Right now I’m sitting in my office in my cozy, little farmhouse in Indiana with a dog laying on my feet and a cup of hazelnut coffee in my hand. But last week I was in Waco, Texas…
… meeting Chip and Joanna Gaines.
It’s kind of crazy to actually type those words! Many of you who follow me on Instagram and Facebook probably already saw some photos from my trip to Waco, but now that I’ve been home for a week and have been able to actually process all the exciting details, I wanted to sit down and tell you guys all about it. So let’s start at the beginning.
Just a few short weeks ago, I received an email from the awesome people at KILZ asking if I would like to come down to Waco for an event celebrating their partnership with Chip and Joanna Gaines. As you may or may not know, Joanna recently created an amazing paint line with KILZ called Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines, and according to this email I was reading, Joanna was about to debut a brand new product in her collection. I’m still not sure how I was selected as one of the lucky few who were invited on this trip (I believe I was one of only five bloggers who went), but there was no way I was going to let an opportunity like this pass me by!
So I accepted the invitation, worked out travel arrangements, and marked the big day on my calendar. Before I had kids and a blog, I was the girl who planned out every detail of everything I did way ahead of time, but now I’m the girl at Target late at night before her 8 am flight to meet Chip and Joanna trying to find an outfit to wear. Two new pairs of shoes and a pretty new shirt later, I was headed home to attempt a few hours of sleep before my early morning wake-up call.
I landed in Waco on Monday afternoon and checked into Hotel Indigo, which is right in downtown Waco and really close to Magnolia Market. You can walk to Magnolia, some good restaurants, and all kinds of little shops from the hotel. I knew of one other blogger who was going to be in Waco with me, and to be honest, she’s always been my blogger girl crush. You all know Liz of Liz Marie Blog, right? Well, Liz and I met up after I got settled into my room, and we went straight over to The Silos. If you’re a Fixer Upper fan like I am, you’ll understand how exciting it was to walk up and see the big Magnolia Market store and their new bakery and the beautiful garden and the yummy food trucks and all the families and babies and cute puppies that were enjoying the day there.
Liz and I ordered crepes from one of the food trucks and sat at a picnic table chatting about what the next day would be like while we drank a sweet tea. Even though I had only met Liz once before at a conference this summer, it felt like I was sitting with an old friend catching up on life. Blogging can be somewhat isolating because we sit behind a computer by ourselves for the most part, and even though we are very connected with our readers all around the country and even around the world, it’s also very easy to feel completely disconnected because not many people understand what we do for a living. So sitting with Liz on that warm, sunny day was the perfect medicine to a very long winter. We walked around downtown Waco a bit more and grabbed a coffee before heading to another cute vintage store in town. It didn’t take long before we realized that code names were necessary for the two of us, because every time we ordered food or drinks and both gave the name Liz, they always gave us a very confused look. It was silly and made us laugh, which was definitely needed to calm our nerves about meeting Chip and Joanna the next day.
On Tuesday morning, we walked from the hotel over to this gorgeous venue where the KILZ and Magnolia event was being held. We stepped inside and saw beautiful white tables set up and a big display of the Magnolia Home paint colors, and off in the corner chatting away, I spotted Chip Gaines. I guess in my mind I pictured this event taking place in a giant conference room where every blogger and media person under the sun would be anxiously waiting to get a glimpse at the dynamic Fixer Upper duo, and I would just be one little person in that giant ocean of people. But that wasn’t the case at all. There were maybe 20 of us who filled the seats at those beautiful white tables and nervously waited to see how the day would unfold. Okay, maybe no one else was nervous, but I certainly was!
Once we got settled in, we had a delicious breakfast of treats from the bakery at Magnolia and met a few of the faces behind the KILZ brand. And then out walked Chip and Joanna Gaines… right in front of me. I was star struck to say the least. They gave us a very cute “hey ya’ll”, and before they even spoke about why we were there or their collaboration with KILZ, they asked us to go around the room and introduce ourselves. It was right about that moment when my jaw started quivering uncontrollably, my face became flushed, and I wondered if I was even going to be able to speak when it came to my turn. I think I said something like, “Hi guys, thanks for having us here! My name is Liz Fourez from Indiana, and my blog is called Love Grows Wild…”
Chip being the jokester he is said, “What goes wild??” Joanna playfully gave him a smack, and I said something like, “yeah, I get that a lot.” I was probably completely red by that point, but it was really funny, and I managed to introduce myself without sounding like a total weirdo. Exactly how you see the two of them on television is exactly how they are in real life. Chip is funny and outgoing and personable and genuine and totally pushes Joanna’s buttons at times with his silliness. And while Joanna is much more quiet and introverted, her words have so much depth and softness and heart behind them that you can’t help but linger over each and every word.
