Stockist Q+A: Mark McGee – Sykes + McGee

Posted Under - Features

This week’s Stockist Q+A is with Mark McGee of Sykes + McGee in Quebec, Canada!

Stockist Q+A: Mark McGee - Sykes + McGee - The Palette

When did you first use Chalk Paint®?

Several years ago, I had a freelance job working on a training program for the Royal Canadian Air Force. The job included frequent visits to the Trenton Air Base, which meant I was spending a good deal of time on one of the most boring highways in the country – Route 401 between Montreal and Toronto.

So one day, I decided to change my routine and take the old two-lane highway home instead. My travels took me through a small town called Bath, in Eastern Ontario. I decided to stop there for lunch. As I was munching on my tuna sandwich, I noticed an interesting little shop across the street, called The Melon Patch. After my meal, I walked in to the store and found myself surrounded by country furniture that had been painted in wonderful old world hues. I was captivated. Antique stores can often be musty drab and rather depressing. But not this one. Everything I saw looked like it came straight out of an English cottage.

So how did Elizabeth Sarich-Harvey, the owner of The Melon Patch, find all this great stuff? Well, she explained, it did not originate from some faded gentry in the Cotswolds. It came from local garage sales and flea markets, and then transformed beautifully using Chalk Paint®. Wow! I immediately bought a litre of Old White, some soft wax, and proceeded on my way, planning what piece of my own I would rescue from obscurity.

I finally settled on a metal stand which once supported a 1920s-era hot water tank. The paint covered the metal with little effort, and I was delighted to see how the Old White pigment accentuated all the ornate iron details that had been hidden by the original black rust paint. I added a round glass top and voilà – it became an amazing side table that could be used indoors or out.

Stockist Q+A: Mark McGee - Sykes + McGee - The Palette

What is your favorite thing about Chalk Paint®?

I love Chalk Paint® for the texture it can produce. The paint is so rich, and dries so readily, that you can produce a time-worn effect on furniture that would be difficult if not impossible to do using any other type of paint. That, combined with the dark wax has really helped me create rustic furniture that looks like a priceless auction find.

What is your favorite Chalk Paint® project that you’ve worked on?

Not long ago, a neighbor was spring cleaning and said I was welcome to take anything I wanted out of her shed. I spied a handsome looking old wooden trunk in the corner, but when I bent over to retrieve it the bottom of the trunk fell completely away, leaving me with only the upper part of the chest intact. Rather than throw the whole thing away however, I took the chest home, sawed off the rest of the rotted base, and added some feet. The chest was now a coffee table. To obtain the rustic finish I was looking for, I used a thick coat of Emperor’s Silk, combined with Dark Wax which I worked into the corners and crevices.

Stockist Q+A: Mark McGee - Sykes + McGee - The Palette

The very next day, a client walked into my shop, saw the table and immediately bought it. He left a deposit and said he would return within a few weeks to pick it up. In the meantime, I decided to leave the table out on the shop floor. Well, I cannot tell you how many times I could have sold that little coffee table! It seems as if everyone who walked into my store wanted to buy it!

Favorite color of Chalk Paint®?

My favorite colour has to be Old White. I know, it is not the most adventurous of colours, but I love it for the understated patina it gives to just about anything I apply it to. Especially after I add the Clear Wax and sand the piece down to expose whatever may be underneath, be it a handsome wood grain or a complimentary paint colour. You can do anything with Old White!

Stockist Q+A: Mark McGee - Sykes + McGee - The Palette

Tell us a little bit about your shop.

Several years ago my partner, John Sykes, and I saw an old house for sale about an hour’s drive east of Montreal Quebec, in the picturesque village of West Brome. Built in 1837, the house is the oldest in the area. It needed a lot of TLC, but the price was right and we were up for the challenge. So we spent the next year evicting the building of its mouse population, replacing an ancient electrical supply and shoring up several beams that threatened to give way at any moment.

That done, we proceeded to fill the place up with antiques scavenged from local auctions, house sales and flea markets. And when we felt we were ready, we applied to become an Annie Sloan Stockist. To our delight, we were accepted in November 2014. We have never looked back!

Be sure to check out Sykes + McGee across the web!

Stockists, are you interested in participating in the weekly Q+A? Email Sarah Lustberg, Digital Marketing Coordinator, at slustberg@unfolded.com.

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Memorial Day

Posted Under - Inspiration

In honor of Memorial Day, we’re sharing this patriotic dresser done by stockists Cindy + Barry Gazso of Studio 184 in Stoughton, Wisconsin.

Memorial Day - The Palette

 

Barry painted the base base in Paris Grey Chalk Paint®. The hand-drawn flag was painted using Emperor’s Silk, Primer Red, Napoleonic Blue, Greek Blue + Pure White, and ultimately finished with Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax.

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Posted Under - How to

Happy Friday! - The Palette
The UNFOLDED team wishes you a safe + fun Memorial Day weekend!

 

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