Differences between Duck Egg Blue vs Svenska Blue Chalk Paint® in Litres


At a glance: Svenska Blue is lighter in color. Duck Egg Blue has more Green and is a moodier color. Both are beautiful….Duck Egg Blue has more green to it than it once did pre2019. 

Comparison of Svenska Blue and Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint, both packaged in a Litre container

2019 PACKAGING CHANGES: With the global transition of packaging with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan that happened at the beginning of 2019, a handful of colors changed slightly or a change in name happened. The changing of names impacted Paris Grey & Chicago Grey and also Duck Egg Blue & Svenska Blue. The packaging in the Quart containers has been retired. As of 2019, all of Annie’s paint is now packaged in Litres.

2019 COLORS DRIFTING:    Note that about a third of the colors in the Annie Sloan suite have drifted slightly. It only impacted some of the colors, NOT all.  And these changes were released at the beginning of 2019 and were in the Litre containers.

“Drifted” means – there has been a change. The degree of change could be subtle, in a few cases- if trying to match a past project- the change could be too major to use. Some in the sense, if you are in need of ordering paint to finish a past project OR do a touch up on a piece painted prior to 2019 or even first quarter – I STRONGLY recommend that you go and see your local stockist. They should be well informed and fully loaded with stock. It is always best to see colors first hand. Monitors – and depending on how they are calibrated – or a lack there of….may skew the color. So, if you have Chalk Paint® stockist local – go and build a relationship with them. They will be able to help you immensely! – Now, if you do not have a local stockist or anyone reasonable to drive to…. feel free to contact The Purple Painted Lady. You can message us here or call us at 585-750-6056. Ask us questions. You will want to be informed before you make a purchase. Note that about a third of the colors in the Annie Sloan suite have drifted slightly. It only ipaced some, NOT all colors and these were released at the beginning of 2019.

Speaking specifically about Duck Egg Blue compared to Svenska packaged in Litre containers => We did a Facebook LIVE on The Purple Painted Lady’s Facebook page back on Friday, January 18, 2019 at NOON Eastern Time and compared the Duck Egg from the past quart container to the new litre packaging of Duck Egg Blue. And also, paint with Svenska Blue (the European edition of the Duck Egg that was packaged in quarts in the past)

At a glance: Svenska Blue is lighter in color. Duck Egg Blue has more Green and is a moodier color. Both are beautiful….Duck Egg Blue has more green to it than it once did pre2019.

I understand that this may seem confusing and we wanted to help you make sure when you are purchasing Chalk Paint® from us or anyone in your area, that you purchase the correct color! Thus- why we did the video. So, we will be painting with all three (Duck Egg Quarts, Duck Egg in Litre packaging and Svenska Blue) We are here to answer your questions- so please feel free to leave questions here ahead of time OR …once the LIVE begins, post them then. We will upload this video to our YouTube channel once done.

The Purple Painted Lady has an online shop but always promotes and highly recommends that you go and visit your local Annie Sloan stockist! They will have physical samples for you to see in person and to compare!!

Comparison of Svenska Blue in a Litre to Duck Egg Blue packaged in the retired Quart containers


Trish always shares, “first- if you have a local stockist- go visit them and build a relationship with them.  Go to them with your questions and project issues.”  BUT- if you do not have a local stockist- we invite you to try our customer service!As for buying any of the products we mentioned earlier in this post- I hope that you select The Purple Painted Lady® to be your one stop resource!  We have two locations in western NY.  Check out our Information tab and come and meet us!  Otherwise- if you are not located near me- the following information may apply to you.   This information is directed to those who do NOT have a local stockist.  Because if you do – go and meet them, shop from them and build a relationship with them. The guidance, information and knowledge they share with you – will be invaluable.  Get inspired by their shop that they lovingly curated – just for you!   Enjoy that one on one experience!   But for those who are in a location where there is no one selling paint products- and you must buy on-line- consider us.  With that said, visit www.anniesloan.com to find a stockist near you. We are here to help you, our customers!  We want you to be successful!   SOME OF THE REASONS WE THINK THE PURPLE PAINTED LADY® CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THE BEST: *  We love our customers and it shows!*  Ordering online?  If you order before 3 pm EASTERN TIME any day Monday thru Friday – we will ship out your package that SAME day.   We ship orders out every since week day all over the US.  (THIS IS DIFFERENT than SAME DAY DELIVERY. We do not offer that)*  We offer low flat rate UPS shipping cost so if you are one town away or 10 states away- the shipping cost is the same.*  We have awesome follow up customer service, too!*  We sell Chalk Paint® for $34.95 SHOP ON LINE HERE  : )  And I will be here to help you as you progress through your future project!  And if I do say so myself- we offer the BEST customer service that you will ever experience!  Lastly- if I was helpful to you- ….please consider leaving a positive review on my Facebook business page sharing your positive experience or thoughts about The Purple Painted Lady®.  Here is a link to my Facebook page=> http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Purple-Painted-Lady/291882785710    This really helps me!  (wink, wink!)

The Purple Painted Lady® ~ the serial no. is 86/641,416 with the US Trademark Office

Chalk Paint® and General Finishes Products- Stunning Piece by Nicki!

The Purlple Painted Lady loves a good “Before & After” story.
Here is one worth the time to check out that was done by Nicki.  Nicki has a Facebook page called The Grateful Painter.  Hop on over to her Facebook page and show her some LOVE by LIKING it-  it will be worth your time because she is very talented and puts a new spin on using Chalk Paint®.
The Purple Painted Lady General Finishes Glaze High Performance Chalk Paint Nicki whole dresser
Nicki wrote me saying one of her favorite Annie Sloan colors is Duck Egg.  And The Purple Painted Lady totally agrees because it is a universal pretty color.
Nicki wanted to try a “faux finish” with Duck Egg– so this is what she wrote me:
I chose Annie Sloan Old White and French Linen to compliment it.  
Duck Egg Blue Sample Board Annie Sloan Chalk Paint  The Purple Painted Lady
French Linen with both Clear and Dark Wax Sample Board - Copy
Old White Sample Board - Copy
Annie Sloan’s paint brush works well for this technique because it has a bit of a “domed” flat top.
The Purple Painted Lady small Annie sloan Chalk Paint brush domed top
First, I poured a small amount of each color onto separate paper plates.  
(Paper plates, wet wipes, plastic spoons- have lots of these in your “painter’s tool box.”)
This is important because you only need a small amount of paint on your brush (and clean up is a breeze… just toss the plates in the garbage when you’re done!). 
I dabbed a bit of each color on my brush at the same time and kind of stippled it into the wood. Rather than brushing it on where you use the sides of the brush in a swiping motion- instead I used the top of the brush and a stabbing motion (that sounds kind of scary!). (think of stipplingor pouncing like when you are stenciling)
It took about two “coats” of this technique to cover the piece.  I even painted right over the drawer pulls!   
Once it was dry I used steel wool to slightly soften the paint.  I didn’t use sand paper because it was important for me to keep the texture created from stippling. 
I sealed the piece with three coats of General Finishes High Performance Top Coat using a Foam Brush.  I like using a foam brush because there are literally NO brush stokes!!! 
General Finishes FLAT Top Coat The Purple Painted Lady
Once the top coat was dry-  I added the glaze.  I chose General Finishes Glaze Effects in Pitch Black.  (ps The Purple Painted Lady sells this)
Run a foam brush along the edges (only do small sections at a time.. NOTE!!! This can get messy!) and then wipe away the excess using an old t-shirt. 
The Purple Painted Lady Foam Brush General Finishes
This product spreads easy so a little goes a long way!  After wiping most of the extra glaze off I buffed the rest into the surface.  The small crevices created while painting grab a hold of the glaze giving it an “antique” look.  This product is quite fool proof!  It may look intimidating but if you feel like there is too much on your piece just wipe it off with a wet rag (I did this a lot with this piece!)  Make sure to put the glaze into every corner, along each line and in every little crevice!  
I had seen a dresser that Tricia, The Purple Painted Lady had posted with big gorgeous lettering on it.  (HERE IT IS)
CoCo dresser with Dark Wax and email
In fact- if you want to read on how The Purple Painted Lady created the dresser immediately above- click HERE.
When I say it was gorgeous, i mean GORGEOUS!!  She inspired me to try a bit of stenciling.  I ordered mine on Etsy from a shop named Drexart for only $35! 
The Purple Painted Lady Nicki Counahan  Raw Stencil
Not only are her designs beautiful, she changed the wording for me and emailed me samples before sending it out! 
The Purple Painted Lady Nicki Counahan  2 CLOSE UP
Let your glaze dry overnight before using your stencil.  I applied stencil adhesive that I bought from a craft store— this made it so much easier!  I taped the edges (use blue painter’s tape, NOT masking) onto the piece just to make sure it was extra secure. 
Next, use a flat top sponge and dap it into your paint (I used Annie Sloan Graphite).  It is important to have VERY LITTLE paint on the sponge (bleed through happens when there is too much paint!).  I lightly dabbed the sponge onto my stencil and then removed the it promptly after.  This gave me time to clean up the bit of bleed through I had while the paint was still wet.  I found these amazing little Qtips in the beauty aisle that have a pointed end and they were PERFECT for evening out the lettering.  This piece had a lot of wood detailing between the drawers so the scrolls from the stencil were definitely not perfect!  I used a tiny paint brush to fill in the details where the stencil couldn’t reach.   Once I was happy with the finished product I let the piece dry overnight and then added one last coat the General Finishes High Performance Top Coat to seal in the glaze and Chalk Paint from the stencil. 
If I share any advice on Chalk Paint with a new painter it would be to JUST GO FOR IT!  One of the things I love most about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is that it is so easy to wipe away or paint over.  Using simple techniques like distressing, waxing and glazing has camouflaged so many of my screw ups and made them look intentional!  Don’t be afraid to ask questions!  There are a ton of experiences painter like Tricia, The Purple Painted Lady on Facebook forums that love to help newbies!  Be confident, have fun, and enjoy what you are doing!  The most beautiful pieces I’ve seen are from people that genuinely love what they do!!
Here are some additional STENCIL TIPS from The Purple Painted Lady:
Get paint on the brush and then blot some off…remember we are stenciling and do not want to have that much paint on our brush that it squirts under the stencil. Then with a vertical up and down motion- I blot the stencil. When it comes to stenciling- here are some tips to help you:

