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Must haves for your painting arsenal! Guest Blogger -Trinda from Dearly Distressed

Wise Owl Must Haves 

Who am I, and what do I have to share with you today, you ask?
I’m Trinda, a displaced Canadian now living in the USA, mommy of two grown girls and owner of Dearly Distressed.
I’m pumped to be the Wise Owl guest blogger, since I have never blogged before in my life. You guys are my first audience in a blog setting.
I help run a Facebook group called Furniture Rehab Addicts with over 20k members (great ones I might add)
What I want to share with you today are my favorite products. Part 2 will be on Pro tips and Tricks with guest contributors (that I’m sure some of you may recognize).
This will be a two part series, as there are SOOOO MANY things I want to mention. I don’t want to overwhelm and lose you guys!
Stay with me here…trust me, this gets better.
Whether you are just starting out, have possibly hit a plateau or are an old hand in painting furniture, I’m hoping you find this information helpful.
I know, some days I get brain farts and need to Google or ask my awesome members their opinions on application techniques or even what their favorite sealer is, because my arm is killing me from waxing… I hate waxing…I still use it sometimes, but I prefer an easier application for sealing.
I’ve tried nearly every brand of boutique paint/wax/sealers/brushes from the cheapest to the most expensive. I have my personal favorites and plan on sharing some of those today as well.

Those of you that do know me (hiiii!!), know that I am direct and to the point…I don’t sugar coat things, and I don’t care if I hurt some feelings along the way with my honest feedback.
I’m also known for my passion and  to get you, the reader, the best possible product out there. Whether it be for easiest application, best durability, coverage, or even to save you a few bucks!

Part 1 Must Haves

Cling Ons!!!

I know I know, we all want to save money….and many think all brushes are the same, or even that in the end you will have the same outcome no matter which you choose.
Sorry, this is a BIG FALSE. No, No, No….. Not all brushes are created equal. How do I know? Because, I thought the same thing when I started out…No way was I paying 45 bucks for a “you know who’s”  Paint brush…yea, not happening, so I went to the hardware shop and grabbed a nice angled brush, paid a whole 5.99 for that baby.
I was pretty impressed with my purchase, and thought, gee, this works pretty good!
Yea……it worked “pretty good” with my homemade chalky paint recipe…..
But then I moved on to “boutique” brands, and realized, it was “ok” but maybe this is why people rave about the “real” chalky paint brushes when using chalky type paints. So, I went all out and bought a “real” chalk type paint brush, natural bristles….. It was awkward at first then I got the hang of it……but noticed it was leaving grooves in my paint, and within months my bristles got so short, the paint wasn’t flowing well either.
Karen Chouinard tried convincing me I’d love the Cling On brushes….but I’m stubborn, and said, I’d hate it because of the long handles and god forbid I try something a retailer was “pushing” on me…but….a year later I tried my first Cling On after giving up hope I’d ever find a brush I LOVED, enough to start telling everyone how great they were…. Seriously…Cling On all the way people.
It’s a synthetic bristle brush made in the Netherlands, employing people with disabilities (bonus)They are AFREAKINMAZING.
When bought from Wise Owl you’re guaranteed quality and awesome customer service to boot!
There are a lot to choose from, don’t get discouraged or overwhelmed because wise owl offers bundle pack
My personal favorite is the F40…why? Because I come from a family of painters…wall painters that is. So I am used to the flat brush.
Their biggest seller WAS the O40, til their new Matte Varnish arrived on the shelves (more about that in a few minutes) now my favorite has hit the top of the sales chart!
On top of being the best dang brush out there….you won’t break the bank either, super affordable starting at $18.50.  Remember, you’re only as good as the tools you use, people, don’t be afraid to invest in the best!!!
Did I mention they even have these funny looking angled brushes for hard to reach areas? 

Let’s talk about Non-wax SEALERS for your chalk style paint.
Wise Owl’s Matte Varnish

Did you know Wise Owl now carries a water based Matte Varnish?
It’s Matte.…but not completely Matte, it does have a subtle sheen to it. Why? Because.
The “matte-ifying” agents in “Matte” sealers stay more porous and has less durability, sorry, but this is the truth. You’ve probably noticed after applying a Matte finish, that it kinda still feels like the chalky type paint you just used. With Wise Owl’s Matte Varnish, it won’t yellow if applied properly (not too thick!!! And keep a chip brush handy for any pooling, I will go more into this in the Tips and Tricks part of this blog, so keep an eye out)
It saves the ol arm from waxing a whole piece, and goes on great with the F50 Cling On!!! Ohhh yea, sooo smooth baby!!
This stuff goes on crystal clear people!
I hear word on the street is they are coming out with a Satin version too!
Guess what I just found out? I tried using this as a decoupage medium, yes I said it, it’s officially a universal product and it works!!! So not only are you getting a crystal clear sealer, but a decoupage medium (and I’ll be testing out it’s transferring abilities soon), for the price of ONE product!
Pics and more chat about this in part 2, so stay tuned for this!

