Fireplace Transformation using Chalk Paint®

Annie Sloan created amazing colors for her suite of Chalk Paint® decorative paint, BUT when you use them in concert with her different waxes…then you can really create some magic!

Debbie Ballo had a vintage beautiful surround for her gas fireplace.   It was special but needed something a little bit more to make it a show stopper.

Debbie used both Annie Sloan and General Finishes products to take it to the next level!

Primer Red Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan and Java Gel by General Finishes.   Debbie Ballo used both and transformed her fireplace surround. We love it!

Debbie used Annie Sloan’s Clear Wax over the Primer Red, and then finished with Annie Sloan’s Dark Wax.

For the actual mantle where she used the General Finishes Java Gel, she used the General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Satin over the Java Gel. We love it! #thepurplepaintedlady #justpaintit#anniesloan #generalfinishes

Emperor’s Silk and Dark Wax Buffet

When cleaning out a storage space in our Macedon store, we found an old buffet that had been neglected and was in desperate need of refinishing!

Previously it had just been used for storage, in the sense that things were stored in the drawers, forgotten about, and never seen again…we all have pieces like that. 

The first thing we did to this piece was clean it with Mineral Spirits, then we gave it a fresh water rinse (as you should before painting any piece).

With the holidays approaching, we were feeling festive, so we began painting the piece with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan in the color Emperor’s Silk – a bright, fun red, reminiscent of holly berries used for Christmas decorating! 

Primer red Sample Board Comparison The Purple Painted Lady Chalk Paint Antoinette Emperor Silk Close up Chalk PaintThe Purple Painted Lady Emperor's Silk Chalk Paint Annie Sloan Black White Wax

The whole piece got 2 coats of Emperor’s Silk – everywhere except the top, that is. The top of the piece was left unpainted and would eventually be stained with General Finishes Gel Stain in the color Java.  





Unlike the CHALK PAINT, the stains require a bit of prep-work (other than just cleaning). In order to achieve a finish that is true to the intended color on the quart, you have to sand the piece down to raw wood (we love using Annie Sloan’s reusable Sanding Pads for this). If you stain right over the existing finish, the color will be altered.

When applying the gel stain, you brush the stain on liberally (I like to use a foam brush) and then wipe of the excess with any kind of lint free rag…Scott’s Shop Towels work great! On this piece we chose to do the entire surface at once, rather than breaking it up into sections since it isn’t an overwhelmingly large piece. 


Meanwhile, the rest of the piece that was painted was sealed in Clear Wax, then we added Dark Wax to give the Emperor’s Silk a nice, rich tone. 



Sometimes using Dark Wax can be intimidating, so if you’re feeling apprehensive, read our post that gives some tips and tricks for using Dark Wax HERE.

So what do you think of our festive transformation?


Come visit one of our TWO locations:


Photo of 77 west Main Street shop store front photo

77 West Main Street in Macedon, NY 14502

OPEN Mon – Wed 10– 4, Thurs 11–7, Fri 10 –5 & Sat 10-4.…CLOSED SUNDAY



The shops on west ridge pic 3200 The Purple Painted Lady

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


Table Set in Chalk Paint® and Java Gel

The Purple Painted Lady loves sharing a great “before & after” story!

This one is by Anne French…she is the woman smiling below at you!  Anne French Little French Market The Purple Painted Lady

Anne did a table set using Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan and products by General Finishes.  And personally, I think she did a fabulous job!

The Purple Painted Lady  2 Anne French Graphite Java Table Set Chalk Paint

PRODUCTS USED: (Click on the item below to visit it in the shopping cart)

Graphite Chalk Paint®

General Finishes Java Gel Stain

General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Satin

Steel Wool

Annie Sloan SMALL Paint Brush (to create texture)

Chip Brush

Anne wrote that this table and chairs set was a big job, but I love the way it turned out! My client wanted something rustic, yet sophisticated so we went with kind of a faux zinc finish.

I started by removing each of the seats so they could be sanded down and prepped for staining. The chair backs were also sanded and taped off since part of the chair would be painted and part would be stained.
Chair Sanded

Chair Sanded

The table top was also completely sanded and prepped for staining. For the stained sections I used my favorite – General Finishes Java Gel.