Stenciling Tip 1: Use a Professional Tool
Stenciling brushes are round with short, stiff bristles. Use it in a quick up-and-down movement to dab paint onto your stencil. This helps prevent paint getting under the edges. Never apply in a circular motion. A sponge or small roller works well too, but I prefer the brush.  As Nicki stated above, Annie Sloan’s domed top brushes are ideal also.

Stenciling Tip 2: Work from The Outside In

Start panting on the edges of the stencil, working into the center, rather than from the center outwards. Again this helps prevent paint getting under the edges as you’re less likely to accidentally bump the brush against an edge.

Stenciling Tip 3: Less is More
Don’t overload a brush with paint as it will bleed under the edge of the stencil. Load the brush lightly, so that the ends of the bristles are covered evenly- blot or wipe off any excess on a piece of paper or cloth.

Stenciling Tip 4: Think Thin
You will get better results by applying two thin coats rather than one thick one. Wait for the first to dry before applying the second. Do not remove your stencil until you are absolutely sure you are done.

Stenciling Tip 5: Get Sticky
Keep a stencil in place by taping it at the top and bottom with a piece of tape. Painter’s Tape works best as it’s very easy to remove and should not pull off any paint from the surface.

Stenciling Tip 6: Go Multi-Colored
To use more than one color in a stencil, use tape to mask off areas of the stencil you don’t want in a particular color so you do not forget and get carried away with the wrong color.

Stenciling Tip 7: Practice Makes Perfect
If you’re using various stencils together, first try it out on a piece of paper. It’s far easier to find out that something isn’t working at this stage versus having to try to correct it when you’re painting on your final surface.

Stenciling Tip 8: X-rated Stencils
Old x-rays are great for cutting stencils, so if you were unfortunate and have some – put them to good use.

Stenciling Tip 9: Wash Regularly
If you’re doing a repeat design, wash your stencil regularly in warm water to keep the edges free of paint. If there’s some paint on an edge, you won’t get a crisp edge to your painted stencil. As paper stencils don’t lend themselves to washing, acetate stencils are better for repeat designs. With a paper or card stencil, wipe off the excess paint, then leave the stencil for a bit so the paint on it dries, before using it again.

Stenciling Tip 10: Store stencils Flat
A stencil, obviously, needs to be flat to be usable. To stop it from buckling, put it between two pieces of cardboard and store it somewhere flat.

The Purple Painted Lady is so proud of Nicki (The Grateful Painter) and what she accomplished!  I am also honored that she shared with me that a piece I did inspired her.
When her and I started to correspond- it made me think about a video I saw on how sometimes- there are things we do, say or an event we participate in- that in general – is something we process in our history and just an ordinary moment.  But, to someone else- that “moment” could have impacted them in a great way.  Hopefully- the way we impact people is always for the better.  I watched a quick video the other day about basically just this.  It was called a “Lollipop Moment.”  If you have a second and want to see it – check it out HERE.


