Pantone, Make it Your Own

Pantone, the authority on color trends, annually announces their choice for color of the year.This year they chose not one, but two colors, Rose Quartz, and Serenity.
Color chips for the blog
What does the average DIY decor enthusiast do with that endorsement for a color, or in this case colors? Usually, it turns out, not all that much. Trends come and go and it’s too much work, not to mention expensive, to change major aspects of your interior decor yearly.
Another option is to take the suggestion of a color and make it your own. Here’s how I did it in a recent paint project when I was deciding on a blue.
Soft Greek
Pure & Original Paint has 2 blues in their Greek blue family of colors. Soft Greek and Greek Sky. Using their Classicochalk based paint, I painted a solid layer of Soft Greek and added shadows with Greek Sky on this traditional sideboard. Classico is so rich and lush, painting with it is a dream. Together the colors combine to make a soft blue that looks like an old, worn, pair of your favorite jeans. A color that goes with everything. My version of Pantone’s Serenity.
If haven’t already, check out Pure & Original PaintsClassico is their chalk based paint and the one I usually choose for furniture because it’s so easy. It comes in 140 (yikes!) lovely colors that echo the colors you find in nature.
So what do you think, on trend but not too trendy?

Perfectly Pure & Original


I started started with a coat of Pigeon Grey and brushed it on. Classico is a very rich heavily pigmented paint and a little goes a very long way. It’s also very thick so if you find your brush is starting to drag, dip the tip of your brush in a little water and continue stroking on the paint. It drys quickly, usually less than an hour. For the next coat, I put all three colors, Pigeon Grey, Storm, and White on a paper plate and using one brush alternated between them, lightly brushing on the colors in selected spots ( video on that technique, here ). I only needed 2 coats of the Classico for full coverage.
If you want to give Classico chalk based paint from Pure & Original , go to

Black & Blue All Over

Soft Greek Black copy
I love using Black in combination with a wide range of blues from navy to the palest of shades. Most of the time a strong blue will be enough to create a pleasing counterpart to the black. But in cases where the two color palette is less than striking, try adding White in a small proportion to provide additional contrast, and unify the black and blue.
You can use Pure & Original's Black and Soft Greek with highlights of White for the same look and finish as my cabinet below. Classico is their chalk based paint, requiring no primer, wax or sealer. Here, I wanted a very flat, matte, used chalkboard color and finish so I left my paint unsealed.
If think Pure & Original Classico Paint is as amazing as I do, try it out. You can purchase a sample at

Louis Vuitton Inspired

Facebook reminded me I posted this 2 years ago today…… What a blast and still a fave!
Inspired by Louis Vuitton and the colors of his signature collection. Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® in Arles, part of the Indian Inlay Stencil from Cutting Edge, I painted a repeating, and alternating geometric pattern on this dark oak cabinet. I love how the color and pattern highlight and contrast the traditional style and dark wood.

Fresco Mirror

My introduction to Pure & Original Paint was through their Classico, a chalk based paint, but my new love is their Fresco Lime paint. You can use it in so many applications, furniture, walls, indoors and out. I’ve never painted with anything like it before and it’s really got my creative juices going. It’s usually applied with a large brush, using a one direction stroke. Pure & Original recommends using their primer, but I wanted to see what happens if you go straight to the paint. Amazing! It adheres like chalk paint, has the same matte finish but you can get the layered look with just one color. There is so much variance of texture and tone, it looks like you painted with several shades of a color.
lagoon water copy
You may remember this mirror, I blogged about it here. It hangs in my foyer and was a flea market find. Originally yellow, I had painted with four colors of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and sealed it with her wax. It’s always a risk to paint over wax. It can repel paint and prevent it from adhering. One of the the things I love about Annie’s paint is that you can paint right over a wax finish, no prep required. You can do the same thing with P&O’s Classico, but I didn’t know if it was possible with the Fresco. (Pure & Original recommends using their primer).
lagoonmirror copy
You know I’m all about easy, so I gave it a go. I brushed on the Fresco Lime, in Lagoon Water, in a heavier than usual coat. After it was dry I used a very fine grit sanding sponge and lightly sanded. Sanding really brings out the texture and variance of shade. I used the tiniest bit of White on the edges and a heavy dose of gilding wax. No wax or sealer. That’s all. Fresco Lime is my new favorite paint.
lagoon water

