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July Book-of-the-Month: Paint Alchemy by Annie Sloan

July 13, 2009 4 Comments by Regina

So, I’ve been going to the library a lot. In one of my jaunts, I found the Fauxology Book-of-the-Month: Paint Alchemy by Annie Sloan. As much as I love how easily we can find paint materials nowadays, I do like the idea of traditional artisans creating their own materials in their studios. They would use the pigments and secret ingredients available to them to make durable paints and gorgeous colors. This book helps artists understand how paints are made — and provides 30 recipes (with visuals) for creating some of the materials we easily take for granted today.

The simplest of recipes: Pigment + Binder = Paint


Annie Sloan, the author, has over 20 books to her credit. She lives and works in Oxford, England. She trained as a painter and headed her own design firm. She also taught decorative painting for a time at London’s Inchbald School of Design. She now works with Chalk Paint, a handmade artisan paint. In this particular book, she goes into the history of pigments, binders (the glue that sticks the pigment to the surface), mixing your own colors and choosing the best materials for your purposes. The recipe section is divided into two sections: small quantities and large quantities. They include interesting formulas for coloured waxes and concrete, textured paint, distemper, limewashes, egg yolk & egg white paint (very interesting), fabric paints and gesso. There’s even more to discover.

Blues-Violets Blue-Wall

Flooring Wood Greens

Mixing-2 Large-Earthy-Graphic

The book was published in 2001 and although some of the finished surfaces have become more sophisticated, it seems like the recipes themselves would stand the test of time. I can’t wait to get around to putting some together! I hope you get a chance to view the book — whether by purchase or through your local library. Until tomorrow!

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  1. Arthur
    1985 days ago

    I love the new look,compared to mine lol maybe your person could critique mine….

    Your content is great!

  2. Lucinda
    1984 days ago

    I’m a huge fan of Annie Sloan. I’m not familiar with this book. I’ll have to check it out.

    In college I painted a triptych in egg tempera paints and gold leaf, stylized after Filippo Lippi – an Italian Renaissance painter. It was so much fun, and was my favorite painting ever. It was stolen from the school gallery while on display.

    The other greats that painted in this style; de Vinci, Botticelli. Now I want to go play with this medium again.

  3. Julie Stonehouse
    1981 days ago

    If you like that book (and like Lucinda, I love Annie Sloan), check out my current read: Color, A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay. Its all about artists in their studios through time making paint and art and the author travels the world and the rainbow and tells a great story.

One Trackback

  1. By Faux-cus on the Pros: Annie Sloan | Fauxology on July 8, 2011 at 3:03 am

    [...] written about one of her books before as well as her popular Chalk Paint line.  Today, we spend time with the fun-loving woman [...]

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