28 March 2022

Welcome to my latest Painter in Residence, Monika

It’s that time again! I am delighted to introduce to you my newest Painter in Residence, 84 Square. 84 Square is the passion project of furniture painter and upcycler extraordinaire, Monika Charchula, (with some occasional support work and collaboration from her fiancé, Tom). Furniture painting Inspiration incoming.

Like many other Painters in Residence before her, Monika is a well-travelled sort. Originally from Gdańsk, Poland, Monika moved to England (South Devon) in 2017 and discovered Chalk Paint here. “Starting a new life in a new country wasn't the easiest, so I would pick up furniture for pennies and add my style with Chalk Paint”, she continues. “My upbringing had a big influence on me, my parents and sisters are all frugal yet resourceful and very creative. I always preferred to make something myself than just buy it”.

I discovered Monika’s work a few years ago and since then she’s been to visit me at Chalk Paint HQ in Oxford, established a close relationship with her local Stockist at Flotsam 50, and produced some gloriously beautiful painted pieces!

Her work is gothic, opulent and features religious symbolism throughout. I was drawn to her use of rich jewel-toned colours, the sense of indulgence she creates with her deep and magical palette. Religious symbolism is a huge inspiration for Monika who passed her childhood in a Catholic country populated with many beautifully decorated churches.

I’ve had a sneak peek at the work Monika has produced for her reign as PIR and I know you will all be so delighted with these fabulous pieces. If you’ve wondered how to upcycle furniture to give a glamorous look then these are the step-by-step projects for you. They’re romantic, theatrically gothic, rich, ecclesiastical, and sumptuous.

28 October 2021

Welcome to my new Painter in Residence, Sabah

My newest PIR will be the fabulously bold, colour confident, and jaw-droppingly prolific Sabah Bardhan of Just Restore. Sabah is based in the UAE and has only been painting furniture for two years!

“I wanted to try something new creatively and canvas just didn’t cut it for me anymore. So, I painted some old stools which were lying around the house and the furniture painting obsession took over! I started painting any furniture in sight and to my surprise, after I posted the stools I painted on social media, people wanted to buy them. Surprisingly, it was my husband who discovered Chalk Paint® for me. I was using any paint medium I had at home to paint furniture when I started out when he chanced upon the Chalk Paint stockist, Artistique, here in Dubai. He asked some questions to the lady at the shop and came rushing home to tell me he had found paint specifically for furniture. I drove up there immediately and bought my first few pots and that was my first date with Chalk Paint. There was no looking back after that.”

I first discovered Sabah on Instagram when I saw a wardrobe she painted in the traditional Indian Madhubani style of Art (pictured above). The background of Chalk Paint® in Amsterdam Green makes a luxurious and dramatic statement against which her portraits shine. This piece was informed by Sabah’s childhood in Mumbai, which she frequently looks to for inspiration).

“I was a cabin crew for 12 years and was fortunate to travel around the world. I take most of my inspiration from the beautiful memories and photographs that I took when I visited so many cities. I found the by lanes, restaurants, flowers and foliage, souvenirs, traditional costumes, landscapes, etc all fascinating and captured those wonderful moments, which I now revisit every now and then when I want to draw on inspiration”.

Like myself, Saban seeks inspiration from the art world, too. She named Gustav Klimt in particular because of “his use of gold in his paintings, which I am partial to”.

“I find the work of Diane Hill absolutely hypnotic when it comes to Chinoiserie. There is so much to learn from her. I could watch her paint for hours Closer home, I have to mention my father. He is the one person I have learned all I know from, and he is an exceptional artist. He taught me how to be patient when I paint so that I never miss any attention to detail. He always pushes me to add more detail, an extra feather here, another stroke there, a deeper shadow in one corner, the list goes on”

“I most enjoy painting birds, especially the Japanese cranes. They are extremely majestic, graceful and have such beautiful movements.”

For me, Sabah is an artist and through. Her medium may be furniture rather than canvas, but as these pieces attest, she has a rare talent. For her PIR pieces, she’ll be providing step-by-steps, helping you to unlock your inner artist too and to be bolder and more creative with your work. I’ll leave you with these inspiring words from Sabah on her painting philosophy…

“ The best thing about art is that there is no wrong or right. The artist decides what meaning a particular piece of work has to it. Sometimes, the first try looks the best and sometimes the tenth. What is important to remember is that what may work for you may not work for the other and vice versa. Not everyone needs to have a steady hand to try painting an artwork, there are so many different types of art and mediums available to create what you want and that is what I have explored in my pieces as Painter in Residence. You can paint as proportionately as you like, or exaggerate any aspect, like I did for the features of the Indian couple. I’d love for everyone reading the step by step to enjoy the process and see how it evolves, try more colour or less, make it darker or lighter, do what makes you feel happy!”

