Chalk It Up


British artist, author and colour expert Annie Sloan revolutionised the world of paint in 1990, with her Chalk Paint™ range, a formula she continues refining and improving for the new generation. Natalie Flaum learns more about the Annie Sloan way

Widely considered as one of the world’s leading authorities on paint, colour and style, Annie Sloan has written 26 books on paint effects, colour and interior design, since studying fine art at university in the Seventies. As a busy working mother in 1990, drawing on a lifetime of research and experience working with colour, Annie’s invention of Chalk Paint™ was born from her need for paint that could be used with speed to achieve endless decorative effects. In 2021, she launched a beautiful range of durable, easy to use wipe-clean wall paints. Dividing her time between London and Normandy, France, where she lives with her husband David, Annie shares her knowledge and expertise in new and exciting online course with Create Academy.

How would you describe your signature style?

My signature style is unpredictable, authentic, and experimental. I have a strong love of history of art and traditional decorative techniques, which influences a lot of what I do, but I like to use these decorative techniques in unexpected, Avant Garde, entirely new ways to make them modern. I think that’s what good design is; looking at the best techniques and materials from past, present, and future, and using them to make something beautiful.

Can you outline your philosophy or share the inspiration behind the brand?

My dream is to give everyone the tools, the training and the confidence to make their homes exactly as they dream. Whether they want a bright pink front door, an authentic-looking rustic French kitchen, or a copper-leafed bathtub. My brand is about making your wildest interior dreams come true, saving furniture from landfills and making luxury interiors affordable to everyone.

What’s been your favourite project or collaboration to date?

I’ve just partnered with the UK-based homewares brand, Homebase, to make my products available on their website, so that even more people can discover the Annie Sloan way.

What are the key design trends for 2023?

Repurposing and reusing what you have. Slow homewares over quick-buy, quick-break, mass-produced furniture, and healthy, organic, rich colours that reflect a conscious decision toward grounded, organic, environmentally friendly living. Plus, flashes of bright, bold, empowering colour to bring joy, when the news cycle is so depressing.

Tell us something about your design studio

I have a fabulous creative space at my HQ in Oxford. It overlooks the factory where Chalk Paint™, Annie Sloan Satin Paint, and Annie Sloan Wall Paint are all made, so it feels like a very dynamic space. My team work from here I’m regularly interrupted to make business decisions, film demonstrations, or conduct interviews - but because of how easy Chalk Paint™ is to use, it works well for me to be working on a creative project throughout the day whilst mulling over big ideas and long-term strategies.

What projects are you currently working on?

We are developing new colours, as I think the world needs a treat at the moment. I’m also teaching online furniture painting masterclasses on how colour can help transform your home. With in-depth technical, step-by-step guide from painting upcycled furniture and kitchen cabinets to mastering decoupage, adding joyful hand-painted designs to vases, lamps, lampshades and picture frames.

What’s next for the Annie Sloan brand?

My dream is for Annie Sloan to become a household name and for every home to have a tin of paint somewhere for emergencies, whether that be an, unfortunately, noticeable example of wear and tear, on a much-loved piece of furniture, or the desire to spend time on a meditative creative project.

How do you like spending your downtime?

I don’t have a lot of downtime but I’m very lucky in that I love my job so much, it doesn’t feel like work most of the time. I invented Chalk Paint™ to fit around my busy life as a working mother and as a CEO grandmother, it still works. When I’m not in the office, I love to be around my grandchildren or visiting galleries and travelling for inspiration.

What makes a house a home for you?

Colour stimulates, brings joy and life and is so necessary to our well-being. Banish monochromatic homes, splash primary shades on furniture around white walls or introduce zingy blues to make calming greys pop.


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