During one of the colder weeks so far this year, I kept myself warm and busy by hosting The Big Paint. This was an initiative by Annie Sloan, with a fabulous kit of Chalk Paint, stencil, brush and tray for each person to use, and it was a much needed uplift for many during this pandemic. The title came about because this was a global undertaking during the first week in February, taking place in 28 countries, hosted by over 400 stockists and with around 4500 attendees , I think I can safely say that Annie Sloan took over the world during this one week in February! Read on to see how it worked and the results from some of my groups.
How does a virtual Chalk Paint workshop work?
Each attendee was sent a kit, designed by Annie Sloan herself. This contained three Chalk Paint colours, some clear wax to finish their piece, a tray, brush and stencil. All they needed to have ready apart from this kit, was access to a device to stream Zoom, a cloth to cover their table and some water to clean the brush!
What techniques did they learn?
The workshop allowed people to learn how to apply Chalk Paint and wax, along with how to stencil with the paint. I would demonstrate the techniques and then set them loose to start theirs. Alongside this, it gave people the opportunity to ask lots of questions such as tips in projects they have planned, or what other things apart from furniture you can use Chalk Paint on. As you can imagine, the questions came thick and fast!
How did the trays turn out?
This was the most interesting bit of the workshop for me. Normally in a group session, you find that the finished pieces can have some similarities as people see what everyone else is doing. Both groups were very industrious once they started to paint themselves, it was very much heads down and crack on! With three colours of paint and one stencil design, each person’s tray was so very different- see for yourself below…..
How can you learn how to use Chalk Paint?
Join a workshop - virtual is a fun way to learn a new skill in these strange times. This tray workshop was a one-off, although it may be I can get more of the kits so can arrange another date. Contact me if you would be interested. Alternatively, if you and 5 friends fancy having a go at a small project, my Paint a Chair workshop may be right up your street.
Watch some Annie Sloan videos - check out the Techniques and Tips section on the Annie Sloan website for some great short videos.
Chat to your stockist. Annie Sloan only sells through independent businesses, who have lots of skills and knowledge to impart. In fact, you may struggle to get me to shut up about the subject once I start. You can start thinking about colours by checking out the Chalk Paint page at Source for the Goose Remember, chalk painting should fun; its quick and easy and you can finish a small project in a day. As simple as that!
And finally, the verdict from those that attended.
'Thank you for a lovely workshop this afternoon thoroughly enjoyed it.
It was good to do something different for a change.'
'Jill, thank you for a wonderful afternoon. It was great fun and so interesting seeing how differently all our trays turned out. I'll put another coat of wax on mine this afternoon, leave it a week, then I'm going to use it when I have tea on my own.
You are very good at demonstrating and helping us through the tasks. I'm looking forward to starting on the various projects I've been planning for years. The first, will be a wooden carpenters tray which was my late father's, then I'll move onto furniture.'
'Lovely afternoon thank you and pleased with my tray.'
'Thank you so much for the workshop which we both enjoyed very much. I finished painting my tray today and when it is waxed I will send you some photos.
If you are running any other events please let me know by email as I'm always looking to develop new skills and meet new people.'
'Thankyou for yesterday. Definitely got me inspired to give it a(nother) go.'