WAX (If you MUST wax, this is the only wax you’ll need)
Wise Owl’s Furniture Salve

What can I say….I hate waxing…like seriously hate it. BUT….. If I have to, my new favorite is Wise Owl’s Lemon Verbena Furniture Salve (most popular scent)this stuff is THE BOMBDIGGITY of universal use “wax”.
It’s not just a wax, it’s also hemp oil. I don’t know how they did this, but I use this shit on everything…well maybe not on fabric (unless it’s leather), but pretty much everything else is fair game. Like I’m talking even great for flyaway hair and cutting boards here. Plus is smells heavenly. *sighs*
***update I now know how they made this!
So, Karen sent me some as soon as they made the first batch to try out…It sat in my workshop for at least a month, because it was friggin wax…..and I was thinking, I’ll never use this stuff.
But one day I did an antique shelf in Antique Villa, heavily distressed, and thought, here’s an opportunity to try this stuff out.
Well I opened that can up and it was love at first smell…I dipped my rag in there and started to wipe it on the shelf and thought, Hmmm, ok, this goes on nicely, smells good, easy to work with, smooth as buttah!

Use Code trindasblog for 15% off your next order of wise owl products available at

I started using the Furniture Salve on EVERYTHING after that day.
It’s GREAT for inside musty drawers, on the sliders to keep from sticking (though I quickly learned I loved this product so much I didn’t want to waste it on sliders anymore and used regular wax for that.)
It revives dried out leather, just like the Wise Owl Hemp Oil will, but the salve smells so good and buffs so nicely on the leather. I’ve also used it over old lackluster metal to give it a new look and just buffed it off. ( BTW, you don’t need to Buff as vigorously as you do with regular waxes, another bonus).
The Furniture Salve gives just as much protection as any other wax would, so no worries on losing the durability for the versatility here!
Also, just so you know….Wise Owl also makes this Salve in CLEAR!!
So there’s a Lemon Verbena, a Lavender and a Clear/no scent.  The clear is ideal for food grade surfaces like cutting boards unless you want your cutting boards to smell like lemon verbena, then have at it.


Most everyone I know or hear from have at one time or another been afraid of Glazing…some of you may still be… There’s a neat trick to applying glazes that we will touch in the tips and tricks section of part II so stay tuned!

Sometimes when you paint furniture or anything with nice details, you just know it needs more depth or it’s missing that ” je ne sais quoi?”. This is when Glaze comes into play.


Glaze over layered Limestone and Gray Linen by Dreamin’ Big Designs



Whether you’re adventurous or like to stay in your comfort zone, you’ll find a Glaze color with Wise Owl’s HUGE selection of glazes. 

Dark Star Glaze! Metallic blue goodness

Wise Owl Black Walnut Glaze is their biggest seller, quickly followed by Dark Star (makes me think of Star Wars), one of their newest colors.
But if you’re the adventurous type then you’ll be surprised to see they offer 16 , yea I know….16 colors, in which 10 are metallic.
Considering how far a can of glaze goes, you really can’t go wrong with their pricing either.
So Wise Owl, hands down has the biggest and colorful selection out there.
Get ready to get your credit cards out people, you won’t be able to stop at just one color!

Pssst, but that’s ok, because I have a coupon code for you 😉

Use Code trindasblog for 15% off your next order of wise owl products available at

Check back soon for Part 2

Thanks for reading!!

Trinda -Dearly Distressed



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New 2017 Limited Edition Seasonal Colors! -Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint

We are so over the moon to share our new seasonal limited edition colors!  It has been hard keeping these lovelies a secret and we are very excited that they are now available.

2017 is the year of brave and outside of the box  paint colors.  These new shades were inspired by Spring and also by rising and surprising trends in home decor. We hope you adore these daring shades that are sure to bring depth and dimension to your projects.


Abyss is inspired by the deepest depths of the sea.  This shade is the richest, most pigment drenched blue green. Abyss pairs beautifully with grays, Nebula and cool ocean tones. Add black hemp oil wax or black glaze to increase depth.