Chip and Joanna talked to us for a while about their Magnolia Home paint line with KILZ, how it came to be, and the inspiration behind the colors. The line features 150 beautiful colors in everything from creamy whites to soft blues to subtle grays and muted greens and just about everything in between. But what I really love about Joanna’s vision for this paint line is that she hand crafted 25 colors to be part of her Market Collection, a distinctive palette of her go-to colors. She explained that whether you’re an experienced designer who is looking for those perfect tried and true colors or you just purchased your first home and need a little guidance in narrowing down all the paint color options out there, the Market Collection has something for everyone.
Then they had us all gather around a big mystery curtain that had Joanna’s latest paint creation with KILZ hiding behind it. Joanna is coming out with her own chalk style paint! If you’re reading this blog, I’m assuming you have probably refinished a piece of furniture before or tried using chalk paint on a smaller decor project, and you’ll understand my excitement over Joanna’s big news. I was able to try the paint out that day on a cute wooden tray and was really, really impressed, but I’ll share more on that in a minute.
So here’s what I learned about the Magnolia Home Chalk Style Paint:
- The paint will be available starting in late spring, and you can purchase quart-size containers at MagnoliaMarket.com. Select colors will also be available at Magnolia Market in Waco.
- The line features 44 beautiful colors with a fast-drying ultra matte finish and a low VOC formula.
- You can use the paint on a variety of surfaces including old and new wooden furniture, cast stone, concrete and metal.
- The rich concentrated formula provides excellent coverage and a smooth application. One quart will cover up to 100 square feet with two coats.
Later, we spent some time with Chip as he demonstrated the importance of using the right primer before painting your room or project, and I watched him paint over crayon drawings, lipstick marks, dirt, and various other stains. I learned that the primer doesn’t necessarily have to completely hide the stain because that’s what the paint is for. The primer’s job is to seal the stains in and make sure they don’t seep through your finished paint job. KILZ has been around for over 40 years, and it’s the primer I’ve always used in our home!
We made our way over to a table that was set up with sample cans of the Magnolia Home Chalk Style Paint and a variety of wooden trays, frames, and other decor items to choose from. I looked through all the pretty paint colors like Americana Egg, Weekend, Bright Days and Deep Rock, but I’m sure it’s not hard to guess which color I ended up choosing… the perfect, creamy Shiplap white.
As I started brushing on the first coat of paint, I noticed right away how smooth the paint was going on the wood and how well it was covering. One thing I learned about Joanna in just the short amount of time I was with her is that she’s not just going to put her name on a product that doesn’t meet her standards. She worked with KILZ from start to finish on creating these paints, and you can tell right away that the quality is unlike any other. The first coat dried pretty quickly, and the second coat was even easier to apply. I told some of the ladies from KILZ that I especially noticed how little odor there was from the paint. I was truly impressed after working with Joanna’s chalk style paint, and I cannot wait to get my hands on some at home to play with more!
(that’s Liz and I in the corner behind Chip!)
As our projects were drying, we were given the opportunity to have a special, intimate sit down with Chip and Joanna and ask them some questions we had. They had this adorable sitting area set up in one corner of the venue, and with the sunlight shining in brightly from the windows, Joanna looked as if she was glowing sitting on that couch. In case you couldn’t tell from these pictures, Joanna is just as beautiful in real life as she is on TV. That hair!
