Thursday, 29 December 2011

Yummy Canvases

 I had a wonderful time making gilded canvas pictures as Christmas presents. I am really looking forward to doing some more some time soon
Mini Canvas...not brave enough to do the big one straight off
Once I got brave I made the one that was for my brother - James (Very Talented Brother) had mentioned he and (also talented and gorgeous) wife Harriet needed artwork for their newly painted walls. Not normally my metier but once I got started I really got into it. I bought pre-stretched canvases and gilded with metal leaf and then patinated the surface. Here was the first biggy

Here are 2 close ups .....I do LOVE the patinas

Having decided to do one for brother Jim, I also got it in my head that my brother in law John should have one too but his would be copper with a hint of green coming through

It was all a bit mad chemist in the studio while I did this, getting the best patination fluid from household products ....of course I left it all too late to order proper ones. Chemical drain clearer came out tops and I just have one tip.....wear gloves!!!!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011


While all the world and their wives have been shopping for Christmas I have been doing a different sort of shopping, I have been working on our on-line shop. Not the lead up to Christmas I had anticipated but with an incredibly busy New Year coming up I thought I had better get it done - a now or never situation.
You can now buy Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, and Classes direct from here on the blog. Look to your right and scroll down to "SHOP here" click on a category and the shop will open up in a separate window in front of you.

I am feeling really clever because not only can you buy from here you can also buy from our Facebook Page 
and if you haven't liked the page yet.....please do!


Finally I have the new classes scheduled and listed. Thanks to a very talented finisher Pat Strong from Texas who I have never met, but have corresponded with for YEARS, we have a range of classes known as Every Second Thursday. She opens her studio for classes and opens studio nights every second Thursday and we loved the concept so...that is what we are doing.
Every second Thursday in the evening, we will either have an open studio or a short class in a specialist subject. Bookings can be made in advance, or it can be made on the night on a first come first served basis. The studio will always be open from 6pm until 9pm on these evenings. Classes are £30 and Open Studios are where we open our studio to you for your own use. Want to try any of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paints? Want to gild some detail with metal leaf? Want to use one of our stencils? For 3 hours the studio is open to you and you can work with any of the products normally used in the Annie Sloan Furniture Painting Class; all our class brushes and tools are available to you and any reasonable amount of other products in the paint store plus coffee and tea for a grand fee of £15.

The first short class will be to gild a 50cm square panel and apply a freehand design to it. No worry if you can't hand paint...we can stencil instead,  enabling you to produce something like this funky piece

Very Rock Chick!

I hope you will check it all out. I still have tweaks to do...fonts, font sizes etc. so don't be too harsh. I am so thrilled to be able to update things now that I have had a lesson from our wonderful website designer Evie Milo and there is so much still to update - I have to treat it as a work in progress.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Colour Schemes....for my new studio

So I am enjoying Pinterest....if you haven't heard of Pinterest it is an on-line pin board; you see something you like and you pin it. You store all your favourite images in one place; you have multiple boards and can store different areas of interest and you can look at other people's boards, and people can look at yours, follow you and so have to request an invitation which takes a little time and then you can join the party. On my Pinterest, which is here paintycait, I have been pinning ideas for the new studio.

The ceiling is so awful

Horrible Ceiling
and I can do nothing about it, so I want to draw attention to the floor and I couldn't decide what to do with it till I started seeing one particular colour scheme that I LOVED and it kept popping up everywhere.

