What I learned in New Orleans




As I posted previously- I was in New Orleans for the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ stockists conference.  Those of us that sell the paint gathered to learn and to take workshops, brainstorm with others and just generally have a good time in a beautiful city.

One of the things I took away was the importance of photography.  I already knew it was important, I have taken courses and really enjoy it, but because most of my before and afters are taken in my shop it was very difficult to stage the setting for the photos.

And then I started chit chatting with a stockist from Wales.  She and her partner had showed me how they take their shots on a brick wall outside of their shop.  They look really great, but I don’t have a brick wall.

And then later Annie thought how beautiful everything looked against a black/graphite wall.  Well this I could do.  So today, my first day back, I painted a section of my wall in Amsterdam green so that I can now stage my before and afters in the shop and hopefully they will have more impact.

I can’t stage in my home.  I won’t, actually.   Driving back and forth with furniture for a good photo is silly.  So I think I have achieved the next best thing.

And it is kind of fun.  I think I will paint another piece of the wall in a different colour just to mix it up a bit.

So….about the furniture!

In my first shop I bought a small chest of drawers, I painted it and put it on display.  Nobody really looked at it- not sure why, but it happens.  So now that I am in a new place I want to put more things outside to catch peoples eyes.  I painted the chest of drawers in Monet Blue.  (this is a European colour only).

Then I clear waxed, sanded, dark waxed and set it out.



It looked funny to me.  And then I figured out why!  The handles.  I can’t really explain why, perhaps the handles were cheap looking, too dainty for the furniture or I just simply didn’t like them-  but they were not working.  So I took them off, filed in the holes, sanded, painted waxed and then drilled new holes for new handles….and this is where we are now!

Strong colour blue and cute white handles.  Much better!


The handles are ceramic with a gold screw in the centre.  I think they work well with this piece.



I have only lightly distressed and added a bit of dark wax to give it dimension.






And this is my inspired attempt at staging.  I plan to have fun with it, I think it is a huge improvement, for sure!  I have also left my tripod at my shop so that I can take photos in the difficult lighting and lack of space I have in my shop.

If you are wondering why Monet Blue is a European colour only- different parts of the world have different pigments.  When Annie Sloan was mixing the U.S. paints- the pigments were not the same as the original European colours.  So for example:  I have Original, Monet Blue, Amsterdam Green, Sienna Yellow- which the North American stockists don’t have.

And the North American stockist have Nepoleonic Blue- which is beautiful—-and I don’t have that!



5 thoughts on “What I learned in New Orleans

  1. Hi Sherri! Glad your back from your trip to New Orleans…I’m sure you have a lot share! Love your new staging wall…great idea! I need a photography class or two. I’ll send pics of my chair but they’ll just be from my phone. Ill do my best. The stockist I buy my ASCP from told me Original is 50/50 Old White and Pure White. Its really a nice white!
    Have a nice day!

    1. June, I wouldn’t say it is a mix of Pure and Old White. Original actually has a touch of yellow in it- it is a very like creamy white. I can’t wait to see your chair!

  2. June G

    I guess I’ll just have to live without the original “Original” Ha! I meant to say also that the knobs over handles on the chest is nice improvement and should appeal to more buyers…hopefully!

    June 🙂

  3. Love the drawers! I too always struggle getting great pics, due to lighting more than anything. I sometimes end up using the lasso tool in photoshop, to cut out the item & put on a bright white background, time consuming though. Interesting that in the Uk we have different colours, didn’t know that. Your painted lamp is so quirky! Great post…:)

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