…chalk paint style

I feel like every few months we need to talk about what chalk paint style really is. I receive loads of email from you, my fabulous readers, & get to meet loads of you as well. I do quite a bit of custom work for people as well and alot of the time I find myself talking about the overall look that chalk paint offers when discussing and choosing color.


My interpretation and the look that I admire & try to create is a storied, high-end European look. There are many types of chalk painted looks out there, but whether or not you are working with the neutral end of the palette or the bright end – there is a certain aged look that represents this type of paint & process.


If you are looking for a covered, clean & pristine look, go to your hardware store and buy a can of colored furniture spray paint. Take it outside, work right to left and spray as you go. Let dry and repeat until you get the coverage you want. Careful for drip marks. I did this for years when I was first married when restoring old furniture & trying to create a cozy room. It’s easy, inexpensive, and a much quicker process. There is no shame in it.

If you want to create a piece with more character and history to it, look to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. The look you will achieve is a WEATHERED, LOVED, ANTIQUE look. There will be places that are darker, places that are sanded more, places that look worn. It’s not a perfection kind of look. It’s not Pottery Barn & Ikea where everything looks hand-dipped. Instead, the ideal chalk paint look specifically works to achieve a storied look through specific techniques.





Please know what you are getting into. Every piece will turn out different and look custom. That is wonderful & exciting to me, but I do find myself having to explain the end result. For some of you, it may be out of your comfort zone to put a piece like this in your home. You don’t have to go crazy and do a full room. If you have one, special chalk painted piece it will be a highlight. Make the piece look deliberate & special as it is.


I don’t want you to shy away from “too much rubbing”, “too much dark wax”. Play & experiment. You can always go back and repaint the entire piece. But, nothing ventured nothing gained.


Since I do not have a store presence and I do quite a bit of shipping I sometimes feel the need to explain that a mirror or table top may have some weathered spots or cracks or scratches. I kinda hate doing that because to me this is not a flaw in the piece. Rather, it is a characteristic of the piece and adds personality and history. So when you are buying or working on a vintage piece you don’t need to excuse these spots. If you get it, you get it.

At the end of the day it is a design question. What are you going to pair your shabby piece with to create a look in a room? I’m not talking about making your whole home look like a barn. You put your aged piece in a room and then you contrast it with, say, new & shiney candlesticks, a patterned rug, a gilded mirror. Create contrast & interest. The furniture is just part of the look and your rubbed chalk painted piece is just one slice of the pie.


…trending series – trunks

Many of us realize how special a trunk is and now the big shops are catching on. I have been to many an estate sale where I’ve seen stacks of trunks from war veterens and all I can think about is what a story they much have. I NEVER pass up a trunk.



What a perfect surface for a coffee table with so much interest. I’ve had clients buy them from me for toy chests and end of the bed tables. You can always find a use.




Oooo, love how this one was put on some legs to make into a foyer table.


I have to show you how Restoration Hardware is selling theirs for a cool $2,000 +




These ones are a bit too clean and new for me, but I do love that they are being appreciated for their style.

PS – I found out from a reader that my picnic table is actually a German beer garden table –  as in Octoberfest! Makes it even cooler 🙂

…trending series: picnic table

What is she talking about? A picnic table? These are the questions I’m imagining you asking me as you read the title. Well, once upon a time I was out shopping at a flea and happened upon a super cool picnic table & bench set! I didn’t think too hard about it before scooping it up.


A bit different than your Restoration Hardware outdoor furntiture? Yes, but that’s what a trend is. Something different that becomes popular. Like clothes, my rule of thumb is don’t spend a ton on a trendy item, but do let yourself experiement & have fun within budget. We heart our picnic table. IMG_0866

Apparently, the people at William Sonoma Home agree. I opened my catalog literally a few weeks ago to this: Is that my exact table with a bit more stain on it? Yes it is! Even down to the vintage green metal. (They are also highlighting a chicken coop in their catalogue this month that I’m totally pressure DH into letting me buy.)


Lucketts thinks they are pretty great too. These were set up at the Market for guests to sit on. And yes, they make those worker-boys wear pink!

IMG_1165There’s something so American about a picnic table. This one even collapses and folds up on itself. Don’t pass one by if you see one in your travels! Much more interesting than wicker 🙂