Inspired by the color of the year, greenery is a energetic shade of spring growth. Pairs well with our new shade, Blush! Finishing touch of black hemp oil wax, draw out earth tones with black walnut glaze, or soften this bright shade with white wash glaze.




Blush is the new neutral for 2017, and we are in love. This faded pink is inspired by the palest of spring peonies. Blush pairs well with Vintage Duck Egg, Greenery, grays and whites. Try it with Opalescent pearl glaze for a subtle luminosity.



Black Cherry

Black Cherry is the bravest shade of vamp. Eggplant, blood red, and Amethyst tones make up this deepest shade. Black Cherry is a jewel tone that is very dark. deep and SURE to create a Beautiful and Dramatic piece. Pairs well with Peppercorn, Smokey Quartz and Black. Finish with Black wax or Glaze to create even more drama.


Black Cherry is the bravest shade of vamp. Eggplant, blood red, and Amethyst tones make up this deepest shade. Black Cherry is a jewel tone that is very dark. deep and SURE to create a Beautiful and Dramatic piece. Pairs well with Peppercorn, Smokey Quartz and Black. Finish with Black wax or Glaze to create even more drama.



Sapphire is a deep blue hue inspired by the shade that was first mixed by the French artist Yves Klein. This is the richest, truest shade of ultra-marine, primary blue and is electric and rich. Pairs well with beeswax, grays, and reds. Finish with black wax/glaze or embrace the bold nature of this beauty with our new Verbena Salve.



Bone is a creamy pale gray that is almost white. It has a vintage richness like weathered white washed shiplap. It is one of the most versatile shades and pairs with EVERYTHING! If you are looking for an alternative to off-white, bone will surprise you with its mix or subtle warmth and cool tones combined. Due to Bone’s versatility, most all wax and glaze would be a perfect for the shade of lovely.


You can find these as well as the rest of the Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint lineup here.  You can also find the closest Wise Owl retailer to you here.

We hope you adore these selections and Happy Painting!!






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Wise Owl is a VOC Free Furniture Paint – Learn More

What makes Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint So Great? 

What we DON’T put in our products, sets us apart.


Why Wise Owl is a VOC free Paint:

Thankfully, in recent years, a substantial amount of attention has been focused on the ingredients found in paint.  I’m sure you have heard the terms zero VOC and Low VOC but do you know what they mean?  My intention for this post  is to educate consumers about the hidden dangers present in some of the products they have used, or may be using and why Wise Owl is a VOC free paint.

VOC stands for Volatile Organic compound.  Sounds scary right?  Well, it can be some pretty bad stuff.  The downside of VOCs is that long term exposure to them can cause health problems like kidney and liver damage, respiratory distress and disease, cancer, memory loss, can trigger asthma attacks and more.   Oil based paints are really the worst culprits when it comes to harboring these dangerous compounds but some water based paints have a high number of VOCs as well.

That new paint smell is something you want to stay away from.  Those smells are VOCs being released from the paint and the bad news is… only 50% of the VOCs within are released in the first year after application.  These compounds continue to be released, affected you and your family’s health throughout the years.

Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint is a VOC free paint, so you won’t be bothered by smell, headaches, or have to risk your health while using our products.  We want you to love what you create, and not have to compromise your heath or the environment to do so!

These 2 chemicals commonly found in paint are particularly hazardous. They are NOT present in our formula!

Ethylene glycol (Antifreeze) has been shown to be toxic to humans and is also toxic to domestic pets such as cats and dogs.

Methanol has a high toxicity in humans. If as little as 10 mL of pure methanol is ingested, for example, it can break down into formic acid, which can cause permanent blindness by destruction of the optic nerve, and 30 mL is potentially fatal.

Solvent and VOC free Natural Furniture Wax 

Our waxes are all free of chemicals and solvents.  They are made with natural beeswax, natural candelilla wax (made from the Euphorbia cerifera plant), 100% hemp seed and coconut oils, activated charcoal, and natural mica pigments.

Some companies offer furniture waxes that contain chemicals that are hazardous to YOUR health. Prolonged exposure to these solvent based ingredients waxes may cause adverse effects to the liver and urinary systems. Reports have associated repeated and prolonged overexposure to solvents with permanent brain and nervous system damage.

Here are some chemicals you won’t find in our natural waxes!

Naptha: Some forms of this chemical can be particularly dangerous to your health. Some even cause cancer. Many forms cause skin irritation, stomach upset, and more health problems with increased exposure.

Mineral Spirits: The poisonous ingredients in mineral spirits are hydrocarbons, which are substances that contain only hydrogen and carbon. Examples are benzene and methane. These may cause intestinal problem, rapid heartbeat, breathing problems, loss of alertness and even damage to your nervous system.

