Annie Sloan was born in Australia and came to England at the age of ten to grow up on a farm in Kent. She was trained as a fine artist and in the 1970s after finishing her university studies was painting murals in homes for commissions. Using her knowledge of color, pigments and paint, she developed chalk paint, a smooth, easily mixable paint that is ideal for refinishing because there needs to be no stripping, sanding or priming necessary. She originally opened a shop in Oxford to sell her paint and hold classes while offering her services in interior design.
In the course of her work, Annie has written 20 books that have been widely acclaimed internationally, and she has totally transformed the process of painting furniture with her Chalk Paints brand. Today, she has a network of over 1,400 independent dealers, who are called stockists, all over the world.
In 2011, Janet Piller was searching for a much easier method of refinishing furniture because the usual method of stripping a piece of furniture, then sanding it seemingly forever, before applying a primer or two, then several coats of paint was a project she just did not have time for.
Then she read a blog about Annie Sloan and a vibrant email discourse was initiated. It didn’t take long for genesis of Annie Sloan Paint Des Moines to be birthed. Janet saw right away how this Chalk Paint could be a real winner because there were no outlets at all in the entire state of Iowa for Annie Sloan’s paint.
Janet and her husband Dan formed TLC Vintage Collection right away along with a website, a blog and a Facebook page. They also arranged to have a booth at a local antique Mall in Des Moines as well.
Needless to say, the idea really took off because Janet and Dan found, much to their pleasure, that others in the area felt the same way as Janet had at the outset that the paint was a real winner.
Anyone who has ever refinished a furniture piece the old way, knows what a laborious task it can be. First you have to apply the paint stripper, which is a noxious liquid that once applied, has to be rubbed off with a rag or a sponge, and oh, what a messy procedure that can be.
After the stripping, there has to be a considerable effort at sanding the surface just to be sure your have an even surface on which to paint. Then one or perhaps, two coats of primer is applied, and then finally the final coat or two of finishing paint.
The Annie Sloan Chalk Paints brand requires none of that, as it goes on as a first coat over the top of literally any surface be it wood, metal, walls, doors, shelving, cabinets, floors – just about any surface you can think of.
The paint is water-based so it is easy to clean up. If the paint is a little too thick, just add a bit of water, if it needs a little thickening, just leave the top off for a while.
In addition to making the job much easier by skipping all of the former messy tasks of refinishing, one very big plus about Annie Sloan Chalk Paints is the ease with which the colors can be mixed without becoming muddy, and for that one you can give the benefit to Annie’s background in fine art and pigments.
Janet and Dan’s store in the Sherwood Forest Shopping Center in Des Moines has become a hub for local enthusiasts who thrive with the sharing of ideas at the regular workshops and as the word spreads the excitement grows.
Janet is joined at the store by husband Dan and Mary Lou Killebrew who also share Janet’s passion and now Annie Sloan Paint Des Moines has become a fixture in the area. Since the store opened in 2012 it is still the primary source of Annie Sloan Paints in Iowa.
Annie Sloan Paint Des Moines is available online too at www.anniesloanunfolded.com/retailers.html where extensive examples of new painting ideas are readily available.
Ideas are a dime a dozen until you find a person who can put them into practice, and then those ideas are priceless. That is just what Annie Sloan workshops are for because they give people the chance to see for themselves how easily the paint goes on and covers just about any surface so easily.
In a workshop the participants actively participate in mixing colors, learning how to size up an idea for a project, and then actually do some transformation work on their own projects. People who paint with the Annie Sloan Paints for the first time are literally amazed at how easy it is to transform just about anything into a brand new item so quickly.
The paint itself goes on velvety smooth and dries that way too, unless you want to use a more bristle type of brush to get an uneven surface. Annie Sloan sells brushes specially made to fit the paint. Fabric is also available if one wishes to recover chair seats, couches and so forth.
The colors of the paint are designed to replicate the paint colors reminiscent of those of the 1880s to 1950s era of colors. Once the paint dries, a special soft wax is applied to the surface of the object in order to preserve the finish and give the finished project a very smooth and professional look.
It goes without saying that Annie Sloan Paint Des Moines has been a smashing success, and as the word gets out, it will surely continue to grow. TLC Vintage Collection, LLC has become the heart of furniture and interior renovation in central Iowa and parts beyond with Janet and Dan’s hard work and love for the process of helping people.
You will become lost in the excitement of your own finishing projects when you visit TLC Vintage Collection and as you learn more about how you can use Annie Sloan Chalk paints for your restorations.