chalk paint

From painter and designer Annie Sloan, her own homemade tried & true. I’m honoured to have her here. Annie Sloan’s chalk paints are essential to replicate the long tradition of hand painted furniture, and can be thickened to impasto, thinned to a wash, distressed and waxed to produce a beautiful patinated surface. Her colours are inspired by 18th century European furniture, and are bright and pure, so they can be easily mixed without becoming dull. I love that the woodwork needs no priming or preparation, brushes can be washed out easily, and that when I leave a paint can open, it only thickens the paint, which can be thinned again with water. I love that this paint allows a surface to breathe and I’m told it is incredibly ecologically sound. Annie has written many books, including the companion, The Complete Book of Decorative Paint Techniques.

chalk paint © elisa rathje 2011

I was initially very interested in homemade paint; making paint from earth and a binder such as eggs or milk as well as other binders like glue. All over the world this has occurred, although the Swedish painters really developed it into a very fine art. I found out about pigments all over the world too – from earth pigments to made pigments; I love the historical and geographical aspect, such as how Swedish historical colours developed out of the geography. These ideas were taken to the US too, so early American interiors had very simple paintwork using homemade paints.

chalk paint © elisa rathje 2011

I developed my paints twenty years ago, with reference to history and colour. This was coupled with fine art background; seven years at art school makes me a modern painter, so that’s in the mix too. I Love the Charleston Farmhouse Bloomsbury group painters. My paints, techniques and my books come from all these ideas, as well as a desire to empower people with a certain creativity.

chalk paint © elisa rathje 2011

So fascinating! This adds so much depth to my understanding of the materials. I used Annie’s chalk paint on my antique french bed, and side tables;

chalk paint © elisa rathje 2011

As well as on several antique tables and chairs. They are such a pleasure to work with. Thank you so much, Annie.

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