11 December 2019

Dramatic Christmas Dining

Christmas comes but once a year, so I really love to splash out and create scenes of grandeur and splendour to impress my guests, and to give my dining spaces a cobweb-clear-out. For this look, I used the Chalk Paint® colour Athenian Black as inspiration. A little darker than most Christmas looks, but it's a black Christmas I think you'll really enjoy. 

This moody yet cosy Christmas backdrop was painted by my son, Felix. Felix painted the walls using a large Chalk Paint® Brush and Chalk Paint® in Athenian Black. Once the wall was dry, Felix used a Small Flat Brush to flick Chalk Paint® in Old White in differing increments at the centre of the wall to give the suggestion of a star-studded galaxy. Felix left these walls unwaxed because they are of a porous, lime stone quality in an old house and therefore they need to breathe. If you use Chalk Paint® on a wall in a high-traffic area of your home we recommend a layer of Clear Chalk Paint® Wax or Lacquer to protect from sticky fingers and beyond!

These crackers have been personalised to exactly match the Christmas décor. It’s a brilliant way to tie your scheme together and avoid the plastics associated with mass-produced Christmas crackers. Plain cracker making kits can be easily found at craft stores or online and filled with your own gifts. Then, simply pick your favourite Chalk Paint® colour (or the one which best ties your Christmas theme to your existing interiors scheme) and apply to the what will become the outer surface of your cracker. For a luxurious, festive finish, apply metallic Gilding Wax to the inner tube of the crackers (here I used Dark Silver). Make it your own inside too - write a joke for added bespoke humour, and tailor the cracker gifts to your audience. You'll never look back to mass-produced crackers again. And if you're feeling particularly authentic you can purchase the illusive cracker 'bang' to add too.

The baubles were given a rustic, rusty feel. These I created using my Gilding Waxes. One set I painted first with Chalk Paint® in Emperor's Silk before stippling roughly Warm Gold Gilding Wax and more Emperor's Silk over the top. The others, I painted with Paris Grey and stippled in the same manner with Dark Silver Gilding Wax. These rustic decorations were then hung from a branch at different heights using twine for a dramatic, twist on a Christmas chandelier. The chandelier, you can see above, made its way to the table top instead!

The look was finished off with a matching table cloth and napkins made from my fabric collection Linen Union in Graphite + Old White. I simply hemmed these with a sewing machine but if your not confident sewing you could simply cut them with pinking shears to minimise fraying, or tear the fabric and embrace the rustic look and feel! 

Let me know what you're doing to your Christmas spaces this year! Remember, if in doubt or in stress, a little goes a long way. This looks has been taken to the extreme, but taking small pieces of inspiration from here can help transform your space. 



3 December 2019

The Annie Sloan Gift Guide, issue 2

Due to the success of my last Christmas Gift Guide, I’ve compiled a new list of Chalk Paint® gifts for those you love, those you like, and those you really do have to get a gift for because they always get you something, all at different price points. 

Of course, I’m biased, but when I give a Chalk Paint® gift I feel as though there’s something inherently thoughtful about it: you’re giving an experience, an afternoon of therapeutic painting, an opportunity to be individual artistic and creative, and something a little out of the ordinary. These are my top picks for generous giving this Yule…give a gift that says “just for you”. From all-in-one blow out kits for those you really love to sweet Stocking Fillers for childrens' teachers, there’s something for everyone in your life. By purchasing these gifts from your local Annie Sloan Stockist, you’ll be supporting an independent business owner and helping them have a happy Christmas, too. Feel the 
feel good vibes, everybody! 

