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.

Atta Girl Says: Custom Handpainted Caribbean Blue Buffett

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).

Atta Girl Says: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Buffett in Custom Mix of Provence Old White and Duck Egg Blue

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.

Atta Girl Says: Custom Handpainted Caribbean Blue Buffett and Clock
Mixing the right color for Jennifer’s buffet involved a lot of trial and error — and some eleventh-hour crazy painter lady tweaking.

Atta Girl Says: Wood and Rattan Buffett Before

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.

Atta Girl Says: Custom Aqua Blue Chalk Paint Buffett

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.

Atta Girl Says: Custom Handpainted Caribbean Blue Buffett

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

Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Feature Friday

Savvy Southern Style

Project Inspire(d)


  1. You did a phenomenal job matching that color. Whenever I mix a custom batch, I am afraid I won’t make enough and will run out just before I finish. It looks great!

  2. It turned out beeeeutiful! You obviously put a lot of work into this piece and it shows. Looking forward to some custom painting from you in my future and some draperies in yours. 😀
    Suzy recently posted..House Snooping at The Comforts of HomeMy Profile

  3. Nancy Carroll says:

    What a great job! I just love blue painted furniture!! I can tell the before was sturdy but homely. Now it is a thing of beauty!!!

  4. It’s beautiful Amy :-) I get nervous doing custom jobs too. I think that’s because we care!
    Kathy, Petticoat Junktion recently posted..Silhouette Cameo Unpacked Finally-Now WhatMy Profile

  5. Our are the master mixologist!…Love the combination of the colors and the result is gorgeous Amy!!! She must be thrilled with her new pieces!!

  6. Amy. You nailed that color…nervous and all.
    laura recently posted..Summer Home Tour at Top This Top ThatMy Profile

  7. Looks great, Amy!
    Marty Walden recently posted..Father’s Day Gift IdeaMy Profile

  8. [email protected] of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer says:

    I love this color! I am just like you, I can paint pieces for myself all day long without hesitation, but I’ve had a few requests for me to paint things for others and all of a sudden I feel like I don’t know what to do!! Silly! I just don’t want to mess anything up! I may or may not have been avoiding my neighbor lately due to such a request…I’m glad the owner of this piece was so pleased:)

  9. Wow, this looks fabulous! The color match is perfect and they look like they have always belonged together. Love the color too :)
    Katie recently posted..5 Inspiring Weekend ProjectsMy Profile

  10. Very pretty! I too get nervous mixing colors, because I think I may run out before I finish the job. I also get super nervous with custom jobs! You rocked this one! Beautiful color and finish!
    Kim recently posted..I’m branching outMy Profile

  11. I’m doing a commissioned set of 8 chairs for a client right now and can’t get the primer to dry (it has been 5 days). Have tried everything and at this point a good stripping party looks like the final possibility. I don’t like commission work for this reason. I did everything just as I always do when using primer (which isn’t very often), Love AS for that reason. Your color is similar to a now blue I’m using and it gives such a “boost” to a room. Good work, Amy.

  12. This is stunning! You did an excellent job matching that paint color! I love it! Hugs, Leena

  13. ADORE!!!!! Don’t know which I like more, the paint colour or the dresser style. Gorgeous!
    Anne recently posted..Shabby Chic Meets French CountryMy Profile


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