A more advanced furniture painting technique (for me) is color blending to make a so-so piece dramatic and eye catching. Seriously I thought it was a skill for real full-time professional painters only, the painters who make a bunch of money and have their own successful shops. That is not me, so I dismissed it as something too advanced . . . until I found my painter sister friend experimenting with it. She demonstrated it which inspired me to watch some YouTube video’s, of which I am very thankful. Check out this instructional Brushed by Brandy. OK, I decided to give it a try.
My Inspiration Piece
First: Primed every thing but the cabinet top. The top was still in great shape with lots of grain, it needed some enhancing.
Second: One coat dark color homemade chalk paint (Starry Night by Sherwin Williams) over the entire piece – I paint with the drawers and doors removed.
Third: made sure I had plenty of time in the day to figure out this color blending thing. I chose a color that was a mid-range complimentary blue, not too light. Even with the best video’s, there are nuances to pick up by doing it.
Lesson Learned: Wet paint looks more dramatic then when it dries. I thought it was perfect when it was wet. The highlighting from color blending wasn’t nearly as dramatic looking after the piece dried so I am a bit disappointed. It doesn’t look like there is hardly any difference between the light and the dark. Next time: I’ll use two colors that have a bit MORE CONTRAST.
Fourth: experimented with the cabinet top to enhance the wood grain and deepen the color from orange to brown by applying Van Dyke Brown Glaze by General Finishes. Glaze is a transparent color but really I had no other reason to think that glaze would accomplish my goal and it did! I brushed it on like paint and left there without wiping any off as glaze is often used. Wowza!
Fifth: Applied a very light handed glaze shadow in the deep parts of the doors and on the edges everywhere. It helped to create more drama!
Last: Top coated before applying gold highlights on edges of the doors and drawers using Rub N Buff and my finger.
It turned out nicely despite the lack of color blending contrast. I’ll add it to my tool box of styling techniques for future pieces and as always, continue to study my craft.
I love this look and process so much, I did it again on this next piece found at Kiwanis Thrift sale last Saturday. Ethan Allen small buffet with louvered doors below is painted sea glass green, added paper clay applieque’s, GF Van Dyke Brown glaze all over and gold high lights.