This is the big kahuna of Chalk Paint® Christmas Gifts. For just under £50 you can get your mitts on the essential building blocks of a proper Chalk Paint® collection. Chalk Paint® in BurgundyOxford Navy, and English Yellow represent each of the primary colours - meaning you can mix bespoke Chalk Paint® shades til the cows come home. Pure allows for a whole new world of lighter tones and pastel – and Louis Blue ties everything together. The Artist Box comprises the whole Chalk Paint® kit and caboodle together in one place, inside a beautiful wooden box that’s just begging to be transformed using the treasures within! In addition, you’ll also get a 120ml tin of Clear Chalk Paint® Wax, so that your loved one’s masterpieces can be finished and protected for years to come. Just apply using the Wax Cloth included. Finally, there’s two Annie Sloan Detail Brushes inside to encourage adding detail and truly unleashing one's inner artist! 

My Charleston Gift Sets come in three different colour ways. I recommend romantic Rodmell for the elegant classicalist in your life, funky Firle with its colour clashes of Scandinavian Pink for trendsetters, and Tilton for those who love rich, warm strong colour combinations. Each of these boxes can transform a small piece of furniture; a desk in a niece’s University halls, a chair in your brother in law’s study, or your best friend’s side table (the one where the wine bottle goes when you’re having an evening setting the world to rights). These boxes each contain three Chalk Paint® colours, a 120ml tin of Clear Chalk Paint® Wax and an Inspiration Guide. Click here for more information on each over on my website!

If your intended recipient is less of a roll-up-their-sleeves-and-get-stuck-in kind of person, or if their commitment to Chalk Paint® is so deep you think they already have e*v*e*r*y colour, or if they simply are a certified bookworm, may I present The Colourist: Collection - featuring Issue 1, Issue 2 and Issue 3. The Colourist is my love letter to colour, design, and creativity. Stuffed to the gills with gorgeous photography, stunning travel locations, and furniture to delight and divert! It’s been formatted to build an encyclopaedic archive to all the colours in the Chalk Paint® palette. These first three issues cover blues, greens, pinks, yellows, reds and beyond. Get all three at once in a rather sexy silver slip exclusively designed for Christmas and save £9.90. It’s basically a buy-two-get-the-third-free deal to give your gift giving a little extra bang for your buck! Always useful this time of year.

My Detail Brushes are supremely giftable – and, in my house a supremely important consideration – very easy to wrap! They come in a gorgeous presentation box decorated with an inspiring collage of suggested marks, patterns, and designs that the brushes themselves have been specifically developed to make. This is the gift to give anybody with an eye for detail, or one who is ready to take their furniture painting up a notch and add some extra vavavoom! Once you’ve already Chalk Paint® -ed everything in your home your only option is to add Swedish inspired details; or bone inlay-look splodges; or some ultra creative free-form shape making a la Lucy Tiffney.

Who can resist these petite metallic pocket rockets! My gorgeous Gilding Waxes spread glimmer and joy wherever you use them. The glory of metallic touches is that they go with everything. I recommend Copper for those who prefer a mid-century modern style, Gold for those in love with traditional French looks, and Silver for the minimalists amongst us. These are such cute little extras that add dimension and lustre to your work without any extra expertise required! Gilding Wax can be used on painted surfaces, bare wood, or even metallic furniture parts such as hinges or knobs to refresh. Perfect to pique someone's interest in the upcycling universe or for an OG devotee. Plus, who doesn’t love a little sparkle at this time of year?

Please note, all prices given here are UK RRPs and costs in other territories will differ - check with your local Stockist for accurate pricing for your region.

That’s all from me. I’m actually getting started on my Christmas cards because otherwise you can guarantee I’ll forget completely as the more exciting Christmas traditions demand my attention! Check my Instagram, Facebook or Twitter for daily updates – and I hope after reading this you can cross at least a few names off your gifting list!



20 November 2019

Christmas Gilded Candle Holders

These candle holders are the perfect finishing touch to your Christmas dinner table settings. Reusing and recycling old glass bottles into stunning tableware is also a fun Christmas activity in itself! The colours can be changed to match your scheme too. Here I've used a warm palette, but you could use blues and silvers for a cooler theme, or pinks and coppers for a less traditional take on Christmas.

You will need:

1. To ensure crisp lines and to avoid smudging Chalk Paint® where you don’t want it, place a band of masking tape around the top of the bottle where the neck meets the body. 

