Create an Original Piece of Paddle Art With Annie Sloan Products

Posted Under - How to
Summer is over and the cooler weather is coming in. Annie Sloan Stockist Katrina Barclay of Malenka Originals in Ottawa, Ontario wanted to bring memories of warmer, sunnier days into her home with some beautiful paddle art.

There’s a lot of beautiful paddle art out there and we love the geometric patterns we’ve been seeing, but Katrina wanted to create something more personalized and unique to hang on her wall. Something that – even in the middle of winter – she could look at when craving those summertime feels.

This paddle project hit all the right buttons for her. It blends together her love of canoeing with a picture of one of her favorite places in the world. Plus, it uses bright and uplifting Chalk Paint® colors.

If you don’t have a paddle – no problem! These techniques can also be used on furniture. Let’s take a look!

Time: 2 Hours Cost: $60 Difficulty: Medium

Raw soft wood Paddle (She used a 57” Poplar Paddle) (available at
– Color picture printed on regular white paper (inkjet or laser jet)
– 3 or 4 sample pots of Chalk Paint® in your favorite colors
Dark Chalk Paint® Wax
Clear Chalk Paint® Wax
Annie Sloan Small Flat Brush
Annie Sloan Pure Bristle Brush
– A small artist brush for details
Annie Sloan Image Medium
Annie Sloan Sanding Pads
– Paint Can Opener and/or Screw Driver
– Painters Tape
– Scissors and/or Exacto Knife
– Bucket of soapy water and wire scouring pad or scrubbing pad

First, find a picture that means a lot to you — a photo you took of your favorite nature spot, or a beautiful landscape picture online.
Katrina picked a picture she found online of one of her favorite places on earth – Banff National Park. She grew up close to the Rocky Mountains, and misses them a lot since moving away. This photo fills her with mountain vibes, and she can even imagine herself canoeing in that beautiful, emerald water.
Optional: Use an editing program to add filters and give the picture a vintage-y, worn feel. She used PicMonkey for this project.

Next, print the photo onto regular white printer paper.

Now, it’s time to “age” your paddle to give it an old, used look. A raw, soft wood paddle – like the poplar one she used – is best for this project. It’s easier to mark the wood, and it’s also much less expensive than hardwood paddles.

Scrub down the paddle with warm water and soap, using a wire scrubber or scouring pad. Don’t be shy – scrub hard! You might see the wood starting to flake a bit, which is fine, as it will give it an older look.

Make nicks and holes in the wood using any tools you have on hand. She used her paint can opener. A screw driver can make great marks, too.

You can also give it a rough sanding, which helps wear the wood down a bit.

At this point the paddle might look a little sad, with all its new blemishes, but don’t worry – it’s all going to be worth it once you get the wax on!

Once the paddle is dry, we’re ready to wax. Using Dark Chalk Paint® Wax, cover the entire surface with the wax, wiping off the excess with a lint-free cloth as you go.

Apply gentle pressure to help the wax really absorb into the wood. Push the wax into the nicks and holes you created, to really make those imperfections show.

(Remember this is a great technique for your furniture projects too – Dark Chalk Paint® Wax is a beautiful finish for any raw wood!)

Katrina also likes to do some sanding over the wax, which will help the grain of the wood really come out and gives it a more worn look. She used Annie Sloan Sanding Pads in Course and Medium.
Decide what kind of designs you’d like make on your paddle. She kept hers simple with just a few stripes. Using painter’s tape, she sectioned off the areas she wanted to paint. Firmly press down and burnish the edges of tape to prevent any bleed through of the paint.

If you’d like thinner stripes, an Exacto knife and rubber mat work great to cut your tape.

Ready to paint! Even though we’ve just waxed, we can still use Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan over the waxed surface. This is a really unique feature of Chalk Paint®, as a lot of other paints won’t stick to a waxed surface, especially a freshly waxed one.

Paint your taped sections. She picked Chalk Paint® in Provence, Florence and Barcelona Orange for her colors and painted two coats of each.

She also added a little pop of Annie Sloan Gilding Wax in Bright Gold for one of the stripes. For the gilding wax, you’ll first want to paint Chalk Paint® in any color for your base, then apply the gilding wax when dry.

While waiting for the stripes to dry, you can section off the area where you’re going to decoupage your picture. Paint it all over with one coat of Chalk Paint® to prepare it for the Annie Sloan Image Medium.

When paint is dry, apply a coat of Image Medium onto the area where your picture is going to go.

Apply the picture – image side up – onto the wet Image Medium, smoothing down and rubbing out any air bubbles and curling around sides of paddle.

Next, paint a thin layer of Image Medium over the picture. Allow to dry 20-30 minutes, then repeat twice more so you have three coats of Image Medium.

She wanted to soften the picture and give it a vintage feel, so once the Image Medium was dry, she gave it a wash in Country Grey. Apply a slightly watered down coat of paint over the photo, wiping as you go. Add more to deepen the effect, or wipe with a damp cloth to take more of the paint off.

Now you can add more stripes, patterns or designs to your paddle. Once Katrina had the photo applied, she decided to do two bands of color using Provence and Barcelona Orange on either side of the image to frame the picture.

Be sure to allow everything to dry before taking tape off.

Once all the tape is removed, apply a coat of Clear Chalk Paint® Wax over the painted areas. You can also try rubbing some Clear Wax onto the wood, as it will take off some of the Dark Wax and give an even more worn look to the paddle.

Lastly, hang your new piece on the wall and enjoy your piece of the outdoors – inside! A great reminder of summer, all-year round.

We hope we’ve been able to inspire you to create your own unique paddle look! We want to thank Katrina for such a colorful and uplifting paint project that is sure to remind us of the warmer weather to come next spring!

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