After a week back in the office I couldn’t wait to be back in my “she shed” to start some new projects. I find the early part of the year, a time when the garden doesn’t demand constant attention, a great time to catch up with my furniture makeovers. I have collected many bits and pieces from all sorts of places and they are all patiently waiting for me to set some time aside to transform them.

Ikea side table

Mainly due to the materials I had in stock my small round Ikea table was the first item to be brought down from the loft. Using for reference the Annie Sloan’s book of Quick and Easy Paint Transformations I chose to crackle-varnish my table.

The first step was to paint it with two coats of Annie Sloan’s Old White Chalk Paint™.

Table painted with two coats of Old White chalk paint

While I was waiting for the paint to dry I started a second project which had also been waiting for my attention. Inspired by a Farrow & Ball article which showed a collection of terracotta pots painted in a variety of colours and patterns I rounded up my terracotta candles for a quick makeover. Carefully masking them with Easy Mask KleenEdge™ tape I applied Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ in three different colours; Antibes Green, Duck Egg Blue, and Emperor’s Silk. Without doubt my favourite, once painted and the tape peeled off, was the Duck Egg Blue.

Duck Egg Blue candles

By the time I had painted these the table was ready for a second coat of paint. This took no time at all and I left it overnight to dry thoroughly. The next step was to apply Annie Sloan Craqueleur Step 1™ to the surface of the table and leave to dry.

Annie Sloan Craqueleur Step 1™ applied to table surface

Once dry I carefully applied Annie Sloan Craqueleur Step 2™ to the surface ensuring that it was evenly spread. Immediately afterwards I used a hair dryer to blow hot air onto the wet varnish. This has the effect of making the cracks appear and will vary in size depending how thickly the varnish is applied; the thicker the varnish the bigger the cracks. After allowing a short while for the varnish to cool I used a cloth to apply Annie Sloan’s dark wax into the cracks. To remove any excess from the table’s surface I used a clean cloth and Annie Sloan’s clear wax. The end result is an elegant distressed piece of furniture which resembles aged ivory.

Finished piece

Close up of crackle-varnish finish

The book did not go into detail as to how to finish the table’s pedestal so I improvised. Having allowed the two coats of white paint to dry I applied a protective layer of clear wax and wiped off the excess. Before completely dry I applied a layer of dark wax and worked it into the brush strokes and joints to give an aged effect. The excess wax was wiped off with another clean cloth.