…building a business: support

This is a big one. We were not put on this earth to be alone as much as sometimes I wish I could do everything on my own. To rely on someone else is very scary and difficult for me. Let’s just say it’s a painful subject.

When you own your own creative business you need people. It’s not like you work in a big office building where everyone has their own duties and you are working towards a common goal. Many times it is just you working for…you. You need help. You need help with the pracitical side of things like the moving, selling, marketing, repairing and work. More than that, you need people supporting your goals for your business.


What does support mean?

It means friends & people asking about how it’s going.

Dinner guests commenting on the large dining set half painted in your living room.

Neighbors stopping to say hi when you are covered in paint in your driveway.

Friends showing up to help move your left-over pieces from the Luckett’s Spring Market (Matt Sanne).

Support means genuine interest in whatever you have going on in your life. It could be collecting seashells or cats. It could be learning how to ski. It could be going to a new barre class. When someone is interested in what you have going on you feel cared for; held up. It makes space for you to keep on doing what you love and enjoy to do. It speaks to you in a way that says, “I see you.” Isn’t that what we all need? Someone to see us. Someone to know us. I think we all inherently need this. I know I do.

If you don’t have this type of support in your life, then I have a secret for you, you can give it to yourself if you try really hard. You can speak words of healing & support to yourself. You can honor your mind and your body by resting and putting up boundaries. You can encourage yourself by catching the negative voices in your head and say to them “No thank you. You are not needed.” For those of us in this boat, meet me over at my other site, The Safe Nest. We will hold each other up.


Thank you, Dear Readers, for all the support that you’ve given me. There are some days when it’s all I have.


…my favorite brush

Is a Wooster!


You may be surprised to find out that the brush I use the most and love is not a refinishing brush or an Annie Sloan oval brush. It is a normal paintbrush found at the hardware store. The brand is Wooster.

I have used a Wooster brush for over two years now. Why do I like it best?

1. It allows me to apply paint  smoothly.

2. It is slender and allows me to have more control.

3. The nylon brushes do not shed.

4. The plastic handles does not break like a wood one.

5. I love the short handle & grip on the Shortcut brush

I have found that my natural, oval brushes are really difficult to use. I am not able to control the application as I would like to because these brushes are shorter and thick. In fact, I find that I have to really work my oval brush to use it the way I want to. Even the smaller ovals are very difficult to use in smaller spaces and pressing a brush into these areas creates clumps and inconsistencies. I also find that natural bristles, although beautiful, tend to shed. My wood handles also shake loose from the base and become unusable.

Wooster makes several brushes that I love. My new favorite is the Shortcut.


Check out that little, rubber handle. This handle makes it easy to control your application. They also make several other great brushes that my new friends at Wooster mailed me.




The black bristled brush would be great for those of you that stencil on fabric.


The brushes above have synthetic bristles and although I have no tried them on wax yes, they may be softer than what you are using now.

Thanks for the help, Wooster! Woot.

…old white chairs

I love a sweet, wood chair. A client brought me four of these to refinish for her. The cane seats unscrewed so I could get in there and paint. Love when it works out that way so I don’t have to break out the green tape!

Here is the before:

Boo. I forgot to take a before.

Here is the after!






Beth did have one of the seats recaned. Beth, do you mind telling us who you used? Old White always works for kitchen chairs.


…blue egg q&a’s

Here are your Q&A’s! Got questions? Email: cbensten@blueeggbrownnest.com

I love to do what you do so well and I wanted to know how your sets of dining room chairs sell?  I often see cheap sets that can be reborn with paint and fabric and I think sets would sell fairly well with farm tables being so popular.  What I’m asking is, do your sets sell well?  Is it a steady part of your business?

Great question. Yes, they do sell but not the fastest. The main issue with a set is that you have to have room to store it while you are waiting to sell. Also, be sure to pick a color that will work in most homes with a fabric that will be pleasing to many. If you pick a fabric with a lot of colors it will be much more difficult to integrate into a home.


Would you be so kind and share with me where you bought your rug?


Did you ever get into a slump, where it was hard to get motivated to paint?  Sometimes I blame it on my full time job, but the weather also affects me.  I have 3 major jobs to complete this week and really need to pump myself up! 

Oh, Dear Friend. I hear you. Sometimes it is difficult to get motivated. I would recommend a hot cup of tea and some good pop music while you are painting. Three big jobs in a week is also quite a lot so I’d think about spreading them out next time. It’s okay to tell clients that your next availability is a few weeks out. Good luck!

My other question for you is, “Did you ever paint something and love it so much you couldn’t part with it?’

Yes! Many times and so I don’t part with it! I keep it until I feel like it is time to bring in something new. Nothing wrong with holding onto a piece you love. It’s can also make a nice demo piece for people to check out your work.

I watched one where you did a white dresser in a garage. You used a round brush, Clear Wax and Dark Wax. I have been trying to find all three things and can’t find. Can you give me some suggestions of places or brand names so I can find them?

