Sustainability magazine

In the latest edition of Junkies we caught up with the incredibly creative, Annie Sloan, to learn more about her love for upcycling and DIY. 25 years ago Annie created the original Chalk Paint, a paint that lets you instantly up-cycle and reuse old furniture. Without having to prime or sand before painting, Chalk Paint is water based and eco-friendly, containing virtually no VOC's so it also has less harm on us and on our planet.

As one of the world’s most respected paint and colour experts, when did your love for DIY and craft begin?

I think it’s fair to say I have always been like that. I grew up in Australia and my parents, particularly my father was creative. I was always painting and making something.  I grew older I just always wanted to make things, I suppose as a teenager it’s a way of getting things you can’t afford to buy. When we moved to England jumble sales were very popular and as a student I’d spend my Saturdays finding stuff and putting things together. Mainly vintage finds, bric and brac and clothing, and then Saturday afternoons were spent showing off all the items I'd found and putting them together as an outfit to wear to a party later that night!!

We love how your Chalk Paint encourages reusing and recycling, have you always had a love for things second hand and vintage?

Absolutely!! In my early twenties I had a stall on Brick Lane in London selling my vintage finds. My love for all things secondhand has continued throughout the years. I have a house in France and I love going to the local Brocantes to source furniture and decorative items.

What do you love about painting something ‘old’ and making it new again?

I adore it because you end up with something you quite often can’t find.  I’ve currently got a 1930’s bathroom cabinet in my studio with a linen fold in it. For a 30’s piece in its original condition it’s very dated and dull. But using a little paint can totally transform it! On this piece I painted it with my paint, Chalk Paint in Florence, a sophisticated jewel green colour and finished it with my Dark Chalk Paint Wax to give it that antiqued patina. I’ve also got a great love for painting Queen Anne chairs. They can often look quite ugly with old fashioned upholstery and dark wood but there are so many ways that you can paint them to create something brilliant and ‘you’.

Do you have one favorite piece of furniture that you have upcycled with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint? Why?

Gosh one favorite piece, No!! I have so many favourites and they are forever changing.  I have been doing this for over 30 years so it’s impossible to hold on to everything and trends chance, so what was cool is no longer, but then they make a comeback and I think ‘I should have kept that!.’ I’ve let go of some pieces in the past and later regretted it! 

What advice can you give to those who want to try a bit of DIY upcycling for the first time?

 I always say just get on with it and don’t be scared. Get friendly with your local stockist and they will help you to create what the look you’d like to achieve. Try incorporating a colour - don’t always play it safe. I’m not saying paint everything red, blue and green but try be a little bolder with colour.

Where do you find inspiration?

I take inspiration from colour, films, art, travel, fashion and everywhere in-between!

Lastly, do you have a favourite colour to paint with?

It changes all the time, and is usually about combinations of colour, not just one singular colour. At the moment it’s Olive with Provence, which is slightly odd but it looks fantastic. 

Sustainability magazine Annie Sloan

Want some Annie Sloan inspiration? Check out this incredible video where Annie Sloan shows how easy it is to use Chalk Paint® for your upcycling projects! 

Head to Annie Sloan’s website for more details, some great DIY videos, and for where you can get your own Chalk Paint®