This was probably the moment I cherished most from that entire day. When I realized how close we would be sitting with them just chit chatting away, I thought I would go right back into the quivering jaw state I was in when I first met them that morning. But after spending the whole day with them and seeing how down to earth and personable they truly are, I felt as if I was just sitting and talking with an old friend. A small group of us five bloggers sat down with Chip and Joanna and took turns asking questions. Chip of course did most of the talking, and his optimism and storytelling is absolutely infectious. He has lived quite a life, and I could sit and listen to him tell stories all day. Joanna has such a gentle, sweet soul, and as a mom and female creative entrepreneur, I felt like I connected with her on so many levels. She talked about finding balance in her life and what her biggest passions are. She said that no matter what opportunities come her way, family comes first, and that has helped guide her in every business decision she makes.
After we had our Q & A with Chip and Jo, we said our goodbyes and got ready to walk over to The Silos where we would get a behind-the-scenes tour and do some shopping at the Market. We had all kinds of goodies from the day to take with us… Magnolia aprons, our paint project, paint brushes, color swatches… but it was a huge surprise to find that while Chip was talking to us about primer, Joanna had placed a signed copy of their book, The Magnolia Story, their new magazine (also signed), The Magnolia Journal, and a generous gift card to shop with at Magnolia. By this point I was almost overwhelmed by how special the KILZ team and Chip and Joanna made this day for all of us, and I kept just shaking my head and saying to Liz, “is this really happening?”
We walked over to The Silos and met up with some of the team from Magnolia, and they brought us up to the second floor (the shop is on the first floor) where their offices are located. It was of course decorated with the signature Magnolia style, and every nook and cranny was beautiful. You can tell they very quickly outgrew the space with the huge success they’ve seen! We walked over to Chip’s office (Joanna’s is at another location) and looked around at all the Baylor memorabilia and the gallery wall of photos and magazine articles and major milestones in their extraordinary career. One side of the office has big windows that look down onto the lawn where I imagine hundreds of people visit every day, and I just imagined Chip standing there looking at what him and Joanna have built together. It was probably a mix of exhaustion from travel, excitement and nervousness from the day, and the reality of standing right there in his office that made me a little teary eyed at that moment.
We climbed up to the rooftop and got a full view of the Silos on a gorgeous, warm, sunny February day, and then we went back downstairs for some retail therapy. The Market is beautiful and inspiring with perfectly styled displays and enough farmhouse goodness to make a girl spend every last dollar in her pocket. After walking around and just soaking it all in for a couple minutes, I picked up two large ticking stripe pillows, a ceramic pitcher, a wooden pot, and shirts for the boys and I. They just added a shipping station, which I thought was absolutely genius. So if you are traveling and don’t have room in your suitcase for everything you buy, you have the option to ship it all home right there in the store!
I shipped everything home, and it arrived just a few days later. I love these new additions to my living room!
And that was the end of my crazy, amazing day with Joanna, Chip and KILZ.
I wanted to sit down and write about my experience in Waco before I forgot any details (probably more than you even wanted to know!), but I will have a second post coming soon with more details about the Magnolia Home Chalk Style Paint and pictures of the tray I painted.
A HUGE thank you to everyone at KILZ and Magnolia who made this trip possible, and I am so happy that I can share this experience with you! In fact, because this was such a big deal for me, I’m going to give away my personal copy of The Magnolia Story and The Magnolia Journal to one of you since Joanna gifted me with new copies. Just fill out the form below to enter!
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Sooooo much fun! Thanks for sharing your Magnoliaexperience with us! I would love to paint a side table with the new paint.
What a crazy day! I love Joanna’s colors, they’re so livable. I would love to try their new paint on my book cupboard.
I would like to try it out on an end table that I have!
I was excited to see your post today. I recently read about the addition of chalk paint to the Magnolia collection. Can’t wait to try it!
It sounds like such an amazing experience! You told the story SO beautifully Liz, I could feel each and every emotion right there with you. xo
What an awesome opportunity! I love the airiness of your home.
Love your blog & decor!
Great post! I love Joanna’s style and her new line of furniture and paint! I would totally use this paint to repaint an old hutch I have that I want to turn into a mini bar. Love her shades of blues!
Thanks so much for sharing about your wonderful trip to Magnolia Market and for being willing to part with a copy of their book. I love your blog—you take gorgeous photos and your style is so bright, and clean, and calm. Love it!
Hi, Liz! I really enjoyed reading about your trip. You know, out of 5 blogers there, I follow 3, including you! It is a great group of people to learn and get inspired by.
