October 05, 2012

Project Personality: Chalk Paint™ Colour Recipes

Project Personality
with Apple Box Boutique founder Leanne Playter Korsos

When customers come in to the Boutique enquiring about Chalk Paintby Annie Sloan, one of the (many) things I enthusiastically relay is the 'mixability' of it.  Because these paints (except for Graphite, of course) have very little to no black pigment in them, they can be mixed to create new hues while maintaining vibrancy. I am a fan of custom everything, so for me it is wonderful to know I can preserve my personal taste and individuality when I paint! 

There are currently 30 colours in Annie Sloan's designer line, but when I talk about "paint recipes" some folks wonder if it is beyond their capability. It's not! I am writing today to put minds at ease and open the door to "fearless creative expression".  And all it takes is Chalk Paint™, a glass cup and a tongue depressor.  
Go figure!

Customizing Chalk Paint 101

What's so special about paint with 'mixability'?
Using latex and oils in the past meant that it was always a big guess about whether I would get a new colour or a big murky, greyed-down mess.  That doesn't happen with this paint.  It mixes with purity and clarity of colour, and I adore that about it.

How do I measure it?
Generally in ounces and stir it up in a cup using a tongue depressor.  Then I brush it on a paint stick and when that's dry, I write the 'recipe' on it to hang in my cupboard.  That way I always have it to refer to plus I can match other pieces to it in the future without worrying about how to recreate it. I am a huge fan of keeping things fun and stress-free!

Does it keep?
Yes.  Mixed Chalk Paint™ has the same life span as the paint in its original state -- it keeps indefinitely.

How much should I make?
A can = a 32 oz quart, which covers approximately 150 square feet.  I generally figure it out from there depending on the size of the piece or project I am working on.

What if I get it wrong?
The really fabulous thing about all of this is that there is no wrong or right.  You may not get exactly what you envisioned every time, but at some point that unexpected hue is going to come in handy.  Sometimes it leads you down a new creative path that you hadn't initially intended to travel, and discoveries like that are the spice of life!

Where do I start?
My answer to that is "anywhere you please... just start!"  And it never hurts to check out what others have already created as well.  Following are a few colour recipes shared by the talented Deborah Cooper of the design company 'Round the Coop'.  Thanks to curious folks like Debbie, we don't have to reinvent the wheel (unless we want to, which can be lots of fun too).

Here are just a few of the recipes that I L-O-V-E:

2 oz Antibes Green
2 oz Arles
1/2 oz Pure White


Hot Pink

2 oz Pure White
1.5 oz Emperor's Silk

Brown (shown)
2 oz Olive
2 oz Primer Red
Soft Clear Wax
Soft Dark Wax

Dark Brown
2 oz Graphite
2 oz Barcelona Orange

Deep Purple
2 oz Napoleonic Blue
2 oz Emperor's Silk

2 oz Emile
2 oz Emperor's Silk

2 oz Graphite
1 oz Pure White

4 oz Arles
2 oz Olive
1 oz Primer Red

Dark Burlap
3 oz Arles
2 oz Olive
1 oz Primer Red

Both: Soft Clear Wax
           Soft Dark Wax

2 oz Arles
2 oz Old White
Soft Clear Wax
Soft Dark Wax

2 oz Greek Blue
2 oz Emile

When I get down to the bottom of a Chalk Paint™ can I know I can use what's left as a wash, an impasto, for dry brushing, for arts and crafts, to tint my wax, for detailing
... or to blend with other paints to make what I've imagined come to life.

The possibilities are endless -- and beyond cool is that you will never waste paint (or your $) again.

After seeing that Cornflower mix, I am even more excited to get started on my next project!

How about you?  What's your favourite hue?

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