Be sure to follow Sabah’s journey on social media and check my Inspiration Page for the step-by-steps.

7 April 2021

Welcome to my latest Painter in Residence, Olivia Lacy

I’m delighted to announce Connecticut based, American furniture artist Olivia Lacy, of Pigeon & Pip as my latest Painter In Residence. Please join me in helping to make her feel welcome!

Pigeon and Pip’s work is Immediately identifiable thanks to her signature whimsical, theatrical, charming style. She has deftly brought imagination and surrealism to the art of furniture painting and created a kind of Alice in Wonderland universe of furniture. Follow her journey as she demonstrates how to use Chalk Paint® to bring a sprinkling of magic to your furniture and home.

I first became aware of Pigeon and Pip when she spotted Olivia’s painted trompe l’oeil bed headboard on Instagram. The headboard had been painted with a pastoral scene, typical of Renaissance painters and grand stately homes. The structural elements have been highlighted with Gold Gilding Wax and in the middle of the bed sits Olivia – transported by the latest issue of my Bookazine, The Colourist. I was, of course, charmed!

Here I’ve spoken to Olivia about her career thus far and selected some of my favourite pieces of her work so that you can be as excited for this collaboration as we are here at Chalk Paint® HQ.

“Painting furniture took hold of me when I was a stay-at-home Mom, when my kids were small and I needed a creative outlet that was also useful. I turned my attention to the outdated, hand-me-down furniture that resided in our house. I painted nearly everything, it felt like functional art, and I didn’t want to stop”.

“Years later my obsession of finding and painting old furniture has turned into a business, taken over the garage, and occasionally drives my family crazy. My husband devotes hours to driving me around the state to pick up these hidden gems. My father helps me with any structural repairs out of my league. My kids groan as they snake their way through the furniture paths in the garage trying to get bikes or sleds or hockey bags out... but they all love and support me, so they deal with my passion”.

“After some early failed attempts painting furniture, I was introduced to Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan. Chalk Paint® is a dream to work with, very forgiving and all the colours complement each other so well with very little effort. I live in New England and I think my colour choices reflect that. I am drawn to those “hardy” New England colours that are understanding of small children and pets and toss in an unexpected element of colour or design to make sure it doesn’t get too serious”.

“Inspiration for my work comes from my childhood and was renewed through the eyes of my own children. I spent my summer days playing in the woods and the brooks with my sister. Always creating a "secret" world where magical things would happen. I try to capture that whimsy and childlike magic in my work. My youngest son has an incredible imagination and often helps me with staging ideas for my furniture, while my oldest son is sure to step in and let me know if things don’t look up to par.”

“Overall, I would say painting furniture has become a family affair. I’m thrilled to show my work as Annie Sloan’s Painter In Residence.”

If you’re anything like me, you can’t wait to see Pigeon and Pip’s work. Her first work as PIR will be shared on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter tomorrow. Stay tuned! In the meantime, please show your appreciation for Pigeon and Pip’s work by following her on social media! The Painters in Residence programme is an unpaid opportunity for talented craftspeople to meet a wider audience and your support is so valuable.


20 August 2020

Welcome to my latest Painter in Residence, Polly Coulson

Welcome to Polly Coulson, my Painter in Residence for the closing months of the year 2020!

Polly’s love of interiors started young, and though nascent during her early adult life (at which point Polly forged a career as a dancer, travelled the world, and met her husband), it was something she found herself returning to once she began making her own home. The pair undertook renovation projects together, maximising their small budget by undertaking work themselves and making the most of Polly’s talent for redesigning furniture.

In 2013 Polly and her husband moved from the UK to Queensland Australia. Polly tells me, “I was so homesick I needed a project and I quickly started to pick up old pieces to paint and up-cycle. It was hard to find and made it all the more exciting when I did get an old unloved piece to make a new life for it.” 

Another motivation to paint was the environmental aspect of reusing and restoring rather than buying new. “I also feel that if I can save something from going to landfill, I have done a good deed and helped the planet a little in my own way. I try and keep things as sustainable as I can and I love that Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan is low in VOCs as well as having the most beautiful pigment and texture”. 

Polly began sharing her work on Instagram under the name ATTIC Furniture QLD, where she caught my eye with her confident, quirky, playful use of colour. In 2019 we actually used a piece of furniture painted by Polly for an official Annie Sloan advert which appeared in magazines across the US and Europe! Polly was also making a splash in her own community, curing that initial home sickness by connecting with local like-minded creatives, artists and makers. 

What most charmed me about Polly’s work is the joy inherent in each piece. I spoke to Polly about how she achieves that and she told me; “I love using colour and like to have fun with my style, I guess I’m still not wanting to grow up so by using playful colour and patterns I get to feed my inner child”

“Attic Furniture” was a name that for me had a nostalgia of home, the idea of searching around in my Nanny’s or mum’s attic and finding forgotten treasures and giving them new life really appealed to me. Painting furniture is really a part of my soul; something I can do to feel happy and fulfilled and I think most people get that”.

