Inspiration

Geometric Mid-Century Sideboard

by Polly Coulson

This bright and playful piece by Annie’s Painter in Residence Polly Coulson is a very persuasive example of how (and indeed, why) to incorporate fine art movements into your home. It’s a sure-fire short cut to bring some more sophistication – and dinner party compliments – into your home.

Mid-century modern sideboard painted with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan Painter in Residence Polly Coulson with geometric shapes

Polly Coulson used an edgy abstract design in muted strong pastels and was inspired by Australian designer Greg Natale for this mid-century sideboard. Colour palette and simplistic shapes are key considerations when attempting this look; if you’re not as confident as Polly (who had a rough plan, but mainly added shapes bit by bit until she was happy with how the piece looked) we recommend sketching out your design in advance and trying a variety of colourways on paper before applying paint to furniture. It can be helpful when using somebody else’s work for inspiration to surround yourself with imagery of your favourite of their pieces. Identify common themes and define what it is about that person’s work which you want to bring into your home.

Mid-century modern sideboard painted with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan Painter in Residence Polly Coulson with geometric shapes

Polly used Chalk Paint® in Old Violet, Country Grey, a mix of Antoinette and Scandinavian Pink, Olive and Honfleur. These are mostly cool-toned Chalk Paint® colours, which add to the modern and directional feel of the piece. Polly used masking tape to mark out her shapes and frequently referred to her inspiration source to make sure she was being true to her vision

Top tip: if the furniture you’re painting is sympathetic to the look you’re going for; it will make your project much easier. Ornate, carved rococo furniture will be difficult to paint in a modernist way – and a functional, cubist storage unit might benefit more from a quick one-colour upcycle than attempting a doomed authentic French shabby-chic transformation. This piece works for Polly because it’s modernist and simplistic in its style.

Mid-century modern sideboard painted with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan Painter in Residence Polly Coulson - before
Mid-century modern sideboard painted with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan Painter in Residence Polly Coulson with geometric shapes - during
Flat Brushes by Annie Sloan used by Polly Coulson painted with Chalk Paint®

Polly used a Large Flat Brush to apply a base of Chalk Paint® in Country Grey. A Flat Brush is the best tool for creating a smooth and modern finish. Polly then used a Detail Brush to add her shapes bit by bit, frequently stepping back to observe how her piece was progressing in order to avoid over-doing anything. Remember: it’s much easier to add more detail at a later date than it is to remove anything!

Once you are happy with how your piece looks, use Clear Chalk Paint® Wax to protect. That’s what Polly’s done here, and it emphasises the velvety qualities of Chalk Paint® and softens the look a little.

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Mid-century modern sideboard painted with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan Painter in Residence Polly Coulson with geometric shapes
Paint swatch of Old Violet Chalk Paint® furniture paint by Annie Sloan, a classic dusty lavender purple

Old Violet

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Paint swatch of Country Grey Chalk Paint® furniture paint by Annie Sloan, a rustic putty cream beige

Country Grey

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Paint swatch of Antoinette Chalk Paint® furniture paint by Annie Sloan, a soft pale pink

Antoinette

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Paint swatch of Scandinavian Pink Chalk Paint® furniture paint by Annie Sloan, a traditional earthy Swedish-style pink

Scandinavian Pink

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Paint swatch of Honfleur Chalk Paint® furniture paint by Annie Sloan, a rich brown

Honfleur

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Annie Sloan Small and Large Flat Brushes with synthetic bristles

Flat Brushes

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Detail Brushes by Annie Sloan box

Detail Brushes

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500ml tin 100ml tester tin of Clear Chalk Paint® Wax by Annie Sloan

Clear Chalk Paint® Wax

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