Month: September 2011

Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

September 28, 2011


I have heard such great reviews about the Ann Sloan Paint Line, and I wanted to try it out for myself. I was instantly attracted to their claim of ‘no need to prime or prepare’! I also loved the idea of being able to paint  any surface such as wood furniture, plastic, clay, concrete, stone and formica furniture. As described on their website “Chalk Paint is a unique paint in 24 decorative and historical colors made specifically for painting furniture, painting floors, painting ‘blackboards’ and for giving walls a completely matte velvety finish.”

frenchlinen120             oldwhite                   ParisGrey

French Linen                       Old White                            Paris Gray

It was a great pleasure to drive down to historic Bristol, RI. It was a beautiful day and it is such a quaint little town with shops right on the water. The owner of Sea Rose Cottage, Nancy, invited me to come to her store and work with the paints:


She had all different painted samples to get ideas from:

anne samples

Although there are only 24 paint colors, there are actually many, many ways to mix the paint together. You can mix the paint with wax or water to make numerous shades and different techniques of paint.


Their claim of easy is so true! You just paint the surface with your color with two coats, then rub two coats of wax on. That’s it! If you want an antique look, just paint on the dark wax and rub off until desired effect. Pretty easy! Below are two examples of finishing the wood with the dark wax:


What I also loved was there is no right or wrong way to do it. You paint on the color, then use one (or both) of the two waxes, clear and dark, and then just adjust the effects you want with a rag. I know I am making this seem very simple, but that is actually the steps you follow. The picture below shows the color Versailles shown in different coats as applied:


From right to left- 1) one coat color applied, 2) two coats color, 3) two coats color with one coat clear wax and the last on the left is two coats color applied with two coats clear wax, then buffed with a rag to a beautiful shine.

As stated on her website “Annie Sloan developed her now famous Chalk Paint to answer the need she had for a paint which would have many uses from acting like limewash to looking like old painted furniture and that had a good range of color that could be extended by the user. This paint is very easy to work with and allows people to be creative as one doesn’t get involved with the technicalities of preparation and it also allows you to change your mind without hassle.”

I chose to experiment with the French Linen:


Nancy told me the most popular colors are Old White, Duck Egg Blue and Paris Gray. French Linen is a new color in the collection as well as a Pure White color and a beautiful Coco color I loved.  

I had no idea these colors have been in Europe for 20 years. They have only been in the United States and Canada for one and a half years. Brand new really! I really think it is a miracle paint for getting that antique and vintage look! But, it also can be made to look very contemporary depending on the color and sheen you are looking for. Below is a mirror painted with Provence and then waxed. The molding held up to compare is painted with no wax (both treatments beautiful!):


I ended up buying a quart of the French Linen paint ($36.95), one tin of the clear wax ($29.95), one tin of dark wax ($29.95) and a few samples jars to experiment with. The dark wax should last forever because you only use such a small amount of it.

I can’t wait to start painting! I am going to start with a small wood table and then I will share with you. There is a great technique book that is easy to follow step by step written by Annie Sloan called ‘Quick and Easy Paint Transformations’ that you can purchase online from the Sea Rose Cottage  as well as all Annie Sloan paint and waxes. This special paint is only sold in about 70 stocklists throughout the United State and Canada. It can be ordered online and shipped right to your door.


Love it! Love new products, new experiments! I have invited Nancy to guest post in about a week to explain in more detail about the products and painting techniques. Stay tuned!

Comments? Have you had a chance to try the Anne Sloan paint? What do you think of it?

I love the way that they advertise their paint:

Why our Paint is Special

1. It’s the BEST paint for painting furniture by a long way.
2. You can use the paint by diluting it with water to make a wash to show the wood grain.
3. You can use it as an impasto ( thickly) – leave the lid off to thicken.
4. You can use it on any surface, indoors and out ( the outside of our shop was painted in it- perfect!)
5. No need to prime or prepare.
6. The colors are mixed intelligently and the web site shows how you can adapt your colors for your use.
7. It’s a girls’ paint, but boys can use it too.
8. It’s flexible so you can be creative and change you mind.
9. It allows your walls to breathe so it is perfect for cottage walls.
10. Extremely low VOCs so it is good for the environment.
11. Very little black is used in their manufacture so the colors are mixed with thought using a mixture of colors.
13. You can paint it on walls for a soft matt effect or wax it for a polished plaster effect.

Related topics you might enjoy:

Beautiful Gray Color Combinations

The Magic of Paint – For Wood Paneling

Selecting a Spa Color for Your Bath

September 25, 2011

Lately I have been receiving a lot of color requests looking for help in finding that perfect bathroom color.