I can’t wait to see what Polly produces during her residency and I’m hoping my own painting will become more childlike and celebratory as I follow her journey! Do make sure you’re following on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or sign up to my newsletter so you never miss a piece!



30 June 2020

Rainy Day Rainbow Projects: Part 2

Welcome back to ways to entertain your children (or parents) at home with a little Chalk Paint®! If you missed Part 1, catch up here.

Project Three – by Sophie (5), with assistance from Mum, furniture painter Kate of High Birch Interiors

At 5, Sophie is officially our youngest ever contributor to the Annie Sloan blog! For this reason, Sophie needed an extra helping hand from Mum.

For Sophie’s project you will need:

  • Chalk Paint® in your favourite colours (Sophie used Provence, English Yellow, Scandinavian Pink, Antoinette, Emperor’s Silk and Pure)
  • Clear Chalk Paint® Wax
  • A brush (Sophie used Annie’s Medium Chalk Paint® Brush)
  • A piece of lint-free cloth (an old t shirt or pair of cotton boxers will be sufficient). 
  • Tape – Kate and Sophie used frog tape but masking tape or packing tape will also suffice.
  • A tray to paint. This can even be an old plastic tray although wood will be easiest, especially if your Chalk Paint® assistant is as young as Sophie!
  • Optional: a stencil to add to your tray to give extra character.


1. First, Sophie’s Mum Kate helped her by taping off sections of the tray. (Top tip: Kate taped sections of different sizes and got Sophie to start with the edges and then work her way inwards. This allowed each paint stripe to dry fully before Kate applied the next bit of tape).

2. Then Sophie got stuck into painting! I love the colours she chose for this project.

3. Chalk Paint® is water based and extremely low in VOCs. (VOCs are chemicals that are added to paint to help it last longer. They’re good for paint, but they’re not so good for humans, which is why I only uses trace amounts in the Chalk Paint® recipe). This means it’s easy to clear up if you get any on your clothes – just take your clothes off straight away (not all your clothes! Just the clothes with paint on! Stop taking your clothes off you silly goose!). Then wash the paint away with more water. Try to skip this step if possible!

4. Sophie wanted to personalise her tray with an “S” stencil. If you don’t have any stencils at home you can find lots online to print off, trace onto cardboard, and cut out. Definitely get an adult to help with this.

5. Allow your Chalk Paint® base to dry completely before adding your stencil. Tape the stencil in place to avoid any smudging. Then paint your design in a contrasting colour.

6. Leave your Chalk Paint® to dry completely. This is a good time to finalise plans on the rocket ship you are building to get to Mars, read your favourite book, or hoover the living room.

7. Next, apply Clear Chalk Paint® Wax to your tray to finish and protect your beautiful work! Sophie used a Wax Brush but you can use a lint free cloth and massage the wax into the paint gently so that it soaks in properly.

8. Allow to dry fully then take lots of photos to show your friends and family!

Project Four – by Evan (11)

Our final rainbow Chalk Paint® project is by Evan, 11. Evan’s Mum is an official Annie Sloan Stockist and at her shop, Five Fields, Evan has painted loads of brilliant projects (including a bath). Evan lives in Canada and has been attending school through Google hangouts during the pandemic. He wanted a cool backdrop to cheer his friends up and he knew Chalk Paint® was the only answer!

All you need to Chalk Paint® your own video call backdrop is:


1. First, Evan painted strips of colour down his wooden board. Because he’s something of a pro and a very creative and confident artist he didn’t need to use masking tape for his rainbow pattern. This also means he didn't wait for each colour to dry before adding the next one, blending the colours next to each other. I love the artistic flare! 

If you’re less confident the use masking tape to create a guide. Spots are a good pattern too – and you can use bowls and plates of different sizes to make circles in all kind of shapes on your backdrop. You could use blue and yellow to paint a starry night sky. Or perhaps you’re more of a wild child – why not use a base of Barcelona Orange then add wiggly stripes of Athenian Black for a roarsome tiger print background! 

2. Once you're happy with your design and the Chalk Paint® is completely dry, make sure to apply Chalk Paint® Wax. This will mean you can pick your backdrop up and move it around without messing up your finish! 

3. Finally, take lots of photos to show your friends and family. Perhaps you can Zoom your grandparents and show them your colourful creativity – and your lovely face (even if your face isn’t lovely, I guarantee your grandparents like it). Use the hashtags #AnnieSloan and #ChalkPaint if you share on social media for the chance to be featured on Annie’s pages!

Please let us know in the comments if you tried any of these ideas and how successful they were! I'd love to hear from the next generation of Chalk Paint® maestros!