Petroleum: Breathing petroleum vapors can cause nervous system effects (such as headache, nausea, and dizziness) and respiratory irritation. Very high exposure can cause coma and death. Liquid petroleum products which come in contact with the skin can cause irritation and some can be absorbed through the skin. Chronic exposure to petroleum products may affect the nervous system, blood and kidneys.

These are just a few of the know dangerous compounds found in some furniture paints and waxes.  The truth is, these additives are generally used because they provide a cost savings to the manufacturer.  Using more natural ingredients can be costly but you do not need to sacrifice health to ensure great results.  Our waxes are strong, natural, and effective without putting you or your family at risk.  Our commitment to providing non-toxic premium products will not be compromised to save on manufacturing costs!

100% natural Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp oil or hemp seed oil is an 100% natural oil produced from extracting oil from seeds of the hemp plant, a renewable resource.  Using Hemp seed oil supports sustainable farming methods.  In its natural form, it is medium amber to dark greenish brown depending on the region from which it was harvested.  When unrefined, it retains more of its super powers including but not limited to; antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties, wood and leather refresher and conditioning agent, Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint sealant, and more.  Wise Owl hemp oil is different from many hemp oils because it is cold pressed (retaining the most antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties) unrefined, and it is also second pressed (preventing it from spoiling like first pressed and refined food grade hemp seed oils.  This safe and natural alternative to sealants is so safe, you can use on cutting boards and to soften skin!  You can read all out our Hemp seed oil and its benefits here.wise owl hemp oil



As someone who has spent most of her life nurturing injured and orphaned animals with my Mom, contributing to the decline of our environment and wildlife is not something I will stand for.  We take a strong approach to protecting our wildlife and water systems and choosing more natural ingredients helps us maintain peace of mind about our contributing carbon footprint.

My Mother and I preparing to release an orphaned raccoon when I was 10 years old.

My Mother and I preparing to release an orphaned raccoon when I was 10 years old.


My daughter, 3rd generation animal care


Preparing to release an adult Flying Squirrel, after its nest was destroyed.



If you use Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint, you already know that the absence of the above toxic chemicals does not diminish the quality of our products, it only helps by setting us apart from some less mindful folks in the industry.  We hope to inspire you to choose products that provide great results without risking your health.


Happy (and SAFE) Painting!!



Karen Chouinard

IMG_3011Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint

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Top Trending Furniture Paint Colors- The Wise Owl’s Guide to Finishes


Choosing a color is the hardest part of painting with Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint!  This blog will focus on the top selling and most adored colors and finishes. My goal is to guide you through choosing the best complimentary shades and finishes.  If you seek color inspiration, this favorite finishes post is your guide!

The one question I get asked more than any is “What is your favorite color?” The truth is, I do have a top favorite and it has never changed… it is JOYFUL!  I’m a turquoise fanatic (in case you haven’t guessed from our color chart).

JoyfulFor me Joyful is the perfect turquoise. It is the pop of color that can compliment many color schemes and finds a way to fit in despite its bold presence. Now that I think of it, being the oddball in the room is something I am familiar with lol. That may explain my love for all things JOYFUL! In my opinion, Joyful is best complimented by Black Walnut Glaze. I love that the glaze adds richness to the finish as well as creates an authentic time worn patina.  It tones down this fierce shade of happiness while still preserving its beauty. Joyful is a vintage shade that plays well with colors such as Gray Linen, Grecian Clay, Peppercorn, Weathervane, and more. Try it with our black hemp oil wax for an aged patina finish that mimics what only time can generally do. Here is the description listed on our website for Joyful: The Perfect turquoise! Just enough green to showcase shades of blue with a slight gray cast to make this an accessible pop of color without being over the top. Black Walnut Glaze and Joyful were meant for each other where vintage patina is desired. It is no secret that this is my personal favorite and it remains our best selling color next to Vintage Duck Egg. It is a versatile color that can be paired with every one of our finishes


Projects: top right and bottom left, Shades of Chic

Vintage Duck Egg


My second favorite color is almost neck and neck with Joyful, it is a natural beauty called Vintage Duck Egg.  This dusty shade of green-blue-gray is a color that is so accessible, it almost deserves a place on the neutral scale.  It provides a pop of color that is just dramatic enough to standout, while remaining serene and not overpowering.  It plays well with Creme, Gray Linen, River Rock, Limestone, and Smokey Quartz among others.  I like to finish it with Driftwood Glaze for a gray washed look, or Black Walnut Glaze where a more dramatic dimension drawing finish is desired.  Also perfect finished with Black Hemp oil wax, this shade never disappoints.  It remains our best selling non-neutral color since its release in the Spring of 2015.  Initially released as a seasonal selection along with Sea Salt, Weathervane, and 1950’s Green, these players all became part of our lineup due to their popularity.  Our website describes Vintage Duck Egg as: Green blue and gray meet, creating a shade reminiscent of lichen growing on a tree. A beautiful pop of color that is almost on the neutral scale because of the natural shade. An elemental soft green gray often found in nature that is pure perfection paired with all neutrals.vde


