Fun with Aubusson Blue Chalk Paint®

When painting furniture to sell, it’s common to err on the side of caution and do what will likely appeal to the widest audience. This lends itself to using Annie Sloan’s more neutral colors, Paris Grey, French Linen, Graphite, Old White, etc. At least that’s what I find myself using most of. That’s not to say we don’t experiment with fun colors, too. As we speak, the store has pieces painted in Emperor’s Silk (bright red) and Provence (sort of turquoise). A color I hadn’t yet used on anything was Aubusson Blue. My girlfriend Madison is an avid Pinterest user, and a recent search of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® turned up some inspirational results, including the aforementioned and under-used Aubusson Blue. I agreed it was a beautiful color, and it was high time to pop open a can and put it to use.

Now that I spend two days a week with my mom up at our Malden store, it’s given us the ability to really get busy turning out painting projects. We don’t fuss over what to do too much, we usually just bounce around color ideas and quickly come up with our next scheme. It’s not to say we are being frivolous, it’s just that at this point, we really trust our instincts, and we are always pleased with what come up with.

Having recently sold a painted antique church pew in Boston, we knew we wanted to replace it with another similar bench. There was a set (two smaller benches and a table) we had acquired months ago in our back stock at Malden, and now was the time to bust one out. This would be my first foray into the great (Aubusson) blue yonder.

This post isn’t really intended to be much of a how-to* as it is a little bit of inspiration in the same way the picture I saw on Pinterest inspired me. Sometimes all it takes is to see something through a different lens for you to break outside of you box. I hope you like it.

*For of those of you wondering how I achieved this look, I just wet distressed the bench to reveal some of the original white, and then used a lot of dark wax after I clear waxed it.


The bench was in pretty rough shape and the seat was actually formica! Not a problem with Chalk Paint®.




Here’s the first coat, with the trusty Annie Sloan Work Book close by for color inspiration.



I obviously couldn’t distress the formica seat, so I just wanted to hit some of the edges, where it likely would have naturally distressed.


The finished product.

Stay golden.




11 thoughts on “Fun with Aubusson Blue Chalk Paint®

  1. Great job Justin. I love the bench. I always wanted a church bench. after seeing what you accomplished with that Formica seat, when I find a bench that isn’t great looking, I’ll remember this post. Keep it coming, great post! arleen

  2. I forgot to wish you a Happy St. Patricks Day! I don’t know if you are Irish, but in the Boston area, You are whether you like it or arleen

    • I am indeed Irish and my subway ride to work this morning was already filled with green-wearing revelers. Though I think the masses are all headed to South Boston for the parade and not the South End where out stores sits. Kind of quiet over here today.

      Sent from my iPhone

  3. Looks good. Yeah, Happy post St. Patty’s Day. I am Irish too (My name is Mollie Kelley.) I also paint furniture, but have not made it a business yet. Do you have any tips about the business?

  4. I love Aubusson blue. I did a post last year about it, how I had seen the inspiration for it in France. I found a sideboard and I knew it was the piece I was going to use Aubusson blue on. I loved the result! Your bench is spectacular. I’ll have to be on the lookout for one too now!


  5. Hey Justin….just a thought here, have you tried layering A. Blue under Graphite? It is supposed to make the Graphite a deeper color and I know you guys sell a lot of Graphite painted pieces in the Boston shop. If you try it, let me know how it works.

    Janet xox
    The Empty Nest

    • Funny you mention that Janet. I almost tried something a little bit similar to that with this piece but decided on dark wax instead. (I considered a graphite wash) I’ll definitely keep that in mind.

      Sent from my iPhone

  6. Hi Justin,
    I appreciate all of the troubleshooting tips I’ve learned from you! I sure hope you can help me out with this problem: I’ve been working on an old dining room table (top only). Sealed it with shellac, just in case, then painted two coats of old white/old ochre mix to match the table legs. After this dried I painted on two additional coats of a Greek Blue/tiny-bit-of-Emperor’s Silk mix for a lovely French Blue! I distressed around the edges to reveal some of the old white/old ochre … charming! And, then waxed. When I came back to it for buffing 24 hours later, I decided to do a little additional distressing, and then waxed again. Here’s the problem: it appears as though the Greek Blue is darker in the areas right next to where I did the additional distressing. Any thoughts? Recommendations? Thank you so much.

    • Hmmm. That’s strange and not something I’ve ever seen before. Maybe it’s a bit of wax buildup? I would possibly try to remove it with mineral spirits and rewax, but I’m not sure if that’s worth the trouble. Usually in my experience, color discrepancies are the result of uneven waxing.

      Sent from my iPhone


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