Thursday, March 20, 2014

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for Miniatures

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Wax

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Colors

There are tons of posts regarding Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Some people love it, some people think it’s over rated. I am somewhere in the middle. I first discovered Chalk paint while researching colors for my home update. I was really tired of some of the wood pieces I have. After reading several blogs, I discovered I could really transform my furniture without spending a fortune. 

I searched high and low in the Bay Area for Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint.  I could not find a retailer, so on to the Internet. I was amazed at the cost of a quart size can, but went ahead and purchased 2 cans of white, a few specialty brushes, the clear and the dark wax. Yes, it was super pricey.

After a few days, I received my order. I looked at the paint and wanted to get started…it didn’t happen.  I was too afraid to paint my wood pieces. I was not ready for a house full of white furniture!  So the paint sat, and sat, and sat… until I started my miniature journey. I could build beautiful dollhouse furniture, daringly apply my white chalk paint, start a blog, pin tons of pictures on Pinterest, and eventually sell my pieces on Etsy(starting in April-May).  Hence the story of how fabulouslyflawedminiatures got started. 

I have made several miniature pieces and have almost gone through one quart of Annie Sloan White Chalk Paint. It is true, 1 coat is never enough. I tend to paint, sand, paint, sand, and then paint and sand again before I began my waxing.  It’s a little work, remember, I’m working in 1:12 scale. After the  distressing (crackle finish works well with this paint), a little AS clear wax and some AS dark wax here and there. The result is smooth and beautiful. It really does create a Shabby Chic/Cottage look.  I'm always happy with my piece after using Annie Sloan Paint.

Recently I found a dealer in the Bay Area, Artistic Home Studio in Alameda, CA They carry all the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint colors in quart and sample sizes, as well as offer classes for those who are interested in learning different paint techniques.

I’m not ready to give up my acrylics yet. There are way too many colors available! Further, there’s a simple recipe for homemade chalk paint (listed below). You can mix a few batches at a time, fairly cheap.

I enjoy working with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and I love the colors for my minis, but I guess I'm just not daring enough to live with a house full of white furniture.  

Do It Yourself Chalk Paint Recipie Card

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Baby's Crib in Miniature

Just finished this little crib. Spent a lot of time painting and distressing with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I wanted it to have a vintage look. I'm happy with the way it turned out.

Baby's Crib with linen blanket and knitted throw

Baby's Crib in Red, White and Cream

Baby's Crib handmade. Distressed with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Miniature Easter

I have been working super hard on getting an Easter shot. I finally finished the painting, distressing, quilt making, easter baskets, bonnet and eggs. Mom hand knitted the throw. Every item in this shot is handmade. Love this so much. This is exactly where I'm trying to go with my Etsy shop…

Miniature Daybed with linen cushion

Miniature Easter Baskets and Eggs

Miniature Bonnet and Quilt

Monday, March 17, 2014

Miniature Pies Today

Miniature baking this weekend. This time, a cherry pie and 2 cherry tarts. I think they turned out okay. Maybe some decoration on the tarts… Will keep at it.

First attempt at miniature pie making.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Miniature Vintage Pantry

Just finished an old style pantry. This was a lot of work, but I love the way it turned out. Looks like it has been around for a long time.

Old Style Miniature Vintage Pantry

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Shabby Chic/Cottage/Vintage miniature collection

Working on a Shabby Chic/Cottage/Vintage Miniature Dollhouse furniture and accessories collection. Just wanted to give you a peek…

Shabby Chic Cup and Plate Wall Shelf 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Learning to make a miniature dollhouse cake

I had a little extra time while some of my other projects were drying. I've read a few books and watched a ton of videos on how to make miniature dollhouse cakes. Today I gave it my first try.
Here are my results and my critique.

First try at  miniature cake making…needs work

Cake from back angle…just not right

Inside of the cake


  • The icing mix was too soft. I had a problem getting the icing design I wanted. Next time I will use less translucent liquid clay in the mixture so that I can have more control.
  • Don't use gloss on the bread portion of the cake.
  • Make the cake flat before baking (cake is lopsided).
  • Spend more time on the texture.
  • Try not to cut such a big piece. :)
  • Use the 1/2  round cutter instead of the 1 inch, the cake appeared off scale.

Gave this one to my daughter, back to the drawing board for me.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Jacqueline Kerr Deiber Fridge and Stove

Just received my Roper Stove and General Electric Refrigerator, designed by Jacqueline Kerr Deiber. I've been wanting them for some time and found 2 for the price of one on ebay.
What's even better, this purchase helps support animal rescue programs.
I can't wait to use them in my staging.

I also purchased a Maytag vintage washer. I was disappointed with the color, so it will be a "redo". Going to take it apart and spray it white…fingers x'd.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tutorial: How to Age Wood…Restoration Hardwood Style

I thought I would share an easy tutorial on how I age my wood for my miniatures.  It gives the project that "weathered look" that is so popular now.


  • White Vinegar
  • Extra Fine Steel Wool
  • Mason Jar or any jar with a tight lid (I usually make 2 batches)
  • Coffee grinds
  • Tea Bags (old okay)
  • Dirty paint water
  • Large popsicle sticks for testing color

Fill jar half way with White Vinegar
Depending on jar, add 1-2 pads of Steel Wool (I tear the steel wool in small pieces)

Extras to Add to Mix:
Add coffee grinds, old tea (open tea bags and pour in tea leaves)
Add dirty water from cleaning paint brushes (use dark color only)
If you are making 2 different batches, try adding the extras to one and not to the other to see what kind of results you will get.

Place lid on jar and shake, then shake again. Place it on a shelf or outside and let it work its magic for a few weeks. (Check in on the jars, giving them a good shake)

After a few weeks, you will notice how the vinegar is working with the steel wool, creating a dark, rusty effect. That's when you can start working with it. 

I test the color on large popsicle sticks different ways. 

  • Stain and leave on for different times.
  • Stain, let dry, sand lightly, then stain it again.
  • Stain, sand lightly to reveal the aged wood.
  • Staining the wood with a Mini Wax Stains, applying my mixture on top

There are many ways to play around with this stain…be the creative person you are!

Once you have the desired effect, sand lightly, apply a clear wax over your project and rub. I will be as smooth as butter!

Here's a sample of my miniature photo staging. I used the stain and different paint techniques on the floor and window frame :

Update: I just stained a bunch of wood, this time I was looking for that "silver" color. I used only white vinegar and fine steel wool. I love, love this color. 

Aged wool, Silver
These are going to make a wonderful bed

Here's a project I completed with the above wood sticks.

Miniature wall shelf with box created using age wood technique

Miniature wall shelf with box and hooks

All photos taken & owned 
by Anita Smiley

Up and Running...

Handmade vintage inspired wall shelf

Welcome to my miniature dollhouse blog. I love painting, sewing, DIY projects, building things from scratch, graphic design, home design…anything creative. My passion is creating vintage/ shabby chic/cottage style minis. In addition to creating my own minis, I enjoy reinventing “old” designs, making them new again. 

I'm working hard on cool vintage/shabby chic/cottage inspired miniature pieces. Look for them in my Gallery in April.

I plan on using this blog to introduce you to my work, offer tutorials, show my progress…the good and the not so good, as I work through fabulously flawed perfection. 

The many talented artists that graciously share their work via the web inspire me. The ideas in my tiny sketchbooks are endless.

Thank you in advance for taking a peek, come back often…I am a busy bee.