Annie Sloan, painter and creator of Chalk Paint, was the guest last week on Post staff writer Jura Koncius’s Home Front online chat. Here is an edited excerpt:
What’s your favorite style of paint finish? Can you create a smooth finish?
I have no favorites, because it’s just what gets me going at any one time. It might be that the furniture dictates something, or I see an image I want to use. Or a color combo inspires me. As to a smooth finish? Of course! You need to use a smooth flat brush. I also add a little water to the paint so it flows beautifully.
I am dying to try your Chalk Paint, and I have three of your books. I have an old secretary and an old china cabinet (both probably from the 1930s, so not precious antiques). I don’t think I want to paint the whole piece. How do you think it would look to just paint the inside of the china cabinet and secretary?
Yes, why not? Just think of the color that would work with the wood color. If the wood is warm, maybe paint it in a cooler color, such as one of the blues or grays.
I would like to use Chalk Paint on an end table. After the table is painted, do I need to apply a wax finish or another type of finish? Or can I simply use the freshly painted table as is? I assume wax or another type of finish will protect the paint and give the table a more finished appearance.
You need to wax it to protect it and to give it a beautiful, mellow look. If you want it to be matte, then just rub the wax in and don’t polish it. If you want it to be shiny, then leave it until the next day and then polish it for a beautiful shine.
I painted and waxed a piece months ago, doing some accents in Barcelona Orange Chalk Paint. It’s terrific, but the orange is too much. Now I want to re-paint just the orange areas with Versailles, but it’s been waxed. What do I need to do to that area? Sand it, or use mineral spirits?
Just repaint it! No need to apply mineral spirits — that will soften the wax and make it more difficult to paint over — so just get painting. Have you considered doing a wash over the Barcelona with Versailles? I think that would look terrific!
Can you suggest a color for a living and dining room combination? I have a large rug under the dining table that is a blue/yellow-cream color. Most of the furniture is dark wood, and I have a chocolate color leather sofa. How can I make this room look sophisticated and bright? What is a good neutral color to paint the walls?
Cream, blue and chocolate? I’d go for a wall in Aubusson Blue. I’d even wax it — a bit of a job but so sophisticated looking! I know that Aubusson is not a neutral but it would sort of look like it.
I have had difficulty getting the wax finish looking even and smooth on two dressers painted with Chalk Paint. They look somewhat blotchy. I’m wondering whether a buffing brush would be helpful?
How are you applying the wax? It’s either too little or too much. Applying wax is like applying hand cream. You have to work it into your hands. I just released a wonderful wax brush that will really help make application easy as pie.
Since you have been painting for so long, what do you do to get out of a creative rut?
I go to an art gallery and see an exhibition. The last one I went to that gave me a real boost was a show in London for Paul Klee, whom I had admired for a very long time. His work re-sparked so many ideas. Not every show gets me going so much, but there’s often a color combo or texture that inspires me.
I am painting lamp shades in my bedroom. Do I need to wax them?
What a terrific idea. I would paint them with the light on so you can see what the brush marks are doing. Then I would leave it and not wax. They will be lovely and matte.
What would you say the current interior and furniture colors are for a beach condo? We have one in the family that needs a facelift.
A great combo of Greek Blue, Antibes Green and then some Old White or Pure added. Greens and blues are the way to go.
How do you decide on the paint colors you create? Are there any new ones coming out soon?
They are all based on pigments and the colors of old and modern furniture paint. And yes, I am working on bringing Burgundy to North America soon. I have other colors up my sleeve, but they are staying there for now.