Workshop | Paint & Pineapples with Annie Sloan

April 10, 2017

Annie Sloan paint everything bloggers workshop painted and gilded pineapples

Image: Design Soda

.

Now I know what you’re thinking, but bare with me, I haven’t been breathing in paint fumes, well not exactly, but this is yet another paint post of sorts! Over the last month I’ve posted on the Farrow & Ball colour forecast event, painting and decorating tips for the home, room reveals, and now this. Actually if we’re being picky I’ve also just re-launched a slightly paint themed hashtag on Instagram with some fellow colour loving interiors Instagramers (more of that later). Half of this is not my fault, I was very lucky to be invited to two great paint based blogger events within close proximity of eachother and it would be rude not to share them, and it seems appropriate to post them within a reasonable distance of the actual event, no? So, the weekend before last saw me tripping down to Oxford with some fellow blogger buddies to try our hand at a paint workshop with Annie Sloan at her HQ there. If you had told me a week before that I would be in a room with women of my age bracket all excitedly painting cardboard pineapples, I think I may have smirked, but this was such fun. Can you guess which of the pineapples above is mine or where I’ve styled it in my home, read on (or skip to the end if you are an impatient sort!).

.

Annie Sloan paint everything bloggers workshop

Image: Design soda

.

Annie Sloan Amsterdam Green fiddle leaf tree

Image: Design soda

.

I will confess that I didn’t know an awful lot about Annie Sloan before this event, I knew that she was the creator of the first chalk paint and that her paint famously sticks to pretty well anything, shortcutting the need for sanding or undercoats. I knew that she had published books (though I didn’t know that she’d published over 20!) and I guess if I’m entirely honest I probably associated the brand with the fashion for shabby chic that was pretty relentless, even monolithic, in its hold over popular interiors culture a while back. So, before travelling down to Oxford I had a look at the colour chart, expecting to find so many shades of cream and ‘greige’. Except I didn’t. I found many painterly colours full of beauty and vibrancy that I was really drawn to, I fell a little in love with both Amsterdam Green (which you can see on the wall of the office shot above) and Scandinavian Pink, the former a rich dark emerald shade and the latter an irresistible coral tone and I couldn’t wait to use them in the workshop activities.

.

Annie Sloan paint painted surface

Image: Design soda

.

Annie Sloan office workroom, world map wallpaper, stenciled upcycled table

Image: Design soda

.

I’m not entirely sure what I’d expected of Annie’s HQ, I’d had a really hectic week so there wasn’t too much time for research, I knew that Annie’s hub was on an industrial estate on the outskirts of Oxford city centre, my mind was half prepared for a totally sterile unit, the other half expectng to see a Cotswold bucolic scene complete with fields and sheep similar to the area around Charlbury where I spent many a childhood holiday at my grandparents cottage. What I wasn’t prepared for was just how unique, charming and unlike anything you’d expect of an industrial estate this cluster of units are. The paint and personality are here in abundance and so inseparably and beautifully drawn in Annie’s inimitable style. From this office room decorated (above) with map fabric on the wall and stencilled desk, to the salvaged pieces all over and the experimentation with paint, you would not believe that you were inside a utilitarian industrial unit. I love that Annie’s offices feel like such a true representation of her brand. There is nothing contrived about any of it, it’s as though her enthusiasm for transformation has been let loose and writ large, it’s only when you sneak a peep at the room where all her paint is manufactured on site that you get any sense of an industrial manufacturing plant.

.

Annie Sloan paint everything bloggers workshop colour combinations

Image: Design soda

.

Annie started the workshop by giving a really insightful talk full of personality and creativity on her personal approach to colour including some exciting news on a project with Oxfam later in the year. As someone with a Fine Art background, Annie’s approach is very painterly and her range of colours are based on an artists palette. I really like her mix and match approach, there is theory behind it, complimentary colours for example (which took me back to my school days and reminded me of my forgotten obsession for purple and yellow on most of my art projects at school one term) but there’s a feeling of real accessibility to Annie’s ideas, a can-do approach to faking what you can’t afford and creating your own version of beauty which I can totally get on board with. Also, her theories do work, take a look at the diagrams above and below, the hues drawn with arrows and those arranged around the central greys are all perfect bedfellows to each other, don’t you think? I love that Annie’s painterly range is mirrored in her ethos, she positively encourages you to mix and blend her colours together to achieve the shades you desire.

