September 25 - 27, 2020. Registration will open in spring!

Monday, June 29, 2015

What is Chalk Paint?

( This has been one of the most popular posts on this blog so I've updated it as of December 2019.)

The first answer is - it's not chalkboard paint!
Chalky finish paint would be a better name!  It's paint that contains a binder, such as talc or plaster of paris, which helps the paint stick to the object. The finish is matte - not glossy or shiny.  It may be called mineral paint, or plaster paint. You can buy paint premixed with the binder, such as Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (the original invented 25 years ago by a British woman) or many other brands.  See the Annie Sloan website at

This finish is often associated with the 'shabby chic' aesthetic. The biggest draw is that when you paint furniture, you don't need to sand or strip the old finish first.  (Although there are exceptions to that rule - in fact, the exceptions are probably more common than most writers will admit!)
Furniture may be painted, waxed, and sometimes distressed.  Here are some examples of chalk paint-type finished furniture for sale at Home Goods.

All very nice furniture, but you might wonder, why spend a lot of money buying furniture that looks old, but is not?  Zillions of women are now painting furniture in their homes either to get the 'in' look for cheap, or to sell!  Take a look at these blogs.

Here is an all time favorite of mine from Australia.

Many more examples are at my Pinterest Furniture board - Pinterest Furniture!

You can buy the paint in powdered form and mix it with a prescribed liquid, or you can mix your own binder with commercial paint - that way you get exactly the shade you want without having to mix colors from a limited palette available from the specialty manufacturers!  Many of the specialty manufacturers pride themselves that their paint is low VOC, if that is important to you.
One advantage of the paint is that it sticks to wood, but also to metal, ceramics, and fabric!  Recently other manufacturers have put out lines of paint - Rustoleum, Behr come to mind.  I've used the Rustoleum, not as good as Annie's but way cheaper!

Here are some of my pieces: 

Knotty pine roadside find painted in Annie Sloan Napoleonic Blue.
Another roadside find.  Used rub and buff for the turnings.  Paint is Rustoleum Charcoal and Annie Sloan Paris Grey.
Primer and original finish - more roadside trash!
Finished in Annie Sloan Paris Grey.

What goes around comes around - I remember my mother and aunt painting and distressing furniture in the 1970s.  They called it 'antiquing.'

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Beginning To Look More Like Christmas

Why is it never sunny when I need to take a progress shot of my glitter house?  It really is looking shiny and wintry - in the right light!  Note the new chimney and the snow on the roof and on the window sills.  Want to learn how to make these houses?  Sign up for the workshop at the Great Escape!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cold June? Order A GE Fleece!

We're selling embroidered Great Escape fleece vests or jackets again this year. They are from LL Bean and come in 6 colors, in misses', women's or men's sizes, with an embroidered Great Escape logo on the left-hand shoulder.

Orders must be placed by August 20th to be available for pickup when you get to GE!  Go here for  details and to place your order!  People who missed the deadline last year were disappointed when they saw how warm and well made these vests and jackets were!

Here's the logo that will be on the shoulder, embroidered in bright green:
Here is the committee in their vests/jackets during the big blizzard in January - note Danielle's doing yeoman service keeping two people warm!  Navy and charcoal  were the colors of choice last year - but my hubby really looks snazzy in his royal blue!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Early Birds Get Something Better Than Worms!

My school is out, is yours?  We've all looked forward to summer, and with the summer solstice happening tonight, I'm taking a moment of the longest day of the year to look forward to the fall equinox!  Yes, it's just three months until Great Escape! 

Remember, Early Bird registration ends on August 1 and we're about half full right now!  We offer a $10 discount to Early Birds - it's a great deal when you remember you get 4 full meals, snacks, and two nights lodging for only $45 dollars.  We researched every Girl Scout weekend in America and confirmed - ours is the best and most reasonably priced.  Any Girl Scout adult or high school senior is welcome - no matter what council you belong (or once belonged) to.

Register now to get the best choice of workshops - one is full and one is almost full!