Yesterday I had such an inspirational day shared with 100+ other woman in Boston at the final stop of Annie Sloan’s US tour. Just in case you haven’t heard, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint has revolutionized painting furniture. There is no stripping, sanding, or prepping. Simply paint, wax and your done. Annie spent the morning telling us the background on her now famous Chalk Paint … NOT to be confused with chalk board paint… and showing us all the many uses of the paint (not just for furniture) and ideas for fabulous color combinations.
Annie also shared some wonderful stories about the names of her colors; like her newest color Pink called Antoinette. She named this color after Marie Antoinette whom Annie refereed to as the world’s very first Interior Decorator. Marie Antoinette was responsible for introducing lots of fabrics into interiors and softening up the look of all that hard and cold wood of the time.
Although here in the States the paint seems so new and revolutionary, the fact is, Annie invented the paint over 20 years ago and Europeans have been using the paint for years. I first heard about the paint from my friend Susan of Mad Patter Art Design about a year ago. At that time the paint was very difficult to find and she was driving several hours to buy it. Things are changing quickly though due to the huge popularity of the paint and new distributors are opening all over. There will soon be 3 shops all within 20 minutes drive time from my house…yeah!
The afternoon break out sessions were hands on painting and I had the good fortune to get Celeste Blumenauer as my instructor. Celeste is the owner of Catfish Creative Furnishings in Pennsylvania and has been painting furniture since she was 8 years old. She was a fun and engaging instructor and our group learned 4 different paint Techniques.
In this photo Celeste is demonstrating a Rustic Finish brush technique. We also learned color layering and distressing, soft gilded finishing and how to get a very smooth glass-like Modern Finish.
The photo above are my 4 finished techniques. I was especially excited to learn how to get a really smooth finish. Although I like the shabby chic look, I prefer a more finished look for my own home. The Blue (Provence) side was so incredibly smooth when it was done it almost looked and felt as if it had been sprayed. The secrete to a smooth finish is to apply several very light coats of paint and use a 600 grit sand paper between coats. Then, apply the wax and buff, buff, buff!
Although it is difficult to tell by the photo, the Orange side (Barcelona) has a very rustic and aged look. This was achieved bu applying the paint very thick and then distressing once dried.
The proper way to use the wax seemed to generate the most questions. The key is to use a very light touch with the wax (I have been using way too much). Also, when using the dark wax you must first apply the clear wax otherwise the dark wax can discolor your paint. We also learned you can apply the wax as soon as the paint is dry to the touch. No need to let the paint “cure” before waxing. Annie is all about painting and finishing a piece in a day…another huge advantage of the paint.
There were many new connections made yesterday with fellow designers and bloggers. I was especially glad to meet Nancy Chace of of Sea Rose Cottage. Nancy was the generous donor of an Annie Sloan fan deck give away sponsored by my blogging friend Kelly Bernier of Restyling Home By Kelly. I won the deck so I was happy to be able to thank her in person.
I also bought Annie’s new book and like everyone else, posed for a photo with this inspiring, creative and dynamic woman.
I am ready to start painting and I have so many ideas. I will be sure to post before and after photos as I go.
Have you used the paint? If so, what do you think?
If you would like help with color, decorating or home staging please give me a call.