Projects: Top left Brumley Gap Designs, Top right Painted LLC, Bottom left Almond Road Designs


AntiqueVillaAntique Villa, this shade is a given… its described on our website as: The perfect off-white, not too stark, not too creamy. This shade has just enough warmth to feel inviting while still remaining bright.  Antique villa is the color that compliments all colors.  I adore it paired with Sea salt, Gray Linen, Peppercorn, and Bowie.  Antique Villa has been our #1 selling shade of all time.  It plays well with all colors from subtle to bold and everywhere in between.  If white is not a choice but a lifestyle for you, then here is your selection!  It is complimented beautifully by Mortar Glaze, an oyster gray/beige glaze with just enough richness to highlight details and create a multifaceted finish.  Try our Driftwood Natural Wax for a subtle gray washed finish.  This is the most popular neutral selected for painting cabinets as well.



Projects: Top left The Salvaged Boutique, Top right Painted LLC, Bottom Left Lindsey Atwell




The contender for best selling shade after Antique Villa is Black.  Described as: True and deep, this jet black is perfectly complimented by pearl wax for a luminous washed black, or white wax for a dramatic vintage chalkboard feel. Black or clear wax can also be used to preserved this pigment drenched black.  Black is a dramatic choice for statement pieces and finished simply with our Clear or Hemp Oil Wax, but also can be complimented with white wash for a vintage chalkboard finish, or Driftwood Glaze for a weathered gray wash.  It may also be finished simply using our Hemp Seed Oil.  If Hemp oil is new to you, check out our blog post about all things Hemp oil here.




Projects: top left Maebelle’s Treasures, top right The Salvaged Boutique, bottom left Brumley Gap Designs


Creme-alt2 (1)


Shabby chic and eclectic style lovers agree, Creme is a shade that blends in and makes itself at home.  The quintessential french creme, a succulent heavy cream shade with warmth that is not perceived as yellow but a rich shabby white.  It stays far from the yellow scale while possessing warmth and richness.  Creme plays well with all colors and is a common selection for an accent inside hutches, on 2-tones dresser drawer fronts, and more.  Mortar glaze will add a dramatic richness while our Hemp Oil Umber Wax will add an espresso infused faceted finish.  Creme is versatile and knows no boundaries, so experiment with selections here with ease.




Projects: Top left and right The Salvaged Boutique, bottom left Darling and Distressed Boutique




Limestone is a new player in the neutral game.  A whisper of cool Gray that is on just barely on the white spectrum. Vintage Duck Egg is my personal favorite to pair with Limestone. Driftwood wax is a beautiful finish that adds subtle dimension to this shade.  Limestone has quickly become a favorite due to its agreeable disposition when paired with almost any color.  Grays are a traditional favorite, and this pale mix of alabaster and crushed limestone have been a top seller and personal favorite of mine.  Try it with Mortar, Charcoal, or Driftwood glaze or dry brushed with Antique Villa.




Projects: Top left Dreamin’ Big Designs, top right Dearly Distressed, bottom left The Furniture Art Studio



Mermaid KissNow for some excitement!  Mermaid Kiss is a turquoise lovers dream.  It has is a bold happy selection that can still be toned down with Charcoal or Black Walnut Glaze, Black Hemp Oil, Umber wax, or White Wash Glaze.  Pair it with any neutral or Coral Reef or Begonia for a tropically drenched pairing.  Layer it with Deep Turquoise and Joyful for a Caribbean inspired trio.  Here is what we said about Mermaid Kiss on our color description: Paint is therapy and this gorgeous turquoise is your happy place! Bright, fun, electric, and versatile. Tone down with black walnut glaze for a vintage patina or use white wash glaze to soften this shade. Umber wax can be used to create a union of opposites attract. Peppercorn and Coral Reef are two personal favorites to pair with Mermaid Kiss. This is a bright, energetic pop of color this is simple stunning paired with so many colors. Try it with antique Red for a surprising harmony.mermaid


Projects: Top Left-bottom left Wendy Wilshek’s Handpainted Furnishings, top right Junque with a Purpose,



Smokey QuartzSmokey Quartz i is my go-to shade on many projects both as an accent color, and a stage stealing neutral.  Described as: Perfectly balanced true gray. Just enough cool and warmth to be situated in the middle of the gray spectrum. Accent with peppercorn for a 2 toned beauty but also coordinates with any shade because of its versatility. Try Black Hemp oil wax paired with it for added dimension.  My favorite combos include pairing it with Limestone or Peppercorn although, it plays well with many others.  Charcoal Glaze is a great finish where dimension and rustic appeal are desired.






