Here are this week’s questions from you all! Hope it helps 🙂

Do you know of someone of your caliber that is in the Chicago area?

I get this question alot for different areas. I think you best bed is to do a search on Annie Sloan’s website for the stockist in your area. In order to be a stockist for ASCP you must have a retail shop. So, chances are the shop will sell paint and other goodies.


I found a piece and I think it has a distinct smell of cigarette smoke. My question is…will this smell disappear after painting with the chalk paint? Any advice or tips that you could give would be greatly appreciated.

The downside is when you buy old pieces chances are they may have a funky smell. I too have had this problem and have tried various things to solve it. Bring you piece home, take out any drawers and let it air out in a ventilated room or outside for a few days. Spray Febreeze and if that still doesn’t work I’ve used baby powder. I did a Union Jack dresser for my son and when I brought it home to work on it smelled like cigarettes. I did all these things and now his little Starwars shirts can sit in the drawers smell-free. Anyone else have a creative suggestion?


My question to you is, since you do not paint the inside of the dressers, do you not paint the back side of dressers or hutches either.  I don’t want to waste time and paint on the backside that I know always goes to a wall.

Yes, I do paint the back of the dresser. I used to leave it as is, but if I am working on a piece for a client I want it to feel complete. If it is a piece for yourself it’s up to you as you will not see it against a wall.

Do You use French linen much? What are you likes and or dislikes about that color?

I heart French Linen. It is a beautiful grey color that can work in any room. I have this color in my bedroom, living room & dining room at the moment.


I have used emperors silk as the undercoat and using old white for the top… The idea is to distress it with the red coming through? Have you ever done this colour combo? And if so… How many layers of white did you have to use?

I have not done this color combo, but I have refinished red chairs with Old White for a client. I would suggest at least 2 coats of the old white to cover the red. Then when you go to sand the red will come through for sure!

My question… I am hoping to get your thoughts on painting kitchen cabinets with ASCP….  good or bad idea?  What are your thoughts??!?!?

I have seen it all over the place and I think it’s a great idea. Kitchens can feel dated more than any other room in the house. If you are fed up with the look of your cabinets and it is making the room look old & drab then what better way to update then to paint? High-end kitchen have painted cabinets. I would recommend doing a search on Pinterest to get some ideas as to what will work. Then consider your countertops and the color that will match. Do a sample on the interior of one of the doors to make sure it’s the look you want. I would recommend doing several coats for coverage. Distress them if that is the look you want, but don’t go crazy making them look old. If you do too much sanding then repaint. Don’t get trapped with old cabinets when you can easily paint & fall in love with your kitchen again. Do it.

Can you use it on outside furniture?

When I am asked this question I always tell people that Annie Sloan herself painted the exterior of her retail shop.

Have you ever painted kitchen cabinets? I worry about the durability -will chalk paint stand up to the wear and tear of a family of 5 puts on kitchen cabinets? Also-what Annie Sloan color would you use to achieve  a beautiful white kitchen (much like yours)? Pure white seems to too stark to me and I worry that Old White might be too creamy with yellowy undertone? Do I combine the two-pure white and old white??? 

Please see above for answer about painting cabinets. As far as color goes, if it is not in the ASCP color palette then look elseware. Benjamin Moore has some beautiful colors and I’m sure you could find one that would be the color for you. You will not get the kind of white in my kitchen from Chalk Paint. There is a sheen to it. Check out the paint section of your hardware store and get some samples.

Small Room Design

The clear wax is grainy – should I melt it before I apply the wax?

It should not be grainy. Is your brush clean & the rag you used? It should be smooth like softened candle wax. You may want to bring back to your stockist if it is just a bad can.

I painted the top of my vintage vanity in bathroom with the Annie Sloan paint, but iam wondering how i should seal it? I do have her wax. Do you think I could wipe that? or should I paint with a brush on sealer? Any info would be great. 