.

Annie Sloan paint everything bloggers workshop colour combinations

Image: Design soda

.

Annie Sloan paint everything shibori dye technique

Image: Design soda

.

There’s something almost Blitz spirit about this approach to decorating, a can-do approach substituting methods or materials of old with with a democratising enthusiasm. Annie is currently working under the theme Paint Everything, illustrating her paints ability to be used pragmatically in many contexts. As part of the demonstration Annie showed us how easily you can dye a piece of lace by placing it in some diluted Annie Sloan chalk paint, or how you can make Shibori patterns (as shown above) by simply folding cotton or linen and dipping the edges of the folds in diluted paint. To lock the paint simply heat as you would with dye, but without the need for washing or making an indelible mess everywhere! 

.

Annie Sloan paint everything workshop

Image: Design soda

.

And so, the pineapples! This trend has been going for quite a while now, and although there are a great many lower-end examples saturating the market and making them feel a little un-special if I’m honest (sorry, but I really mean this, what happened to the regency exoticism and prized rarity of this beautiful fruit in interiors? I want it back!). Well for all my posturing on this, I have to say that I am either mighty impressed with my own skills or else with Annie’s great paint range and gilding waxes (It’s definitely the latter) as the cardboard pineapples we were given to get creative with looked incredible at the end. In fact I now feel more than a little tempted to buy a mass of them to style for the summer and cover in Annie’s paints and gilding waxes, they would be so perfect on an outdoor dining setting in the summer for example. The colours I used were a beautiful teal called Aubusson Blue and Scandinavian Pink, with one single leaf in Amsterdam Green as I just couldn’t resist, finished with Warm Gold gilding wax. I’m so impressed with how cool these little pieces of cardboard look, Annie’s gilding waxes in particular completely elevate something very ordinary into something arresting and pretty. And this is my pineapples new home (below), in the cocktail room. I’ve been moving her around a little bit and she’s currently residing on the cocktail trolley, but I rather like her on the sideboard here too. What do you think?

.

Annie Sloan paint workshop painted cardboard pineapples diy scandinavian pink Aubusson blue (2)

Image: Design soda

.

I would like to thank Annie for a wonderful day full of great food, insights and creativity.  And also my new blogger friends, especially the one I hadn’t met before and who survived a night in a hotel room with me where apparently I didn’t snore at all (who knew? Not me with my heavy sleeping, snoring husband – sorry Dan!). We all took away a fantastic goody bag containing shades based on our Instagram feeds, mine was pinks and blues with copper gilding wax which is pretty bang on for me and I can’t wait to start using them. Talking of Instagram feeds, as mentioned above, myself and Essential Kitchens, Bathrooms & Bedrooms magazine editor Ciara Elliott and textile designer Mairi Helena have, this weekend, relaunched the popular interiors hashtag #colourmyhome, and for our first week we are delighted to have the very talented Annie herself on board judging the weeks entries and providing a fabulous prize. There are more guest judges to follow including a well known interiors TV presenter next week, so hop over to my Instagram feed to see how to take part. See you there colour lovers! 

.

Annie Sloan paint workshop painted cardboard pineapples diy scandinavian pink Aubusson blue with gilding wax

Image: Design soda

.

Annie Sloan Amsterdam Green

Image: Design soda

.

Annie Sloan paint effect surface

Image: Design soda

.Annie Sloan paint everything bloggers workshop painted and gilded pineapples

Image: Design soda

.

Share

Related posts:

2 thoughts on “Workshop | Paint & Pineapples with Annie Sloan

  1. Georgina Andreou

    Lov your blog and the colour of your wall is awesome i too lov playing around with colours i live in Cyprus and always go back to the uk every year …i went to one of Annie Sloans workshop in Wantage Oxfordshire. I really enjoyed my day discovering different techniques and Simon & Carrie who own Creations in wantage r so helpful i want to go back again i only wish they had Annie Sloans paint in Cyprus i paint & upcycle furniture which is so rewarding im hoping to do workshops here!! Lov the bar andnof course the pineapples lol!😊

    Reply
    1. Design_Soda_Ruthie Post author

      Hi Georgina
      Thanks so much for dropping by. The workshops are great, aren’t they? It’s really nice to get an insight into how the colours can be mixed and the best uses of finishes. I loved painting the pineapples and highly recommend it next time your in the UK XX

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *