Annie Sloan’s one of a kind paint

Annie Sloan, owner and creative mind behind the decorative Chalk Paint recently launched her new book, “Room Recipes for Style and Colour”. Digital ed Carina Claassens, together with a few other media representatives, spent a morning with the artist who talked trends, colour and of course her new book

Annie Sloan 
Room recipes for style and color

If you like DIY projects Annie Sloan definitely needs no introduction. She’s the mastermind behind Chalk Paint, developed over 20 years ago, which is used all over the globe to transform tired furniture, walls and every imaginable accessory into bright and colourful statement pieces.


Annie is Australian born, her mother is from Fiji and she grew up in England, where she currently lives in Oxford.

She studied Fine Art and as a student, visiting her parents in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) she was fascinated by the red earth found in the country. What intrigued her even more was its texture and the paint like effect it had when mixed with water.

She’s always been inspired by colour, and after considering various career paths she realised that this was her true calling. Annie became intrigued by painting people’s homes and how they asked for very specific colours, for example “the colour of mashed bananas”.

While teaching colour theory in Amsterdam she was captivated by the painted wooden shutters of buildings all over the city. She noticed that so many of the shutters were painted dark colours and included red triangle patterns on them. This made her realise that there were countless traditions around the world involving colour that aren’t necessarily documented in history books.


Annie describes her new book as inspirational and practical. It’s not a step-by-step guide but it’s filled with helpful ideas and tips nonetheless. The book covers nine decor styles and she wrote it together with Felix Sloan, one of her three sons. The idea for the nine styles came from a conversation she had with some of her stockists. She asked them to describe their style to her and they all wrote back saying vintage, rustic, shabby or eclectic. There are, however, so many styles within each of these – vintage, for instance, can be Neoclassical, French classic or bohemian.

The new book connects everything we do, as Annie is very interested in the whole homemaking idea. “I imagine somewhere where you can’t get a hold of everyday things easily but you still need to make a home”.

The styles covered in the book are bohemian, coastal, French elegance, modern retro, neoclassical, rustic country, traditional Swedish, vintage floral and warehouse.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Bohemian style

Vintage floral style

Vintage floral

Each of these style sections include a “paint your own” section giving ideas on what you can do at home.

When asked if it’s wise to choose only one style and stick to it Annie says “absolutely not. Style fusion also makes up a part of the new book. For instance a building can be in the warehouse style but the furniture is French elegant. It’s important to make your home your own and give it personality”.


Annie says that her paint is for “everyday people”. Chalk paint can be used on pretty much any surface – from wood to fabric, cement and steel. Just avoid teak (as it’s very oily) and cheap plastics. No paint likes teak or cheap plastic. The paint is 100% safe to use on children’s furniture and works well on garden furniture, especially metals.

“My colours are more like a paint box, not the average fan deck you get in commercial stores. It’s all about mixing the colours and getting it right”, says Annie. All Chalk Paint stockists are independent stores run by people who love colour and are passionate about it.

As the different paints are designed to be mixed you don’t need more than the colours on offer. It’s an artist’s approach and gives the user more creative freedom. Annie feels strongly about this and says, “I’m much more for using what happens than having a very clear idea in your head. If you do paint something and absolutely hate it, simply leave it for a few days and then repaint it. That’s exactly what I wanted when creating my paint – something flexible”.

P.S. Send us shots of your painted pieces via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email – we’d love to see them.