Before and After…and After… With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Remember this table? This was the very the first piece of furniture my painting partner Susan Siefer of  Mad Patter Art Design and I painted using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

console table before

console table before

The top was covered with dirty contact paper that was hiding at least two previous paint jobs: notice the yellow that was painted over the blue that was painted over the original wood.

console table before

contact paper over paint

Since we had heard there was no striping, sanding or prepping needed with the Annie Sloan paint we wanted to try it on really rough piece. You can read my blog here about all the steps we did with the paint, stencil and wax to transform it into this.

console table after

console table after

Well after looking at it for a few months in the studio we weren’t feeling the love anymore. In fact there were several of our earliest pieces that we got the urge to give a make over. Luckily, one of the best things about the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is that if you decide you want a change …just repaint it…again, no sanding, prepping or striping.

Then last week while visiting the Brimfield Antique show we saw this fabulous Union Jack dresser painted by Nancy Chace of Sea Rose Cottage.

Union Jack Dresser

Photo by Nancy Chace of Sea Rose Cottage

Seeing Nancy’s chest inspired us to give our console table a little British flair.

console table after, after

console table after and after

We used nail heads around the edge for a little added bling.

We also gave a makeover to this Antibes Green stenciled table.

green stenciled table before

green stenciled table before

It now has a new life painted Emperor’s  Silk Red.

Table after

Table after

Here is a close up of the top which we lacquered with images of graffiti that I photographed while vacationing in Barcelona.

barcelona table detail

We gave this red stool with silk fabric a makeover to go into a little girl’s room.

stool before

stool before

and is now painted with Antoinette pink and gold leaf trim and recovered with a bright paisley print.

stool after

stool after

Even this orange and blue table got a little tweek

with the addition of a pompom accent trim.

Since we have recently acquired some large and unique pieces to paint, as well as a few commissioned pieces, we need to clear out and make some room. We are putting all our pieces for sale on Etsy. Click HERE to see what is for sale as well as some of Susan’s paintings. You can also see our painted furniture by following my board on Pinterest . We will be adding new pieces as we paint.

So what do you think of our makeovers?  Have you used the Annie Sloan paint yet?

If you have a piece of furniture you would like transformed or if you need help choosing the perfect color, or decorating give me a call at 617-965-3342.


Inspiration With Annie Sloan in Boston

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 Sloan in Boston

Annie Sloan in Boston

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.

Annie Sloan paint brush technique

Annie Sloan paint brush technique

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.

Annie Sloan paint techniques

Annie Sloan paint techniques

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.

Annie Sloan and me

Annie Sloan and me

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.



Holiday Home Tour sneak peak

This coming Saturday I will be participating in my very first Designer House Tour. Ten beautiful homes in my town will open their doors to the public for the day in order to raise money for the schools. Since most  (if not all) of the homes on the tour, have already been professional decorated the participating designers were simply asked to add a layer of holiday entertaining decor. The Tour is called “Entertaining in Style” and each designer was assigned a room (or two) and asked to decorate in either a Fall, Thanksgiving or Christmas theme.

The challenge in decorating for this Holiday Tour is that all the homes are occupied. The home I was asked to decorate is home to a very active family with 3 young kids and a dog. The designers were asked to go in early Saturday morning, set up everything and then be done by 11am when the tour starts…..okay, this made me a little nervous. I kept imagining the tour organizer standing outside with a big bull horn yelling “designers you have 15 minutes…5 minutes…1 minute…designers…STOP decorating. Lucky for me, my homeowner has graciously offered to let us come in on Friday to drop things off.

So, back to my rooms.  I  decided to do a little twist on the traditional Red, Yellow, and Orange  Fall color scheme and instead I am using Lavender, Blue and Orange. I took my color inspiration from a beautiful Pashmina that was a gift from a friend who’s brother brought it back after a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Here is a photo of it.


Lavender, Blue and Orange Pashmina


And here is a sneak peak of some of the things I will be using to decorate the kitchen table.


See all that color?  I know it looks like a huge mess right now but this is just the initial stage as I pull things together and decide what works and what doesn’t.