2. Paint the whole bottom half of the bottle in your colour of choice; here I've used Burgundy, a rich deep warm red in the Chalk Paint® palette. Don't be too precious with the application, the more texture here the better. 

3. Once dry, apply Clear Chalk Paint® Wax with a Wax Brush, or just lint-free cloth. Remove any excess with a lint-free cloth. 

4. Take a Stencil Brush and using a stippling motion apply Gilding Wax in a mix of Bright and Warm gold from the point where the masking tape meets the Chalk Paint® and down. Pack your brush with Gilding Wax when closest to the top then clean the brush off to apply further down for an ombre effect. The stencil brush will give extra texture. Use a lint-free cloth to blend the Wax out and if you’ve been too heavy handed with your gilding Wax you can use Clear Chalk Paint® Wax to remove some.

5. Finally, remove the masking tape and allow the waxes to touch-dry before use. Add a candle and let it burn for a little to achieve the dripped wax-effect. 

And that's it! A simple, effective way to dress your table for Christmas. Be sure to tag me on social media if you give this step-by-step a go. I love to see what you all get up to. @AnnieSloanHome on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter



20 September 2019

The Colourist Issue 3: Fill your life with fabulous colour

Welcome, to the launch of The Colourist Vol. III! Fill your life with fabulous colour, starting here. This time, I've focussed on blues and greens.

How time flies. It feels like only yesterday that I was announcing the launch of Issue 2, and barely any longer than that when I was introducing you all to the very first edition. But here we are, and what difference a day (year) makes! We've listened, re-calibrated and rejuvenated The Colourist yet again, taking our best bits and building on them. Get set for a Bookazine like no other.

Packed to the gunnels, my third bookazine is based around the colour blue and, in particular, my divine new Chalk Paint® colour, Oxford Navy! That’s the hero of this issue, with sterling support from sidekicks Provence and Florence.

We’ve gathered together diverse pieces from all over, such as the vibrant Truck Art of Pakistan, fabrics from the legend that is Lucienne Day, idiosyncratic Indian glass paintings, Adam Calkin’s fantastical painted house, a piece on the healing power of painting, all that’s magical about Brooklyn, New York, two brand new Chalk Paint® colours never before announced, as well as furniture painters from all over the world. Just one thing unites them… colour. Colour in all its combination from lively and bold, to quiet and gentle.

As well as this and more, we've supplied six more step-by-steps for amazing projects you can recreate at home; from using your two free stencils (!!) to create your own Art Deco looks, to the secrets of frottage and distressing, via fantastical tassel creations and gemstone imitation – all of which can be done using furniture and Chalk Paint® you already have! I have always been especially thrilled by how well the How-Tos at the end of The Colourist have done. I get a real kick from seeing how you take my Inspiration and incorporate it into your own homes, with your own twists and tricks. I can only urge you all to give this issues a try!

You may already know that I’m a bit of a culture vulture. I love looking at pictures and patterns wherever I go, but art galleries and museums are always a brilliant place to start. I’m very lucky to have the wonderful Ashmolean Museum right on my doorstep in Oxford. Established over 300 years ago, its collection was described as a ‘cabinet of curiosities’ at the time, which is a delightful phrase that describes an enclitic collection of rare and interesting finds. I think I also subscribe to this type of collecting – I’m always in the lookout for amusing, thought-provoking pieces for my own home!

It could be said The Colourist is a kind of a modern-day ‘cabinet of curiosities’ in magazine form: you’ll find things to amaze, inspire fascinate, surprise – and maybe even make you want to cry a little – in this issue! And if that hasn't convinced you to pick up a copy, you can see a sneak peek inside here.

Thanks for reading, staying in touch and supporting me through my ventures. I hope to do the same for you. Tag me @AnnieSloanHome on social media with the hashtag #ColouristMag so I can see what you get up to.



23 April 2019

The Colourist issue 2: Embrace the joy of colourful living.