I’ve just started exploring the possibilities of Fresco Lime. For more of my projects using Pure & Original Paint, check out these posts: Fresco Lime Paint, Pure & Original Paint Colors – Storm, Pure & Original Classico.  And to purchase Pure & Original Paint, go to

The Perfect Navy

Looking for a true, rich navy? I used Pure & Original's Majestic Cloth, in their  Classico chalk based paint on this remarkable chest of drawers. For contrast, I left the top and edges the original walnut color.

A Little Goes a Long Way

First off, the theme should be ‘a little goes a long way.’ I had this ugly fireplace in my basement that I’ve been meaning to deal with for a long time. Just awful. If your house was built in the 80’s, you may have a fireplace you hate as well . . .
fireplace before
I’ve been thinking about doing a lime wash and Pure & Original’s Fresco Lime paint gave me just the opportunity. When applied over a mineral surface (like brick), lime paint does not need a primer. It bonds directly to the brick. Lime washes can vary. Some are very thick, some are so thin and translucent. You can achieve either effect (or any between) by varying the amount of water you add to the paint. I went with three parts water, one part paint. That’s quite thin. I was able to cover my entire fireplace with just 100ml of Fresco (really less than 100ml, I had some left over).


This is what was left over after the project. Pure & Original does not offer 100ml sizes for their Fresco Lime, but if you painted a wall, you’d have plenty left over for your fireplace. And even if you just bought 1 liter of Fresco to do your fireplace, that’s a fresh new look for your home for less than $75. Hard to beat that.

fireplace frsco2

After the wash cured (over night), I applied Rust-oleum high heat satin black to the brass trim on the fireplace screen. I wanted it to recede as much as possible!




If you're interested in Pure & Original paint in the United States, you can order at online at
For more posts about Fresco lime paint, check out There's Only One Fresco, A Fresh New Look, and A Fresco Wash.

I like Annie Sloan Chalk Paint  for my craft and furniture projects, but for walls nothing compares to Pure & Original Fresco Lime Paint. I love the natural variations of shades and tones the lime creates within one paint color. You have to see how gorgeous it is! Checkout my most recent interior design make overs with Fresco. It can be purchased online at

Bohemian inspir

P.S  Pure and Original also makes a chalk based paint called Classico in 140 colors! Its amazing too!


120 Beautiful Colors

Creating a paint chart for Pure & Original Classico was a somewhat daunting project. Over 120 colors are available in this chalk based paint, although the color card only shows 118. To see the additional colors go to their USA website.
colorcard image
All of the Pure and Original colors are available for Classico so it seemed the best place to start. Their other paints available in the USA are Fresco Lime, and Marrakech. Any particular color can look quite different in each paint. I hope eventually to do a comparison chart showing each color in each of the three paints, but first things first.
My first task was to get a sample of each and every color (Yikes!). Fortunately, the headquarters and warehouse for Pure & Original USA is located in Louisville, KY. 

I had a stack of cardboard that I cut into smaller sheets and painted each one a different color. These I scanned these into my computer and using Adobe Photoshop sampled and created a digital image. The colors are as true and accurate as possible, but a digital image can look different depending which device, and app you use to view it. I strongly suggest if you are contemplating a color, to purchase a hand painted color card and if its a big project, a tester of that color. A hand painted sample is the only way you can accurately choose paint color.
A side note: I love Adobe Photoshop, but took me years of graphic design to feel comfortable with it. It’s also very expensive. Adobe no longer sells the Photoshop program. It was expensive when you could purchase it, $650 for the latest version, but you could use that version for several years before you absolutely had to upgrade to a new one. Adobe has changed how it offers software. It’s only available through Adobe’s monthly subscription service. You can get a free 1 month trial, and an introductory rate for a year. But after that you are paying a minimum of $49 every month to use their software. Unless you are using it for business, it’s hard to justify. Photoshop used to be the only game in town but now there are several simpler photo editing programs available at the app store for free. Truly, if I hadn’t been using it for years ( I have an old version), I would not start at this point.
After I created images for each color, I tried several ways of arranging them into a helpful, pleasing color palette. This is my final version.
POChalk smallflat
I also created tints of each Pure & Original chalk color by mixing with varying amounts of white.Higher Res color cards
As always, you can download, print, share these and any of my other charts for free as long as it is for personal use. My other charts include Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Tints, and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Shades and Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint

