Our First Mini Chalk Paint® Workshop

*requisite comment about how I never blog, ever

So today we held our first mini-workshop here at the store in Reading. Our blockbuster workshops that Amy teaches are always full and sell out a month or more in advance. I’ve co-hosted two workshops with my Mom in Boston to a grand total of six people. Colin and I were to teach a Men Only Workshop that had one gent sign up only to cancel shortly after he realized his horror. It was my Dad’s birthday, so we offered him the chance to take the workshop as a birthday gift and more importantly spend time with two of his sons. He passed as well. 😦 See the pattern here? With her vast and devoted blog following Amy’s star shines like the Buzzard’s Bay Lighthouse and Colin and I are still but a couple of Maglites. (I don’t care though, a Maglite is a kickass flash light. Cops use ’em!)

photo 1

Look at me up there! Giving a real stern lecture about Chalk Paint. To nobody! What a shame.

photo 2

Here’s a good one of Colin giving personal tips to another invisible student. Look at how handsome he is!

I’m being facetious for comedic effect, something I do quite a bit of if you’re new around here, but there’s no doubt that people are clamoring for our mom’s workshops and we have a ways to go until we establish ourselves as teachers.  It’s certainly not for our lack in talent and ability and if you’ve ever seen Colin’s work or my work in our stores or on our websites and social media sites, you know that we are both master painters. I’m not bragging, well, what’s the saying? Oh yeah, it’s not bragging if it’s true. (Brushes dirt off shoulder. Pops collar. Goes to hi-five Colin, but Colin’s busy with customer and I’m left hanging. Puts collar down. Continues typing.)

Anyway, I’m firmly confident in our grasp of all things Chalk Paint® and in our ability to execute myriad techniques in addition to teaching them and translating them to our customers. I think Annie unknowingly conspired against ol’ Colin and me when she said “It’s a girl’s paint, but boys can use it, too.” Just kidding Annie, love ya. There’s no doubt that it’s probably like an 80-1 ratio of women to men using this amazing paint, but I am noticing an uptick in dude Chalk Painters. Maybe dudes don’t want a sausage fest workshop? Or is it that women don’t feel comfortable being taught by two tall bros with blue eyes? The world may never know. Well, we will keep offering our workshops, because we are good at what we do. In the meantime, Amy’s will continue to sell out and be a smashing success, but don’t say you weren’t warned when you see me giving a workshop to a screaming crowd of thousands at Madison Square Garden, lookin’ like Roger Daltrey ripping it up during Live Aid at Wembley Stadium in 1985.


That said, today I taught our first Mini-Workshop. We figured we’d experiment with miniature hour long workshops for those who couldn’t commit to a four hour tilt. Today I taught about waxing. If there is one thing I’ve learned in my experience, it’s that if people struggle with one thing with Annie’s products, it’s their waxing technique. I wrote a blog about it months ago and I continue to field questions to this day. This workshop seemed like a no-brainer.

And only one person signed up 😦

But my student, Jane, was in luck, because she was about to get undivided attention and a one-on-one lesson. She was no stranger to the paint, but admitted that she clams up in the waxing phase. She was a tremendous study, and I’m firmly confident she’ll be waxing like a professional for the rest of her life. See, I was a baseball player for most of my life, and waxing isn’t much different from hitting a baseball. When you know how to do it and you’re in the zone, you don’t much think about hitting, you just do it. When you’re cold and in a slump, you’re changing your swing, trying different things that usually only compound the problem. This is the same with waxing, learn to do it right, you don’t have to waste your time with old wives’ tales and horseshit techniques that don’t work. I’ve written extensively on this subject so I won’t waste more type or time.

Just glad to let you know what’s been goin’ on.

Oh yeah, Madison and I got engaged on Sunday.

A screengrab of Madison's Instagram

A screengrab of Madison’s Instagram announcing our engagement


12 thoughts on “Our First Mini Chalk Paint® Workshop

  1. Congratulations on your engagement!
    You are a good catch — a man of many talents and also can write and be verbal. Wow! Madison is a lucky woman. I am sure she is a great catch, also. I am sure she will have a long “Honey Do” list for the rest of your life with all your talent and skill. If I lived close to you or was even in the area long enough, I would take your class. I am getting ready to move and want to try milk paint, wax and more after I get settled. So, I will need your advice and place an order at that time. Best wishes to you. Blessings

  2. Congrats to You and Madison, and to your families. WOW!! Im so happy you found each other. Wishing you both a happy future. Blessings, Arleen

    See y’all on 10/8

  3. Y’all are TOO cute and if I lived closer(in VA)I’d sign up….I’m sure the two of you have lots of tips and tricks to share!

  4. Congratulations on the engagement! I love your writing style and wish I lived close enough to take a class. The. Waxing is the thing that I’m just not sure about. I ordered a buffing brush and got it last week. Plan to give it a try this weekend. I may need to go read your blog on waxing first, it’s just a little intimidating:)

    • Thanks so much for the kind words! My writing style is a bit different from many home decor blogs (including my mom’s) but I think it’s important to be true to myself. It means a lot for you to say you like it!

      Sent from my iPhone


  5. That’s awesome, Justin–congratulations to you both! Your painting and waxing tips online and in the store worked really well for me in finishing the 1980s dresser I’m using for the future baby’s room and a previously unfinished bookshelf. Thank you! I’m sure before long you’ll have tons of people clamoring for your workshops. ~Emily

  6. Justin!
    You are my ASCP hero! I have visited so many sites and read so much and then…
    I found you when I was searching for info on waxing, buffing and decoupage. Your mom must love having a family business.
    I do have a question for you now and I am sure many more later. I am new to Annie Sloan. I live in Maryland, or I would be visiting in person and dragging my husband to a guys workshop. I first purchased paint, wax and brushes on 8/21, (two visits since to our local stockist, “A Journey From Junk”, in Ellicott City, MD) and I have already painted about 10 pieces of furniture and have started a good collection of colors. I have an art background, so that has helped. When you posted about using dark wax immediately after clear wax, it was music to my ears. I have done well with the rustic painting and dark wax on Emperor’s Silk and dark wax on Chateau Grey, but I didn’t like how it was looking on Provence , which was my first light color and I painted over it. Now I know that it was because I waited in between the clear and dark wax!

    My question is: If I am clear waxing a piece, applying it to 16″ areas, wiping the excess as I go, do I wait until I have covered the entire piece with clear wax and then immediately begin with the dark wax?
    or do I apply clear wax to a 16″ area, wipe the excess and then apply dark wax to the same area before moving on to apply clear and dark wax to the next?
    Looking forward to hearing from you and reading your next post!

    By the way, Congrats on your engagement! I am a make up artist and “painting women” is my first love. Painting furniture is my newest love. I also love spending time in Maine. Hoping to detour when we are heading north and visit Maison Decor!
    Please visit my website and especially check out the photo gallery!

    Painting people and furniture until everyone finds life beautiful!

    Jodie Hawk

    • Unless it’s a gigantic piece, I would clear wax in its entirety and then dark wax. The reason it’s risky is because if any dark wax leeches over to the unwaxed portion, you will stain the paint and have a problem.

      Also, thank you so much for such a thoughtful comment and kind words.

      You’re a doll!

      Sent from my iPhone


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