Projects: Top Left Kenosha Retro & Chic, Top Right Alexa Kamrad, Bottom Left A Shade of Teal


PeppercornSince Peppercorn and Smokey Quartz are pretty much besties, they deserve to share the spotlight.  Peppercorn is: Almost a graphite, this rich gray is a beautiful yet dramatic choice for cabinets and more. Deep cool gray that is a favorite paired with Higgins Lake, Limestone, Joyful, and complimented perfectly by our Black Walnut Glaze.  This deep shade of gray is another fave of cabinet painters.







Sea SaltIf you want a show stopping unique beachy shade, Sea salt is a great selection!  Beachy salty air inspired this shade of lovely. Gray, Blue, Green, and White all combine to produce a color that seems to change throughout the day depending on the suns influence. Pair with Smokey Quartz, Peppercorn, Limestone, Gray Linen, or Snow owl. Pearl wax or Pearl glaze can be used to add luminescence without being over the top.  This alternative to white has plenty of ocean inspired tones that is truly the most multifaceted color in our lineup.




Projects: Top Left Bergshire Manor, top right The Salvaged Boutique, bottom left Darling and Distressed Boutique


Gray Linen


Gray Linen is arguably the most versatile of all the neutrals.  This shade of greige (gray/beige) has enough gray to balance well with blacks and grays and enough warmth to pair with Espresso and browns.  It is a french inspired soft shade that compliments both modern, traditional, and vintage decor.  My favorite pairing is with Grecian Clay.  Mortar Glaze, Black Walnut Glaze, and Black hemp oil wax are a few suggested finishes to use with this warm unbiased neutral.  The most versatile of all shades, a greige with equal parts gray and beige to create a tone that lends itself to cool and warm accents equally. 



Grecian Clay



Grecian ClayThe more dramatic counterpart to Gray Linen, a richer shade of greige that is reminiscent of homemade hot cocoa with enough gray to reserve its place as a versatile neutral. Glazed in Black walnut glaze or waxed in black hemp oil wax, this neutral will reveal unexpected richness.  This color has been a best seller from the beginning because of its versatility.  Pair it with Gray Linen, Creme, Tourmaline, or any neutral.





Projects: Top left and right Ms Peddler’s Boutique, bottom left Dreamin’ Big Designs


Higgins Lake


Higgins lakeOne of the most loved and best selling blues in the Wise Owl Palette. A truly versatile blue that has a slight turquoise cast while remaining an approachable and very complimentary color to most every shade. Pairs with all neutrals and Driftwood Glaze has quickly become a favorite finish. Its safe to say that Higgins Lake Plays nicely with all colors. Inspired by its namesake, a clear and almost Caribbean looking lake in Michigan.  This continues to be the favorite blue in the Wise Owl collection, try it with Creme, Peppercorn, or Grecian Clay among others.  This is a very versatile vintage inspired blue.  I love it finished with Black Hemp Oil wax!




Projects: top left Farmhouse Lane, top right Reimagined Restorations, bottom left Homespun Market




Bowie: A true show stopping peacock blue. Navy with a slight emerald cast create an unforgettable and one of a kind color. Dramatic and attention demanding, it is a gorgeous accent to whites, Gray Linen, Smokey Quartz, and more.  Released Spring 2016 as a tribute to its namesake David Bowie (a personal lifetime favorite artist), Bowie possesses a unique, androgynous, unusual, and  exciting beauty. With these attributes, we found it necessary to name it after a legend that possessed these same traits. Since its release, it has risen as a favorite dramatic and jaw dropping selection.  It is a distinct alternative to navy due to its emerald green undertone paired with a rich nautical navy.  It is perfect paired with whites, Smokey Quartz, River Rock, Joyful, and reds.  For a surprising but inspiring pairing, try complimenting it with Neptune.  You can add dimension with Black Walnut or Charcoal Glaze or Black Hemp Oil Wax.  Checkout our blog featuring Bowie here.bowie


Projects: top left New Life Creations by Al, top right Rehab To Fab, bottom left The Salvaged Boutique.




