Paint Guru Annie Sloan

This week Topology speak to the woman, that is the legend, the boss, the don, the GURU of Painting, that is Annie Sloan.

To those of you who don’t know her – where have you been!? Annie is regarded in the industry as a ‘colour expert’ and has been working in the home improvements sector for over 25 years. She has totally revolutionized the way we look at paint today. Her creation of Chalk Paint® in particular has made the things like up-cycling and decorative painting not only widely accessible to people all over the world but more importantly a simple, stress free process. Annie is most definitely a person to turn to if you are in the midst of a home renovation / redecoration. Read on to find out how Annie’s brand came to be and what her top tips are for those decorating with paint.

What made you want to get into the home improvements sector, or more specifically dealing with paints?
I was a young mother with three young boys, wanting to decorate my furniture quickly. I had an art school background and a huge interest in making my own paint, so one thing led to another!

Do you find that you are constantly changing things with paint in your own home?
Yes! It never stops!

How do you define your style?
This is really hard to say as it constantly changes! I’m quite free and unafraid of colour, and I do create for myself rather than be dictated by current trends and styles


Do you have any colour predictions?
I think the combination of Olive, Emperor’s Silk and Arles, slightly earthy, even military inspired colours.

What’s your favourite colour to work with?
It changes all the time but right now it has to be my newest colour, the bright blue Giverny, which I am using lots of lately.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you could give to someone who wants to start experiment with paint?
Don’t be scared of colour – I don’t mean clown colours or lots of colours on one piece though! It is easy to bring colours that work together, however if you are nervous about this it’s best to visit your local Annie Sloan stockist, who I train to be colour experts. They will guide you in the right direction, and you can play around with my colours in their stores too!

What’s your top tip for using stencils, to get them perfect every time? 
The word perfect is the issue, as I prefer stencils to look organic and hand crafted. I would recommend that you don’t use much paint, use a roller if you can and make sure you don’t overload the roller with paint, which causes the edges of the stencil to bleed. Using a tiny amount of paint on your roller means that you get crisp, defined edges of the image. My favourite method is overlaying stencils on top of one another and creating new patterns. The most important thing is that it should be fun!

What is your favourite product you’ve launched? What was the inspiration behind it?
Apart from my paint, Chalk Paint™, I am thrilled with my ten Coloured Linens, all made to exactly match the colours in my palette!

And lastly, if someone was deciding between choosing a brand new piece of furniture or buying some of your paint and up cycling an old piece of furniture – how would you persuade them to do the latter?
If you want a piece of really well made furniture then definitely buy vintage! You can easily find beautiful and well crafted old furniture cheaply in markets and charity shops. The piece may have seen better days but there’s nothing a little paint can’t fix!

If you’ve been inspired by Annie try head over to www.anniesloan.com where you can view all of her different paint ranges and incredibly informative and insprirational video tutorials. And if you are feeling particularly creative, why not test out one of her famous workshops! You’ll leave feeling amazed by what a lick of paint can do!

Photo Credit – Annie sloan press provided by Georgina McLaren

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