Novice Painters In Western Pa. Chalking Up Success To Annie Sloan Product

By Kellie B. Gormly
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Laura Glatz, owner of a Wexford paint store, says that painting at home can be a risky job, with the fumes potentially sickening people. But many devotees are swearing by the environmentally friendly chalk paint by Annie Sloan, which is gaining a following here and beyond.

Glatz’s store — The Backdoor Furnishings, off of Perry Highway — is a designated “stockist” who has undergone professional training and continuing education for the water-based, lead-free chalk paint. The paint is relatively odorless and has very low content of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It is sealed with a special Annie Sloan wax.

“People don’t want to paint indoors with something that is going to be harmful in any way,” Glatz says.

Although The Backdoor Furnishings sells other painting products — like the General Finishes line — the major bulk of the business comes from the chalk paint, which even pregnant women are comfortable using, Glatz says.

The store offers frequent workshops teaching people to use the chalk paint for home projects. The two rotating workshops are BYOP — “Bring Your Own Piece,” where participants bring small pieces of furniture and other items to paint — and “Kitchen Cabinet,” where people learn how to reface their existing cabinets in the kitchen, bathroom or laundry room by bringing in two door fronts. Learning how to do this yourself could save thousands of dollars, Glatz says.

“Chalk paint is a little bit different than a latex paint,” says Glatz, 48, of Mars. “We teach them how to apply the paint and distress the furniture.

“Especially for the ‘Kitchen Cabinet’ workshops, there is a technique to get that smooth finish that you want, and you need to make sure you’re doing it properly,” says Glatz, who previously worked in the energy industry.

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