In the past few years, the bath was the room to experiment with darker colors:


apartment therapy

But I have noticed a rising trend in the last year. More home owners are looking for that lighter, spa like feeling of serenity and tranquility.

Below are a few beautiful blue/green Benjamin Moore colors I have recently suggested to create that spa style feeling:

Palladian Blue HC 144:

basements - Benjamin Moore - Palladian Blue - lucite bunny light fixture blue walls white chairs floating shelves mirror console table ottomans striped rug

Beach Glass 1564:

Cathy Erickson

Bali 702:


Tranquility AF 490:



And here is a Benjamin Moore color suggestion from their website for a spa retreat:

Feather Gray 2127-60:

A bathroom painted with Benjamin Moore colors Feather Gray (2127-60) wall paint and highlighted by Wedding Veil (2125-70) to create a relaxed spa-like appearance.

These are just a few colors that will give your bathroom that spa like, serenity feeling.  And always be sure to test new color next to your existng countertop, cabinets and tile!

I believe the trend is going to be around for awhile! What do you think?

If you need help choosing that perfect color for your bath, contact me today!


Great Accessory Finds

September 22, 2011


Aren’t the colors in this Crate&Barrel striped throw gorgeous? I found it shopping online and I bought it for myself because I liked it so much! Look how pretty this pillow is that I can use to go with it:


I really love this wall art below. It is a 20×200 print, sold through West Elm:

20x200 Wall Art, Typograph 5

I think it can be used to either dress up or downa room. It creates a look that is very fresh and clean. It is a good size too. 30” x 40”.

20x200 Wall Art, Typograph 5

I love, love this vase:


Vases are so easy and versatile to decorate with. One of the best features of a vase is that it looks great alone or with flowers.


Another great accessory I love that can be used in so many different decorating scenes:

Pocketwatch Clock, Small, Bronze finishpotterybarn

I love the 10” depth of these Pottery Barn shelves:

Rustic Wood Shelf

Try using three of the same length (2’, 3’ or 4 foot) spaced evenly together or three different shelf lengths together to decorate a entire wall:

Rustic Wood Shelf


                  Which are your favorites? Have you been shopping for any particular accessories lately?

If you need help choosing the perfect accessories for your home, contact me today!

Wrong Bedroom Color Choice

September 10, 2011

07-06-10_BalsamDrive017 (2)

Above is a photo of a bedroom that I painted and decorated a few years ago. I thought it looked pretty good, but I always felt that something was “off” and I just could not figure it out. Can you see it? :

, nh bed 001

Does this picture below help?: Hint: The headboard is not the key item you should be focusing on in your bedroom when choosing wall colors.

, nh bed 002 

The most significant item in your bedroom you should be working with in choosing a wall color (and its undertones) is your bedding. Your comforter is the largest, most considerable sized item in the room. right? So now can you tell what is not working in this bedroom?:

sunset, nh bed 016

Answer: The yellow bedding is clashing with the pinky beige of the wall and headboard. When you are trying to pull your entire room color scheme together, there must be a relationship between your wall color paint and the colors of your fabric, flooring, woodwork and accents. I had chosen a red undertone wall paint to go with the chocolate brown headboard. Very bad- but in my defense, this room was painted a few years ago before I had taken Maria’s color course! 🙂

Did you also notice that the walls and bedding are a clean/dirty combination? The beige wall color looks dirty and muddy next to the clean and bright comforter:

, nh bed 001

Solution?  I think the easiest way to fix the room so that the colors flow together is to change the bedding. Maybe something like this:

or how about this beautiful green:

Well, I better get shopping. Macy’s is having a huge bedding sale!

I would love to hear your comments!

Related topics you might enjoy:

Updating Your Chocolate Brown Furnishings

Comforter First?

Are Greige & Taupe the Same Color?

Beige Room Color Consultation

A Chelsea Gray Bedroom

September 5, 2011

MattCamron Rugs: Leslie Strauss   Matt Camron Antique Oushak rug and custom headboard and bedding.decorpad

When selecting a paint color for our new condo bedroom, I decided to go a little bolder with color for the walls. It is small room, only 10 x 12 feet.  Instead of going with a safer choice, I wanted to pick a darker color and give the room some personality (which it desperately needs!)

insight 016

I have always loved looking at bedrooms painted in Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray HC- 168:


2-10-09-LoriAndrews-01.jpgapartment therapy

Hey!  The two rooms above look like the same room! Don’t you agree?

elle decor

google image

I love that chelsea gray works with so many other colors:

insight 047

insight 049

And one of my favorites:

insight 050

I am going to use white bed linens and see which color accessories I find and like best.

Just beautiful! I think navy would look great too. Ok, decision made.  Chelsea gray in the new master bedroom.  What do you think?  Any other suggestions?

If you need help choosing paint colors, contact me today!