“Debi’ this could be a blessing in disguise ….”

Mom, you always say that, I really don’t see how it could be..

Each morning I sit on my Mom’s bed and give her an update on the day before, it’s been a difficult year for my Mom and I, she’s my best friend. My Mom was 19 when she found out I was on the way, and it was just the two of us for the first few years, I don’t think there have been many days in my adult life that we don’t talk on the phone at least once  (or five times).

My Mom is battling cancer, cancer is ugly , painful and sometimes humiliating. My battles are not nearly as hard, they are your typical day to day trying to pay the bills kind of struggles.

About this time last year, my paint sales went from awesome,  to a jarring halt, I’m not going to go into detail about what I believe happened but I do want to provide a brief explanation as there have been numerous questions regarding my recent departure from CeCe Caldwell paint.

If you  follow me  and watch my videos  then you know that CeCe Caldwell paint was a big part of my business, I loved the products and the people. I promoted, sold this brand exclusively .

The short version is that there were changes to company policy that I personally didn’t like, however small businesses often change as they grow so I tried to move forward and find a work around to the issues that I had.  I was very attached to the products,  and the thought of leaving was one I debated for several months. Last month another big change occurred  and it became clear ( for me personally) that it was time to resign as a retailer.  When I resigned, I left without a back up plan, and this felt like jumping off a cliff because paint sales are what keep my lights on.

I began contacting every company I could find that offered one step furniture paint,  hoping and praying I would discover something that I loved as much as CeCe Caldwell.

In the process I met many  wonderful small business owners, who sent samples and answered my questions,  many even said they were praying for my Mom!   Social media can be so wonderfully powerful and supportive. I’ve read all of the kind words  that have been left on my page, to my Mom, your prayers are so encouraging and your comments make us both cry.

When boxes of samples started to arrive I was  surprised at how different each product was. This topic deserves it’s own post! Stay tuned I have a post on the way describing  the 6 brands I tried, what I liked about each one, not just from a customers perspective but from a retailers perspective.

Two of the companies I contacted offered to create a line for my brand, Debi’s Design Diary!

Wow again.

I was excited by this idea but the weight of it was heavy. I’ve been a small business owner for over 20 years, it’s hard work to say the least. Good products with good terms are essential to success,  and there are many variables to carefully weigh before investing in a product to sell.

If I was going to put my name on a product I wanted it to be fun and easy to use!  I wanted affordable prices and terms for retailers that will help them succeed.

When Paula from Heirloom Traditions offered  a plane ticket to come meet her and see how her business works, I knew I had to go.

Good products are important, good people behind the products are essential, so I got on the plane..


When I arrived in Kentucky, I immediately liked Paula1 We talked in the car, over dinner ( I think the waitress had to come back three times before we even looked at the menu) and the entire next day about paint. I probably grilled the woman with a hundred questions. Paula never tired of me and I could see that she loved the subject of paint, repurposing furniture and small business as much as I do, most importantly , it seemed like we were on the same page.

Then it was time to see how the paint was made, and more questions, this time for Aaron. Aaron is the third generation in his family’s paint manufacturing business.  This man knows paint inside and out, he listed off every ingredient in the can, what it does and where it comes from.

I had questions about VOC’s, pigments, what chalk and clay does to paint… oh yes clay is good! I interviewed Aaron on video so I’m going to save most of this for later but Aaron said  one thing that  I have to share now, regarding pigment.

Most of the paint on the market is made from a base, the base is purchased and then pigment is added. If you have been to the hardware store to buy a custom color you have seen this first hand. Paint that is made from scratch, is different, the pigments are ground in, this makes paint 70% pigmented vs. 30% pigmented if the pigment is added later.  The photo below is of pigment as it is being ground in. Awesomeness!

 I  also had questions about how quickly HT could produce paint,  so they whipped up a giant barrel for me in no time and I videoed that too!

This was the point where I really started dreaming about colors, names and packaging!


I was excited, but I wanted to return home and settle down, weigh it all out and of course talk to my Mom.

Over the next few weeks it became clear that this was the direction to go in.  I teamed up with Heirloom Traditions and I’m very excited to offer an excellent line of products and a wonderful retailers program! If you are interested in becoming a retailer for Debi’s Design Diary DIY Paint or Heirloom Traditions, (or both) you can contact Paulaat Paulablank41@gmail.com If you have additional  questions you can email me at hello@debisdesigndiary.com or message me on Facebook!

If you would like to try some paint for yourself, I will be adding the products to my website tomorrow and my store shelves are full!  Somehow the word leaked out….I’ve already sold a few pints of vintage linen while the shop was closed today!

My product line is launching with 10 colors and four  finishes! Soon to come are more colors  and other fun enhancements .

Heirloom Traditions offers 50 colors and 10 waxes. Both product lines will be available on my website and in my shop!


I loved naming the colors and working with Claire my assistant to design the packaging.  I hope that  Vintage Linen, Gravel Road, Petticoat Pink, Carnival Red, Layered Chocolate, Seaglass, Faded burlap, Black Velvet, Mint Chip, and  Mermaid Tail. will inspire you to paint!  Quarts retail for 30$ Pints are $20 and 6oz samples are $10.

Liquid Patina, ( not photographed  yet) comes in five colors, Dark and Decrepit,  Vintage Pearl, Gypsy Gold, Silver Tiara and Chandelier.

Another exciting thing….

See the QR code on the back of the label?  Scan it with your phone and it will link to a video!  I crack up at the thought of an unsuspecting customer scanning the code in a shop somewhere…  hopefully they’ll be dancing  up to the counter with a few  colors by the time the video is over!

There is more to come! My amazing friend Christine Rose Elle is working on a new website for Heirloom Traditions, and she’ll be at my shop this Sunday for photo shoot! In the next few weeks I’ll be sharing pictures of Heirloom’s color pallet and  the furniture I’ve been painting!

It’s after midnight 🙂 time to finish this post.

Next week I’ll be introducing  Paula and some of the retailers to you, they have some inspiring stories to tell.

My Mom was right, this was a blessing in disguise!

Thanks Mom.




PS… There’s another big announcement coming… it might involve milk paint! Next week :

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