I remember it well. December 1, 2010. It was the day I moved into my first real house. Not an apartment, not a condo..a house, a real home. Prior to this momentous occasion, I had lived a good many places, mostly in Southern California. I lived in some great, funky old buildings, filled with character, charm, and style. And I liked to think that I was just the person for the job when it came to the funky and the old…just let me at it with a little elbow grease, some paint and a few pieces of repurposed furniture. And then along came my house. It wasn’t old, or funky. It had almost no character and certainly no charm. It was a cookie-cutter developer’s tract house special. Contractor-grade everything. And not well-cared for in the almost twenty years since it was built. The kitchen cabinets were honey oak, along with every other wood surface in the house.
I knew I wanted to get rid of the dated, tired looking finish but was I really going to spend hours, if not days, stripping..sanding..priming? There had to be another way…and then it struck me! Powdered pigments…the kind they sell in art supply stores..or better yet..milk paint! Now, this was prior to the phenomenon known as Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint but I knew that somewhere in my travels I had seen milk paint because that’s what I wanted–a pure, naturally derived pigment that left a dusty, matte, old-world finish. So I googled and searched and googled again. But every time I searched for milk paint, Chalk Paint® came up; specifically, Annie’s website, http://www.anniesloan.com
I soon realized that this website had a lot going for it and this was indeed the direction I wanted to take. Until I realized there was no one in California that sold this paint. In fact, there were only four shops in all of North America. And out of that, one shop in New Jersey was the only one who would ship. So I placed an order, and lo and behold, I received the nicest response from a gal named Patty Seaman, owner of Classic Wall Finishes. She would be happy to ship to me and was also kind enough to send detailed instructions. I painted my kitchen cabinets–with three sample pots. Not quarts, sample pots. The paint was amazing. It just kept extending and covering and the more I dipped my brush in a bit of water, the better the coverage and opacity. There was no odor, no drips and it dried quickly with a soft, matte finish. I was in love! More sample pots were ordered and more surfaces were painted. Bathroom cabinets, shiny white ceramic tiles around the fireplace, a metal clock frame, a dark wood console table..I could not stop myself.
And so, my affair with this lovely paint had begun. And after a few months, a distributor finally opened up in California with another helpful gal, Vicki Shoemaker of http://www.3OaksStudio.com, leading the way to bring Chalk Paint® to the West Coast. Their skill, passion and dedication to Annie and her paint paved the way for me and countless others who came on board to work with this revolutionary product. It’s been almost three years now since my role as a Stockist began and not a day goes by that I don’t think about how it all started. This past May I was fortunate enough to spend time in New Orleans at our annual Stockist conference with Annie Sloan, Patty, Vicki, and the many others who have made this opportunity possible for me. I thank them every year and look forward to doing so for many years to come. –L
Patty and Annie in New Orleans!