What’s Old is New, And It’s Easy Too

Colorful Painted DIY Projects



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Photo by Scott Holstein

Store owner Lisa Ard staged a bedroom she envisions being occupied by a young woman with big ideas and a limited budget. The wood pieces are painted using Chalk Paint decorative paint by Annie Sloan, and the linens and accessories are from Target.

Many of us, while paging through the shelter magazines, or trolling Pinterest and home-related blogs, see how clever people have taken old, outdated or decrepit objects and turned them into a beautiful décor.

“I love it,” we think, “ but I don’t have the (insert time, money, talent, creativity here) to do something like that.”

Lisa Ard would beg to differ. Much of her year-old business, Sweet South Cottage, is dedicated to showing people — and let’s face it, they’re pretty much all women — how they can transform their living spaces using a miraculous product called Chalk Paint.

It was developed by Englishwoman Annie Sloan, who’s written upwards of 25 books about decorative painting and whose style and techniques developed a loyal following worldwide. For many years, aficionados stateside who wanted to use her trademarked Chalk Paint would have to order it from England, but when a U.S. distributor was named a few years ago, Sloan’s popularity boomed.

“The paint took on a life of its own,” says Ard. “It came to the U.S. and the bloggers picked up on it. It’s just been in Country Living and it’s just been in House Beautiful. You’re going to see lots and lots of references to it.”

While furniture painting has been around as long as people have been leaving rings on the coffee table, Chalk Paint takes the craft to a much more enjoyable level.

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