Monday, November 6, 2017

Important Announcement!

The blog "Paintbrush and Pearls" has not been active for several years. To see my most current Website please visit For more information on the current Annie Sloan Stockist please visit

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My New Blog - Brocante Home Collection "le Blog"

I have recently combined my blogs Brocante Home and Paintbrush and Pearls into a NEW blog called simply "le Blog". If you are currently receiving one or both of these blogs, your email address has been added to my "le Blog" email list so you will continue to receive updates and all the tips and tutorials about painting with Chalk Paint®. If you are not receiving my new posts, you can continue to receive them in your email box by signing up HERE

I hope you have enjoyed reading all about home decor, my two shops and my adventurers with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan and look forward to keeping in touch.

To learn about Chalk Paint® please visit my website, Brocante Home Collection, or click on the tabs above.

à bientôt! Rachel   

Thursday, July 10, 2014

New! Annie Sloan Fragrances

The Annie Sloan Fragrance collection is here! 

Using only the finest ingredients, including organically grown flowers and essences, Annie has selected each element of her home fragrance collection with the assistance of a leading British fragrance expert whose clients include the British Royal Family as well as luxury stores such as Harrods and Liberty.

Annie Sloan says of her Collection:  “It has been inspired by the places in France that evoke for me a special atmosphere of their own.”  (They also neatly link with colors from the Chalk Paint® line.)

Candles and Diffusers come in elegant cellophane-wrapped boxes featuring a custom design based on the textile traditions of Toile de Jouy, one of Annie Sloan’s favorite types of fabric, in her Fabric Collection.

The candles are made from the cleanest, greenest paraffin wax and, with pure cotton wicks, they burn cleanly and evenly. Each one is hand-blended and poured into a 3.5" glass container. 

The reed diffusers come in an elegant glass bottle and stopper, with ten reeds. 

We are introducing them in our Richmond Shop this week, so be sure to stop by. I know you will love the fragrances -  I'm already a big fan of Paris! 

Happy Painting!   Rachel

P.S. - This Tuesday in "le atelier" in Richmond, I will be completing the striped wall painted with "Provence". To sign up for my next Workshop: Chalk Paint® Workshops

To see more tips, tutorials, photos: Paintbrush and Pearls . To follow my shop blog: "le Blog".

Find Rachel on:


Brocante Home is the exclusive Chalk Paint® Stockist for Richmond VA and the Northern Neck
Look for the Chalk Paint® logo to be sure you are being taught by an Annie Sloan teacher and stockist

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Painting Stripes on Walls with Chalk Paint®

I'm going to show you today just how fun and easy it is to paint stripes on your walls using Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan.

Step One: Measure and Mark

Wall at Shop Before / Measuring the Wall

To get stripes a uniform width, I first measured the length of the wall I wanted to paint. In this case, it was a wall at my shop in Richmond that was needing a little bit of life. I wanted a large stripe, around 12" vertical. The wall measured approximately 15 feet, so that meant I could easily fit the 12" stripes across.

Using a tape measure I then marked off the twelve inches all the way down the top length of the wall and repeated in the middle and finally the bottom or baseboard.

Step Two: Apply Painters Tape

Apply Painters Tape / Stripes Taped on Wall

Apply the tape first across the top and then across the bottom of the wall. Next, starting at the top outline the area you are going to paint. To do this, attach the tape on the outside of the stripe. If you are lucky, you will be painting over any pencil marks. To get the line straight, I simply let the tape roll fall to the floor and then I lined it up with my marks. Easy!!

Step Three: Paint the Stripes

Cut in on Bottom of Wall / Painting the Stripes

Paint your stripe with your choice of Chalk Paint®, I used Provence. After the first coat was dry, I painted a second. 

Step Four: Remove the Tape - Done!

Finished Wall

Now the fun part! Pull off the tape before the paint has dried (just easier). And you are done!

Happy Painting!   Rachel

Chalk Paint® and supplies are available at my two shops:
4323 Irvington Rd., Irvington, VA and 
2012 Staples Mill Rd.Richmond, VA

To see more tips, tutorials, photos: Paintbrush and Pearls

Want to see more? Find Rachel on:


Brocante Home is the exclusive Chalk Paint® Stockist for Richmond VA and the Northern Neck

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Layering with Chalk Paint®

Color Wash of Pure White over Color Wash of Greek Blue over French Linen.
Soft Clear Wax to finish.

Please visit my new website for more on Chalk Paint®

I use layering techniques quite often in my painting as I like the look of a worn patina, like the piece has been painted over the years and the paint has worn gently off. I have found that using Chalk Paint® is so much easier to use than with other paints to get this look.