Lucky for me, I also talked my Artist friend Susan of Mad Patter Art Design into  doing the art work  for both the kitchen and great room. Here is a photo of 3 of Susan’s pieces that will be in the kitchen. They are almost a perfect match to the colors in the Pashmina.


Susan's Art work


Lastly, Susan and I have been painting up some furniture in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint that will also be showcased in the home. I know my husband will be very glad when the House Tour is over because our dinning room is a mess but the hallway is even worse. Here is how it looked yesterday while we were finishing up painting the final pieces.


A few of the Chalk Painted furniture pieces


If you live in the area I hope you’ll  stop by and say hello.  If not, I’ll post photos from the house next week.


If you would like help with choosing the perfect color, Staging or Design, give me a call.

Chalk it Up Baby! Before and After

There is a new furniture paint bursting onto the design scene called Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. It truly is an amazing paint because it goes over anything and there is absolutely no prep work involved. No stripping, no sanding, nada! All you have to do is paint and then seal the chalk paint with your choice of either a light or dark wax (also sold by Annie Sloan).The paint covers like magic and since painted furniture is a huge trend, it is super easy to paint your own piece and give it an updated new look. Super easy that is…except getting your hands on the paint. The paint is from England and there are currently only a limited number of US distributors that sell the paint. I have to believe this will change soon as more people hear about and want to try out the paint.

I first heard about the paint through my good friend  Susan Siefer who is a super talented decorative painter and the owner of  Mad Patter Art Design.  Susan originally drove to Rhode Island to bring home samples of the paint to experiment with. She raved about it and then together we drove out to the Brimfield Antique Show to buy even more. Not only did we buy the paint but we saw a lot of chalk painted furniture. We have since collaborated on a few pieces and I want to show you a few before and after’s.

The first piece we painted was a very sad small console table that I had bought for $1.00 at an auction. It had been painted multiple times and the top was covered with contact paper. Here is the table before:

$1.00 table before


Here is a close up of the top with multiple layers of paint and contact paper.


many layers of paint


This is the table after one coat of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Paris Gray is on the top and Paris Gray mixed with Original (white) is on the bottom.



We then waxed it and could have declared it finished, as it looked great.

light colored wax to seal the paint


BUT….Remember I said Susan is a super talented decorative painter… so this was just our starting point. We painted the top again with the Duck Egg Blue, distressed a little by lightly sanding so a little of the gray would show through, rewaxed with the light wax and then set up a stencil design for the top.


Annie Sloan Deck Egg Blue with stencil


We used Arles (yellow) for the stencil


Arles (yellow) for the stencil


We distressed the top again with a little more light sanding and then decided to paint the legs Arles and distress them as well. We finished the entire piece with a good covering of the dark wax.

Here is the finished piece.  (The photo was taken just before dark so the color is a little off but you get the idea).

console table AFTER



We were now hooked; both on the paint and on how much fun and how easy it was to turn trash to treasure. We started gathering as many pieces of furniture as we could and went to work turning them into little masterpieces. Here are a few more we did the same week.


A little side table painted Duck Egg Blue and Paris Gray with a silver stencil design.


Duck Egg Blue and Paris Gray


A stool painted in Emperor’s Silk Red and then covered in vintage red silk fabric (that was originally curtains) that Susan found at the Habitat For Humanity Restore.


Emperor's Silk Red



Most exciting is that the owner of  the store  Soiree,  saw one of our pieces on Susan’s iphone and asked if she could put them in her store……well…YEEESS!!!

Here are the painted pieces together when we dropped them off.  I don’t have a photo of the gray and silver stenciled one in the back but the owner put that one  in the store window (how incredibly exciting!)



We have since collected 3-4 more pieces to paint plus an old mirror and a vintage lamp. Now we just need to make another road trip down to Rhode Island or pay for shipping to get more paint.

I would love to hear feed back, and if you have used the paint, I would love to hear about that as well.

Give me a call if you would like to incorporate an Annie Sloan custom painted piece in your home.
















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