Annie Sloan (born in 1949) is an artist, colour expert and creator, known best for her revolutionary Chalk Paint®. Born in Australia, she moved to England when she was 10 years old with her Scottish father and Fijian mother. Described by the Telegraph as one of 'Britain’s most influential female designers’, she has changed the paint industry with her innovative and high-quality products.
Annie Sloan didn’t begin in the interiors and decorating realm, rather she attended university to train as a fine artist. It wasn’t until the 1970s, after she had graduated, that she turned her skills to decorating. She undertook a variety of jobs, from art restoration to being commissioned to create murals, for which she often used her own hand-made paint. Unbeknownst to her at the time, this would lead to her world-wide success.
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Her decorating career continued, but this time as an author. Her first book, The Complete Book of Decorative Paint Techniques was released in 1988, offered inspiration and guidance on paint finishes from blocking and stencilling to stippling and printing. Since then, she has gone on to write and publish 26 books, all on varying topics surrounding paint, colour, and interior design.
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In 1990, Annie Sloan’s career took a turn when she realised there was a gap in the market for a high-quality paint that could be used for multiple decorative effects and techniques. She wanted to create a paint that could be used on a multitude of surfaces, so, after partnering with a Belgian factory, she was able to produce and sell her home-made paints, marking the beginning of Chalk Paint®.
Setting up her first shop in Oxford, where she still lives with her husband, she used the space to not only showcase her Chalk Paint®, but also host workshops and offer clients her Interior Design services. Fast forward 20 odd years, she now has over 1,000 independent shops selling her paints.
So, what is Annie Sloan up to now? Well, alongside her best-selling paint, she has launched a new project called House of Garnett, which is 'a space to inspire creative self expression through thoughtful, curated, one-off pieces for the home.' As part of this new project she has collaborated with ArA Design Studio to create beautifully hand-painted tiles, each individual tile decorated by Annie Sloan herself. Named the Orlando tile, she has used a technique called sgraffito, where layers of paint or slip are scratched away to reveal contrasting colours beneath it. There are a limited number of 50 tiles in the collection, each one signed and numbered.