As for buying any of the products we mentioned earlier in this post- I hope that you select The Purple Painted Lady™ to be your one stop resource!  We have two locations in western NY.  Check out our Information tab and come and meet us!  Otherwise- if you are not located near me- the following information may apply to you.  This information is directed to those who do NOT have a local stockist.  Because if you do – go and meet them, shop from them and build a relationship with them.  The guidance, information and knowledge they share with you – will be invaluable.  But, if you are in a location where there is no one selling paint products- and you must buy on-line- consider us.  With that said, visit www.anniesloan.com to find a stockist near you.
We are here to help you, our customers!  We want you to be successful!  And, just so you know, when you place an order with The Purple Painted Lady:
*  If you order before 3pm EASTERN TIME anyday Monday thru Friday – we will ship out your package that same day.
*  We ship orders out every sincle week day all over the US.
*  We offer the lowest flat rate UPS shipping cost so if you are one town away or 10 states away- the shipping cost is the same.
*  We have awesome follow up customer service, too!
And- it is my paint sales that keep me in business and allow me to be here to help you.  (my shameless but honest plug)    Here is a link to our on-line shop=>   http://shop.thepurplepaintedlady.com/
: )  And I will be here to help you as you progress through your future project!  And if I do say so myself- we offer the BEST customer service that you will ever experience!Lastly- if I was helpful to you- ….please consider leaving a positive review on my Facebook business page sharing your positive experience or thoughts about The Purple Painted Lady.  Here is a link to my Facebook page=>  http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Purple-Painted-Lady/291882785710    This really helps me!  (wink, wink!)Thanks so much to Nicki and you for taking the time to visit our page!

Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint®- is it a blue or is it green?

What about Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint®?! Is it a blue or is it a green?

I guess you can say the answer to the question is, yes to both! It is a soft greenish blue.

Click HERE to visit our shopping cart if interested in purchasing.

Duck Egg Blue Sample Board Annie Sloan Chalk Paint  The Purple Painted Lady

The other day I wrote a little feature about Annie Sloan’s “Blue” Chalk Paint colors. I included Napoleonic Blue, Aubusson Blue, Louis Blue and even Old Violet. (You can read about it HERE) However, I left out the color Duck Egg Blue and boy, oh boy …. many of you were disappointed, to say the least! But that is because Duck Egg deserves a post all to itself! So…here it is!

First, I must share with you that I am one of the biggest fans of Duck Egg Blue. In fact- I have to consciously remind myself to not paint everything with this color because I love it that much!

Louis Blue Duck Egg Blue The Purple Painted Lady Comparison
Duck Egg Provence Comparison sample board  The Purple Painted Lady
Duck Egg Blue with Green Olive Versailles Chateau Comparison Sample Boards Labeled The Purple Painted Lady Chalk Paint

Duck Egg Blue is very easy on the eyes, and plays well with so many existing colors you may have in a room already. Not to mention that it has amazing color “stain blocking” coverage! I wrote a post a couple years ago on how I used it over a dining table that had a huge burn mark on it. (Just have to add, that I got the table free) When I applied the first coat of Duck Egg Blue – it covered the entire burn mark. No bleeding or show through after one solid coat of Duck Egg. It was very impressive. And at that moment, I learned how Duck Egg Blue was much more than “just a pretty face” of a color!


So, yes….Duck Egg Blue is a beautiful color! All of Annie’s colors are, but this one is even more special.


It has the ability to complement many different interiors and colors. It is a greenish soft blue. Annie says it is reminiscent of Rococo French and Swedish interiors. It looks wonderful and fresh with Old White. We also love it distressed when it is used over Chateau Grey. When you apply dark wax over it- it tones down the any of the blue hue there- and brings out more of the sage/green in it. It is “a must have” add to your suite of colors if you love French Country. Pair it with Arles, add some Dark Wax and you have a killer combination! Or, partner Duck Egg Blue with any of Annie’s reds and be prepared to be blown away! For example, check out the sample board below with Duck Egg Blue over the Chalk Paint® color called Primer Red. This piece has a dark wax glaze added, which tones down the Duck Egg Blue.

Duck Egg over Primer Red

So, why did I not include it in my post about Annie Sloan’s “blues?”

At my shop, I have pieces of 15 inch long crown molding painted in each of the Chalk Paint® colors. Customers can hold the sample boards, move them around next to other colors to see how they look and pair, they also can take them outside to see the color in natural sunlight versus just the overhead lights in my shop. This way they can see the true color and the difference of how it looks pending on lighting. I love how these sample boards all look spread across an old Hoosier cabinet base. And I think they are a wonderful way for my customers to really get a good feeling of what the color truly is.