There are several methods you can use, I often combine them  - there is no right or wrong way. Here are a few of my favorites:

Note: Unless I am aiming to show some of the underlying wood I usually paint a first coat solidly over the clean, dry piece and let dry. I also use Annie's paintbrushes and the Ultimate Wax brush unless stated otherwise. The right brush does make a difference!

Wet Distress: 

Add a light second coat of another color. When the paint is almost dry (I think of it as soft), I take a baby wipe or damp cloth and wipe back in places to the first coat. Keep adding colors to get the look you want.

Color Washes: 

This is a favorite in my The Basics Workshop. Apply a second coat of a color wash, wiping back immediately. I try to do this in straight lines with the grain, from one side to the other. Repeat with more colors if you want. To make a color wash, mix the paint with 1/2 to 1/3 distilled water. I find that a mix of 2/3 paint to 1/3 water works for me.

Waxed Paint Finish: 

This is a technique that Annie introduced in her book, Color Recipes for Painted Furniture, available at both shops. Wax over the first coat with Annie's Clear Soft Wax, wiping off the excess. Before the wax dries, brush a color wash over it, immediately wiping back with a soft cloth. This is one instance where a small chippy or china brush works well.

Dry Brushing: 

Dip the brush into the paint, wiping off any excess, then wipe off more on a paper plate. You want the brush to be "dry". Brush over the first coat in "sweeps". Better to do this a little at a time, it's easier to add more than take off. Again, I use a chippy brush for this.

Wet Brushing for a Mottled Effect: 

Here's a fun way to paint! Dip one side of your brush into one color and the other side into a second color, then paint. Or, using two or more brushes, dip each into a different color paint then alternate them on the piece. The paint will "mix" as you brush it on, creating even more colors.

Although the colors do not have to close in tone, I have found that this makes for a harmonious look, but by all means, if you like Antibes over Emperor's Silk, go right ahead!

With most of my projects, I like to paint a sample board or test on the side of the piece before committing to the entire piece. But sometimes you just have to trust that the piece will tell you how it wants to be painted.

The complete line of Annie's Chalk Paint®, brushes and other supplies are available at both shops.

I also teach these techniques in my two Workshops, The Basics and Beyond The Basics, so if you want to learn more, please join me in one of my next Chalk Paint® Workshops. For more information or to register online:

Happy Painting!   Rachel

Chalk Paint® and supplies are available at my two shops:
4323 Irvington Rd., Irvington, VA and 804-438-6404
2012 Staples Mill Rd.Richmond, VA 804-447-2868

To see more tips, tutorials, photos: Brocante Home Collection

Want to see more? Find Rachel on:


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Why I ❤ Annie Sloan!

This past month I had the opportunity to meet again with Stockist at the Annual Stockist Conference. The highlight of the conference for me is the pleasure of watching Annie paint! Watching her paint, you realize (again) why you love her products so much. Here is why I love Annie and her paint.

The Colors:

Chalk Paint® comes in 31 luscious colors that can be mixed and blended to make almost any other color or shade or tint. I personally love her colors right out of the can and usually just add a little Old White for a lighter tint or layer two or more colors. But, I also like to "play" with making other colors and am going to offer a Workshop on that topic in the near future.

No Sanding or Priming (no kidding): 

You've probably heard me say this a million times! But, it's true! In the three plus years that I have been painting with Chalk Paint® I have never had to sand or prime unless I am painting unfinished or damaged furniture. I may have had to "fix" something I've painted maybe twice. However, if you do have any issues, they can usually be easily be corrected (see my blog Chalk Paint® SOS).

Ease of Use of the Soft Waxes:

What  - I hear you say - I thought using the wax could be a problem! I have come to the conclusion that we just over think this. To watch Annie wax furniture was truly a revelation - she makes it look so easy that it must be!

The Patina:

Nothing is quite like the silky patina you get after buffing the waxed paint. I like to use a 600 grit sandpaper to lightly buff, but even using a cloth results in a wonderfully smooth finish.


Annie's paints are so easy to work with that you can use all of your creative juices when painting. I can create smooth, textured, distressed, layered, waxed and dozens of other finishes with her products. I use mostly her own products, but feel free to experiment.

So Annie, thank you!

Annie and me

Happy Painting!   Rachel

Chalk Paint® and supplies are available at my two shops:
4323 Irvington Rd., Irvington, VA and 
19 S. Belmont Ave. (in the heart of Carytown), Richmond, VA

To see more tips, tutorials, photos: Paintbrush and Pearls

Want to see more? Find Rachel on:


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Follow Me On Bloglovin'

If you haven't tried Bloglovin' yet, here's your chance! What is it? A way to read all your favorite blogs  (such as mine) all in one place. And it's easy to do, just set up an account with them and add all your favs to your reading list!

To follow me just click to Paintbrush and Pearls - the Bloglovin' Button is on the right, or click below. Merci! Rachel

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