Thursday, January 29, 2015

TLC Vintage Preparing for the Big Show!

Central Iowa Headquarters for Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan -- TLC Vintage Collection -- is headed for the Des Moines Home and Garden Show February 12-15. We will be in the main hall at the Iowa Events Center, just off a main aisle in booth 708! How will you recognize us? Well we have a big banner coming!

Then there will be our Chalk Paint® color chart you won't want to miss! It is a wall full of painted furniture and decor. We have included a spring theme painted Little Free Library that Mary Lou painted for us! It has so many colors of Chalk Paint -- Emile, English Yellow, Greek Blue, Pure and Old White, Barcelona, Antibes, Florence, Graphite and probably more!

We made a lot of progress on the wall of furniture yesterday with about 11 pieces done at this point. Starting more today!

We will also have lots of decor pieces randomly displayed on the wall showing how you can paint on virtually any surface -- plastic, resin, metal, ceramic, leather, fabric and more!

And the piece de la resistance will be a French Provincial style piano --

which will be painted throughout the four days right in the booth! We will be doing a Rococo finish using Primer Red, Aubusson Blue, a Duck Egg wash and Gold Foil!

We will also have our Ask Our Customer opportunity where guest customers will be available some of the time during the show to discuss their experience with Chalk Paint with Home Show attendees! Come experience Chalk Paint® at the Des Moines Home and Garden Show!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dated Oak Transforms to Restoration Look

At TLC Vintage Collection, central Iowa headquarters for Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan, we are constantly looking for easy applications that can quickly transform dated decor. I know that in Des Moines, Iowa and around the country, there are plenty of these dark oak kitchen cabinets or doors from the 1970s or later (or earlier for that matter). Heavy, dark and not to interesting. But not for long!

Here is what you need to do, and as usual the prep work is the least fun and most tedious. But with any project, you need a clean canvas for your paint. If the wood is in the kitchen, use a degreaser first, then wash with Dawn dishsoap and hot water, followed by a rinse of clear water. If not in the kitchen, you can skip the degreaser!

I was challenged by one of my commercial customers, who is a faux finisher, to produce the Restoration Hardware look over a varnish finish. Below is a Restoration Hardware sideboard. Their work is normally on raw wood, and varies in shades of greys, blacks, browns and tan/whites. But we do not want to go to the work, dust, caustic material needed to get down to raw wood. It is unnecessary if you are using Chalk Paint®, which will adhere to almost any surface.

photo from Restoration Hardware product catalogue on line

I grabbed an old oak cabinet door (if you know my work room, you know that almost anything is at hand!) My customer had photos of existing furnishings she was trying to match in a kitchen so I thought that what we needed were layers of Graphite, French Linen, Coco and Paris Grey. We would also need a paint brush, and then a wax brush for the Clear Soft Wax. 

This method uses very little paint compared to fully painting kitchen cabinets, because we are dry brushing each and every coat!  There is not a true full coat of any color. You add each one to the amount that produces the depth of color you are working towards. Our first layer was Graphite.

When dry brushing, I like to put a little paint on my brush, then discharge most of the dampness onto a piece of cardboard. Your brush is very nearly dry when you paint with it. Our purpose here is that we will not totally cover up the grain of the wood, but allow it to show through. Paint with the direction of the grain. Graphite helps define that grain first before we layer more colors, so the coat of Graphite is a little heavier than the others to give us a base to work on. 

Each coat is allowed to dry before adding the next. Feathering on paint through dry brushing allows us to whisper the paint on -- just picking up the high points in the previous coat of paint. While I have shown one of Annie's beautiful paint brushes in the photo, I do find that my oldest, cheapest roughest chip brush is what I like to dry brush with more often than not. 

I followed Graphite with French Linen.....

Then Coco......

And finally Paris Grey to make the board look as if it had highlights.

When dry, three coats of Clear Soft Wax were applied a day apart each. Since there is little paint on the board, we need to give each coat a little time to cure before adding the next so we have a strong bond. A little sanding with 200 grit sandpaper helps blend the edges of each color together.

After the third coat is hardened in a few days, you can buff if you wish. But personally I like the matte look of Restoration Hardware, so I did not buff this wax.

A trendy look for some old cabinets at a fraction of the cost! You can enjoy your thriftiness and the compliments you will be getting from all your visitors! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Chalk Paint® + Texture + Wax = Sense of Age and Patina

At TLC Vintage Collection, central Iowa headquarters for Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan, we keep experimenting with the types of finishes we can come up with. After all, we want our customers to always experience something new and a little different when they walk through our shop door.

So I had some time when working on some new products this week to finally work on a small door that I've had for some time and wanted to do something special with its beautiful carved panel. I wanted it to look old, a little crusty and as if it was metal that had developed patina over time. So here it is!

First we painted the entire piece with Emile -- a beautiful light purple color. While the paint was still wet, I sprinkled it in areas with sawdust. When all was dry, I intermittently painted various areas with Napoleonic Blue, Greek Blue and Florence. I then used a scraper and knocked off a lot of the paint covered, built up sawdust. I also sanded the piece to blend the colors. Next, it was waxed with Annie Sloan's Clear Soft Wax, and then some Dark Soft Wax. The final bit was to add some touches of Renaissance Gilding Wax that I feathered on here and there with a fluffy artist brush.

Among my collection of antique hardware, I found this sweet lion whose open mouth is a keyhole as a finishing touch of uniqueness. I am not sure I can part with this one!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

January Newsletter -- Volume 20

Happy New Year!

TLC Vintage Collection, Central Iowa Headquarters for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®, is off to a roaring start! We have rearranged the entire showroom and display area to afford better lighting for customers choosing colors. There is a research area, plus a new spindle paint display (Anthropologie-style, we like to think) in our front window! We have lots of ideas of what we want to do and share this year so stay tuned!

