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Talking Shop: Chalk her success up to imagination

Deborah Waltz, who opened Peinture paint shop in Costa Mesa in January, lets her love of eccentric decor show.

November 21, 2013|By Rhea Mahbubani
  • Wooden chairs painted in various chalk paint colors hang on the walls of Peinture in SoCo Collection in Costa Mesa.
Wooden chairs painted in various chalk paint colors hang… (Don Leach, Daily…)

When Deborah Waltz first walked into the 2,200-square-foot space in the SoCo Collection shopping center, she saw a grey shell with empty vertical space, begging to be filled.

So she got to thinking.

Peinture, which debuted in Costa Mesa in January, now boasts chairs that instead of sitting on the floor are attached to a wall from top to bottom — large representations of the color selections offered by Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint, which Waltz stocks exclusively.

"A lot of people can't envision what the colors would look like just from a swatch," she said.

After flitting from garage sales to Goodwill and flea markets to the Salvation Army, she decided to bathe the pieces of furniture, some vintage and others modern, in 31 colors that form the backbone of her wares.

The Tustin resident also outfitted Peinture's entrance with a piano painted half white, while weathered squares of dyed cloth hang from clothespins attached to a wire that runs above an aluminum tree from the 1960s and an antique ballot box.

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Waltz's love of quirkiness is further evidenced by bits and pieces scattered throughout the room: sprinkler heads, grain shovels, old dumbbells, a 1940s Perfex camera and oversized sculpted letters.

Determined to make Peinture a one-stop shop for customers looking to revitalize their homes, she offers tools like paintbrushes, wax and towels on a display fashioned out of a French produce stand. The style "brings back nostalgia," the owner remarked, which she finds lends to Peinture's popularity, as does the high quality associated with Sloan's product and the furniture painting workshops that Waltz leads.

The paint, drawing its name from its velvety, matte finish, sticks to just about any surface indoors and out. Wood, concrete, metal, terra cotta and earthenware are all fair game. Also, Chalk Paint is hassle-free, something that can't be said of its competitors, Waltz, 45, said.

With traditional paints, surfaces have to be stripped of their base coat, sanded down and primed. The process is messy, smelly and time-consuming. By contrast, Sloan's fast-drying colors, based on 18th- and 20th-century decor, can be mixed and just slathered on, Waltz said.

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