The Purple Painted Lady Sample Board Spread

In this sample board spectrum, I have “Duck Egg Blue” paired near the “greens.” It just seems to blend better near the Olive, Chateau Grey and Versailles colors to its left and Provence and Florence to its right.

Duck Egg Blue on top of provence Olive chateau grey Sample boards Chalk Paint The Purple Painted Lady

Louis Blue Duck Egg Blue Greek Blue The Purple Painted Lady Comparison

Shops on west ridge BASICS The purple Painted Lady Lisa Duck eggPicMonkey Collage

Mermaid dresser with mermaid statue

I must be a mermaid sanding post

Please visit our website if interested in ordering Chalk Paint®. $34.95 per quart, low/flat rate shipping and it always ships same day!

In fact- there are many reasons we think buying through us is the best. Read THIS little post about what sets The Purple Painted Lady apart from the rest.

To visit our on-line store- click HERE.

Lastly, we share a lot more information to help you get the most functionality out of your Chalk Paint® on our Facebook page. Consider checking it out by clicking HERE. While there- kindly consider LIKING us.

Thanks again,
Tricia Migliore Kuntz ~The Purple Painted Lady ~
Design/Consulting, Kitchen Cabinet Refurbishing, Custom Painted Furniture, Chalk Paint® & Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint Retailer & herRochester Blogger

PHONE: 585-750-6056

Come visit us:

At our MAIN STORE at 77 West Main Street in Macedon, NY 14502 OR
77 Main street with phone number

3200 West Ridge Road in Rochester, NY 14626 (The Shops On West Ridge) OR

Our Syracuse, NY location at 2017 Milton Avenue in Solvay, NY 13209
Click HERE for Store hours and information.

SHELLAC – when to use it! What To Do About Water Stains or Wood Grain Bleeding Through Paint? Raw wood? Or musty smelling pieces too. VIDEO

Painting and having issues with:

Water stains bleeding through
Wood grain showing
Wood tannins bleeding
Painting with a “white” or light colored paint over Mahogany or Pine

Painting kitchen cabinets that have a lot of grain and it is causing tannin to bleed through?  Or, even though you cleaned the cabinets well and rinsed off any cleaning products, you are still getting “grease” stains coming thru?  Keep in mid, we promote Chalk Paint® as a minimal prep paint, but you have to be realistic and it is not a miracle.  Especially when it comes to kitchen cabinets- where – personally I like to say, some people use their cabinets and some people abuse their cabinets.  If the doors have a heavy grain, or are oak, or perhaps the pre-existing top coat has worn away …….especially on doors near the kitchen sink, or the cooking area near the stove or above it, next to the dishwasher where the door opens and hot steam is released or doors that get handled a lot like where you keep your drinking glasses – the pre-existing top coat may have been worn away.  Keep in mind too, if using “white” colored paints…all of these issues above are a concern, but even more so – because again, “white” does not contain as much color blocking pigment.

Painting RAW WOOD and the paint is getting sucked up
Issues with the paint cracking or not adhering in a certain spot?
Painting a piece that you have sanded and now have different finishes visible
Planning on painting Pure White or Old White over a wood piece and concerned with stain or wood grain bleeding?
You used wood filler on a section and the paint is taking to it differently?

The piece stinks really bad of either cigarette smoke, a musty basement…or who knows what!

Painting kitchen cabinets and you are concerned of bleed through?  Personally, I do not apply shellac – UNLESS I have to. It is extra work. If I get bleed through after my 1st coat of paint dries- then I will apply my 2 coats of shellac based on my instructions below. Shellac can be applied over chalk paint but not wax. So, wait and see what happens. And – you may only have bleed through on a couple of doors.

Please read this post:


Real quick- if you need to use shellac- typically you would do it in this order:
1.Apply Shellac  …..Most importantly- remember with this solution – that you cannot “spot treat” a water mark or “issue” areas- rather you must do the whole section. For example- water marks from a glass on top? Shellac the whole top, not just the water mark.  Have a section on a kitchen cabinet door that keeps getting a stain bleeding though?  Shellac the whole door!


Apply TWO uniform thin COATS of Shellac

2. Lightly sand after using to prevent paint from crackling.

3. Paint with Chalk Paint®

4. Wax

If you realize you need to shellac after applying Chalk Paint®- that is okay…go ahead and apply the shellac. Just remember you cannot shellac directly over wax!

If you have applied wax already, then you will need to lift the wax using mineral spirits.

Lightly moisten a rag and wipe your furniture. Wipe edge to edge- not circular. Also- make sure to NOT drip mineral spirits on to your floor. The rag should be moist, not dripping wet. The piece should feel almost like it did prior to waxing after removing the wax.


