the exact shade



Chalk it up (sorry, pun intentional) to the fact that I didn’t take very many art classes past elementary school – I really like playing with paint as an adult. Any chance I get to custom mix a shade for a piece of furniture, I will gladly take it.

 I first started mixing paint out of necessity. It was fairly early into my foray of DIY projects and furniture painting that I discovered and started using Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan for the first time. After having spray painted just about anything that stood still long enough, as well as using regular latex wall paint, and even mixing my own chalk-style paint I decided to finally see what all the talk was about, and what a game-changer it was for me!

 I was all-in and after a couple of purchasing trips, I remember realizing how expensive my new habit was quickly becoming. Don’t get me wrong. You are definitely paying for quality with her products but that quality isn’t cheap. Your typical Annie Sloan stockist will sell a quart of chalk paint for $38.95 and the wax for $27.95. And this can add up fast for someone like me that wants to buy all the colors.

 So, after falling in love with this paint, I found myself in a predicament. I either didn’t have the color I needed on hand due to the reason above or the color I needed wasn’t offered (like when I had a request to replicate Disney Princess-meets-Barbie Pink).


Not to mention the stockist most convenient to my home at the time was located 30 miles away, just south of Los Angeles on the 405 freeway – and, just in case you’ve never experienced traffic in LA in general, this is a drive you want to be really sure about before hopping into the car. I saw this greeting card once and had to take a photo because it’s so true.

405 BW.jpg

 So, just because I wanted all the colors, didn’t mean I could afford to buy them all right away. But, Annie Sloan has a great how-to book on mixing custom colors as well as three great primary colors that were doable. Yes, nestled in with that gorgeous and soft, historical palette of colors is a vibrant red, blue, and yellow. Is the color wheel starting to come back to you (remember blue + red = purple or yellow + red = orange)? So, I bought the book, two different whites (a soft creamy white and a bright white) to go with my primary colors, and I then had a LOT more options.

Annie Sloan is definitely one of my favorite paint lines and I’ve purchased several quarts of her tried and true colors that I’ve painted as they come straight out of the can. But it was the re-learning and applying the principles of color theory to maximize the choices one has when using any kind of paint that has been priceless. Whether it’s using a creamy white to soften and bring down the saturation of a bold color or using a dark charcoal or navy to deepen and increase the complexity of lighter colors, the result is a perfectly customized formula to suit each piece just so.

 That is part of the artistry.



Here is one of my favorite pieces I’ve done using custom colors
I’ve formulated with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. 


coral changing table with mint drawers


All my sweet client knew was that she envisioned a beautiful piece for the changing table in her baby girl’s nursery. The baby girl was coming soon, and to my delight my client was very open to options and wasn’t afraid to go bold with color.


So, using fabric from the nursery, I customized the perfect coral color for the outside of the dresser and a bluish mint for the inside of the drawers to tie everything together.


The result was a beautiful and unique piece that complemented the color scheme of the nursery perfectly.


Several months later I received one of the best compliments I’ve ever received from a client: a photograph of her baby girl, now able to stand up on her little tippy toes to peek inside her dresser drawer. I will take it that as a positive review any day as I believe happy customers come in all sizes!



crimson + oak designs

October 8, 2018