I am just back from Port Orchard, Washington visiting my daughter and grandchildren who are eagerly awaiting the return of her husband from his latest deployment. It was gorgeous weather so I was able to see and be inspired by vistas I’d not seen in previous trips. It was also a great reminder that spring and summer are here!
Port Orchard, Washington overlooking Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.
Of course, after you’ve been in the business I’m in for awhile you start to notice color everywhere! A little Pure White, Old White, Napoleonic Blue and Arles in this quintessential water scene. Definitely the colors of the coast. This shot was taken from Port Orchard, Washington looking towards Bremerton, Washington and the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.
Downtown Poulsbo, Washington.
Poulsbo, Washington is a quaint little town just North of Port Orchard with a little twist of Norway. It’s known for it’s amazing bakeries (Poulsbo Bread) and antique stores as well as the beautiful waterfront. A must stop if you are ever in this area!
Although these colors are more geared to the woodland setting of the area, I loved the simple shutters with cutouts (we’ll be carrying unpainted ones in our shop soon) and the decorated window boxes.
I was so inspired by the places I visited and boy do I wish I could have hauled a bunch of goodies home from some of those junk shops! Unfortunately, the one Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® shop I went by was closed as it was Sunday but I’m sure I’ll be back again!
And our tip for the day! How to get good coverage for Emperor’s Silk over light colors. Professional painters use this tip all the time when painting walls in a home. Red is often tough to cover over a light base. The solution? Do a base coat of gray (in our case we recommend Graphite) and then go over with Emperor’s Silk and voila! No more light shadows peeking through. We have a custom piece we are working on in the shop with a base coat of Graphite on it now, getting ready for Emperor’s Silk so I’ll share those pictures when it’s finished.
Annie Sloan Emperor’s Silk Chalk Paint
It’s always bittersweet when I have to leave my grandchildren back in Washington but I am grateful to come back to my other “happy place”, my shop and studio. Hope to see you all as you get ready for those spring projects or just come by and visit!
Ok so I made a pledge to myself that I would start blogging once a week (was thinking about doing it on Fridays) and get myself on a schedule so you could benefit from tips and inspiration on a regular basis. Today was going to be the first day! And I promise a tip and inspiration every week including today. But I’m not going to lie. It’s been really tough to concentrate when all I can think about is Boston. I am from Boston. I was born in that city and grew up in the suburbs. I road the train from my hometown into South Station with my friends to spend the day and ride the swan boats. I’ve gone back and forth many times for weddings, funerals, family reunions and summers vacations on Cape Cod. I have friends and family members who have run in the marathon and I’m really sad and very angry that my hometown city has been attacked and that my grandchildren have to grow up in a world full of violence because of intolerance of other’s beliefs. I’ll get off my soapbox now but I had to mention this place today that is very near and dear to me. I now personally know people directly affected by it and can’t even imagine……..picture from google.com
On to lighter and brighter thoughts! I thought I would share a troubleshooting tip this week on an issue we see a lot. TOO MUCH WAX!!!! Annie Sloan’s wax is made to bond with her paint and should be applied for good coverage but then rubbed in like hand lotion to form a paper thin, smooth layer which, if applied correctly, should allow you to run your hand right over it as soon as you’re done waxing. So what do you do if you either put too much wax on or let it dry before you rub it in (which you should do right away)? Use a green scotchbrite pad and some clear, odorless mineral spirits to take down some of that wax. Don’t go crazy here–a little goes a long way. Just lightly rub the surface. The scotchbrite acts as a sander and the mineral spirits will thin out the wax. Then buff the piece. The goal is to get the thickness down but not remove all of the wax.
We know there are lots of videos out on the subject of using Annie Sloan’s waxes, some are good, some-not so much. You can see one of Annie’s here. Note of caution: Annie looks like she’s using a lot of wax (and she kinda sorta is) but she really rubs it in and takes a lot off. Just remember, cover the surface enough but not too much, rub the wax in generously, buff with a soft cloth.
And some inspiration for the day! I held one of our Two Technique Workshops on the 15th and one of my students brought in a small antique doll sized chair and she wanted to copy the finish on an old unpainted, very similar ladder back chair that was unpainted and she’d had for awhile. The doll chair was in layers of yellow, blue and red, distressed with some aging to it. My student, Jan, and I decided she needed to paint a layer of Arles, then a layer of Aubusson Blue and finally a layer of Emperor’s Silk (ok it’s usually only a two color distress class but the chair was small and we just had to see how this worked). distress it and then go over it with clear and then dark wax. Well……………
as you can see she pretty much nailed it!! We were so excited to see this great transformation. She was still debating on painting the seat and decided to leave it be for now but what a fun day it was with all of my wonderful students!
I am off to fly the friendly skies tomorrow to help my daughter get ready for her husband’s return from what we hope is the last deployment for a long time and play with my grandchildren for a few days. I’ll be back in the shop next weekend, working and playing hard and looking forward to seeing so many of you who I appreciate and enjoy so much! Keep being creative and have a wonderful week.
