you prefer a subtle sheen, simply add one of the soft waxes. The paints give great coverage and come in over 30 colours.
The newest colour from Annie Sloan is called Lem Lem and it is incredibly special. Lem Lem is inspired by the fields of while alliums that grow in south east Ethiopia. Annie visited to take part in a ongoing project and was inspired by what the alliums represented: money and freedom. Some women had grown and sold enough alliums to by a house, cow and ox as well as pay for schooling for all four of her children. A huge achievement for a women from this rural area.
Annie decided that she wanted to give back to this incredibly inspiring community and so she teamed up with Oxfam (a global poverty reduction charity) when starting to create Lem Lem. For the next three years, a percentage of every Lem Lem sale will go straight to Oxfam to help fight poverty. Annie’s goal is to raise £250,000 which would do the absolute world of good.
After the launch of Lem Lem (who wouldn’t be?!) I was feeling super inspired and so I took on my coffee table as soon as I got home. Now I must tell you, I am not very good at being creative; I can’t paint or draw and I usually make some catastrophic mistake when doing simple things like painting a wall and so I really didn’t have high hopes for myself, or the coffee table.
I decided that I was just going to paint the legs of the table, I quite liked the wooden top of it and so I laid out some black bags and turned the table upside down on top of them. It felt odd to not have to sand down or prime the table before but I wasn’t about to do unnecessary hard work, and so I began painting. The consistency of the paint is very similar to most paints, maybe ever so slightly thicker and is really easy to apply. The paint dries so quickly and so as soon as I was done with the first coat, I was able to do the second straight away which which was fab because I really didn’t want this DIY to drag on forever.
After the second coat had dried, it was time to rub in some of the soft wax. I like the very subtle sheen that it gives, plus its just an added layer of protection and durability which it definitely needed with my crazy dogs and toddler running around. The wax was also really easy to apply; I simply put a dollop on a rag and rubbed it into the paint, it almost melts in and takes very little effort.
And that was it, I couldn’t believe how quick this little upcycle was (only an hour in total!) and what a difference it made to our coffee table! As I said, I am not a DIY pro but the Annie Sloan paints were so simple to use that I have already planned my next project. If you are looking for a stockist, simply head over to the website. There are also tons of workshops that you can attend to learn really amazing techniques, I’m definitely keen to go to one soon so maybe I’ll see you there!