…rust-oleum ranting

“Can you successfully distress latex paint? Your post makes it seem as if you should be blogging on a different site because this site is about chalk paint and distressing…”

Wow. I didn’t realize I had hit such a hot button with many people when I decided to use and post on an alternative to Chalk Paint. It seems that I need to clarify a few things that maybe did not come across in my last 2 posts. Bear with me as I try not to get emotional.

  1. I love Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and I use it exclusively for my clients.
  2. I am a curious person and as such I like to educate myself on new products. I think this is what a wise person does.
  3. I did not like the texture of Rust-Oleum paint. I do like the Topcoat.
  4. I will try new paints and products out in the future so if this is confusing or intolerable, then please read another blog.
  5. Sure, you can use latex and distress it! Why the hell not? Go try it.
  6. I would rather my readers find a passion and love for transforming older pieces using whatever paint that works for them from a monetary perspective and a taste perspective. I am not the paint police and I do not want to be.

I come from a place of scarcity where buying new furniture was never a luxury we had, but home and my space meant more to me than anything because of the feeling of safety and beauty that I could achieve with my two hands. I love that I stumbled upon ASCP seven years ago, but there is not just one way to produce a look – my look. I think thinking inside the box is limiting. What you may not know, or maybe I will just say it again, is that I get HUNDREDS of emails a year telling me that buying Chalk Paint is too expensive. I have empathy for this position. I hear that many of you think it all evens out in the wash with the number of coats and if that’s what works for your budget and time, then good for you.

Damn, I hate defending myself, but being quieter is worse for me. So, to the people that want to put me in a box and label me as this or that, I won’t stay in those nice and neat walls. I’d rather speak to those that want to expand their homes and lives in whatever way they can. It’s a bigger picture that I care about.

PS – To those that share my perspective and enjoy being here with me, I am sorry for the rant.



  1. Haley (Eugene, Oregon) says:

    Love your work, your thoughts, your perspective. There’s no way to make everyone happy. You keep being you. I like when things get changed up a bit.

  2. I LOVE you so much! You have been one HUGE inspiration to me! Keep doing what you do and know that you are loved and celebrated probably more than you know!

    Awesome job! Keep rocking, painting and ranting, when necessary! 🙂 XO

  3. When you are doing painting, decorative of any kind , it is all art. I love to see different ways to do a project. Keep up the beautiful work . We all have to rant sometimes.

  4. I love that you posted this today. I also love that you try different things and review them so I don’t have to! 🙂 Yes, ASCP is expensive but very well worth it especially if you are selling the piece you are doing. But how does one know if there is not a better alternative if you don’t try it. And you, Christen, wisely tried something else for comparison and ASCP came out the winner. Thank you for your guidance and knowledge that you share with me and everyone else! You have always rocked!

  5. You shouldn’t have to defend yourself on your own blog! I, for one, believe you should try anything and everything. How can one grow as an artist (as well as a person) if you don’t try new things? I think most everyone has their “go-to” products. I personally love General Finishes and Annie Sloan. But I LOVE trying new products!

    You keep doing you, Christen and make no apologies. I love your work, your sense of style and your sweet nature.

  6. Jennifer Stephens says:

    I love your style and the inspiration you give me!! I tried chalk paint for the first time after watching your videos and loved the way my piece turned out!! I love that you are using different types of paint and giving your opinion on them!! Keep it up girl!!

  7. Keep ranting. I love your work and love hearing your thoughts about products!

  8. There is ALWAYS “More than one way to skin a cat” so to speak. That is what makes all this sooooo much fun.

  9. Rose Beckhurst says:

    You go girl!!! And don’t apologise for ranting because I’ll bet whoever emailed you didn’t. Sometimes it’s ok to just say NO! no I’m not going to take this and that is what you have done. I love your work and when I’m having a tough day your posts make me smile.

