Monday, December 17, 2012

Express Yourself! The Colorful World of Chalk Paint®

photo via Annie Sloan and Drake

"Color combinations are the single most important aspect to painting furniture." Annie Sloan

I'm often asked if you can create other colors with Chalk Paint®. Yes! Annie has developed a palette of highly pigmented colors that we can use to create literally hundreds of other colors. Because the colors are made with almost no black pigment (except Graphite), you can easily mix them without them becoming muddy like other paints. So mix away. Use your imagination to create your perfect color.

Let's explore the techniques and guidelines on how to use color and tone to achieve the effect you want. 

Technique One:
Adding Old White or Pure White to lighten a color.

This is Aubusson mixed with Old White

This is Coco mixed with Old White

And this soft pink from Emperor's Silk

The colors right out of the can can be very intense - let's say you want a lighter version. That can be easily accomplished by mixing Old White or Pure White with the colors, as shown above. Mix Pure White for a more "modern" look and Old White for a more "antiqued" one. I often use this technique on the pieces that I paint for a more neutral effect and just a hint of color.

Technique Two:
Mixing two colors to create a third. 

 + =

Mix Old Violet plus Cream to create Paloma

via The Little Black Chair

Beautiful combination of Aubusson and Duck Egg

The combinations are endless - really! This takes a little bit of experimenting, but, that's half the fun. In the next series of Workshops, we will be trying our hand with this, so watch for our schedule for the new year. Make sure you write down the colors you used and the proportions, or, as I do, make enough to paint the entire piece. 

Technique Three:
Painting with two or more contrasting colors.

Old White and Country Grey 

Most all of Annie's colors can be considered neutrals and can be used together on the same piece. There are two ways that I like to do this. The first is by using one or more colors on the outside of a piece of furniture. This works especially well if the colors are "similar" to each other. See how beautifully the Old White and the Country Grey look together on the armoire above!

A  beautiful example of Versailles and Olive

But if you love a more intense color effect, a second technique that is especially loved by Annie and one that I use often is to paint a pop of color in drawers or cabinet interiors, like the Scandinavian Pink inside the Graphite secretary. I paint with a lot of neutrals and just love to see the surprise on a customers face when they look inside a piece and see a pop of color!

Happy Painting!