Yes, definitely use the clear wax on the vanity and let dry for a few days before you use or get water on it. Like any piece of painted furniture it will wear after time, especially if this is a high-traffic bathroom. I put a water glass on my painted nightstand ever single night and it gets soaked. The surface still looks perfect with not buckling or water marks, etc.


Do you by chance know of any wonderful stores out here in California?

See above.

My question: we live in HOT N. California, so I can’t get rid of fans in the bedrooms, but all the super pretty rooms have chandeliers…any suggestions? Do you think you can have both in one room?

Well, you probably don’t have enough room for both and it would not look right with two large objects on the ceiling of a normal-sized room. In my world I cannot handle heat in my house very gracefully. If you need a ceiling fan, you need one. Try to find the prettiest one you can that blends with your ceiling that your eye will not gravitate towards when you walk in the room. Then, if you want the graceful, delicate look of a chandelier, consider some lovely table lamps. If in a bedroom you could even put small chandeliers on either side of your bed.

Got Questions? Email me and I will post answers. cbensten@blueeggbrownnest.com



  1. Angela Lueddecke says:

    Hi Christen, hi to all!

    Once I got the advice to use cat litter against undesirable smells. It was an advice for smelly old suitcases, but maybe work for furniture, too. 🙂

    Best wishes from Germany


  2. HI Christen! Re: the question of smelly furniture. After I do what you advised of airing it out…I use spray shellac about 2 coats . More if needed. But Ive only needed 2. It is wonderful!!!

  3. I like to place a cotton ball dabbed with essential oil (usually peppermint) in the drawer to remove old smells.

  4. I painted my kitchen cabinets with chalk paint – they ROCK! I have three children, and it’s been almost two years and they still look like new! I used Behr on my bottom drawers because, at that time, I wasn’t sure about the durability of chalk paint. The chalk paint actually has lasted better than the latex! I used this website for a color match.

    Diane @ThePaintFactory

  5. Regarding smells. Prior to painting and sometimes after, I have put a bowl of charcoal in the drawers, which I’ve gotten at the pet store (fish tank filter). I’ve also used good old arm n hammer baking powder. I figured if it works in the fridge it’ll work in a drawer and it did!

  6. Hi Christen,

    I have found that washing smelly furniture all over with a sugar soap solution and then giving it a good airing normally works a treat 🙂

  7. Hi Christen.

    I just bought a beautiful empire dresser from the 1840’s that I plan on painting Duck Egg Blue. I don’t love the drawer pulls, but they are original. Would you paint them, replace them or leave them as is? I’m just not sure what to do on this one. Any advice would be great!! Thanks.


  8. Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?

    you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is wonderful, let alone the content!

  9. Re: Stinky furniture, try sprinkling baking soda in the drawers and let sit a few days.

  10. I just finished getting the smell out of two pieces with smoke smell. First, I sprayed with vinegar, a great neutralizer, then liberally sprinkled coffee grounds(unused)and baking soda on all the flat surfaces. THEN, I washed with some borax and baking soda mixed with water. I repeated the entire process and dabbed with some orange oil. Now, they are good to go! Next time, I’m going right to the shellac as Kashia mentioned and save myself alot of time:)

  11. Hi Christen-

    Any tips for photographing furniture…your pictures are great-lighting, quality of photo,etc…and mine are horrible and I need help! So, what kind of camera do you use, and any lighting tips?

    Thank you!

  12. Dessirae M. says:

    I am at a stump! My husband loves dark wood furniture and wants to buy a dark leather couch for our living room. I am more into the shabby chic look. I want to to decorate our home with old antique pieces that have been painted and distressed with a mixture of Anne Sloan old white and provence colored pieces. In your opinion, can I make this work with dark couches and dark brown hardwood floors? I can’t seem to find any pictures to match the idea I have in my head!

  13. Instead of using traditional candles, use “non-drip” candles to prevent accidental bujrns from dripping hot wax.

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