I recently visited a friend in Atlanta and she mentioned re-doing one of her tables with chalk paint. At the time she was considering taking a class on how to apply it ... and I remember thinking, "Why? it's just chalkboard paint!" But that's where I was wrong.
Chalk paint, I discovered, is something I've admired for quite some time but had no idea that it was the actual chalk paint I was admiring. And now, I have found a beautiful studio where I can be inspired to upcycle many of my older pieces.
Stoughton's Studio 184 occupies a light and airy space in downtown. Its owners, Cindy and Barry Gazso, will likely greet you as you walk in and even show you a few Annie Sloan painting techniques right on the spot. Annie Sloan is the leader in chalk paint and if you catch her videos, you'll probably be moved to paint that old dresser you've been wanting to change for years. If you're like me, you'll start down a bunny hole of video tutorials and wonder how you've missed out on the trend for so long.
RELATED: Watch an Annie Sloan tutorial
By the way, chalk paint remains so appealing because it's beautiful but it is also very easy to apply - there's no sanding or priming involved. Different techniques help produce different results, so it may be worth looking into a class. Since it's likely different from the way you've been painting all these years, a class is a good investment.
Owners Barry and Cindy have a background in professional design and live as true artists. They appear friendly and lovely and leave you wanting to come back for another lesson. Their mantra is upcycling and they're all about old school professional service. When I shopped there, I felt at ease. I will be back to take one of their workshops!
AND GET THIS - They have an event coming up in Madison this weekend for a GREAT cause. They will be at the grand opening of the Habitat for Humanity Restore shop in Monona! It's Saturday from 9 to 5 on Monona Drive. There will be Chalk Paint seminars at 11 and 3:30 plus lots of entertainment, food and music. I can't wait to stop by... maybe I'll see you!