I love the way you have decorated your home, every single detail. In fact, I got your book as a Christmas present for myself. It is a source of great tips for me, since I am in middle of remodelling our kitchen.
Looking forward to your posts about Joanna’s new paints 🙂
Many greetings from far away Croatia,
After reading about your experience I am more excited to visit Waco in a couple weeks! I just discovered your blog and absolutely love it! I definitely want to try out Joanna’s chalk paint, I have the perfect sofa table that is just screaming for a little “chalky” love!
So glad to hear that you had an awesome time in Waco.
What an honor to be there and meet Chip and Joanna!
I loved reading about your trip to Waco! The chalk paint sounds awesome. I look forward to reading your other blog post.
So glad I found your blog – I love it! I’m going to go back and read posts I’ve missed
I really enjoyed this post as I’m also a huge Fixer Upper fan!
I would paint an end table! Hope you visited the Magnolia bakery!
Yay for you, Liz!! What an honor and learning experience!
Absolutely loved hearing about your trip to Waco! I live in Temple, just 45 minutes from Waco and have been to the Silos at least 10 times, now. 🙂 Have always dreamed of running in to Chip & Jo. So awesome you got to meet them!
Liz, I am so happy for you to meet the Chip and Jo. What a lovely experience! And the winter look in the farmhouse is sweet, too!
I love your blog and enjoyed hearing about your trip to Waco. I live close by and try to visit the Silos often. There is so much to see and the shiplap cupcakes are delicious!
What an awesome post!! This sounds like an amazing experience. I have never been to Waco, but would love to go visit Magnolia. Thank you for your generosity with the giveaway. 🙂
Love Chip and Joanna and Fixer Upper. Hoping to visit Waco within the next few years. Thank you for the opportunity to win!
Can’t wait to try this new chalk paint. Love the colors!
Awesome … wish I could visit too! You paint a beautiful picture with words. Thank so much!!!
So enjoy your blog and the story of your Magnolia visit! Thanks so much for all you do! Ruth
This looks like it was such a fun trip & experience! Jealous over here!! I can’t wait to try her chalk paint! I do tons of projects with spray chalk paint & regular. Thanks for sharing 🙂
What a great experience! Lucky you!
What a wonderful trip, wouldn’t mind it myself. When will these paints become available in local stores? Much easier to purchase and see than ordering. What fun!!!
Liz, what a wonderful event for you! This is the real, bonafied “Follow your dreams” moment. Terrific post and can’t wait to see the new colors and milk paint.
What an amazing experience! The paint does look very beautiful, that Joanna can do no wrong!!
Beautiful items from Magnolia. I have purchased some treasured items on line. Thanks for sharing your trip!
Wow. Such an awesome time you had. I am thankful to you for
sharing your visit. I would love to go there.
Can’t wait to get some of the chalk paint.
How exciting! So happy you got to be a part of that special trip.
Do you think the chalk paint would work on kitchen cabinets?
Looks like you had a blast. There’s always a good reason to buy new shoes!!!!!!!!
How exciting for you! It was a trip of many memories, I’m sure. I was so glad to hear your personal take on the couple. We hear how down to earth they are but hearing it from you makes me a believer. So fun to see your purchases in your home too.
I am happy for you and your awesome visit!
Wow, what a wonderful experience! My sisters and I are visiting Magnolia in April for a girls weekend. We are so excited!
I loved your narrative. What a great experience! I can’t wait to try Joanna’s new chalk paint!!
I love working with chalk paint and love Fixer Upper, Joanna, and Chip. I cannot wait for their paint to come out to try it!
What an amazing opportunity for you. Your blog is absolutely charming and always a joy to read. It is obvious you work very hard and love what you are doing. I can think of few bloggers out there who deserved the chance to meet Chip and Joanna Gaines than you…but I would have picked Liz Marie too. You are both awe inspiring.
Thank you for he great information on the new KILZ Magnolia paint line and chalk paint. Can’t wait to actually see and try the new products! What a blessing to actually meet Chip and Joanna. They seem like such a special couple and family. Love Fixer Upper! Can’t wait to hear more!
Wow.. what an amazin experience! I can’t wait to try her new chalk paint!
Yes i am excited and would love to try out this paint. I have an old hutch that I would love to paint white. It is the dreaded oak color and would look great white!
