November 26, 2013

How to get the French Willow Grey look using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Thanks to everyone that read my last post on How to have a great Market Stall, especially those of you that took the time to leave a comment here or on Facebook, thank you. It's a post I've been meaning to write for ages! I do have more to add to that post and will do that soon.

Tonight I'm showing you a couple of projects you've probably already spied in my market stall photos...
A trio of bar stools...
and a pair of side tables.
They started out like this...

I picked these pieces up late last week and set myself a rather mad goal to have them refinished in time to take to the market with me. 
I am nothing if not determined (my parents are smiling and nodding as they read this, lol!) and I worked hard, probably a little bit too hard, but got them done.  

I decided to try another way of getting what I call the 'french willow grey' look.  I absolutely love this look/colour - I think it works perfectly for beach house or French country style.  I've written about this before such as here (my most viewed post on my blog by seems I'm not the only one that loves this look, and I think Google is my friend on this one!) Using Annie Sloan Chalk paint to achieve this method is much easier, particularly if you want this look over your whole piece of furniture, as my other method involves stripping back your surface to bare wood first.  It is still my favourite look for table tops though, and one I've used lots!

To achieve this subtle, layered timeworn look, I painted on two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen, then did a top coat in Paris Grey (ever so slightly watered down - not really a wash, just a thin coat of paint, covering most of the base coat).   I distressed by hand, then clear waxed.  I could have added a whitewash layer, or a lightened Grey/White mix, or even liming wax, but for these pieces, I loved them like this. Dark wax applied sparingly would also add another many options, only limited by your imagination!
This would also work well to update your old yellow/brown colour basket ware into French willow grey - I'd suggest watering down both colours of paint for this, and I probably would add a whitewash layer for the top coat. I wouldn't worry about sealing with wax, these baskets are often a chalky texture.

These pieces didn't find new owners on Sunday, so they are still available for sale...please contact me if you are interested in purchasing them :)


  1. Thanks for sharing your tricks of the trade to us mere mortals, love seeing your before and after photos please keep adding more of your delicious projects and how to get the look ♡♡

  2. Hi you did two chairs recently did you use this technic the same as this (very pale almost looked like yhe colour of driftwood you commented you washed them, thanks in advance

  3. The more I read other blogs and the more stuff we re-do ourselves, the more I find out that there are many different ways to do things and different end results to achieve. Such fun!

  4. I have some bar stools in this style that I also did in the lovely grey chalk paint, but I am planning on then adding numbers (1, 2, 3...) on the top of the seat, it seems to be very 'on trend' here in Canada and the US. :-) I'm currently redoing two night tables for my master bedroom ( ) this link shows the exact piece. I took off the old hardware, which I really didn't care for, filled the holes with wood filler, sanded down and painted. I will wax and distress and add new hardware and I think they will be fantastic!

  5. Beautiful Karen!! I've missed your market post, so I better go read that now as mine is coming up!!

  6. They all look really good Karen I cant believe they didn't time also loved your Knbs on the tables...he he he -love dee x

  7. It's a great look. I really like how the end tables turned out.

  8. It all looks AMAZING :) I hope you had a lovely Christmas holiday.

    Check out my new post...Cute Swedish Curtain inspiration :)

    Have a fab day.

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis - Swedish decor, food, and fashion