What's New?

Mini Clear Soft and Dark Soft Waxes! These cute containers arrived in December and are approximately 1/4 of a normal tin of our Annie Sloan Soft Wax. Since the wax does not spoil, for economy sake, we still recommend most customers purchase the 500 ml tin which is priced at $26.50. The small tins are priced at $15, so are no bargain unless you are doing the very rare project -- and a small one at that, such as picture frames or a small side table. The large tin covers approximately 300-350 SF if you use a wax brush; half that if applied with a cloth. The small tins cover approximately 75 SF if applied with a brush.

Color Mixing Scrapbooks! We are in the process of creating two books of color combinations to help you discover the endless colors you can create by mixing Chalk Paint®! These scrapbooks will be available to consult when you are in the store. Each page is titled by one of Annie's 32 colors, such as Antibes and there is a swatch at the top of the sheet. After that you see, Antibes mixed with all the other colors individually at one part to one part! 32 swatches and different hues and shades on each page! Slow going, but we already have two available to view -- Antibes and Antoinette!

Tips of the Month!

Baby, it's cold outside! So be sure to protect your Chalk Paint® from freezing. Move it into the house and out of unheated garages and outbuildings during the winter months! While up to 3 freeze cycles may not hurt the paint quality, why risk it?

TLC Vintage loves to see your before and after project photos and we like to share them with other customers on our Facebook page and Blog (! Please email us your photos at Include a description of the colors and processes you used as someone always asked so we would like to use this information when we post them!

You Can Help Us!

Please interact with our Facebook page by visiting at least once in a while and posting a comment. Facebook is continually changing  their method of operation and we need your active interaction of a comment in order for our posts to be seen in newsfeeds. Thank you so much as social media is important to us. Here are our addresses where you can find us on social media! is our web page where you can buy many of the products we carry in the shop and have them shipped to you! is our blog where we are trying to post once a week including one tutorial per month. is our Facebook pages where we try to post something of interest once or twice per day is the TLC Twitter account where you can follow us. Normally these posts occur when we post on Pinterest or the blog, but we post here randomly
. is where you will find TLC Vintage Collection boards on Pinterest. If you are currently not on Pinterest, let us know and we will send you an invitation! is where you will find us on Instagram, though we are just getting started there and feeling our way along! More in 2015!

Workshop Schedule!

Wear paint appropriate clothing for all classes and we provide the rest: folder of notes, sample boards, refreshments. In-store discounts day of class. All classes are 3 hours and cost $85 per person. If two or more people group together and one person signs them up or they come in together to book, we give a 10-15 pct discount for each person.

Chalk Paint® 101 Plus!
Six paint techniques plus clear and dark wax methods! $85 per person in advance.
Jan 10: Noon to 3 pm
Feb 7: Noon to 3 pm      Mar 7: Noon to 3 pm
Apr 11: Noon to 3 pm    

Chalk Paint® 201 Amazing Finishes!
More amazing paint techniques of Annie Sloan!  Crackle, frottage, rococo & more! $85 per person in advance.
Jan 31: Noon to 3 pm   Mar 21: Noon to 3 pm

Chalk Paint® Kitchen Cabinets & Built-ins! 
How to renew your dated cabinets at a fraction of the cost without replacement! $85 per person in advance.
Feb 28: Noon to 3 pm       Apr 18: Noon to 3 pm

Wood Icing(TM)
Ice wood like icing a cake. Texture paste to add a permanent dimension to any surface! Lace, wood, reptile, stencil & more. $85 per person in advance.
Nov 22: Noon to 3 pm   Feb 21: Noon to 3 pm

Artisan Enhancements Special Effects!
Crackle, Pearl Plaster, Transfer Gel, Gilding Foil! Fun beyond description! $85 per person in advance.
Dec 20: Noon to 3 pm    Mar 14: Noon to 3 pm

Peeling Paint, Crust & Crud!
Perfect for the junker who wants to blend a newer piece or add a more rustic finish to an item to blend in. Peeling off paint, layers of crust and crud. $85 per person in advance.
Jan 17: Noon to 3 pm

Introduction to Milk Paint
A variety of applications for the use of Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint. Wax distress, layering, staining and more!
Dec 13: 9 am to noon     Mar 28: Noon to 3 pm

Chalk Paint Fabric & Upholstery
First time offering. How to update your look at home using Chalk Paint on fabric and upholstery -- leather, damask and more!
Jan 24: Noon to 3 pm

Studio Time: $25 per hour by appointment. Rate adjusted per person if more than one. You purchase materials to use from TLC Vintage. Tutoring or project oversight. We also do custom  painting.

Girls Night Out! Pinot & Paint Therapy!
Put together a group of friends and spend 3 hours in the studio painting finishes you choose. Cost dependent on materials used but generally minimum of  $300 for your group up to 6-8 people. You bring the wine, we provide the cheese and paint! Dates/fees negotiable.

Class Size & Cancellation Policy: We maintain the right to refund your money or arrange for a different date if we do not have the 3-4 people necessary  to make a class viable. If you are ill or weather prevents travel, you may reschedule to another date within six months of the date you originally scheduled. If your plans change, we need a two-week notice before the class date if you want to be rescheduled. Under two weeks, there is no refund but if your spot is filled we will allow you to reschedule. Otherwise, your fee is forfeited.

TLC Vintage Collection
7518 Hickman Road
Windsor Heights (Des Moines) IA 50324
Telephone: 515-276-1577 (shop)
M-F 10  am to 5 pm  Saturday 10 am to 3 pm
Closed for federal holidays and Sundays