If you purchased furniture paint from a stockist, they will sell these things. If you are not sure if you have a stockist in your area you can check the ASCP website. You can also order online at Stylish Patina, my stockist.


I was going to stencil the back of a chair, but wasn’t that pleased with how it turned out. I used ASCP. Any suggestions re stenciling on fabric?

I have never stenciled fabric, but if I was going to I would not sure Chalk Paint. I would use something found at my local craft store that was for such things.

I want to use ASCP to give my dining room table the “WEATHERED” look like you did in your video. I think the table is pine because it has knot holes. Do I need to prime the knot holes before I apply the chalk paint? What kind of sealer do you use after the chalk paint? 

Does the pine have any texture to it besides the knots? You need a wood, like oak, that has texture to achieve this look. The paint will seep into the lines and then you wipe the wood with a cloth to get this affect. If you have a smooth wood then it really won’t work well. I use clear wax after I paint.

Can you please tell me the paint color on the dining room wall in your house.  

Search “Wall Colors Revealed” on my site.

I am however struggling with the Pure white colour. I have painted bed side tables in a combination of pure white and paris grey. At first i applied my dark wax very sparingly but the pieces then looked if they were painted in any old white and grey paint which I didn’t like.I also did not get the cottage distressed looked I wanted.I then dark waxed one piece but it changed to look completely. I am really struggling with this. 

You have probably used too much dark wax. Dark wax is a finishing wax only used to get an aged look. It is to be applied to crevices and edges. You also do not need to use it! I rarely use it on my pieces now days unless I have a client that wants it. It will show up more on lighter colors and can look muddy. I would recommend repainting and possibly not using the dark wax.

My fiancé and I just bought our first home together and I was given a few dressers, coffee tables,etc. and my plan is to repaint them all! My question is, if the furniture I was given is covered in laminate, do I need to sand it first? 

No sanding required if you are using ASCP.

First, are your twigs around your candelabras and around your house made of grapevine wreaths? 

I don’t know! I bought them off Etsy. That would make sense because they are twisted in circles.


Are your dining room chairs and table a set or can I buy the chairs separately and from where?

No, not a set. I found the chairs from Overstock.

Looks like one of your rooms is a soft blueish-green. If so, what is that paint color? I cannot find it on your website.

Search “Wall Colors Revealed” on my site. All colors are neutrals, no blue-green.

My house is done in shades of creams, golds, some burgundy, and dark brown furniture. The walls are a color called, “Crisp Khaki.” I feel like all of the furniture that I see chalk painted goes with homes that are in shades of white and gray. While I think that’s very pretty, I do not have the money to change out my home….nor really the desire, because I like my warm golds and browns. Do you have a suggestion for a color that I could use to repaint my entry table that would coordinate with what I already have?

One of my favorite colors is Country Grey. It is NOT grey. It is actually a beautiful beige. It works in most spaces.


I was at a cute shop in Illinois and the owner was selling Fusion paint which is mineral based. It works the same as chalk paint but you don’t have to wax (unless u want the look of dark wax). I bought a couple sample sizes to try it out. I love Annie Sloan paint but if I don’t have the expense of buying wax to finish off my pieces it would save time and money. I haven’t tried it yet but wanted to know your thoughts. 

I have no heard of it, but would love to hear how it works once you are finished!

so my DH is not too happy with me these days because I have gotten quite a bit of dried chalk paint on his garage floor that has been finished. I have to admit it does look pretty terrible…any ideas on what product I can use to break down the chalk paint and remove it without breaking my back in the process.

Ha! I think paint on the garage floor is a casualty of being a painter. I am not sure it would come up and I have never tried! I actually love mine because it shows all the work I’ve done in there. That being said, ever year we do repave our driveway because of the paint :) You could consider painting the concrete with a heavy-duty latex from the hardware store.

Can you please advise how to get turquoise color from Annie Sloan available colors? What should I mix?

I think she’s done it already – Provence!

Can you tell me where to purchase the Annie Sloan products. I live in wv and cannot find a dealer. Is there a recommended website to order on line. 

See question above.

Also,  how many pieces will a can paint.

Well, that really depends on the piece. You could probably do a few depending on how many coats.

Is chalk paint waterproof?

I always tell people that Annie Sloan’s shop (the exterior) is painted in her Chalk Paint. That being said, like any painted piece of outdoor furniture or structure, it will wear with time.

How often do you add water to your Annie Sloan CP?  Rarely?  30% of the time … 50%??  I’ve only used Old White, French Linen, & Paris Gray.  Just purchased Old Ochre and it seems a lot thicker – perhaps just the can I bought.  Would you happen to have example photos of pieces with/without water added?

I hardly ever use water because if you do, it will change the color. One of the benefits of using ASCP is that you can touch up your pieces and the color matches. However, if you’ve added water here and there then it will not always match up again. I do so many pieces that it is not productive for me to have to adjust colors. Adding water can help with paint lines, but honestly I do not mind them. You will never be rid of paint lines completely and to me it shows that the piece is not from a box store, but was refinished with someone’s own hands.



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