A Believable White

 

old ochreThis little chest of drawers was a freebie and as such has often served as a practice piece when I’m experimenting with a new technique. It’s small enough that painting can be finished in a day but large enough to get the full effect of the play of colors and layers of paint. You may remember it used to look like this, but it was needing a fresh look before I could move on to adding new color.

Nothing says clean and fresh the way color white does, but I’m not a big fan of a solid, one color, white, factory looking finish. All the scratches, dents and wear that make it interesting and are naturally found on a vintage piece require a paint finish consistent with its character. Shiny bright white is just not going to work here.

One of the things I love most about Chalk Paint is that you can layer several coats and not worry about it peeling or becoming too thick and plastic looking. I started with a solid coat of Old White and added shadows with Old Ochre, and highlights with Pure White. Clear wax to seal and no distressing. The result is a white that looks genuine, worn, faded, and naturally aged.

White never needs to be dull and boring. If you are on the fence about using everyone’s favorite neutral, be sure to check out my posts, Only Temporary,  Mirror Image,  and  Why Not Just White. And later this week I promise to share some of the behind the scenes from last week’s video shoot.

10 Comments

Dana Geraghty

Beautiful…..Did you add a glaze or dark was to the corners/edges? It looks much darker than Coco in the details and edges. EXCITED about the video!

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Leslie Stocker

Hi Dana,
Not on this one. I just used the Old Ochre for shading. Could be that the lighting is making it appear darker in the photo. Thanks for the encouraging words about the videos. Let me know what you think when you have had a chance to view them. I’m hoping to start posting them next week.,
Cheers, Leslie xoxo

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Dana Geraghty

I have watched your “layering 1 and 2&3” videos. I enjoyed them and will be trying the technique tomorrow. I would LOVE to see you do a video doing a whole piece. :) THANK you so much for all the Fabulous ideas and tutorials :)

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Sharon Shearer

Great Inspiration piece. Could you elaborate in your posts or comments on your layoring technique on large pieces. I don’t have the experience to know where on the pieces to put in shadows or highlights. I have no art experience and when I’m told to distress — “in places that normally are worn” I really don’t know where that is.. I’ve taken the paint class and have tackled my kitchen cabinets and some desks..but am struggling because I have no technique confidence. Can’t wait to see your new videos.

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Shelly

I love the dresser! In your experience do you ever worry about the wax not lasting? I love the look of wax but I know that poly is more durable. I am afraid of doing a dis-service to my future clients selling them a piece that the finish might ware of. Even more so if I use it on the top of the piece. I would love to hear your experience with this! Thanks

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Shelly

I love the piece! I am a long time fan of Poly. Do you ever worry about the finish wareing off with wax, especially on the top of the piece? I want to use wax more but being so used to Poly as the clear coat I feel like I am taking a short cut and doing a dis-service to the client! I would love to hear you thoughts!!

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Leslie Stocker

Hi Shelly,
I think you do have to be careful when you are doing a piece for someone else, or to sell, and definitely err on the side of caution. Polyurethane has proven it’s ability to protect a finish. That said I think except for a tabletop wax offers good protection. I painted my kitchen table this summer and used wax to seal.I have refreshened it but I’m surprised how durable it’s been. (My youngest is in college so the kitchen is not the busy center of everything it once was. Give it try on something you are going to keep and see what you think. Thanks for asking:)
Leslie xxoo

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Lisa

I have found that I feel more comfortable selling a piece to a client if I use a clear coat on the top surface. Amy Howard makes a matte top coat that looks like a waxed surface. I do one or two light coats, very lightly sanding in between and then I wax the top also. You can even very very lightly sand after the last coat. I find that the matte finish allows the dark wax to stain it lightly. When you wax it, I looks the same as the rest. Or if you are doing a clear wax you can leave it just clear coated. I usually tell the client that they can maintain the piece by waxing every now and again. The clear coat just protects the paint under the wax.

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