Get a Swedish Gustavian look w/ Annie Sloan chalk paint

oh. my. word.

Annie Sloan painted headboard Swedish Gustavian white pillows

i’m absolutely in love with this look right now.  i found this perfectly-shaped headboard with a matching dresser on Craigslist.

black headboard with golf flower details

it was a lovely Bombay piece in pitch black with gold details.  just not my style, but the shape and detailed wood work were perfect for my next Gustavian-inspired pieces.

black headboard with golf flower details

i usually paint at night after the kids are in bed, so the pix are dark.  and i don’t have a fancy workshop, just the garage, so you get to see it in all its glory.  🙂  i started with Annie Sloan’s Paris Grey in very thick strokes, painting first in a uniform fashion, then haphazardly to try to cover as much of the black as possible.

ASCP Paris Grey over black first coat

what i’ve noticed about the Swedes’ take on Gustavian furniture is that the finish is very non-uniform and imperfect, which suits me just fine.  i then took a soft rag and patted it in areas on the piece.  you can see my finger marks in some spots.  whoops!

toweled off Paris Grey painted onto black furniture

here’s the cute matching nightstand that i painted, too.

black French nightstand

i was trying to achieve a gray-ish, blue-ish hue, so after the Paris Grey dried, i used Minwax Wood Stain and haphazardly painted the piece to give a blue-ish layer to it.  note that the container i chose to hold my paint wasn’t working and leaked all over!

Minwax wood stain in grayish blue

after applying the Minwax, i used a 0000 steel wool (the finest grade possible), and ever-so-lightly dragged it in places to let some of the black show through.  again, i used a soft towel to lightly dab to remove any excess paint and attempt to remove any brush strokes.

Minwax Wood Stain over ASCP Paris Grey

then i whipped up a color that i’m calling Charleston Blue.  it’s part Coco, Napoleonic, Pure White and water.custom ASCP Paris Grey, Coco, Napoleonic Blue

i used the Charleston Blue on the trim detail so that it would be a bit more defined at the very end.  this lighting isn’t doing the detail any justice!Gustavian headboard paint technique

but here, you can see the color a bit better in this jar.  yes, i have issues and hoard jars.  look! it’s coming in handy now.custom mix ASCP :: Charleston Blue

then i wax the entire piece in clear wax and used a Pure White wash over the wax while it was still tacky.  i used way too much paint here and left it on too long b/c i needed to snap the pic.  i recommend doing a dry brush technique instead of using this much as it took off most of the other layers that i’d already painted.  Annie Sloan Pure white wash over damp clear wax

working in small sections, i dry brushed the Pure white and followed up with the towel dabbing technique.  then i used a brush and dabbed on more of the MixWax in spots where it looked like the black was showing through too much.  then i let the whole thing cure overnight.

Annie Sloan Pure white wash over damp clear wax and patted off

next, i used a Louis Blue + Pure White wash to bring out more blues in the piece and did a final layer of dry-brushing and towel dabbing.  i finished it all off with a hand-painted P toward the top.  i didn’t make the letter too large as i knew our pillows would come up pretty high on the piece.  i found a great list of tutorials on how to do image transfer at, but in the end, i just hand-painted it b/c of my impatience.

meesh pierce painting Gustavian headboard

note to self, when using a tripod and self-timer do to a selfie, be sure your crack isn’t showing, and that you remove the hair clips so you don’t look like a freak.

then i got to waxing with clear wax.  i brushed it on with the wax brush, then rubbed it in getting in a great arm workout.  i only used a single coat of wax. the buffing makes the piece so smooth and silky to the touch.  if you do a few coats for higher-trafficked pieces, the more you buff, the more sheen you’ll achieve.

meesh pierce painting Gustavian headboard


Gustavian inspired headboard in shabby chic room


the shabby chic guest room is now looking much more European!

Gustavian inspired headboard in shabby chic room

and the nightstand turned out well, too.

Gustavian inspired nighstand ASCP Paris Grey, Pure White, custom blue

i used the Charleston Blue to accent the piece, but wasn’t too careful with the brush strokes as i wanted it to have a rustic feel. Annie Sloan painted nightstand shabby chic detail

i love the layered look.  the dabbing and blotting technique, along with the dry brushing wash colors over clear wax definitely does the trick!Annie Sloan painted nightstand shabby chic detail


Annie Sloan painted headboard Swedish Gustavian detail


Annie Sloan painted headboard Swedish Gustavian detail


Annie Sloan painted headboard Swedish Gustavian white pillows

Gustavian bliss.

