…state of the union

Before taking my first job at The Reston Times, I lived in London for a bit. I must admit that I was a tad disappointed that I was not stepping into a Jane Austen novel, but recovered quickly after discovery the city for my own. I’ve had an affinity for England since I was a little girl and now that I’m thirty-something it still continues. How can you not love a country that has a real Queen, castles, cozy pubs, Guiness & those Beefeaters!

I painted my first Union Jack for my son’s room.


I love doing a twist on the classic colors with my favorite blues.


Since then, I’ve done about 7 custom blue Union Jack dressers for clients.



I don’t like the idea of being exacting in my chalk painting, but I don’t feel that way when I make these. It’s actually a very rewarding process when i get to peal the blue tape back and see the pattern. I also aim to make the flag look worn & weathered. I don’t want to see a new design, rather an old, storied one.


I had a sweet little console that I wanted to try doing a Union on the top of. I’m planning on bringing it to Luckett’s. I brought one last year and I felt like it was kinda my signature piece. Luckett’s has since graciously used it in many of their marketing posts for the Spring Market this May (18,19).


Here is a peek at the taping process. Yes, a tad complicated.





I always tell myself I’m going to try new colors, but seem to come back over and over to the blues.





Come say hi at The Luckett’s Spring Market, May 18th & 19th 10-5!




  1. Hi Christen! I was laughing to read your first job was at the Reston Times – so was MINE! I worked in the art/production department back in the ’90s. Small world! I will make sure to introduce myself when I come to Lucketts if I see you! Love your work and your blog!

  2. Jan Kierl says:

    Hi Christen, I have just discovered you and love your beautiful work. I watched your videos and was inspired to go out and buy the paint. I have a giant tiger eye oak armoire that is too big and dark for my lightened up (beach inspired) sitting room. I tried the duck egg blue on one of the door panels and old white on the door frame . Love it but I feel sinful covering up what some people would consider fabulous oak. Do you ever do that or do you use pieces that the wood is not that perfect? Thanks for your input.

    • christen says:

      Yes, I have covered pretty wood and I have also been criticized for it. But, they are not the ones living with my piece, I am. I would rather enjoy a piece and have it in a mail room then hate it just because the wood is “nice wood”. If you love what you are creating continue on!

  3. Hey Christen!

    I like your work and follow the blogs. Do you think you will ever make it out here to sunny southern California? I would love to watch a real “live” class!


  4. LOVE this! I’ve just gotten in to painting with chalk paint thanks to your tutorials. My husband was born in England so I would love to do this for my boys’ room. I just have to finish up the dining room set, entertainment center and china cabinet first!

  5. Hi Christen,

    I bought Annie Sloan’s paint because I heard how easy it was, then I had a panic attack. I’ve watched all your videos and THANK YOU!!! I just finished my first dresser and can’t wait to do more. However, that adorable (bedside) table, may not last May!! I was born in England and like you love that romantic countryside feel. Would you consider selling it before the market?

    Thank you for all your inspiration/instruction/encouragement


  6. Maz Gould says:

    Bonjour Christen,
    I found you via Annie Sloans website and was truly inspired by your “no fuss” fun tutorials. It made me laugh out loud a number of times, like I was watching a friend, from in your garden and living room. I am an Australian living in rural France and just love refurbishing anything old. I have almost finished renovating my second little cottage here and plan to fill this one with many “shabbied up” furniture pieces I find from local vide greniers and depot ventes. (that’s community attic sales and thrift shops in french).
    I was so inspired last night after watching your tutorials I couldn’t finish my studio painting quick enough today to have a go at chalk painting! I didn’t have any Annie Sloan paint so I mixed up a recipe I found on the Internet to try out before I source a local supplier. I love France but getting supplies for my creations is really difficult as a lot of french women aren’t into DIY hence I have to import pretty much everything. Not what I am used to back home in Australia. I painted a moppe chest I had as a tester to see how the process would work, and although I’m sure the recipied chalk paint (i made a Paris Grey colour) is not the quality of Annie Sloans I was pretty happy with the result so far. I also used a dark wax on it that I had, a local french one, probably won’t use it again as it came out a bit “dirtier” looking than I really wanted. Should have left it in my Paris Grey colour, but hey it was just an Ikea moppe chest not a furniture piece and that’s what “trial and error” is all about isn’t it?
    So finally thanks again for your inspiration and I look forward to reading more on your blog. BTW love the Union Jack chest of drawers in blue.
    Kindest regards from Mont St Michel, Normandy France

  7. Love that little Union Jack table, wish I lived closer, I’d be there!

  8. What a great dresser!! I saw this at the Luckett’s Spring Market – you had many beautiful things. 🙂

  9. Tiffany Hoelscher says:

    Did you use two separate blues for this piece? The bottom of the table looks as if it’s a lighter blue than the top where the union jack flag is painted? You have inspired me to do several of my pieces for my home! Thank you, Tiffany

Speak Your Mind