Tourmaline: A medium vintage natural shabby chic green that is simply sweet. A muted green compared to our brighter 1950’s green. Black Walnut or Black Glaze is a beautiful compliment but Tourmaline remains a receptive color to all of our finishing products. Creme and tourmaline pair together to create nostalgia and paired with petal you may be reminded of spring peonies.  This green has become a new favorite in the last year.  Pairs well with Petal, Creme, Limestone, Smokey Quartz, Grecian Clay and more.  It is a vintage shabby chic green with modern appeal.




Projects: top left Ms. Peddlers Boutique, top right Urban Farmhouse Finishes, bottom left Maebelle’s Treasures LLC.




Weathervane is a deep bronzed gray/brown that is almost black.  It has much more warmth than the cool gray tone of Peppercorn and adds masculine drama to pieces.  This shade is a luxurious combo of coffee beans and vintage black chalkboard.  It is great paired with neutrals, Greens, turquoise, Anchor and Bowie among others.  Despite its unique shade, it pairs so well with gray, beige or rich brown decors.  Add more drama with Black or Charcoal Glaze or tone down with White Wash Glaze.  Black Hemp Oil Wax and White Wax are 2 more recommended finishes as well.




Projects: top left Brumley Gap Designs, top right Painted LLC. bottom left Urban Farmhouse Finishes.







In addition to favorite colors and finishes, I thought it would be helpful to showcase a few of my favorite paint brushes.  My #1 favorite go-to brush for all projects is the Cling On O40, this medium oval brush makes painting enjoyable offering a brush stroke free finish, easy cleanup, and this workhorse of a brush is just the right size for most projects.  Check out our blog post here to find out what makes these brushes so special and why they are the go-to brush of professional furniture painters.  O40


For cutting in and smaller projects, I recommend the Cling On R12.  This dainty round brush is the smallest round brush in our lineup and one I find myself using often.  R12




If you are creating a more distressed, shabby chic finish try our HQ 45mm  paint and wax brush, the large round natural bristle brush is essential for creating texture and dimension as well as applying wax.  This is my favorite size brush for waxing and it really helps speed up application of wax, and you will find you use less wax than application with a cloth.  The HQ brushes are incredible brushes for getting into detailed areas and painting spindles.



It was hard to just pick a few colors to feature but these colors of Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint are my personal and customer favorites alike.  Don’t stop here, explore all of our colors here.  Discover your own favorite colors and finishes, choosing a color is the hardest part!




Happy Painting!

Karen Chouinard







Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint

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What is the big deal about Wise Owl’s hemp seed oil?

If you are part of the furniture up-cycling world, you have likely heard about hemp seed oil.  This miraculous product is powerful super tool that lends itself to an array of beautifying and strengthening finishes.  This is definitely a product that lives up to its street credit!

What is hemp seed oil?

Hemp oil or hemp seed oil is an 100% natural oil produced from extracting oil from seeds of the hemp plant.  In its natural form, it is medium amber to dark greenish brown depending on the region from which it was harvested.  When unrefined, it retains more of its super powers including but not limited to; antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties, wood and leather refresher and conditioning agent, Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint sealant, and more.  Wise Owl hemp oil is different from many hemp oils because it is cold pressed (retaining the most antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties) unrefined, and it is also second pressed (preventing it from spoiling like first pressed and refined food grade hemp seed oils.  Hemp oil is considered a drying oil because of its ability to polymerize into a solid form.  What does this mean exactly?  It will harden and become one with the surface (cure) and reach its strongest finish and bond once it has fully dried, lending its strengthening property to the finish of paint and wood.   This can take between 2 weeks and a 30 days depending on environmental temperature and humidity.  You may still use your piece finished with hemp oil in the meantime, but take care to protect it from water and heavy wear and tear until it has cured.  Hemp oil is suitable for outdoor use, and may be applied in multiple coats to produce a more water resistance finish.



What can hemp oil do?

  1. It may be used on finished wood to clean and protect, or on unfinished wood to bring out the richness of the wood grain and protect it from water. It is also food safe, making it an excellent choice for beautifying and protecting cutting board and butcher blocks.
  2. It makes an excellent sealant over stained furniture! Simple allow the stain to dry for 3-4 days, then apply hemp oil onto the surface and let it absorb then wipe away any excess oil.  Hemp oil may be reapplied at any time to re-freshen the surface and bring out the wood grain.
  3. It removes oxidation from various metals and may be used to clean corroded hardware and remove tarnish.
  4. It provides a strong alternative to waxing chalk style paint. This strong paint finishing product will rival polyurethanes in terms of tenacity!  If applied properly, it produces a finish that is not only strong, but also buttery smooth and uncharacteristic of many chalk style paint finishes.  It will not add any shine, and will preserve the matte finish of Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint.