  10. Lord, some folks can only see the pile of poop in brickyard of gold.
    You’re great! Just ignore the idiots!

  11. You and your blog rock, don’t let anyone else tell you differently! As a somewhat new chalk painter your video tutorials and posts have been invaluable to me. Even though I am stuck on ASCP I enjoyed reading the post yesterday about Rustoleum. So many brands of chalk paint are hitting the market these days so it’s nice to hear a review of a new paint from a seasoned painter. It’s your blog, your creative outlet, and your business, so no one else has the right to tell you what to post about. Stay outside that box girl!

  12. I fully expected you to get pummeled because of the blog. I honestly don’t get the ‘mean girl club’. I’m glad I never rsvp’d to it.

    Carrying on blogging, carrying on trying new products. It would be narrow-minded to think that you can only use one brand on a piece. The world just went nuts.

  13. Christina says:

    Never mind the haters!! Love love reading and following you !! I too love ASCP but I do like to try what’s new out there also! You keep being you! No reason to defend yourself ! When people say negative things to tells more about them that it could ever about you !! Stay true to you !!!

  14. Mary Mayo says:

    I don’t usually comment but that person needs to mind their own beeswax. I love that you give your opinion on different products. I read your blog every day and you taught me how to paint with Annie Sloan chalk paint. So keep right on bloggin’ and by the way love your Tory Burch sandals.

    Take care.

  15. I love a good rant. Sometimes you just can’t settle or part with what’s annoyed you until you do. So good for you!!

  16. Melanie says:

    Love Pegs response! Lol! Thx for trying now I don’t have to! What happened to “if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all”!!!

  17. I’m rather baffled by this… someone told you that you’re doing your own blog wrong?? l thought you could do whatever you wanted on your own blog. The internet has gotten so weird.

  18. Odd, I’v followed you for a long time now, I never noticed your blog was titled “only chalk paint here!” The person that wrote that to you should apologize to YOU, you owe no apologies. I love your inspiration on chalk paint, decor throughout your home, when you are funny, when your expressing what’s on your mind etc etc. There’s always a bad apple in the bunch that has to whine even if there’s no sense to it. I liked your #3. If they don’t like what they read, the can go elsewhere for goodness sakes.
    It’s fun to learn about new things. The person that complained is likely in more need of change or something new than anyone.

  19. Oops I meant I like your #4!

  20. Keep doing what you do – I love your blog and your work. You are so talented and so real and a huge inspiration to many!! Thank you for all the time you take to share your wisdom, experience, and encouragement to all of us who have the same creative passion! I hope you feel the love from all who follow you bc of your positive and generous spirit 🙂

  21. I also buy old furniture and “repurpose” it to sell. I am constantly being asked…what paint do you use….what color is this… I love Annie Sloan but being in this business, if there is a way “speed up the process with the same results” I am all for it. That being said, I too experiment with different paints that have the same look as Annie Sloan. Your business is about your results. Whatever way you get there and are happy with it, go for it. I have several brands I use that if you put them side by side with ASCP NO one would know which was which. Don’t let the downers get you down! Love it when you said..go find another blog to read!! I have some blogger friends and they get negative comments all of the time. Makes absolutely no sense to me!!! If you don’t like what someone is blogging about…just quit reading it! And if you can’t say something nice….well you know. I love your blog!! Keep on Keepin on!!

  22. Oh my dear talented beautiful Christen, you go girl!! Glad you speak up, say your thoughts and good for you. I have used Ann Sloan and it is all I would use for all the reasons you said numerous times. Yes, is pricier but worth every penny and I save money by buying cheaper brushes, etc. A little goes a long way and if you want to do a good job and work with a good product with excellent results then save money elsewhere (like skipping Starbuck’s etc.) or frankly find another creative outlet if the cost bothers you so much. Just like in all areas of life there is a time and place to spend money on certain products and Ann Sloan Chalk paint is worth every penny.

    • I’m always distressed when someone who shares so much of their business and talent gets slammed. Try to ignore them (difficult to do) and take our thanks for inspiring and helping us newbees, hugs Elaine

  23. Your my inspiration Christen. I’m taking your advice and faking it till I make it so would be lost without your wonderful blog full of advice, fun and sometimes sad serious stuff. Xx

  24. Samantha says:

    I love to hear your opinions on other products. I love Annie Sloan paint, but also try other products. Sometimes I buy ‘cheaper’ stuff when i am working on smaller projects that I want to experiment on. Keep going, I also enjoy hearing your thoughts on life, business, and kids. I don’t read your blog only for ‘chalk’ paint. Keep on being you….

