…got milkshake?

I have admittedly been moving super slow with projects and refinishing jobs. My clients have been amazingly patient. For a recovering people-pleaser letting myself go at this pace is not easy. This weekend I made a dent in a few pieces, but when I initially went out into my garage I stumbled onto a problem that I bet you are having now as well.

I opened a can and found what looked to be a grey milkshake.



Uggg. I have very little windows where I feel better & there are no kids around. I totally don’t have time for frozen paint.  In my impatience I did what I could to solve the problem. I took an old brush that I use to stir and…stirred. And stirred. And stirred. And stirred. I even thought about putting it in the VitaMix, but being that this was a gift for DH I decided against it. I have not ruled it out for future frozen paint, however.

The stirring started to break up the ice a bit, but not enough. I went to the sink and the hot water. Owen is very helpful in situations like this.


I held the side of the can under the hot water. If I had stood there for many minutes it may have made a difference, but as I’ve said I am horribly impatient and after one minute I moved onto another tactic. Adding hot water! Now, there are times when I add water to my paint when it’s not frozen because I want to thin it out. So, I knew that adding water would not harm the paint or process.

I added a little. Stir, stir stir.

A little more. Stir, stir, stir, stir.

The ice chunks started to melt.


Finally I had my old paint and I could set to work.


I was able to finish up a sweet secretary for a client. Love the French Linen with Country Grey. Very handsome.

I have a few little observations about working in winter with your ASCP paint.

What happens when you paint with frozen paint? The painted chunks of ice just sit there on your piece. Not good.

What happens when you use cold paint on a cold piece? Well, this.


And this.


The paint will literally freeze on the piece and crystalize. It’s actually amazing and kinda pretty, but not for our purposes. A few tips around this.

1. Bring your paint inside your house! Leave it there all winter so it won’t freeze and/or freeze on your piece.

2. If working with a can of non-frozen paint, then find a heat source in your cold garage so the paint does not freeze on the piece.


Of course, we all know those scary stories that we hear on the news about space heaters so please be careful. Turn off every time you leave your space or even set a reminder on your phone to beep in an hour. Better safe.

3. If you have the space and your piece/s is small, bring the whole production inside.


Use drop cloths and tell the kids that your work is not to be stepped on, played on, spit on, danced on or to become the backdrop for a dance routine or play.

With a little luck we will find warmer weather soon.


  1. Hello Christen:
    I enjoy visiting your site and like to see what your doing next! I also love to paint even as my husband says “your painting over that wood”? Lol. I love the transformation! My mother has a secretary desk that belonged to her father. I look forward to inheriting it just so I can paint it!

  2. Tammy Gillleland says:

    Christen, what do you use to get the paint off the glass? Any good tips? Thanks so much, I love your blog.

  3. Good to hear you were feeling well enough to tackle a project! As a faithful reader, I thought I remembered you warned us all last year about painting with cold paint on cold furniture? Because of that warning, I hauled all of my ASCP paints, waxes, along with refinishing products such as stains, top coats into my downstairs closet a few months ago. I’m in Southeast Virginia so we’ve had pockets of warmer weather mixed in with cold weather. So it’s been 3 months of taking paints in and out to the garage, then bringing them back in. Last Monday (a warmer day, relative to the rest of the week) I spent the day cleaning, sanding and prepping pieces as I knew I’d be working inside for the rest of the week! 🙂 So thank you for the tip last year….I must say, I’m over the cold and ready for spring! I hope you continue to heal….

  4. Bettie Jo Robinson says:

    My previously frozen Annie Sloan paint continues to separate? I recently moved from Kentucky (outside Cincinnati, Ohio) to rural Nova Scotia. In the process, 4 cans of ASCP were repeatedly frozen. I can mix them into a normal consistency but with time they separate again. I am heartbroken at this loss.

    Do you recommend I try using this paint on a piece of furniture? Thanks so much for your help.

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