I prefer to use shellac in a container. Reason being- even with two applications using an aerosol can- I cannot guarantee that your coverage (thickness) is adequate.

Do not shake the shellac but rather stir it or roll the container in your hands prior or use a stir stick.

I use a lint free, cotton rag to apply the shellac. I usually take a rag and fold it into four’s. The I dip an edge into the shellac and wipe it on the piece in the same direction that I will be applying the paint. (usually the same direction as the wood grain.)  By using a lint free rag- folding it like a hankerchief, then dipping the edge in- and wiping the shellac on – starting the farthest away from you. and wiping from one edge to the opposite side- you should have better coverage.  The analogy I use – is that this is similar to washing your kitchen table.  But always wipe in linear lines- not circular.

You will need two coats.  And note- too thick of an application of shellac can lead to other problems also- so a uniformed thinned application is best.
Once done applying the two coats- waiting 15 to 20 minutes in between applications- then you will lightly sand!
Never shake the shellac in the can, but rather use a stir stick and mix well and note that shellac has a shelf life of about a year to 18 months.

I prefer to use THESE RAGS (click here to link to the “better Than Cheesecloth” rags.)

Give the surface about 15 minutes to dry, and then repeat with a second, (uniform and thin) coat of shellac. Never apply it thick. That can lead to problems too. But – I often use the analogy, “Measure twice, cut once.” So, two uniform coats is best.

Having to apply shellac when painting with a “white” Chalk Paint® is sometimes necessary over certain surfaces – like raw wood, mahogany, heavily exposed grain.


Ahh- the dreaded problem when you finally decide to paint a piece of furniture or even worse yet….kitchen cabinets and then……stains are bleeding through the primer and paint you have painstakingly applied. Or- what about that amazing piece you picked up at a garage sale for next to nothing- but OH BOY! It stinks! Either that musty smell from sitting in a damp basement, or the owner was a cigarette smoker. Or, did you use wood filler to “fix” some damage or did you decide to go from a “handle” to just a knob in regards to hardware and – you filled in the holes on the drawer fronts? Or, you have a hutch that your hubby built for you out of raw wood that has not been top coated? (that one is for you Laura!!) OR…you painted your piece with Chalk Paint™ and you now see bleeding coming through. Now what do you do?

Here is a story true story of the progression of this issue with a trestle table that I recently painted for my shop, The Purple Painted Lady. A photo of her is below. Doesn’t she have great lines? I saw her and was in love and knew immediately how much potential she would have once she received a little TLC.:

First of all, at my shop I use and prefer specific products. Yes…I have used many products over the last decade, but just like make-up or soda pop, we are creatures of habit and usually stick to the brand that we like the most and that does the job for what our needs are. Now before I go on…here is a little disclaimer I wanted to add regarding this post. I am not endorsed or sponsored by this particular brand/company I am going to write about. But I can say that I always have a bunch of cans of this product in my shop for sale and for my personal inventory because it has been a life saver…and also a money and time saver for me. I do sell Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ Decorative Paint Products, and that is because I love it and believe in all that it can do. I am passionate about what I do and will never link my name to a product that I don’t use myself and love! So AMEN to all of that!!!

OK…with that out of the way- let me get back on track! So, you can see in the photo above a beautiful trestle table- but look close at the top if it. Now check out the image below and you can sadly see the water stains that bled through after beginning painting it. Foolish me…even “experts” (and I use that term very loosely) make mistakes. Again- if you look closely at the top of the unpainted table- it was quite obvious this was going to be an issue!

I totally knew I should have taken precautionary steps – but perhaps I was in denial. I don’t know, but either way- after that first coat of paint- reality hit me quickly and I did what I needed to do.

Ok, are you ready? Here it is…my secret to covering up water stains, that red stain wood that was popular in the 1930’s &, 1940’s , Mahogany colored stains or preventing wood tannins from bleeding through my painted pieces of furniture or cabinets. This is especially important if using a light hued color of paint…like white! It is…ta-dah…..using a spray shellac. Just like the one I have shown here.


Please click here to watch a video about Zinsser Shellac.
This “miracle in can …or quart” also works great when dealing with knotty pine or if painting kitchen cabinets that were manufactured and installed in the 1980’s or 1990’s that have that yellow maple look to them or if you are painting a red stained piece and want it to be white. I typically recommend only getting the CLEAR shellac versus the white. This is especially important if you want to distress your piece after being painted and would not want a white sealer being revealed. And- sometimes we start a project thinking it is going to be painted in one color- and then change our minds. Once you use the white sealer- you have sort of committed yourself to a white paint if you are going to distress the piece.