You are so lucky! It sounds like an experience of a lifetime. Can’t wait to try the new paint!
I was so excited to read your post about visiting the silos…my husband and I were driving from Austin back to South Dakota last Tuesday and I HAD to stop in Waco! I was like you, nearly teary eyed when I walked into the market! I will definitely try out the chalk paint, and like you, will probably choose the shiplap white for a dresser makeover. I wasn’t lucky enough to meet the Gaines’, but I was certainly the envy of my workplace when I posted pictures of the Magnolia Silos! Great blog!
Wow! I was wondering why there was no Magnolia chalk paint. This is great news. I very much enjoyed hearing about your special day.
Hi. I too am a Chip and Joanna fan here in Canada. It was lovely that you were able to meet them. They just have such a winsome way about them. Their decorating style is so very inviting.
Sooo envious of your wonderful Waco trip!! Looking forward to trying the Chalk paint and seeing all the beautiful paint colors!!
So glad you had that opportunity to go to Waco to meet Chip and Joanna. Loved all the details. Thanks for sharing.
This is awesome! I already use Kilz primer and have for years! I can’t wait to check this out. I have a hutch too and would like to paint it so it looks nice enough to move inside! Glad you had a fantastic trip!
I would love to try their paint.
Wow! You were so lucky to be chosen to go to Waco! I bet it was exciting to meet Chip and Joanna in person! I would love to go there sometime. I love to shop. Your finds look amazing in your home. Love the softer side of your decorating. Thanks for the giveaway!
I have a mirror that needs a new look. Thanks for sharing, love your blog Liz!
The paint sounds really nice. What a lucky girl you were to have that experience!
I just loved reading your blog about your visit with Chip and Joanna. I cant wait for the her line of chalk paint to come out. I have a few ;pieces of furniture I would like to try it on.
So glad that you were afforded this amazing opportunity. And thank you so much for sharing your experience.
That is so cool. I’ve been to Magnolia Market; it’s fascinating. I would like to try the chalk paint.
Thank you for the chance to win!
Liz, I have been following your blog for a few years now and I also follow you on Facebook and IG. I felt genuine happiness while reading this blog post. I am so tickled that you got to experience your trip to Waco to meet the lovely Chip & Joanna Gaines…I’m a major fan of theirs, and yours. Also, not gonna lie, I was a little jealous. Ha! Your writing and photos makes me want to take a trip there ASAP. What a wonderful story to be able to share with your audience. So awesome!
So fun to read about trip! I’ve been there once but already looking forward to planning another trip. Love your blog and your new book too!
Thanks for the fun recap! I’m so jealous. I’d paint furniture pieces I have set aside to refinish and if that went well I’d try redoing my dining room table.
Yes would love to use Joanna’s new paints.
I am sitting here green as a gourd! Meeting Chip and Joanna would be so amazing. A trip Waco is on my bucket list. Thanks for helping us live vicariously! I would love to try out the new paint on a chest of drawers that is just crying out for a new look.
Would love to try this paint! I have a dresser from when my son was a baby that I need to paint when the weather gets better.
I enjoyed the article and the movie clip too. What an experience for you! I’ve been wanting to try her paint.
I love KILZ paint! It covers so well!! How exciting to find out they are teaming up with Magnolia! I would paint my newly designed laundry. It’s not built yet but after reading this review on these new chalk paints, it’s the perfect place to try out these new products!!
What an awesome weekend for you ladies. I would tackle painting three directors chairs for our patio!
Wow! What a fun trip you had – all the goodies and to meet Chip and Joanna, amazing! I’ve never painted with chalk paint. Can’t wait to see what you did! I would have picked out a white color myself too.
Thanks for sharing your experience! I can’t wait to try the new paint when it comes out. I appreciate you letting everyone know that Chip and Joanna are just as nice in real life.
Oh I don’t know furniture, walls, doors, the cat….anything that it can be used on!!! Love it!!!
Wow – what an exciting opportunity! I would love to visit the Silos! I really enjoy your blog. I’ve never used chalk paint, but have several small tables from my grandmother’s house that would look lovely with this treatment.
I am so jealous! I’m glad you had such an awesome time!!!
Would love to try a green chalk paint! Maybe on a frame?