Annie Sloan painted headboard Swedish Gustavian detail

have a great week!

linked to:

Sunday: It’s So Very Cheri

Sunday: My 1929 Charmer 

Sunday: Under the Table and Dreaming

Sunday: Marvelously Messy

Sunday: Craft-o-Maniac

Sunday: Keeping It Simple Crafts

Sunday: Three Mango Seeds

Sunday: Finding Silver Pennies

Monday: The Girl Creative

Monday: Boogieboard Cottage

Monday: Our Delightful Home

Monday: CRAFT

Monday: Coastal Charm

Tuesday: Homes to Stories A to Z

Tuesday: Cedarhill Ranch

Tuesday: Elizabeth and Co

Tuesday: Dometsically Speaking

Tuesday: Today’s Creative Blog

Wednesday: Savvy Southern Style

Wednesday: Handy Man Crafty Woman

Giveaway Thursday: Someday Crafts

Thursday: The Brambleberry Cottage

Thursday: The Charm of Home

Thursday: From My Front Porch to Yours

Friday: Miss Mustard Seed

Friday: Fridays Unfolded

Friday: Shabby Nest

Friday: Romantic Home

Friday: Redoux Interiors

Friday: 504 Main

About meesh

Meesh has a passion for people, creative projects, and technology. She enjoys painting furniture back to life, gardening, playing with her kids, and connecting people.


  1. Hi Annie, the transformation of the bed and nightstand by night is fabulous! Your guest room is really in Gustavian style! A hug from Italy. Paola from

    • imeeshu says

      Thank you! Wow, I’m flattered by your kind words! Happy new year!

  2. Ann Marie Byrd says

    What a great job you did on this bed and nightstand. I used ASCP and I love the techniques you used.Ann Marie @ Iris Abbey
    I invite you to check out my FB page at

    • imeeshu says

      Thanks for stopping by, Ann Marie! Do you love the Swedish-inspired look, too?

  3. Chic California says

    This turned out so beautiful! And the pics of you in your hair clips cracked me up. Been there, done that. Found you on Savvy Southern Style link party. You can find me at

  4. Accidentally Wonderful says

    Perfect for my bedroom! And it already has a P on it =) I’d love it if you’d link this up to my very first linky party!

  5. Meegan says

    Absolutely beautiful Thanks for linking up to Tickled Pink Times Two.

  6. Nancherrow says

    your bed looks
    really gorgeous
    in its Swedish coat of paint

    we have a bed that’s much
    the same shape
    and when we redo our bedroom
    i’m thinking about what i want to do to it

    keeping your post in mind for that

    would love for you to share
    at Fridays Unfolded!


    • imeeshu says

      Thanks, Alison! It really is a beautiful look and pops against a light colored wall. Good luck and be sure to keep me posted! I’ll check out Fridays Unfolded for sure! Thanks! 🙂

  7. Danielle Driscoll says

    Wow! This is gorgeous! I love all the texture and layers and I think it looks so swedish and I love that custom blue you did too. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays! x

    • imeeshu says

      Thanks, Danielle! I, too, love the texture and layers. The Charleston blue is nice, eh? 🙂

  8. Cathy@My 1929 Charmer says

    Wow you did a great transformation and love the monogram, don’t know if I ever say monogram on a headboard before but love it! Thanks so much for sharing your creative inspiration at Sunday’s Best and to let you know you have been featured!

  9. Your headboard turned out gorgeous, you’ve sure done a nice job! Thanks for your tutorial!!

    • imeeshu says

      Thanks, Heather! It’s always fun to try new techniques and push yourself. 🙂

  10. Michelle says

    This is absolutely beautiful! WOW! Incredible work!

    • imeeshu says

      Michelle, again, you’re too sweet! This is in fact my favorite piece and we’re now using it against a king bed in a shabby chic room and it still works.

  11. Paj Tognetti says

    Hi! You did a beautiful job on the Gustavian style finish on your furniture! I was very inspired by your work! Thank you for sharing. A question for you: I have never used Minwax before and was wondering (from the photo) if you mixed it with the paint color you made up (Charleston Blue) or if you just painted on the Minwax by itself? Also, did you first brush on a coat of Clear Wax, and while it was still tacky, paint on the Louis Blue and Pure White wash? I was very intrigued by the technique. Thank you for your help! Sincerely, Paj (Italy)

    • Wow, thanks for your kind words. 🙂 I used the MixWax by itself b/c I had it mixed as a slight blue hue (one of their standard stain color options). And yes, while the wax is still a bit tacky, I layered on different colors, then dabbed with the cloth to achieve a mottled look. Does that make sense?

      Please keep me posted. I’d love to see your work! 🙂

  12. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about gustavian. Regards

  13. Sally Miketa Stern says

    question about the wood stain. What color did you use?


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