WRITER | CANDIE CONAT
PHOTOS | WISE OWL CHALK SYNTHESIS PAINT
Three years ago, Karen Chouinard was looking for a safe paint that could replace the toxic paint she had used for a DIY project. After spending over $150 on paint and paint products to do one table, then reading the long list of cautions on the can, she was frustrated. She searched the internet for DIY paint recipes, but each lacked one thing or another. So, building on her background in environmental science and chemistry, Chouinard began experimenting with combinations of natural products to create her own paint and soon realized she had created a far superior product than anything on the market.
In the beginning, Chouinard made paint for her own home projects. She began telling friends about its amazing properties. Before long, word got out that she had created a fresh batch in new, creative colors, and people started lining up on her porch. The demand was too great for her home kitchen, so she began searching for a manufacturer to produce her all-natural paint. Ultimately, she turned to the O’Leary Paint Company, which has over 125 years as a family-owned paint company and is known for its natural paint products, green certification, and many industry awards. It was obvious that Chouinard’s search was over, and Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint was born.
What is so darn special about Chouinard’s paint? Unlike latex paint, it takes fewer steps and far less elbow grease to use. Clean your item, paint it, seal it. No sanding, scrubbing, priming, or second-coating – and no harsh chemicals to worry about! The paint is self-leveling, so it smooths out on its own with each stroke, no brush marks and no runs, resulting in a gorgeous matte finish. The paint is versatile and can be used on any surface – wood, glass, metal, plastic, leather, fabric, mirrors, and laminates. That same versatility makes it easy to alter for creating different effects.
Chouinard enjoys being in contact with her many retailers (over 115 of them) around the US as well as Canada and Australia. They keep her abreast of current trends based on what customers are saying, helping with the creation of new colors. In recent years, the industry has seen a shift from neutrals to what Chouinard calls “bright, brave colors.” “Of course, the neutrals and vintage colors will still be around, but many new bold and fun colors will be added,” she says.
Wise Owl is not just about paint. They also sell the world’s best paint brush, the Cling-on, made in the Netherlands. “Never will you have to pick bristles from your finished product again. And you will see the smoothest finish ever when teamed up with Wise Owl paints,” she said.
One of Wise Owl’s most recent natural additions is Lemon Verbena Furniture Salve. It is made with all natural products such as hemp seed oil, cold-pressed lavender oil, and lemon verbena essential oil along with natural plant-based waxes. From refreshing wood to sealing paint to reviving old leather, removing oxidation from metal hardware, removing nasty unwanted smells from old furniture and other items, and polishing stainless steel appliances, her customers have been amazed. The furniture salve is water resistant, antiseptic, antifungal, antiparasitic, and antibacterial.
In other words, it kills mold, mildew, mites, pathogens, bacteria, and insects of all kinds, including moths. Bye-bye mothballs! Chouinard claims this stuff can even double as a hand and nail treatment – it’s that safe. With scents derived from essential oils, it’s wonderful for aromatherapy as well.
When she heard complaints from professional painters frustrated with polyurethane topcoats that would yellow with age and were not durable, she and her team proceeded to develop the first top coat containing no urethane. It is a crystal clear resin, matte finish top coat that is durable and washable. The product has been well received thus far.
Wise Owl Synthesis Chalk Paint has a deep connection to the protection of our world. Chouinard and her team are devoted to being as green and environmentally friendly as humanly possible, even using wind energy credits to offset the cost of running their website. The paints are Zero VOC (volatile organic compounds), just another confirmation that these products will not harm either Mother Earth or her children.
Wise Owl Chalk Synthesis Paint l (248) 716-0449 l WiseOwlPaint.com