The problem with blogging is all the other distractions that come up in the course of doing everyday business. And then of course there are the other self inflicted reasons like taking on another 1200 square feet of space next door and remodeling the whole place!
Yep this is the mess we’ve created on one side. My good friend Danny has been helping us with a number of projects. He made these awesome work tables on wheels that can be used in our workshops and on our own projects. We’ve made a lot of progress since this photo was taken. We are also using old doors to petition off “rooms” in our other warehouse/retail space which are very cool!
This little vignette is a work in progress as we finish up these gorgeous graphite pieces and stage this section.
We have also been working to get some custom orders finished including a piece that was originally intended to be a bookcase made out of old doors. Instead it will make it’s debut as the backdrop for some incredible future weddings!
Our friend Heather at Port City Event Planners has purchased the piece. Because it will be used outside, we did not wax it and she wanted a distressed look so note to all of you! The reason Annie Sloan wants us to teach our customers to wax before they sand distress is because of this…….
I literally had chalk dust in my shoes and hair and since I wore a mask, when I got home my husband said it was clear I’d worn it because the outline was still on my face! I used a mouse sander to distress the piece because it was so large. I’m grateful we have a new large fan in the studio section of the shop that allowed me to blow the dust to the back.
And finally I am so excited to let you all know Annie Sloan’s new book Color Recipes for painted furniture is now available in the shop and it’s fantastic!!!
Annie graciously shares a number of projects she tackled in her French country house with lovely pictures and beautiful pieces that just want to make you pack your bags and head for Normandy! Ok well maybe not that dramatic but you’ll know what I mean when you see the book. Inspiration for mixing colors, keeping it simple but elegant and living a beautiful, creative life. That’s what this woman is all about and it shows in this book.
As always I am happy to see you and hear from you and hope that you’re working on something creative for spring that makes you happy!
Cheers for now,
One of the best parts of my job is seeing the incredible work my customers do and getting to share their amazing talents. Thank you to those of you who share your pictures. We love them! Here’s some inspiration for you.
Kim’s custom floorcloth with a chevron stencil and handpainted monogram.
Donna’ headboard before….
…and after. Gorgeous in Old White and Henrietta (and I think since she’s added some Gilder’s Paste).
Susan’s elegant side table in Paris Grey, Greek Blue, a metallic glaze and gilder’s paste. Her favorite part? The drawer is painted in Henrietta for a pop of surprise when it’s opened.
Roberta’s Napoleonic Blue Table used to be boring latex white.
Martha’s basic brown hall table before.
And Martha’s table after in gorgeous Duck Egg Blue! It’s so much prettier.
Tiffany’s custom blended color for a beautiful pink dresser.
Joane’s lamp went from basic mauve ginger jar to a beautiful high end pottery look with Coco, metallic paint and wax.
Colleen dazzled us with this incredible before…..
…and after!! Wow! This Old White and Duck Egg Blue combination totally updated this piece and gave it new life!
Our good friend Jennifer from Goldsboro has such an eye for fabric and redid this beautiful stool in Pure White and this bold blue and green fabric. Love it!
Jen also did this coffee table in Graphite with Gold gilder’s paste and it is stunning!
We can’t thank you all enough for sharing your photos. This is just a small percentage of the incredible makeovers that have happened as a result of Annie Sloan’s amazing Chalk Paint®. We hope you are working on a great project and as always if you need help please come by the shop and see us. And don’t forget to send us your pieces of inspiration! You can email them to email@example.com
At least once a week I am asked if we have the color black in our assortment of gorgeous paint colors. The answer is no and yes. You can make a beautiful black close to the color you see on most Pottery Barn pieces. How? By mixing a tube of high quality black artist’s acrylic with Graphite.
Graphite mixed with artist’s acrylic.
Using a formula of one tube of black acrylic (approximately 6 oz.–make sure it’s quality acrylic not the cheap stuff) and half a can of Graphite, my friend Lynda who works at the shop with me, painted a beautiful sideboard. Below are the before and afters. She also redid her hardware with Silver’s Gilder’s Paste and turned them from a dull dark metal that didn’t show up to this stunning silver that really made the whole piece pop. Our Gilder’s Paste are only $8.00 a tin and can make any piece stand out in a matter of minutes.
Lynda’s sideboard before. Great bones but brown and boring.
Lynda’s sideboard now!
Change the color of hardware with the addition of Gilder’s Paste.
This piece has been totally transformed and updated with the gorgeous black finish, some dark wax and Silver Gilder’s Paste. Great job Lynda! We will be painting a similar piece in the shop with the same finish soon so come by and see it in the next couple of weeks.
Please note we have changed our hours. We are now open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Hope to see you sometime soon!
We are so excited to have Teresa Hollmeyer coming back to do another mosaic workshop with us on Saturday, March 16th from 9:00 am to 3:00 or 4:00 or so. In this workshop students will make a mosaic mirror with found objects such as dishes, buttons, etc. All supplies will be provided however feel free to bring your own items. A delicious lunch is included and the cost is $95. Don’t miss out on this great, great workshop! Call now to register. 910-232-3646