Let me take you back a year. It’s one of the hottest days of summer, but I have a “project.”
I’m set up in my driveway, fair-skinned and un-sunscreened in the midday sun — with a paintbrush and a new can of Paris Gray chalk paint, ready to tackle a $5 yard sale table.
We had been in our new house just a few months, and I was on a decorating tear. Inspired by the furniture facelifts I’d seen on blogs, I was ready to tackle some of my own with this “magic” chalk paint I’d been hearing so much about, not only online but at local decor stores, as well.
I bit — and I was bitten — by the painting bug.
They say paint is transformative, and I’ve learned just how true that is this past year. It has transformed not only my home, but my professional life. (More on that just a little bit later.)
Let’s get back to that first little table, a $5 nightstand with a drawer full of straight pins and pretty Frenchy lines.
I bet I put three or four coats on it, not knowing quite what to expect from chalk paint. And when it was dry, I slopped on way too much wax and wondered why it wasn’t drying in the full sun and 95-degree heat. (Rookie mistake.) I wiped and buffed, then slopped on way too much dark wax, only to remove it again with even more clear wax. But in the end, despite my rookie missteps, I had transformed the castoff table into something pretty and that I was immensely proud of.
Here it is in my bedroom:
That little table also awakened in me a passion I didn’t know was there. Turns out I like to paint, even though it means that every piece of clothing I own is splattered. It may be my legacy, in my genes, because my mom has been refinishing furniture for as long as I can remember.
And so I started painting more furniture for my home, like this antique buffet in Duck Egg Blue and Old White.
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint was my gateway paint. But I’ve tried them all: chalk paints, latex, DIY chalk paint, milk paint, craft acrylics and wood stains.
As I painted, I became something of a pusher. Pitching in to help friends with their painting projects.Encouraging others to try their hands at painting, saying if I could do it, anyone could. Recruiting my mom to help me paint and to share her expertise with me.
Pretty soon, I was buying pieces just to have something to paint. Accepting free cast offs from friends’ attics and garages. Rearranging my home, trying to squeeze in more and more painted pieces, then finally relenting and selling some of my makeovers through in-home open houses, flea markets, craft fairs, Craigslist and finally my own retail space at Golden Antiques.
Bear with me through this gallery. There’s an announcement at the end of this post you don’t want to miss.
Just a few more pretties to go before the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!
Earlier, I alluded that paint has transformed not only my home, but me.
It’s true. Painting awakened creativity that had long been dormant, pushed aside for work and other obligations. It caused me to rethink my life, to set some goals, to write a manifesto, to start this blog, to realize a long-held desire to open a retail space.
And now for the next brushstroke. The next chapter in this exciting creative ride I’ve been on this last year. That announcement I teased you about in my headline.
I expect to receive the first shipment of paint later this month or in early September, but I am taking preorders now through our online store. Or you can alway send us an email at info(at)attagirlsays(dot)com if you’re interested in ordering some of this fabulous paint.
I will likely be offering workshops, too, but that schedule isn’t finalized. If you’re local to Greensboro, N.C., check out our Classes page for updates.
It’s such an honor to partner with Marian on this, not only because I think she’s a painting and blogging goddess, but because she’s been so encouraging to me on this creative journey. We’ve only met in real life briefly at Lucketts, but we’ve traded many emails, and she’s encouraged me there to pursue my passion. In a way, she gave me permission to dream for myself, something I think lots of mommies don’t feel they’re entitled to do. But we are.
To celebrate this continuing creative journey of mine and to showcase the talents of others who are as paint-obsessed as I am, Atta Girl Says is starting its very own linky party where I’ll be featuring your Milk Paint Masterpieces.
I know you’ll need time to get some milk paint — preferably Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint – so we’ll wait a bit to have the first linky party.
Stay tuned for an announcement with the exact date. In the meantime, though, feel free to share the linky party button.