A Simple Way to Achieve an Aged Look on Furniture using the Frottage Technique


as_jan2014_19The latest inspirational furniture painting project from our latest DIY Expert, Annie Sloan is achieved using the Frottage technique on the table top above. Frottage* is taken from the French word frotter which literally means “to rub”.

Frottage was developed by the surrealist artist Max Ernst in 1925. Ernst was inspired by an ancient wooden floor where the grain of the planks had been accentuated by many years of scrubbing. The patterns of the graining suggested strange images to him. He captured these by laying sheets of paper on the floor and then rubbing over them with a soft pencil.

Frottage is one of my favourite paint effect techniques as it brings a bolder and more distinctive ageing process to any surface – in an instant! You often see this look in Swedish country interiors, I think partly because of the old textured paints that have long been in these wooden interiors, and partly because of the way it is allowed to peel off over time.


To create this effect on a table top:

  1. Choose one Chalk Paint™ colour as a base – we used Aubusson Blue.
  2. Then choose two Chalk Paint™ colours to create the aged look – we used Scandinavian Pink and Cream.
  3. When the base coat is dry, apply a second add-on colour of thin, diluted paint over the surface (use enough water for it to drip slightly). Before this dries lay a newspaper over the surface and rub it down with your hands then lift it off. et voilà, the aged look process has begun.
  4. When the second add-on colour is dry, add the third diluted colour, following the process as above. This technique removes each layer of paint unevenly to create the age worn effect.
  5. Finally add Annie Sloan Clear Wax to seal the surface. To read more about this project read Annie Sloan’s story “F-F-F-F-Frottage” on her blog: http://anniesloanpaintandcolour.blogspot.co.uk

as_jan2014_18For Australia and NZ, look for your nearest stockist of Chalk Paint™ here. Other countries click here to search for your nearest stockist. Look out for more Furniture Painting Projects from Annie Sloan soon here on Havven.

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