23 March 2014

F-F-F-F-Frottage


I’m a big fan of frottage – in case you look it up I’m not referring to the slightly rude definition!

No, what I am referring to is one of my favourite paint effect techniques that brings a bolder and more distinctive ageing process to any surface – in an instant!

Here is an example I created on a big table currently sitting in my Oxford shop. It is simply painted with three Chalk Paint® colours: Aubusson Blue, Scandinavian Pink and Cream. 


You often see ‘the look’ in Swedish county house rooms, I think partly because of the old textured paints they have long used over all those wooden interiors, and partly in the way it is allowed to peel off over time. Here’s a fantastic frottaged door I recently snapped in Sweden while researching material for a new book:


There’s the rub
Actually the term frottage is French for ‘rubbing’. Quite simply you apply a second colour of thin, diluted paint to cover a dry base colour. Before that add-on colour is dry, you lay newspaper or plain absorbent paper over the paint and rub it down with your hands, then lift it off. Et voilá. The effect is to remove paint unevenly.

I’ve been using this technique and variations of it to achieve this look for 25 years. Below is a recent step-by-step example I applied to a door I’d already painted using Chalk Paint® in Duck Egg Blue.

1. Use two colours from the Chalk Paint® range that are close in tone. For the door shown below, I used Chateau Grey over Duck Egg Blue. After the first coat of paint is dry (or if you are applying to an old painted surface), dilute your second paint colour with water so it drips a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Use an oval brush (like my Pure Bristle Brushes) to paint a section quickly that is the size of your paper.
 




3. Lightly crinkle or crush your paper a bit on a flat surface first and then re-flatten it to get creases. Now again quickly press the flattened sheet of paper over the just-painted area and rub it all over with your hands.









 4. Peel away the paper carefully and you will see uneven and blotchy paint, some flat bits, some textured and some stripped back to the first paint.








5. Repeat the process 2-3-4, over the rest of the surface and then, when it’s all dry, add clear wax. 


For an effect that utilizes an old, crumpled piece of newspaper to get that uneven,“several-layers” look, ‘frottage’ ain’t bad! Try it yourself.

Yours, Annie

*Top 2 photographs by Christopher Drake. Last 4 images from my recent book, 'Colour Recipes for Painted Furniture and more', published by CICO, photography by Christopher Drake.

29 comments:

  1. Wow, what a fabulous technique - thanks for sharing it ...

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  2. Gorgeous, as always!! Thanks for sharing;-) **smiles**

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  3. When I first read about Frottage, I had to Wikipedia it to read the meaning behind the word, and I must say it made me blush! It's good that you cleared that up from the start here! I have studied the photos of the Frottage door in your Color Recipes book but it's fun to see another example by you. The table is fantastic and as always very inspiring. Thank you for sharing with us! You're the greatest! I will share this post on Facebook and pin it to my "Paint it Annie!" Pinterest board!
    Amanda - Girl in Pink

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  4. I have just the piece to try this technique on, I was looking for something different to try on it. thanks so much for sharing this, great timing.

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  5. Thank you Annie! Great information! I have a table that is waiting for this application. Dorothy, Southern Vintage Redefined

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  6. I have a lovely old door that is original to our building that I've been saving for a special Chalk Paint® technique and Frottage will be perfect. Thank you for your inspiration Annie.
    Cindy - Studio 184

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  7. Love this aged patina'd look, Annie! My husband and I are currently building more inside shutters (for our living room now), and I'd love to try this technique on them! Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

    Hugs!

    xoxo laurie

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  8. Wow, that's an art to cherish, may I now what type of paint did you used for that? I'm planing to have my house painting in alameda county utilizing art and painting. Thank you.

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  9. Wonderful! When I paint my front door I try this technique...thank you for sharing...

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  10. I have just the piece of furniture that has been "talking to me" for weeks but I wasn't listening - until today !!! Frottage.......even the name sounds edible x

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  11. Thanks for making the beautiful do-able for all! You have not only inspired me, but also saved several pieces of perfectly good furniture from going to the curb. I am enjoying using your paint and techniques so much that I even started my own blog, www.newlifedecorandmore.com to chronicle my adventures with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!

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  12. Hi to all, as I am really eager of reading this website’s post to be updated on a regular basis. It carries
    good data.
    Colour Nepal

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  13. Im going to try Graphite over French Linen:) wish me luck! <3

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  14. Just found this post from Pinterest. Was looking at the finished door and about half way down toward the right I saw an image. Does anyone else see this???

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  15. Not even kidding. It looks like Jesus.

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    2. "He who has eyes to see, let him see..."

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  16. Looked for ages for a technique that was peeled/cracked instead of just sanded. Thank you so much. I used a wine color for my base coat, then a royal blue, a coat of crackle medium, and then a cream color. My living room looks wonderful.

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    1. Do did you use this frottage technique with newspaper for your layers? I think your color combination would be awesome. At what point did you use the crackle?

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    2. @SmokinDrinkinMomma
      That's a fabulous idea. I have the perfect piece now & was considering what u have done. Wondering if anybodys base coat was lighter than the next color wash? Thus is what I'm leaning toward. Along with your final two steps above with the crackle and top coat. DO U HAVE PICTURES OF YOUR PIECE?

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    3. @SmokinDrinkinMomma
      That's a fabulous idea. I have the perfect piece now & was considering what u have done. Wondering if anybodys base coat was lighter than the next color wash? Thus is what I'm leaning toward. Along with your final two steps above with the crackle and top coat. DO U HAVE PICTURES OF YOUR PIECE?

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  17. Thank you for sharing this. It's beautiful! It's nice to have a new technique in the back pocket!

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  18. Been looking for this style to do on my walls, but do you wax them afterwards? I have some really long walls and waxing will not be possible!
    Suggestions please?
    Help!
    Thanks!

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  19. I use Annie Sloan paints all the time for my dollhouse miniature business (fabulouslyflawedminaitures.blogspot.com). I love this technique and will be using for my next wood projects….can't wait! Thank you for sharing.

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  20. Por favor, no se ingles. Puedes escribirlo en español???? Es precioso!!!!!!

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  21. nice work annie, i want to try this to, but is it possible to do in normal paint. cause u know chalk paint is pretty expensive

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