  25. Lori Merrill says:

    Hello Christen…I love your blog! I have followed you for a long time and enjoy your creations, tips, and tutorials. I have created so many awesome pieces with your help. In this world so many people have no class, are very opinionated, and jealous. You have so many people that love you! Thanks for all you do! Lori

  26. nancy nucci says:

    You rock. <3 🙂

  27. Donna Dell says:

    My,my! People! You are the reason I paint with chalk paint only. You have inspired me greatly!

  28. Love, love your blog and style. I appreciate your perspective.
    Love ASCP but get that not everyone does.

  29. You do you girl!! Be happy with you!!!

  30. Good for you Christen, I think you are fabulous.

  31. Jan ruffino says:

    You go girl! I’ve been painting furniture from the day I got married and that’s going on 39 years, well before the idea of chalk paint ever was! There are many ways to paint and distress and I’m with you, do what works for YOU!

  32. Ultimately, it is YOUR blog, YOUR time, YOUR money to spend as you will, YOUR fun, etc. I think it is far more interesting to read about different products. If all people want is a strict tutorial, buy a book! We should all just say “thank you”…that you share at all.
    And…I have been in that category where the initial price of a can of Annie Sloan was just not possible…it didn’t matter if it came to only a few dollars for each item painted, etc…I started with the small jars and bought quarts later on when I could. Isn’t it all about the fun and change and creativity anyway?

  33. Susie(UK ) says:

    Love your blog and your honesty about all areas of your life. When I first starting painting your videos were what enthused me to experiment and not worry about mistakes both in life and in painting .You keep it real .

  34. That’s it Cristen! You are so right! And we love your style! Xo Xo

  35. Love your work! I’ve been following you for years. I fully agree with your views of
    Trying new things and thinking outside the box! How else would we discover what’s out there? Screw the rude people. There is always gonna be a party pooper!

  36. I have been waiting for your review on this since I saw it on your ig account. Dying to know about the top coat because I am about to chalk paint a bench and was wondering if it would work better than the wax for something you sit on….keep up the good work! You’ve inspired me:)

  37. Thanks for that Christen. Know there will always be those “haters” but I think it all boils down to jealousy. I have a business too and you were the first one that inspired me that I could be successful and enjoy what I do. Keep your chin up and plow forward; you are loved!

  38. Jacqueline says:

    How strange… I stumbled upon the Rustoleum the other day and said to my husband “I wonder what that stuff is like?” Lowes also carries another brand Valspar I think it was called. I also wondered what that one was like.. but I am so happy with the way ASCP feels and looks that its hard for me to try something else.
    It is very sad that some people cannot just read your blog and take the information and run with it, I was actually very happy to read you had tried it, I often wondered if you ever did try other products. But most people who do things professionally have a brand or whatever that they prefer and nobody knocks them for it!
    So, keep doing what you are doing… I love your blog and I have learned so much from your videos 🙂

  39. Annie (Canada) says:

    Hi Christen, I don’t generally post comments on any sites however I thought I would add Taylor Swit’s (and my) ‘two cents’ ♫ And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
    Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake I shake it off, I shake it off” ♫
    Your You Tube videos were the firsts ones I watched when I decided to start up-cycling furniture. I found them to be informative and love your candid honesty and cheerful interaction, and I still re-watch them! You give me inspiration when I’m in need so I thought I should do the same for you! There will always be people in the world that try to pigeon hole you into what THEY believe you should be but remember what Patrick Swayze said in Dirty Dancing….” nobody puts baby in a corner”.

  40. I am so glad to read your thoughts re Rustoleum paint – I felt EXACTLY THE SAME WAY! I have been mixing it with Annie Sloan Old White just to use up the colours. Like you, I was curious to see how other offerings work on pieces. You’re an inspiration – even from the other side of the world!

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