    Hemp oil helped reveal serious beauty and dimension on this raw spalted maple slab.

    Hemp oil helped reveal serious beauty and dimension on this raw spalted maple slab.

Raw walnut slab finished with hemp seed oil.

Raw walnut slab finished with hemp seed oil.











How to apply hemp oil to seal wood:

Simply apply hemp oil straight out of the bottle, with a brush, or with a lint free cloth, and allow it to penetrate the surface.  Wipe away excess oil.  Repeat as necessary to renew and refresh the woods finish.

Results after hemp oil on rustic pine table.

Results after hemp oil on rustic pine table.


Hemp oil renewed the natural beauty of this chair.

Hemp oil renewed the natural beauty of this chair.


This rustic table top revealed its hidden beauty with some light sanding, staining, and hemp oil.


How to use Hemp oil to seal Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis painted pieces:

  1. Paint
  2. Apply
  3. Wet Sand
  4. Buff Well

Wet Sanding Instructions to seal Wise Owl Paint:  Make sure the paint has had time to adequately cure (at least 24 hours).  Working in small sections, apply hemp oil with a brush, cloth, or straight out of the squirt bottle.  Sand the oil into the surface of the paint.  Use fine sandpaper (300 or above) to work the oil into the surface of the paint (this is called wet sanding).  Distress at this time if desired.  If distressing a piece with raised wood grain or detail, a beautiful result is the illumination of the wood grain beneath (see picture below).  Buff the excess hemp oil/paint dust slurry with a lint free cloth immediately after sanding and move on to the next section and repeat.  The finish should feel dry to the touch when adequately buffed.  Leaving too much residual hemp oil on the surface will produce a tacky or sticky finish as the hemp oil dries, so take care to buff well.  If you notice any areas that look like they may not have absorbed enough hemp oil (blotchy or uneven finish) simply apply a a small amount of hemp oil with a lint free cloth and buff well to ensure the area has been saturated.  Do not apply any additional full coats until the hemp oil has cured from initial application.  Wet sanding is only necessary with the first application and this is generally all that is needed for most furniture.  Hemp oil penetrates through the paint instead of sitting on top like wax, this strengthens the painted finish dramatically.  Furniture intended for outdoor use may benefit from additional application of hemp oil.  You may still wax over hemp oil if desired such as when using an antiquing or colored wax.

Wet sanding with hemp oil can produce a wood grain defining beauty like this rustic pine primitive cabinet.

Wet sanding with hemp oil can produce a wood grain defining beauty like this rustic pine primitive cabinet.

*Note:  Due to the natural amber color of hemp oil, it may not be ideal for use over whites.  It could add a slight antique/creamy color on whites but will not produce a noticeable difference on most colors once sanded and buffed well.

Dresser finished with Smokey Quartz and sealed with hemp oil. It is the softest and strongest piece in my home, and I make everyone "pet it" to feel its buttery smooth texture.

Dresser finished with Smokey Quartz and sealed with hemp oil. It is the softest and strongest piece in my home, and I make everyone “pet it” to feel its buttery smooth texture.


How to clean tarnished hardware and oxidized metal with hemp oil:

Saturate hardware or oxidizes metal with hemp oil.  You may soak smaller items in a bowl of hemp oil, allow to sit on metal surface for a minute, and gentle wipe away oxidation with a cloth.  This is especially helpful to bring back the life to metal straps and hardware on antique trunks!  If you have an old trunk that seems dry and thirsty, it may just be calling for some hemp oil!

Wise Owl Hemp Oil in action!

Wise Owl Hemp Oil in action!

Pressed leather from the early 1800's was renewed using hemp oil alone!

Dearly Distressed restored and protected this pressed leather piece from the early 1800’s using hemp oil alone!

This thirsty trunk was revived using nothing but hemp oil!

This thirsty trunk was revived using nothing but Wise Owl Hemp Oil!


Once you have found one use for hemp oil, you will find yourself bringing everything back to life with It!  It is a wonderful and natural product that you don’t have to worry about getting your hands in and getting dirty.  Hemp oil is also used in many cosmetic grade products so you can also plan on the added benefit of a hemp oil manicure!

You can find Wise Owl Hemp oil here in 5oz, 8oz, and 16oz sizes priced from $11-$24.  You can also find the closest Wise Owl retailer in your area here.

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