The General Finishes in the color Java is a rich mocha brown
I find it is very forgiving and easy to work with. I did one coat of stain and then wiped off the excess using an old cotton t-shirt.Once the stain had dried thoroughly I applied about 5 coats of General Finishes High Performance Topcoat in Satin for added durability.   The Purple Painted Lady Java Gel Chairs Seats in a Row Anne French
General Finishes Satin The purple painted Lady
I used a fine steel wool (grade 0000) in between each coat of sealer for a nice smooth finish. I like to use extra coats of sealer on seats and table tops since they will get lots of use.  (From The Purple Painted Lady- make sure to respect drying times between coats)Steel wool
Next, I started in on the painting portion. (I disassembled the table first, which made it much easier to work with since I knew I would be doing multiple steps).

FAUX ZINC FINISH (Random Brush Strokes):
To create the faux zinc finish I started off by applying two coats of Annie Sloan Graphite, using brush strokes in all different directions.   Remember that Graphite is a dark slate color with purple/blue undertones.  This is NOT a pure black.  Can you see the brush strokes in the image below?

The Purple Painted Lady Color Wash Anne French Chalk Paint Graphite
The Purple Painted Lady small Annie sloan Chalk Paint brush domed top
The Purple Painted Lady Graphite Chalk Paint open lid
This created some really nice texture to “catch” the color wash. I did a color wash using Annie Sloan Paris Gray, using about five parts water to three parts Paris Gray.
Paris Grey  Sample BoardI applied the wash with a chip brush and then rubbed off the excess using an old cloth.
The Purple Painted Lady 2 inch chip brush
Finally, I applied about 3 coats of the General Finishes High Performance Topcoat in Satin, fine sanding with the steel wool in between the coats.My client was thrilled with the finished product! I have since used this faux zinc finish on multiple other projects and it is always a winner.
The Purple Painted Lady Graphite Chair Close Up Java Chalk Paint Anne French

When applying a color wash, be careful not to use too much pressure when wiping off the excess as it can pull off some of the base color and potentially create an unwanted distressed look to your piece.

If you are interested in staying touch with The Purple Painted Lady- visit our Facebook page HERE – we would LOVE to hear from you and see your before & after photos!


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.  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 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:
*  We sell Chalk Paint® for $34.95
*  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.
*  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=>
: )  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=>    This really helps me!  (wink, wink!)

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


our MAIN STORE at 77 West Main Street in Macedon, NY 14502

77 Main street with phone number


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



Java Gel- the hottest product trending !

So many of you have been interested in Java Gel from General Finishes – which is quite possibly one of the easiest of all finishes to use and achieve a “hand-rubbed” look without all the work. We love to use it on the top of a piece, then paint the body using Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan.

The Purple Painted Lady carries Java Gel in both pint and quart sizes. Check it out HERE!

Java Gel Quart The Purple Painted Lady

Application is easy with a foam brush or lint free cloth- we have even used chip brush.

The heavy bodied gel formulation permits the product to flow out evenly (no drips or runs…unless you are just plain ole’ messy, in general) preventing uneven penetration for consistent color control.

Combined with no sanding (your choice to sand or not) between coats and a quick re-coat time, you will be finished sooner with less effort and better results than ever before. We really love it and have it available in pints and quarts. Pint size would be very reasonable, unless you plan on doing multiple projects.

It is recommended to protect the top with using either the General Finishes Satin or Matte Top Coats available here on our website OR use your Annie Sloan Wax if you already own it.

Arles The Purple Painted Lady Java Gel

The Purple Painted Lady carries it in both pint and quart sizes. Check it out HERE!

And remember- we sell Chalk Paint at $34.95 per quart. I ship out every 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 ship same day if your order is placed before our daily UPS pick up. Also- it is my paint sales that keep me in business and allow me to be here to help you. (my shameless, but honest plug) To access our On-Line Store click 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!

Here is a little post about what I mean when it comes to what you should expect from us- click HERE to read that.

Thanks so much!
Trish —