Embrace the joy of colourful living! I'm SO thrilled to share with you the second edition of my bookazine, The Colourist. I am wildly excited - even more so than I was ahead of the release of the first issue - and here's why: Issue 1 was an incredible, free-falling rollercoaster of emotions. I put my heart and soul out into the world, without knowledge of how it would be received. But the fact that I am here, before you all today, announcing the launch of Issue 2 means that all of the hard work, sweat and Chalk Paint® tears was worth it. We made it through folks, and what a success it was! Your kind words about The Colourist, your enthusiasm for the features, and the incredible photographs of your step-by-steps from the back pages are a source of great happiness and pride to me. I just hope you’re ready now to do it all over again! As they say, practice makes perfect and we listened to what you think worked best about Issue 1, what you most loved, and channelled that into Issue 2.

One thing I love about The Colourist is the way we’ve composed each issue around a colour palette which threads itself throughout the Bookazine. This edition, the emphasis is on yellow - mellow, creamy, and earthy on one hand, zesty and singing on the other; an elusive colour that quickly turns into lime, orange or brown. I love to pair it with deep burgundy red and greys, botanical greens and purples, which you’ll see examples of inside.

There's lots more colour inspiration for you too - from classical French and Hampton whites, to Baccanalian boho brights from Finland and abundant florals from the perennially popular Rachel Ashwell. There are Chalk Paint® pieces inspired by 20th century art created by Nana Radalescu (one of my Romanian Stockist) along with exclusive photography illustrating the magnificent results of another Stockist’s loving restoration of an old mill nestled deep in the English countryside. I'm also delighted to feature in this issue stunning painted pieces from everybody’s favourite Kiwi, New Zealand based furniture artist Jeanie Simpson. I hope too that you'll enjoy the home tour of my bolt hole in rural France.

This issue I’ve featured not one but two icons of Design: the inimitable, unstoppable fashion designer, Zandra Rhodes, and Anni Albers, the gloriously iconoclastic Bauhaus textile artist who's just been the subject of a retrospective at Tate Modern in London.

I love to travel, and this issue you can join me in São Paulo, Brazil to see the incredible and inspiring street art I discovered when I was there for Christmas with my family, visiting my eldest son Henry. We also go on a city tour of Berlin - I first went there in 1970 as part of the alternative art scene, which thrives to this day.

I could not have imagined, not in my wildest dreams, the success of the step-by-step section at the back of The Colourist. I have delighted in seeing all your interpretations. There’s been masterpieces in Lucy Tiffney’s signature botanical style, geometric boldness á la my son, Felix, ombré blends as taught by Ildiko Horvath, and kitchen transformations inspired by Avery Michaels’ work. This issue, expect more step-by-steps, more reasons to pick up a Chalk Paint® Brush, and more delectable design ideas coming your way! Because that's what The Colourist is about. Sharing my passion for style and colour, and infecting everybody with the confidence to be creative.

It has been a great joy to put this issue together; and I hope you enjoy reading it as much I've enjoyed creating it. Be sure to tag me using #ColouristMag and of course #AnnieSloan and #ChalkPaint when you’ve got your copy and especially if you try out one of the step-by-steps!



PS There’s also TWO exclusive free stencils designed by yours truly. There’s just so much content I can’t keep track of it all! Click here for a set-by-step on how to use them.

15 March 2019

My lastest Painter in Residence, Girl in Blue Designs!

Charlie Anne Massey, better known as Girl in Blue Designs from Georgia, USA, has been on my radar for a few years now, and I’m delighted to cement the relationship by announcing her as my latest Painter in Residence!

No doubt you will have seen some of her pieces shared on my Instagram and Facebook – including once when she won one of my “Win-a-Tin” painting competitions. Charlie’s signature style is expressive, painterly and life-affirming; there’s an exciting, colourful wildness to her work which I find completely exhilarating. I’ve included some of her previous pieces below so that you can see for yourselves! I’ve also spoken to Charlie about her journey from Chalk Paint® novice to confident, capable, Chalk Paint® connoisseur!

