Copper Gilded Bath
at Annie Sloan HQ
This copper gilded bath sits at Annie Sloan HQ in Oxford. It’s where we do all our fabric dyeing with Chalk Paint®.
There’s a room here at HQ that we use as a studio, workspace and course room. It’s where Annie plays around with ideas, creates new pieces and explores techniques. It’s also where we hold training sessions for our Stockists (all our Stockists are trained as paint and colour experts). There’s a small room leading off this space where we’ve had an old roll top bath plumbed in – this is where we dye fabric with Chalk Paint®! It’s a practical room, but there’s no reason why it shouldn’t also be beautiful.
In Annie’s book Colour Recipes for Painted Furniture and More, she describes how she transformed the white enamel bath in her Normandy home by adding a resplendent copper leaf to the outside. Annie decided to do the same with this rather dilapidated old bath here in Oxford.
Annie went for a recreation – or perhaps an exaggeration! – of natural copper by applying it over a base of Chalk Paint® in Florence. If you like this idea, play around with it and make it your own. You could try this with silver leaf – perhaps over Emperor’s Silk, or gold with Aubusson Blue.
The soft, warmer tones in copper and rose gold are popular at the moment, and the natural progression of copper is to form verdigris. The pinkish-orange of copper and the pale green of a true verdigris patina form opposites on the colour wheel, a complementary colour scheme. Annie used Chalk Paint® in Florence to paint the base of the bath. She then brushed it with Gold Size and, when the size was completely clear, applied Loose Copper Leaf over it (crumple the leaf in your hands before putting it over the size to make sure the look isn’t too uniform). She let small gaps and cracks appear in the leaf so that a sublime flash of Florence green would peek through.
Once the whole thing had dried, Annie applied Clear Chalk Paint® Wax all over to give it some protection – this flattens everything out, giving a smooth finish. The wall behind is painted with Emperor’s Silk and stencilled with Old White to create a wallpaper effect.
The bath is so small it has to stand on a base to be practical as mixing heavy swathes of fabric can be pretty back-breaking. However, by painting it in Olive, a cooling green next to the bright red walls, the whole effect is rather grand and certainly pleasing.