What an amazing experience never to be forgotten! Thanks so much for sharing and making us feel like we were there as well!
Love hearing the details of your trip to Magnolia Market. What a wonderful experience!! Yes would love to try out their new chalk paint line.
Looks like you had a very special time in Tx. I think I’d paint my girls antique beds first… followed by much much more!!
Wow! What an amazing experience! I love your story about when they asked you guys to go around the room and introduce yourself! My hands actually started sweating just reading your post! Lol! I would have been so nervous too! This trip sounds like it was such a fun experience and I know you’ll never forget it! Good for you girl!
Hi, I loved reading your story! That is so exciting. So happy to hear all about the new paint line. I was just there yesterday and loved every minute of my experience.
Love it! I’d paint a wall in my craft room.
Love the colors, have so many things I’m saving to paint, (I’m really not a horder) I promise. Thanks for the opportunity.
I have a hutch I want to paint. We recently rented an apartment in Indiana. Most of my furniture is still at our house in NC, including the hutch. I really want to make a trip down to NC to get some things soon. Thanks for writing about the trip. I’m so happy you got to go.
We were in Waco on Feb. 22nd. It was great.
I would paint my boring oak table and chairs and turn them into something special!
I am excited to try it! Everything Joanna touches is gold so I’m sureally it’s good. I have only used Annie Sloan so it would be fun to compare to greats! 🙂 I have my old vanity from when I was younger that I want to give new life to for my two girls’ room and I think that would be a winner. Thanks for the opportunity! 🙂
Sounds like you had a wonderful time!!
I like to paint items I already own….refresh them….then stencil or paint something on them and make them into something new! Your trip sounded like a dream come true!
WOW how exciting, i could not imagine. A total honour to be chosen.
Thanks for sharing your story and your pictures of your trip to Waco.
What an amazing opportunity! I would have been on cloud nine the whole time!
Really enjoyed hearing about your Waco trip! As a Texan, I want everyone to have a memorable and positive experience when they visit our great state! Really looking forward to trying the new chalk paint line from magnolia market! Thank you so much for sharing!!
You are one lucky lady!! I also love your finds from the Market. I am in the process of building storage bench in my front entry that will look like an old crate with an upholstered hinged top. I would love to use the chalk paint for the wood slats and create a distressed farmhouse style finish.
I would paint the little wall outside my kitchen with Joanna’s chalk Paint! I love your blog!
What an amazing opportunity to get to go to Waco and spend the day with Chip and Joanna. It’s really generous of you to give away the book and magazine; I don’t know that I could part with it! As far as a chalk paint project goes I’ve got a couple of projects I’d like to work on but right now the main one would probably be painting the bottom of our dining table. My husband built it then stained it but it’s pretty dark. Once we put in our new flooring it’s close to the same color and our breakfast nook area isn’t big enough to put the right size area rug you’re supposed to have under a table. If I could do that then that would give it some contrast and break up the space under the table but right now the table just blends in with the floor. So, I thought I’d paint the apron and legs of the table white and leave the top stained. I’m not sure about the chairs though; 4 are all wood and similar in color to the table and the other 2 are wood (same color) and tan upholstery.
Loved reading about your visit to Waco. I am happy you were invited and experienced a great time. I want to try the chalk paint as soon as it is available.
Thank you for sharing.
What I love the most about this, is how humble you are in getting the opportunity to meet them. I love your blog and your home.
Thank you for sharing all your beautiful adventures.
That looks like such a fun trip, I hope to one day make it out there to at least see the store. It would be a dream come true to meet Chip and Joanna.
OMGosh… sounds like an amazing experience! What I’d do…
Loved reading about your Waco experience!! What an awesome & fun opportunity! Your Magnolia purchases look perfect in your pretty home! Enjoy your blog & your book so much!!
Thanks so much for sharing your amazing behind the scenes experience, I enjoyed every word!
You’ve already got me thinking about their paint for an old spool headboard I’m dreading painting 🙂
excited to learn and paint white
You lived my dream! Thanks for sharing your experience. I would love to use the chalk paint on an older dresser.
Truly enjoyed hearing about your visit with Chip and Joanna Gaines. I just love them!
Ahh, looks so wonderful!! Dream trip right there!