From Harpers Bazaar

Check how that reddy pink pops....all a bit too much of the Teal but hey...then I found this

From Posie Gets Cosy
Isn't it nice and fresh with a bit more white....ooh and pink AND red, who would think that would work
and then I found this one
From Better Homes and Gardens

Oh my so all this white is fabulous....I never thought I would hear myself say that but my walls will stay white and at some point I will paint the ceiling (when my back isn't against the wall) and the floor will be ......Annie Sloan of course 

and the accent colour will be

Emperors's Silk

and what about this for the Annie Sloan Showroom area - what a way to create a colour chart

From The Selvedge Yard

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Tutorial - Quick and Easy Marble Finish

This was a finish I have been meaning to post for a while and I took stage by stage photos while I did it especially so I could do a little tutorial but it has taken me an age to get round to it.
Those that read my blog or follow Carte Blanche on Facebook ( or follow me on Twitter (@paintycait) know that I am in San Francisco now teaching a class in graining and marbling on the first leg of my US tour. I am having a wonderful time with Lynne Rutter and her husband Erling who are the most marvellous hosts.
For those that can't be with us in class here is a real money-maker marbleize to keep you busy. Here was the furniture set we did for a client in this Italianate style marble and it was so quick and easy. This could be done in any colour combination. Here I used Raw Umber, Burnt Umber and Paynes Grey on an off white eggshell base coat.

The furniture before it left the workshop

The process was to apply the clear glaze - we used Ratcliffes Acrylic Scumble which is available in UK but you could use Faux Effects Faux Creme or Proceed.

I added in the colours in swathes across the surface loosely blending them -  this could be done with a scenic fitch, a chip brush or a decorators brush

 Then use painter's plastic dust sheet and press it into the paint and do this in a linear fashion to create marbly shapes

Look for shapes like this

and patterns like this

 Using a badger softener soften some of the shapes out but make sure not to lose patterns like the one above. You need to move quite quickly to get the whole area softened before the Ratcliffes Glaze goes off, but Proceed Glaze and Faux Creme will give more open time

Secret Weapon

Next comes the veining and I have found a very nice cheap synthetic veining brush that you can buy in most art stores the Daler #2 liner.

this is the type of vein I think works well - a white one

a darker one too.....soften these with a badger


 and VOILA

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint People

Love this bureau painted by Moira at Rustiques Annie Sloan Paint in Arles stencilled and crackled
I have had a lot of time away from our ever dampening workshop...we are moving by the of that coming soon
So since I haven't painted anything groovy recently, nor run a class I reckoned it would be cool to let you see some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint People...those that stock the paint and/or paint with it.

I was on my travels - delivering paint around Scotland because being the Scottish distributor of Annie Sloan Paint means we get out and about to see our stockists when we have larger orders and I really wanted to show you something of Rustiques - the Annie Sloan Stockists for Aberdeenshire that is owned by Moira

Lots of new paint stock waiting to be unpacked

I love Moira's display

Moira always has extras to buy like these fabulous handles and blanks for painting projects

who needs a paper colour chart when you have this!
Lots and lots of lovely gifts and home accessories

 After I left Moira having had a jolly good gas and put the world to rights I headed back to Perth via Coupar Angus and nearby Eggshell and Chalk at the Bothy - Gillian has a lovely little shop converted from one of the spaces in their farm buildings - this is the first time I had visited and it is trully delightful. Gillian has always used a lot of Annie Sloan Chalk paint to upcycle her furniture with - it makes the work less arduous and means that she can keep labour down and therefore keep costs reasonable. Gillian has great flair and combines her own painted and vintage items with those of other local craftspeople. Why not visit her during Perthshire Open Studios - she is not always open and so if you want to visit make an appointment first - West Balgersho Farm, Coupar Angus PH13 9LW
Gillian Morris: Tel: 01828 670628 / 07719 920074

lovely home wares and a print by Marliese Richmond

Gillian...caught her unawares

Soft furnishings

Online inspiration can be got by liking Annie Sloan Paint on Facebook where Annie and fans post regularly their Chalk Paint projects - Annie is doing a series of bedside tables just now, each in a different colour and they seem to be appearing combinations you would never think of using.
Facebook and Blogs seem to be a wealth of inspiration - those using the paint uploading regularly their triumphs with the paint - one of my favourites recently was produced by the very talented Kathy Wear 

Crusty Corbels

Head over to Maison Decor Blog to check out the painting process of this piece

Maison Decor hop over and have a look at some of her fabulous paint projects

I had the pleasure to meet Sarah, the owner of Modern Country Style - she was a fellow student with me in Annie Sloan's Class in Oxford and she had a wonderful Painty Link Party on her blog recently where lots of paint projects were linked to - scroll to the bottom of her post about painting a table and find a myriad of inspiring blogs to visit
Sarah's Modern Country Style painted table
I hope all this has inspired you to buy, use, visit, peruse more Annie Sloan Chalk Paint - don't forget that you can buy it on-line from Carte Blanche and that you can pick it up and start painting - no stripping required!