Rainy Day Rainbow Projects: Part 1

Ways to entertain your children (or kids, how to entertain your parents) at home when it's raining are more important than ever during lockdown. If you’re wondering what crafts to do with children that are educational, fun, and best of all, easy to clean up, then look no further. Let cooped up imaginations run free with these four easy rainbow projects, suitable for children of all ages. 

Project One – by Bailey (12), Orla (9), Eden (4), and Mum, furniture painter Chloe of Maisie's House

The Kempster family have hung these rainbow mobiles outside their door to spread a little joy outside their home, and I love this idea. Sharing your creativity with all your neighbours is the perfect way to bring your friends together, make new ones, and you're sure to be the envy of the street.

For these hanging rainbow mobiles you will need:
  • Chalk Paint® in your favourite rainbow colours (Chloe's clan used Emperor’s Silk, Barcelona Orange, English Yellow, Antibes Green and Napoleonic Blue. She then diluted them with water to make blending, mixing and painting easier)
  • Paper Plates
  • Toilet Rolls
  • String
  • Hole Punch
  • Paint & Brushes
  • Glue Gun
  • PVA Glue
  • Trims (Chloe used a variety of upholstery trim, but ribbon, crepe or tissue paper will also work)
  • Scissors
  • Sequins, glitter and sparkly stuff (optional)


1. Paint a toilet roll in your chosen colour and leave to dry, this will make the main part of your hanging mobile.

2. While that is drying, cut a paper plate in half, then paint in fab rainbow colours! Bailey, Orla and Eden love a bit of sparkle so they also added extra glitter and sequins to the rainbows using PVA glue.

3. Once your rainbow is dry, attach it to the front of the tube using a glue gun (make sure you have an adult to help with this bit).

4. Take your hole punch and make 2 level holes at the top of the toilet roll tube on either side, then thread the string through to create a hanging loop.

5. Get help from your nearby adult and add upholstery trim to the base with a glue gun. You could also use tissue or crepe paper cut into strips, or ribbon, or anything you have lying about. 

6. For extra finishing touches, a trim was fastened to the top of the toilet roll with a glue gun and also glittery stars and sequins were added.

7. Ta- dah your rainbow mobile is finished and is guaranteed to bring a smile to those inside your home – and out, if you make like Chloe’s family and hang yours on the front door to spread some joy.

Project Two – by George (7) and Mum, furniture painter Kate of High Birch Interiors 

George painted this crate for a project his Mum Kate undertook for The Hygiene Bank, a charity which gets much needed toiletries and sanitary products to those in need. It is being used as a collection box in a local supermarket. What a wonderful way to help you community and have fun whilst doing it. 

For George’s Rainbow Crate project you will need:


1. First paint the inside of your crate in your chosen colour. George chose Chalk Paint® in Pure. 

2. Next, use tape to mark off bands of colour. If you’re painting a crate exactly like this one, cover the lower half of all three slats where the different bands of colour will go.

3. Paint above the masking tape. Here, George began by painting stripes of Emperor’s Silk, English Yellow and Giverny. 

4. Allow the paint to dry – perhaps this is a good time to try some maths homework, have lunch, or go for a walk as it will take an hour or so and you don’t want to rush. George recommends a kick-about in the garden! 

5. Once the Chalk Paint® is dry, and before removing the tape, apply Clear Chalk Paint® Wax. Use a clean corner of the lint free fabric, or, if you have one, a Wax Brush to apply the wax. Rub the wax into the paint like hand cream rather than painting it on too thickly; less is more. Remove the tape once the wax is applied. 

6. Leave the Chalk Paint® Wax to dry – you can use this time to wash up your brushes, help Mum by tidying your bedroom, check under the bed for monsters (always best done in daylight) and check back in about an hour to make sure the wax is touch dry.

7. Once completely dry, apply tape over the painted stripes ready to paint with your next three colours. Mum, Dad, or any other helpful adult may need to assist at this point. You want the lines to be straight and the tape to be adhered gently enough so as not to remove any paint on removal, but firmly enough to ensure crisp lines. Look how neat the lines on George’s crate are!

8. Repeat step 3 - but this time use Barcelona Orange, Antibes Green, and Paloma (or your chosen colours). You could even use the same three colours but in a different order. DON’T paint the same colours next to one another – if you do this you are very silly and have wasted a lot of time and masking tape.

9. Repeat steps 5 and 6, and when you get to the waxing part make sure to wax the inside of your box too. This will prevent the paint from chipping when you’re getting things in and out of your new treasure chest/memory box/Charity Donation collection point (delete as appropriate).

10. Allow to dry fully then take lots of photos to show your friends and family! Use the hashtags #AnnieSloan and #ChalkPaint if you share on social media for the chance to be featured on Annie’s pages!

That's all for now! Come back for Part 2 here to see more rainbow projects and colourful inspiration.