Calamity Jane Tames Wild West with a lick of Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan April 15 2014, 0 Comments

Calamity Jane Oak Chair with “A Womans Touch” from the Wild West

The Calamity Jane movie  may have been filmed  in 1953 but now more than 60 years later lots of women in a backlash to the recession and the “buy, buy, buy” mentality are looking at existing pieces in their homes, family and friends homes (if they are lucky) and second hand or vintage pieces to assess how they too can “make the lamp appear like a crystal chandelier” and by using Chalk Paint™  by Annie Sloan perhaps we too with “a touch of paint, a magic nail, can turn a kitchen chair into a Chippendale”



I certainly cannot pretend to have been a girly girl and was more of a tomboy but I remember looking at the scenes in the film with Calamity and Katie sing "A Woman's Touch," and magically transforming Calam's cabin into a dream house and thinking “Oh, so you just need paint and an idea and I also recall being amazed at the speed of the transformation. I think then when I tired lots of stripping and preparation work it meant I couldn’t easily transform a piece on a whim. Now I literally plan the transformation in my head, root through my fabric and decoupage image collection and I can transform an item within a timescale that could compete with Calamity.......

I had been looking out for a sturdy chair, ideally in oak for a while with a back panel that would allow me to hone my spray painting skills. I came across one online and although I didn’t initially find it attractive it ticked all the boxes and I decided that items previously upcycled has shocked me as usually I manage to blur the bits I may not originally like as so I no longer notice them.  This time I decided to stick with one colour and I wanted the fabric and the spray paint to be the focal point so I decided to go with Old White as the colour. I cleaned down the chair as it had been kept in a garage for a while, painted it with two coats of Old White Chalk Paint™  by Annie Sloan and let it keep drying. Below is the text on an IPAD that designer copied onto stencil and cut. 

Then I cut to size my two decoupage image prints from the movie and I had an Artist cut the two stencils for me so that I could add on the text. I deliberated a lot about the fabric and ended up spending days with different fabric sitting atop the chair as it looked different as the chair evolved. Then it was time to remove the old material and to cheat and instead of tacks, I used a staple gun to do chair. (see below for upholstery tips). Finally, I settled on the yellow and white gingham as it added the most pop of colour to the Old White Chalk Paint™ . It was time to sand off the paint a little bit for a smooth finish, then two applications of wax to seal it.

I hope you like the end result,  and to finish on a Calamity note “So never underestimate a woman's touch!" and for die hard Calamity fans heres the words to sing along to while you choose what you can get working on next..


"A woman's touch can quickly fill 

The empty flower boxes on a winder sill.

One smile from her and zoom  Little buds begin to bloom...

A touch of paint, A magic nail, Can turn a kitchen chair into a Chippendale.

Even make the lamp appear,

Like a crystal chandelier!

With a tack tack here and a tack tack there 

And a hand around a hammer 

With a mop mop here and a mop mop there 

You can give a cabin glamour.

The pies and cakes a woman bakes, 

Can make a fella tell her 

That he loves her very much... It can?  ..

So never underestimate a woman's touch!"


Thanking the sites below for their wonderful ideas:

For some more inspiration, especially if you can sew or quilt

How to upholster chairs

Gingham and colour choice inspired by

So now its over to you to make a chair in honour of your old film star or favourite film, then post on our facebook page with your star story attached and we will have our "AnnieSloaners" vote on the most inspirational..... and you will win a little something that will help you get started on your next project....