When I think of paradise, I think of the crystal blue water of the Caribbean Sea.
That color blue is both vibrant and calming. It is the epitome of beauty.
So, while custom painting jobs cause me as a lot of stress and worry, I was thrilled when a client asked me to paint her brown buffet to match a vintage-style clock she’d purchased from Hobby Lobby, I gladly took the challenge.
I paint furniture all the time for my house and to sell in my booths.
But there’s something about painting a piece of furniture that belongs to someone else. I always worry.
What if I mess it up? What if they don’t like it? What if something terrible happens to furniture while it’s in my possession.
It’s as nerve-wracking as a first date (although it’s been a while since I’ve been on one of those).
My biggest challenge with this buffet was getting the color just right. The owner left me a fabric swatch and the clock as color inspiration. She wasn’t a stickler for an exact match, but she did want the paint in the same color family. When you’re dealing with blue-green shades, that can be a challenge. More green, and you have aqua. More blue, you have teal. Or is it the other way around?
Because of lighting and photo editing, the color of the buffet and the clock look different in some of these photos. But side-by-side, it was almost an exact match. The buffet has a dusty pale aqua wash over it that mimics the finish on the clock. That doesn’t show up well in all these photos.
I decided to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint because the buffet still had a like-new, glossy factory finish, and I knew chalk paint would adhere well to it. I also happened to have a lot of Annie Sloan’s blues and greens in my workshop.
Mixing the right color for Jennifer’s buffet involved a lot of trial and error — and some eleventh-hour crazy painter lady tweaking.
Intially, I tried Duck Egg Blue over Florence. Too green.
I experimented on several drawers, adding more of one color until the tone was just right.
I ended up using a mix of Annie Sloan’s Provence, Old White and Florence in equal parts. I thought that was perfect color.
After distressing the buffet, I sealed it with clear wax and added dark wax (mixed half and half with mineral spirits to give me better control). I wiped off most of the dark wax and buffed the piece to a high shine. And I loved it.
Then the next morning, I looked at the buffet and the clock side by side together in new light and decided that the color was too bright. Beautiful, but too bright. My painted finish didn’t reflect the dusty coolness of the clock.
So, I added a wash of Duck Egg blue to the already waxed piece — gotta love chalk paint — and wiped most of it off, just leaving a cloudy tint that toned down the boldness of the original color.
Finally, I waxed it again — with clear wax only — and buffed.
And it was a perfect as the Caribbean Sea.
I’m happy to report that my client loved her buffet — especially the color. And one of her friends who saw the buffet as I was delivering it loved it too. And now she might be calling me for some custom painting work.
Another first date? I’m already nervous.
Linking up to