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A hub for all things to do with design, furniture painting, photography, style, event planning [and some foodie bits for good measure].  

Creating a Rustic Look with Annie Sloan's Arles: Mustard Storage Bench

It's 2017 and this is the year I'm on a mission to try ALL of Annie Sloan's chalk paint colors.  I've been a die hard Annie Sloan user for years now, but I find myself staying with the same colors and combinations time and again.  A few months back I had a discount to the shop where I pick up my AS products, and I decided it was a perfect time to pick up a few of her new colors, along with a couple colors I've never tried.  My latest piece tests out a new color [to me], Arles.

Arles is described on the AS site: "This rich, deep yellow was inspired by the town of Arles in the south of France where a wide range of earthy yellow ochres are dug straight from the ground. It’s a natural rustic colour as well as a modern colour."

It's one of those colors that immediately feels comforting and homey. I've been waiting for the right piece to paint this color, and when my mom sent me a photo of this lovely little storage bench, I knew I was going to go with Arles.

The bench is solid wood stained in a dark espresso finish.  It looks a bit like a haggard church pew this way, so I wanted to give it a bit of life.

Benches aren't too terribly difficult to paint. I simply had to remove the hardware from the top of the seat, and went straight to painting. 

Since the bulk of the bench sits nearly flush along the floor, the best way to cover it with paint is by turning the piece upside down and on its side to best get the paint coverage on it.  I'm not sure if it was the bench finish or this paint color, but this piece did take a full extra coat to cover [3-3.5 total] than usual, which meant it was a bit of a bear to get it finished.

Once I was satisfied with the painted finish, I then took a piece of #0000 steel wool, wet it with a bit of water and rubbed off sections of paint randomly to create a rustic finish. I also used a sanding block to lightly scuff up the edges and smooth down the flat surfaces. 

The final rustic flourish lay in the waxed finish. I opted to mix a bit of dark wax into some clear wax, blending the two with a paint stirrer until I achieved a coffee colored stain.  I brushed on the wax with an inexpensive chip brush I had on hand and quickly rubbed in the wax, removing any excess.

I don't normally go for a rustic, farmhouse inspired finish, but I adore the final product here! This bench would be the perfect pop of color in a hallway or entry to tuck away shoes, or in a children's bedroom or playroom as added storage space for toys. It's posted for sale in my shop, so contact me if you're interested in it or would love to know more about this color and the painting process!