As for the cabinets I referenced- you know the ones that have that yellowish wood stain color and you can see the grain of the wood. The wood tannins bleed through your paint like the photo above shows. To prevent the bleeding some people approach this problem by using multiple (meaning many!!!!) coats of a serious excellent covering primer (adding more expense to their project.) And keep in mind- that primer is NOT needed with Chalk Paint® Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan products! Lastly- just want to clarify- there is a functional difference between sealers and primers. So….here is something you can consider- my secret weapon using Zinsser.
Make sure when using any product to read the manufacturer’s usage and safety directions first. Like most spray paint, polyurethane or shellac – this stuff has some serious smell to it. I always recommend- when possible to use this in an outside area or ventilated garage. Wear a mask and even safety glasses. (do I wear safety glasses? NO! But I should probably tell you due to some legal mumbo-jumbo!) But you do not want any wind or dust happening when using this stuff- or any spray paint, shellac or polyurethane. Because – like Murphy’s Law- if there is a breeze and dust….the dust or dog’s hair will end up on your piece. Also, (and I do this) …remember to take off that sparkly diamond ring you might be wearing or any other jewelry or watches, so you do not accidentally over spray them. When you spray your piece – use common sense “Spray Painting” techniques. Meaning- don’t hold the aerosol can in one place- you will get drips. Don’t hold the can too close to your piece either. Even movement, uniform coverage – and you will be just fine! After you have sprayed the piece (or brushed on the shellac) ….once the piece is dry – which is very quickly (like 5 minutes)- reopen the front and back garage door to get a cross breeze to air out your work space. It doesn’t take much time and the smell dissipates quickly and in the end- this will be all worth it!!

When you have stains and need to spray your piece, always spray the whole surface that contains the stain- do not just spot treat. Just to reiterate some important points: Get uniform coverage – do not just target the stain section. You wouldn’t think just a quick spot treat spray of shellac in only a small targeted area could be visible once painted, but it is! I am going to repeat that because this is important! Make sure when you spray the whole area of the piece! So in my example- I sprayed the whole top of the table. And feel free to do this twice. First, spray it once and let it dry which only takes 5 minutes. And I love the quick drying time because even the most impatient people will be impressed with this stuff! Next- spray another full second coat! When done using spray paint or a spray shellac- go outside and holding the can, flip it upside down and spray. You will see the spray in a few seconds will disappear and this ensures you that you cleaned out the nozzle and won’t have a clogged can next time you need to use it. Always do this before placing your spray paint or spray shellac away and you will never have a plugged nozzle!

Again, play it safe! Do this step outside if using the spray shellac since the shellac has a serious strong odor- but the smell goes away quick and dries in minutes.

And just to reiterate this- when you have a piece of furniture made out of different types of wood- keep in mind – that when you paint- the color can appear differently. For instance… a wonderful customer of mine, Laura McGarrahan Koppelmann has a husband who is very skilled. he built her – from scratch a hutch! He used bead board and pine, and some other types of wood when constructing it. When she began painting it she had two issues:

1. The raw wood was just sucking up the paint!!

2. There was an obvious difference in the shade of the paint depending on which surface you looked at. The pine sides took the paint differently than the back bead board.

So, I emailed her this post regarding shellac. Laura applied the shellac right over her existing Chalk Paint® and repainted- and loved the outcome. She wrote to me, “My beautiful, finally complete hutch! I LOVE IT! Shew, it was a lot of work, but so worth it…thanks for all your help to make this work. I learned a lot in the process. It is now “priceless” hutch ; )”

Lauras Hutch


And although- I am mentioning this near the end here- this stuff is amazing for blocking out odors that may be coming from a piece of furniture. It seems when I spot the most amazing piece of furniture with incredible detailing at a garage sale, it always happens when I get next to it- IT STINKS! LIKE, “make you gag” stink. Either that musty smell from sitting in a damp basement, or the owner was a HEAVY cigarette smoker. I like to use the analogy that spraying the piece with Zinsser is like laminating a piece of paper. Water cannot penetrate through and get the paper- and that smelly odor – will be totally contained. ***Just make sure to spray inside the drawers and any surface you can…like underneath, inside drawer pockets, and inside cabinets.

I don’t think it matters what you use to clean or air out something that has been permeated with nicotine….. On a damp day- it will smell all over again. The only thing I have found to really work- is encapsulating the entire piece of furniture with Shellac. If it is a dresser- spray the Shellac in the cavities. Smoke gets everywhere!

