Creating Custom Color with Americana® Decor™Chalky Finish Paint

Sometimes it's hard to find just the right shade for your project. Today, I will be talking about mixing a custom color as well as showing you a new paint, Americana® Decor™ Chalky Finish. This paint requires no stripping or prepping just like other furniture paints I have used before on Pretty Distressed. You can paint right over your existing finish. The most exciting thing about this paint is that it is really easy to find. It is sold on as well as in your local Hobby Lobby and other craft and hardware stores.

Right now, I am in the thick of finishing up my gender neutral nursery before baby arrives in the upcoming month. I am reusing and repurposing most of the items I had for my daughter's nursery to save some money. This little nightstand is the perfect companion to sit next to my oversized plush rocker. I will be spending lots of time in this thing day and night, so it is a must to have a nightstand to hold my water and Amazon Kindle Fire for late night binge watching while I feed baby. Downton Abbey got me through my last baby.

A couple of years back, my mother refinished this sweet little nightstand we found at Target with some spray paint and acrylic paint when I had my daughter. With the pink highlights, I knew this needed a makeover for my little foxes nursery. It is hard to paint something that has nothing wrong with it, but it is also nice to save the cash by repurposing it and not having to buy brand new. This little project only cost me about $20 in paint, and I have a lot left over for future projects.

chalk paint navy

To achieve this navy color I was looking for I had to custom mix a couple of colors. Like I mentioned above, I used Americana® Decor™ Chalky Finish paint in Carbon and Legacy. I am not an expert in color theory, so if you are like me just simply do a internet search on the color you are wanting to achieve and mix away. I recommend doing a color card like you see below and playing with your paint ratio before you mix a whole batch for your piece. Using a heavy card stock works best for creating a color card like this, and you can store it for future use. I use a teaspoon to mix my proportions evenly. For this project, I wanted a deep navy, so I ended up going with the 1:1 ratio on the card.
americana decor chalky finish

Here is what the paint looks like. As I mentioned, you can buy it on,, at Hobby Lobby and some other craft stores. If you click on the images below, you can buy them directly from (I will receive a small percentage from Amazon of this sale if you use these links. See my full disclosure page.) You can also buy Americana® Decor™ waxes and other finishing products as well as brushes. I have my own brushes and used my Annie Sloan Soft Wax that I had on hand, so I can't offer my opinion on those products.

I was really happy with the paint though. I ended up doing around three coats to achieve the coverage I wanted. And while this paint is perfect for creating a shabby, distressed look, I decided to keep it sleek and modern. It is going to look perfect in the nursery which I hope to take you on a tour of soon.

That is my take on Americana® Decor™ Chalky Finish paint. Are you interested in checking it out? Any questions about mixing a custom color? Let me know what you think.

Duck Egg Blue Love

It's my favorite kind of day here at Pretty Distressed- a reveal day. I recently got to refinish this roll top desk and was totally grateful that my client let me come shoot it in her home.

duck egg blue

I have been wanting to refinish a desk for a long time, and I literally jumped for joy when she selected Duck Egg Blue (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®) as her color. I have done accent pieces in this color all over my house, but have never been brave enough to paint an entire piece with it. I used Old White on the back of the desk to provide a little contrast and didn't wax it so it has a nice chalky look. The hardware was also painted with Old White and finished with Annie Sloan Clear Wax.
pretty distressed

She is a girl after my own heart and really let me distress the tar out of this thing. I also used a lot of Annie Sloan Dark Wax to antique it even farther. I shot this piece in its new home, an amazing three season porch off their kitchen with tons of windows and natural light. The thing that got me most excited is how well the Duck Egg Blue looks against the rust colored concrete floor. Gorge!

annie sloan roll top desk
I am very excited to add this beauty to my portfolio and am thinking I need to find a piece to paint Duck Egg Blue for my home. How about you? Would you be brave enough? If you have doubts, I hope this piece puts them at ease.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission on products you buy through these links.

Modern Chairs to Aged Beauties

This week I finished up a set of chairs to go with my recent antique kitchen table I completed for a client. Another great thing about painting furniture is that you don't have to have a complete matching dining or kitchen set. These chairs are originally from Pier 1 Imports and had a black finish with red distressing coming through. I painted them with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® in Coco to match the table.

I did minimal distressing on these because I didn't want any of that red paint peeking through. These were finished off with a coat of Annie Sloan Clear Wax and Dark Wax. These chairs went from looking dark and modern to rich and cozy. I am really digging their new look.

Dining tables and chairs are no joke. It has taken me quite a while to finish this project, but it was oh so worth it. The results make it all worth it.

Chalk Paint® Quick Tip - Painting a Decorative Leg

I have had a very busy weekend. After a long break from painting, I now have three client pieces sitting in my workshop, aka my garage. So, I will have lots of reveals coming down the pike soon, and it feels so good to be painting again!

One of these pieces is an antique table with some great detailed carving on the apron and legs that I am painting in Coco. I was inspired to pick up the camera and show all of you how I paint a piece with beautiful detail like this when I am using Chalk Paint®. This stuff is so amazing with detail, but there is a little trick for making the it really stand out.

If you are new to painting, I have some more in depth tutorial videos for working with Chalk Paint decorative paint by Annie Sloan. I am hoping to do some more of these "quick tips" as I get inspired. If there is anything you would like me to cover, leave a comment below or shoot me a note. Happy Painting!

Using a Polycrylic Sealer with Chalk Paint®

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Update: I recently filmed a video comparing wax and General Finishes High Performance Top Coat that is comparable to Polycrylic. Check it out. 

I have another client reveal to share with you today. This is the second job I have completed for her, and again she brought me a gorgeous family heirloom. She grew up eating at this table. Now, she gets to gather around it with her own little ones and make some new memories.

painted kitchen table

Like I mentioned, this table has already lived a long life. So, the top was pretty beat up, and its finish was peeling in spots. Normally, I don't sand before painting, but I wanted the paint to go on smoothly since I was using white and it is a table top. I got my

orbital sander

out and used a medium sandpaper, 80 grit, to smooth it out.

The client selected

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® in Old White

which I know you see a lot of on my site, but it truly goes with anything. It has so much more depth than your average pure white, and also really helps dark wood shine through when you are distressing.

I went back and forth for a couple of days deciding if I would wax the top of the table or use some sort of poly finish. There is a lot of debate out there on the topic, and I think I read every article I could find. After reading, this



Jennifer Rizzo

, I decided since this is a kitchen table going into a home full of toddlers, that a durable polycrylic sealer with a Satin finish would be the way to go.

Here is what I used.

I did three coats, and the key to getting a smooth finish with no streaks is a quality brush. Seriously, spend the extra $3 by only buying a brush in the "best" category or you will not be happy. 

chalk paint

The polycrylic does give a glossier look than wax would, but I was really happy with its clarity- absolutely no yellowing! I did wax the legs of the table and the combination of sealers really worked well. The piece still looks cohesive, and my anxiety level is way lower knowing my client will be using this table multiple times a day. I think I am still "Team Wax," but for really heavy traffic pieces I would promote using a polycrylic sealer.

old white
Painted kitchen table
white kitchen table
white kitchen table

My client sent me a pic of her whole family around the table enjoying a big Father's Day Breakfast yesterday. What a joy overload, seeing something like that makes all the hard work worth it. 

Are there any other Chalk Paint and Poly fans out there? I would love to know are you "Team Wax" or "Team Poly?"

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