Theofano Interior Design Blogs

All about Interior Design, craft, making, painting, fabrics, wallcoverings, art and much more

‘Talking Chalk’ -Annie Sloan Chalk Paint-First Impressions

I’ve recently had a change of career, from teaching Interior Design to working in design with the Theofano team, so as you can imagine, I was a little out of touch with new products on the market.

Interior Design is taught in many FE colleges as part of construction, and in the college where I had worked, we came under the ‘Painting and Decorating’ umbrella. I thought I had a good basic knowledge of eggshell, matt, silk finishes etc., as far as paint went, and to be perfectly honest, with what little knowledge and experience I had gained of the Annie Sloan chalk paint range, I had assumed that it was mainly about branding and tasteful colour palettes. How wrong I was!

My first contact with Annie Sloan products was one of my creative highlights of 2016! Like all the Sloan fans who now come into Theofano’s I firmly believe that her chalk paint can change your life. I can now spend hours ‘talking chalk’ with other fans!

A little bit about Theofano chalk paint workshops. To work with a product, you need to learn about it. To learn about it, you need to actually use it. It was an absolute pleasure to be booked on to the chalk paint workshop at Theofano’s in November 2016, and to meet the other learners. We were each given a sheet of plywood, and from there we spent the morning, under Maureen’s guidance, applying different products to the surface. The results were astonishing.Before you even put the brush to the surface, you have to understand that chalk paint needs no or very little prep.

I was ready to sand the bare surface of the board, and this in itself, if you are used to working with regular painting and decorating products, requires a whole new way of thinking. No prep! A huge time saver already. After that you have to marvel at the wonderful matt finish which chalk paint has. Matter than any matt paint I have ever worked with before. As designers, we do understand how silk finishes can go out of fashion, and how certain finishes can become fads, but the chalk matt finish is more than just a paint. The thickness of the product is sturdy, like very thick whipped cream, and it is a low VOC, healthy organic recipe, making the experience of using it very satisfying in itself!

From the introduction to Annie Sloan products, I went on to experiment with them in my own home, and I look forward to blogging about my projects soon, but for now I hope Sloan fans will have enjoyed my first blog here about chalk paint and please feel free to leave your comments below.

Looking forward to writing soon!

Patricia Carter (Theofano team)


Featured post

Retro chest of drawers project


Hello readers, I hope you are having a lovely day. Here at Theofano, we are preparing for our new window display, which will feature some Harlequin fabrics and wallcoverings from the Scion range Noukku collection.1-Noukku-Alt-Image-WP.jpg

We acquired a chest of drawers from our friends Conlan’s Restoration in Padiham, Lancashire. It was in its original state when it arrived, ready to paint!


We chose to paint the drawers in Annie Sloan chalk paint, mixing colours old white with graphite. For the outer edges we added more graphite. The decoupage on the drawer fronts was created using Scion’s wallpaper Ristikko.


Here are some images of the finished piece. It was very quick and easy to transform, and it has been finished in Annie Sloan’s clear wax to protect from knocks and scuffing.

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Hope you like it! Until next time, have a lovely week and see you soon. Thanks for reading.

Patricia X


Feature fabric – Romo ‘Acacia’

Hello readers! Today we wanted to tell you all about a favourite fabric of ours, ‘Acacia‘by Romo, from their ‘Cubis‘ collection.


We were briefed by one of our clients to dress the windows in a holiday cottage in the beautiful South Lakes district. We needed a simple design in refined colours to work in an area heavily dominated by natural beauty, cobbled streets and charming shops and restaurants.


The Cubis collection is incredibly versatile, with its timeless designs, from stripes to patterns, in brushed cotton linen. Its one of our ‘go to’ collections.

We chose the ‘stone’ colourway for the cottage, and the client was delighted with the results. romo acacia close up.JPG

Brushed cotton linen, ‘Linara’ is perfect in a practical sense for interior designers. It has suitability for curtains, drapes and upholstery, with a 30,000 Martindale rub test.

Acacia is available in seven different colour ways and we have a wide selection of Romo fabrics at Theofano interiors at Whalley.

Come in and see us to view the collection. We are open 9.30 – 5.30 and Saturdays from 10 until 1 pm.

Bookcase Project – a ‘muddy Mondrian’

Hello again readers!

This blog is for my latest paint project.

Just a simple crate, in soft pine with no decorative bits and pieces. When Maureen asked me to paint it, I thought it would be a breeze- straight forward and fast. It wasn’t.

However, I’m able to give you some advice on the process of painting in this style so before you set out, do have a quick read.

The brief I gave myself was ‘Bauhaus/Mondrian/Muddy/Urban’ – I wanted to make the shape and form of the bookshelves a statement, so I knew I had to rely on blocking in with different colours to the horizontal and vertical planes. Hence Bauhaus/Mondrian. But the colours were going to be earthy. This piece will feature in the Spring 2017 window for the shop so Annie’s colour palette was used, and I went for earthy muddy colours with a Greek Blue accent.bookcase5

The first stages were collecting the colours together, obviously there is no prep needed so straight on with two main colours- graphite and olive.


Paris grey was Maureens choice for the next major colour, and I started working the accent colour into the smaller, slimmer areas of the bookshelf.


So, if you will take my advice, work with chisel tipped artist paint brushes on those smaller edges. I didn’t and I struggled. It was time consuming. Also, add water to your paint on the intricate lines. It will help with flow and fluidity. The chalk paint can be too claggy for a small brush. Heres another important tip, an object like this has many surfaces. From the outset, it looks like a very simple form, but it actually has many surfaces, and when you are doing a wide colour palette, you will be washing brushes and waiting for drying times quite a lot, so be prepared. This has been at least two days of work.bookcase6

The colour palette we chose was recorded in an Annie Sloan workbook which we keep in the shop.We added versailles and cream to some of the slats and boards on the piece and soon it looked like it was coming together.


The last thing I did was to add wax. Black wax to the graphite was stunning and I also usd some clear wax on the lighter edges to stop scuffing.


So here we have the finished bookshelf crate, in ‘muddy mondrian’ style!  It should be in the window from next week, at Theofano’s in Whalley, Lancashire. Hope you like it.

See you soon,

Patricia X

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