I've been using this paint and wax combination for a while now, and every time I finish a piece I'm so happy with the results. So much painted furniture these days is white and distressed. Don't get me wrong, it looks beautiful and is a perfect neutral backdrop for so many homes. But I find it can get a bit monotonous. That's why I like to balance all that white with some darker neutrals. Graphite is still a neutral, but it has a richer quality. It can also feel more masculine, whereas too much white can be overly 'shabby chic.'
Although I love Annie Sloan's Graphite on its own, I do like to mix in a Aubusson blue to lighten it. The combination just works for me, and gives the paint the color of worn metal. I sand everything down with fine grit sand paper [I'll use a slightly coarser bit for the edges of the top and drawers]. I'm also deliberate with the way I apply the wax. I use dark wax directly on the surface, which tones down the blue, and I apply it with a bristly brush it on along the grain to give it that brushed metal feel. This desk could work beside white pieces of furniture, but still keeps things neutral [I love pops of color, but not everyone does!]. I love how it looks with my favorite vintage folding chairs [not for sale because they're favorites of mine!].