Monday 24 August 2015

Vintage Bamboo Table - Chinoiserie Look with Chalk Paint™ and Stencilling

Last year I was browsing through a junk shop and spotted a badly damaged antique bamboo table, feeling inspired I suddenly had a vision of a beautiful chinoiserie piece. I knew with Chalk Paint™ some stencilling and antiquing, I could bring new life to this old soul.

Whenever I have an idea, whether to update some furniture or create a new look for a room, I always look for visual inspiration by first creating a mood board. With this table I knew it needed a chinoiserie look and initially I was going for neutrals however, things changed when I recently received some samples of paint from Annie Sloan.

I was sent, Antibes Green and Graphite for the 'Made It My Own with Annie Sloan' promotion. I could see the possibility of these two colours working but I wasn't completely convinced about the vibrancy of Antibes Green for this particular project. However, having already experienced the creative side of Chalk Paint™, experimenting with techniques such as layering, dry brushing, washes and waxing etc, I decided to move away from my 'neutral' comfort zone and use Antibes Green for some added colour.

Below is the table in its 'before' state, I am sure I hear some of  you saying, "why would anyone want to paint over that beautiful tortoiseshell bamboo". It did seem a bit of a sin, but the water damage to the legs and the terrible damage to the table top and shelf (close up photos below), were beyond repair. 

Above and below: leather had been glued on the top, ruining the original surface and damaging it severely. I had to strip it back and repair it before any paint could be applied to the top and bottom shelf.

I would use Antibes green and Graphite Chalk Paint™ and a deep, black water based paint. I then planned to stencil gold butterflies on the top and lower shelf. Finally I would achieve an antique finish using a crackle effect and Annie Sloan's dark wax... I had a vision in my mind and nothing was going to stop me.

  • Above: I painted two layers of Antibes Green over the entire table and once it was dry, I dry brushed Graphite over the bamboo legs only. I used Annie's flat brush being careful to allow most of the green to show through. I then applied a coat of clear wax followed by two coats of dark wax (on the finished legs only), this toned down the Antibes Green to a gorgeous grey/green.

  • Above: I applied Resene Crackle in random areas to the lower shelf and the table top. Had I 'NOT' been painting black over the top I would have used Annie Sloan's Craqueleur which cracks beautifully but only reveals the colour beneath it. Annie's craqueleur is to be used over the 'final' paint. In this case I wanted black on top and the green to show through. 
  • Once the Crackle was dry I painted black acrylic paint over the entire table top and lower shelf, including the bamboo framing the shelf and top. I wanted to achieve a rich, black and Graphite is more of a grey black, hence introducing the acrylic paint at this point. As it dried, the bright Antibes green showed through where I had applied the craqueleur. 
  • I then decided to distress the bamboo a little by sanding very lightly in areas to allow the Antibes Green to show through. Sanding lightly would prevent the wood of the table coming through. I chose to sand the rings of the bamboo and the edges of the sides of the table.
  • I wiped down the table and proceeded to stencil the butterflies on the top and lower shelf. I used a simple test pot of gold paint from Resene. Make sure when you are stencilling you use a stencil brush and dab the paint on, there is usually enough paint left in the lid of the paint pot to dab into. I find a damp sponge helpful to take off the excess before you start to dab at your stencil. Dab over your stencil until you have the gold at the strength you require.
  • I then applied two coats of clear wax gave it a buff and then two coats of dark wax and buffed vigourously in circles until it was beautifully reflective. The dark wax still allowed the green to show through and it toned down the brightness of the gold butterflies achieving an antique finish.
A friend dropped in Saturday and saw the finished table, she said it looked fabulous and definitely had a look of Chinoiserie which pleased me no end. Chalk Paint™ is amazing and although I used an acrylic paint for the top and lower shelf, I could never  have achieved the antique look for the bamboo legs without the use of Chalk Paint™. I love how the Antibes Green turned out, It is all about playing with colours and layering to achieve the look you desire. 

I challenge you to find something to paint with Chalk Paint™, it really is fun and so easy to do. If you need some inspiration, take a look at my Pinterest boards below or visit for more ideas. I would love to see what you achieve. When your piece is finished you can upload it to the 'Made it My Own with Annie Sloan gallery' at with a chance to win $100 of Annie Sloan prizes, read how to enter over at last weeks post

Happy Painting oxo


  1. Lee, I love the transformation and the paint color is wonderful! Thank you for linking your project to the Share Your Style party.

  2. Wonderful little table Lee, great job on bringing it back to life from damaged disarray! Love the layered green and the butterfly details that add to its eastern flair. You should link up to this weeks Friday Furniture Fix party over at Patina Paradise!

    1. Thanks Brenda, I will try to link it up to the furniture party.


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