Anne Marie Kellner signed up for a painting class in Ellicott City thinking she would wind up creating a piece of art to hang on her wall. She left the three-hour Chalk Paint tutorial with much larger aspirations.
"I'm considering repainting my kitchen cabinets," Kellner, of Halethorpe, says after taking the class taught by Kelli Myers, the owner of A Journey from Junk. "I went in thinking I would learn a very specific skill, but got a much larger picture of what it's able to do."
Chalk Paint, produced by the Annie Sloan company, creates a vintage-style matte finish. The product's various application techniques can be used on furniture and walls, as well as decor like mirror frames and picture frames.
Myers began selling Chalk Paint in February 2012 and launched the classes a month later. It was a way to boost sales and attract customers who might not otherwise visit her store, which sells vintage jewelry, clothes, home goods and furniture. She stocks 31 types of Chalk Paint in colors like Henrietta pink, Emperor's Silk red and Provence blue -- at $38 a quart -- and has to replenish her supply every three weeks or so, she says.
A big part of Chalk Paint's appeal is that it is easy to use, Myers says. Primer is not required, and the paint dries fast. In addition, users need not be expert painters, because the product creates a finish that's meant to look antique -- like your grandmother's armoire that you love for its imperfections.
At a recent class, students learned four techniques, including how to create a soft gilded look and a two-color distressed look, and dabbled in light and dark wax finishes. After deciding which colors and styles they liked best, students left the class with two-tone antique-style picture frames.
"It's a very friendly way of renewing a piece of furniture," says Ellicott City resident Karen Good, who participated in Myers' class. "You really can't go wrong with it."
A Journey from Junk is the only store in Howard County to offer the class. Chalk Paint is a registered trademark of U.K. company Annie Sloan Interiors Ltd., and Myers has purchased a license for the exclusive right to sell the product in Howard County and parts of Carroll and Anne Arundel counties.
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For a schedule of Myers' Chalk Paint classes, which cost $95, call the shop at 410-465-8330 or visit A Journey from Junk's page on Facebook.