“Since I could hold a pencil, I've always needed to create. For years that meant drawing, painting on canvas, and of course dabbling in various other mediums. Never once did it occur to me to try and make a living off of my art. I may have sold a drawing in a random social encounter here and there, but really it was always just something that I did for myself. Some people need to exercise the right side of their brains on a regular basis, and I'm one of those people. It wasn’t until I was 29 and very pregnant that I was introduced to Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan. Once introduced, I just couldn't put that brush down. I painted small, easy to handle pieces that otherwise would end up in the dump. The amazing thing was, that they sold, and rather quickly! I was hooked! Once my daughter was born, I obviously had no time for the brush. Once she was 1-ish though, I began to find little pockets of time to work/play. It escalated from there…"

"…I can’t say that I was an immediate natural as far as painting furniture. Not by a long shot. I had a lot to learn, including the different styles of furniture, which styles of paint-work look good on said type of furniture etc. But when it clicked, it clicked. I started listening to what each piece had to say, noting which styles gained popularity with the few followers I had, and most importantly I learned to bend the rules and have fun…"

"…Within a couple of years, painting furniture with Chalk Paint® was no longer a hobby that provided me with a little supplemental income. It was my yoga, my passion, my art form, and my business! Once I figured out what I was good at and what my audience wanted to see from me, a hobby became the most stress relieving job I've ever had."

Keep your eyes on my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Inspiration Page to see all the pieces this Girl in Blue produces for her residency. I hope you are as excited as I am!



12 March 2019

Lem Lem - supporting Oxfam & helping beat poverty!

It’s early Spring as I write this; here in Oxfordshire the gardens are beginning to bloom and the evenings are drawing out with beautiful sunsets. This luxuriance of verdancy puts me in mind of one very special colour: Lem Lem. So good I named it twice!

For those of you who don’t know, Lem Lem is the colour I created in collaboration with Oxfam. Along with some of my team I travelled to Ethiopia last year to see the results of Oxfam’s Seed Project. This initiative empowers women farmers to grow their own crops and sustain themselves and their families. The women I met grow alliums; and the soft green of Lem Lem is inspired by the rolling fields of healthy crops I saw. We call Lem Lem “the colour of hope”

I asked one of the women farmers, "what does green mean to you?" and she immediately said, "growth" and I thought that was fantastic. The women grow the alliums for their seeds which they then sell. One woman with four children under nine had made enough money to buy a house, a cow, an ox, schooling for her children, and a TV (its arrival promoted a party in the village). Even more unprecedented for a woman in this part of Ethiopia, she has been able to set up a bank account of her own. Growth, by anybody's definition.

The development of a new colour is always a huge undertaking and of course there was even more impetus to create something incredible for such an important cause. Click here to watch a video about my trip to Ethiopia and the subsequent development process.

Every time you buy a tin of Lem Lem you are supporting the Seed Project and other worthy causes which help impoverished women and communities around the world.

But what can you paint with Lem Lem? Lem Lem is great for creating a retro 50's look, a contemporary cool vibe, AND works well as part of a vintage floral style. Freshen up your bedroom, bathroom, garden, living room or kitchen with this calm and cool shade. Take a look at the inspiration on my Oxfam page, from Painters in Residence and friends of Chalk Paint®, for a wide range of inspiring ideas. With such beautiful projects, not to mention an inspiring back story about our sisters in underdeveloped communities around the world, there’s no better time to snap up this limited edition colour.

Click here to see one last Lem Lem project - it's a short video of me vs a very orange, very varnished pine bedside table of the type I'm sure you'll all recognise.

Remember: every pot of Lem Lem bought by YOU will raise vital funds for Oxfam, helping people beat poverty worldwide. Click here to purchase a tin of Lem Lem now, or visit your local stockist to buy, and make a difference.

That’s all from me for now – I’ve got some gardening to do and I’m feeling rather inclined to pick up a paintbrush and Lem Lem something myself, having had such a pleasant reminiscence about the incredible women I met in Ethiopia!