Below is the same table after one coat of Zinsser Spray Shellac and a coat of Old White- which is a paint that does not require a primer to stick to the shellac. Doesn’t it look better? Again- what I did was spray it with the Zinsser. Then repainted using Chalk Paint®. And then – waxed.

Whenever I have to sand a piece of furniture due to damage of some sort. It could be due to a scratch, a dent, chipping. After sanding, the piece will have a variation of materials on one surface- like the dresser shown below. You can see the raw wood where we sanded. In this case- I also always spray that whole section with Zinsser Shellac. So in the example below- I would spray the whole top.:<br?

Again, this is wonderful stuff and if you paint lots of furniture… I recommend always having a can on hand. Or two, or three….!

Imagine when you go to paint those old kitchen cabinets that you cannot stand the color of. Save yourself time- just take the precautionary step and spray shellac all the doors after a good cleaning- and spray them twice. And don’t forget to brush on the shellac to your kitchen cabinet frames too.

The Purple Painted Lady just completed painting 40 cabinet doors for a home in Penfield, New York. We sprayed the cabinets outside prior to using Chalk Paint™ Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan. Sometimes with kitchen cabinets- even though they have a top coat of their own from the factory – after over 20 years of use…that breaks down. The stain from the cabinets in certain places can then bleed through. (It is interesting to paint cabinets- as an experiment prior to shellac. You will notice the stain that bleeds through is in a shape of a streak as if something splattered on the cabinets and then dripped down the front and it is the shape of a splatter or spot) You will often find this most near cabinet doors located near the dishwasher or kitchen sink where there is more water movement from washing dishes or emptying the dishwasher.

Another reason to use shellac: Painting Chalk Paint® over a previously painted surface that has some type of effect – will most likely pass through to the Chalk Paint®. This would happen no matter what type of paint you were using.

So for example—–

If you paint Chalk Paint® over a previously crackled surface- it will cause the Chalk Paint® to crackle.

If you are painting Chalk Paint® over chipping Milk Paint- that will still cause the Chalk Paint® to chip since the foundation beneath …the “Milk Paint” is still chipping since it has not “bonded” with the base surface.

In this case- I recommend that you sand back the milk paint or crackle lightly to accelerate any loose paint to come off or to remove the crackled surface. Then- blow off the surface of all dust and use Zinsser Clear Shellac (again, I like the aerosol cans- but you have to use it outside) and applit in a thorough coat over the whole piece. Possibly two coats. Shellac is very inexpensive and can be a life saver depending on the piece you are working on. I have a post on my website noted below you may want to read.

Anyway- I think this trestle table looks lovely now! Tomorrow this gorgeous table will receive a mix of Dark & Clear wax to showcase the “crocodile” textured surface around the front and sides.

Okay- now here is a spin to all of this information! I personally think that I use shellac on about 20% of my jobs. If I am painting cabinets in a kitchen a=or a bath- they almost always get shellac. But using shellac is a necessity for many jobs and something to consider- is what color Chalk Paint® are you using in your project. Reason being – colors with more pigment will have better coverage. Below is a bunch of photos that are an example of that!

I picked up an old dining table for free. But it had a large burn mark on the top of it.

I thought I would need to apply Zinsser Shellac over it as so the paint would cover it, but thought I would experiment first and just try the Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint® directly over the burn mark to see how it covered.


shop table TLC cover burn mark Duck Egg Blue

After rolling one coat over the table with a foam/sponge roller I knew that I did NOT need to use shellac since the Chalk Paint® covered the burn mark 100%. I am pretty sure though, if I had used Old White Chalk Paint® or Pure White Chalk Paint® this would not of been the case.

After I painted the table it looked so much better, but I thought it was a little plain. So I played around with a large stencil.





I think the table looks so much better now and learned quite a bit regarding coverage when using Chalk Paint® on this little project!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this not-so-little article- but isn’t that typical of me? Please write to me, “Dear Purple Painted Lady” with questions and you may be featured right here online! Any painting questions, color selection issues, or even design issues- send them on in. Please just write me at takuntz@rochester.rr.com and note in your subject, “Dear Purple Painted Lady.”

Until next week…. in the words of St. Francis of Assisi:

A woman who works with her hands
is a laborer.
A woman who works with her hands
and her head is a craftsperson.
A woman who works with her hands.
her head and her heart
is an artist.

Stay well!

Tricia Migliore Kuntz ~ aka…The Purple Painted Lady