New York Black

Maybe it has to with being from New York, but I love black. Fashion, design, decor, even paint feels elevated to a new elegance when it’s our neutral and darkest color. It highlights everything around it and yet stands out on it’s own. The epitome of chic. Paint it, wear it, always in good taste, timeless and on trend, it makes a statement on it’s own, no matter how it’s used. Every room should have a touch of black
I’m not sure I posted about it, but I painted all of my interior doors black (Rustoleum, oil-based, semi-gloss).
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint doesn’t have a true black, more of a dark rich charcoal grey, Graphite
graphite buffet
Pure & Original Paint has several blacks; Black TruffleBlack HillsBlack Smoke, and Black. This is my latest project using Pure & Original’s Classico Paints, Black Smoke and Black.
Black Smoke Black
Here is how I did it: my first coat was P&O Classico Black. Once dry, I added subtle highlights with Black Smoke.
Black Smoke Black large copy
I left the top and edges the natural finish, wiping off any paint I mistakenly put there. Pure and Original makes a Dead Flat Eco Seal, which I love, but I wanted a bit of a shine, so I finished with Annie Sloan Clear Wax, buffing well. I’ve mixed brands before, and Annie’s wax seals P&O Classico (chalk) beautifully. Pure & Original doesn’t offer a wax at this point, because it’s not necessary to seal any of their paints. I chose Clear Wax because I wanted a sheen. Perfectly and completely black:)
If you feel the same way I do about black, you’ll want to check out these posts: Get Your Black On, Black Colors, and Graphite and Exposed Wood

I like Annie Sloan Chalk Paint  for my craft and furniture projects, but for walls nothing compares to Pure & Original Fresco Lime Paint. I love the natural variations of shades and tones the lime creates within one paint color. You have to see how gorgeous it is! Checkout my most recent interior design make overs with Fresco. It can be purchased online at

P.S  Pure and Original also makes a chalk based paint called Classico in 140 colors! Its amazing too!

Odds & Ends

With the new year approaching, I’m finishing up a few projects that were “mostly” done but not totally. One of them is this very primitive storage bin from an old farm. The wood is very rough cut and the top is zinc covered. I started with a light coat of Primer Red, because I wanted the great character and age of the wood to remain visible. I used accents of Arlesand Barcelona Orange for texture and depth. It also gave more variety to the Primer Red with a bit of an ombre effect. I didn’t seal the finish because I’m not sure where it’s going, possibly outside. As long as you give it time to cure before it’s exposed to the elements, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is amazingly tough and durable.
ombre copy

Annie Sloan Tried & True

When you have a finish you know works every time, there’s no reason to reinvent the the wheel. I love to layer colors of the same color group to give my pieces depth, texture and a sense of movement. An easy technique that takes your paint from a flat one dimension color to a wow finish. A friend had admired my blue apothecary cabinet, and asked me to do something similar on her vintage sideboard.
I chose to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on this project because I love her blues. Here’s how I did it. Mixing some Graphite into Napoleonic Blue to darken it, I painted a solid first layer. Once dry, I added shades of blue mixed with Graphite in light strokes to random areas, not so much as to change the color as to visual texture. For the drawer facings I did a mix of 3 different shades of Aubusson Blue, adding the darkest in a line around the edges.  I didn’t mask with tape but used a ruler to draw lines that I then painted in. To protect, I used Annie Sloan Clear Wax to finish (no Dark Wax this time). Ready just in time for the holidays:)
I’ ve used Annie’s blues on several projects. For more layering ideas check out these posts: Back  in Blue, where the emphasis is on Greek Blue, Napoleonic Blue and Graphite, and The Louis Blue Blues. You can purchase Annie Sloan Chalk Paint from your local stockist or online at Robyn Story Designs.