Monday, 15 August 2011

PaintyCait On Tour - Classes in USA

It's some time since I have visited the Good Old U.S. of A. and I am so excited about my rapidly approaching trip. Some will have seen my classes advertised on my website and on my hosts' websites; on Facebook and Twitter and for those that haven't take a peek at where and what I will be doing. First stop will be at Lynne Rutter's beautiful Studio for a 5 day Marbling and Graining Class in San Francisco.

Lynne's beautiful airy studio - a first time visit to San Francisco for me

This class will concentrate on traditional materials - linseed oil and beer and water glaze, making the glazes from scratch. The techniques are the much the same whatever the material but this is how I started - with old fashioned materials and all the alchemy that goes with it.

Next stop "THE Studio Destin"
and Florida is a first for me too

THE Studio Destin is owned and run by two seasoned faux finishers and teaching professionals - Krista Vind and Cindy Everett of Ufauxrea.

The Showroom and entry to the classroom at Studio Destin
THE Studio's Lounge

 THE Studio has a website but lots of information on the company's Facebook page where my two 2 day classes are listed - the Marbling Class and the Wood-graining Class
This class will concentrate on off-the shelf glazes and mediums from a number of manufacturers, they will all be water based and we will look at building layers quickly and efficiently to maximise profit in a way that was previously easier to do with oil finishes.

So what kind of things will I teach - I have done a little collage of  some of the samples done completely in water based

water based marbles and woods

and here I am teaching in Mississippi some years back teaching the White Veined Marble - this is a Calacatta

teaching at the Southern Institute of Faux Finishing

and here I am teaching in traditional oil based materials in Maine

Burr Walnut in Maine
and a pop-up class in Pittsburgh organised by my wonderful friend Elaine Castronovo of Creative Lane

Crotch Mahogany and Satinwood in both oil and water

and what do my students say?
Well have a look at my website and you will see

Come and join us - there are I think 2 spots left at each venue

Wednesday, 3 August 2011


Those that have been following the blog know that every now and again I create a post called "If I post it here I will HAVE to do it" to try and get me to focus on a particular project. The last time I did this was with a mural - the mural was fraught with problems...every time I got to the point of being able to start it or progress it something got in the way.

 Here is the post "If I post it here I will HAVE to do it"

Finally....finally finally we are done and installed...

This is how you first see it

Closing in
Square on
Before it left the studio
So what slowed me down. First the medium I decided to use was very difficult to work with. The Golden Gac 200 I used in order to make the mural very hard-wearing, it made the paint very slimy and it took me a full week to get my head round it once I was used to it it was fine but I still feel it makes the paint very clumsy to work with and I wouldn't use it out of choice. The problems I mentioned in my last post with the studio leaking caused as many of the problems as anything...days when nothing would dry so I could only work up one area at a time. Another thing I have found is that as I get older is that I need peace to be able to concentrate; so if the studio is a hive of activity with kitchens being painted and the phone ringing off the hook I find it really difficult to focus. This meant that I needed to fit it in at evenings and weekends otherwise I was making mistakes that had to be done over.

Big thanks goes to my wonderful e-friend Pat Strong. Pat who lives in Texas and I met on a faux painting message forum about 10 years ago and we have conversed on-line for all this time. She is a brilliant artist and a really very good friend to have....she literally nursed me through the last stages of this when I had a fillet of fish instead of a hand....and a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth was going on and she saved my sanity. Thank you day we will meet.