Complex White

 

I have had this old chest forever. I’ve considered painting it many times and always backed off. It’s made of  solid walnut and for the most part is pretty sturdy, although there is a sizable split in one of the sides. Still, I love the  geometric style and the original drop pulls. The only changes have been to add the bun feet (I add feet to almost everything) and to paint the top Graphite Chalk Paint.

Geometric Chest

 

It’s authentic and charming in it’s own way, but not necessarily something you would put front and center, a statement piece,  so to speak. Always in my mind as a possible project.

Luxe White originalsource

So when I saw this, it inspired me to reconsider painting my geometric dresser. I rarely paint anything one solid color and I love the complexity of this white. I would use my “go to” Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® in these colors: Old Ochre, Old White, and a little Coco and maybe down the line add some Pure White by dry brushing.(you can do that at any point, even after you have waxed).

Luxe White ASCP

I  really need your help on this . What do you think?  Yes? No?  Another colorway? Never paint? Please leave any thoughts you have in the comment section, I appreciate any and all ideas.   Thanks, Leslie

I love colors that are rich and have depth. For more ideas on how to make a single color complex, see my posts, Why Not Just White?,  Old White and Pastels,  and  Chalk Painted Secretary

30 Comments

Teri

I have some pieces that I just love looking at the wood. The color, the richness of it, that something that just makes me want to touch it. I have had other pieces I thought I shouldn’t paint because they were antiques, but they were just not working for me. I have never regretted painting them. So, just the fact that you keep revisiting the issue tells me that you will love it painted.

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Leslie Stocker

Thanks Pattie,
You are so right, Coco would not be necessary when starting with a wood finish.I would use a little dark wax instead for shadows,

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Toni

Leslie I can see why you want to paint the dresser chest, it truly is beautiful. However your chest of drawers is
gorgeous and if it is a nice as the picture, I would leave it alone!!! Maybe just put some highlights on the edges of the trim if you need to really do something but otherwise some peices are rare beauties as is.
Toni

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Diane Edmondson

The chest you added the granite to, is truly beautiful! I can see your other piece highlighted in your old ocre and coco colors, love those color combos! Anything you do turns out beautiful.

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Marian L

Your geometric chest is beautiful as is, it has depth and patina on its own and I wouldn’t touch it, UNLESS you don’t care for the color yourself but like everything else about it. Everything you do is wonderful but the sample chest does not have the soul that yours does. I bet though if you decide to go with it and share with us we will all love it!

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Leslie Stocker

Hi Marian,
Thanks so much for taking the time to write. Until I started using Chalk Paint, I would not have considered painting this. To be honest the finish is pretty worn, the top had water damage which is why I painted it. (when my youngest was little he had a small aquarium on it..). Anyway, I know what you mean about soul and personality of a piece and will keep that in mind.
Leslie

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Rhonda

Personally, I would paint the dresser. A complex white on it would be a nice change. Though, for me, I’d do something other than “old ochre”, as I don’t want that much yellow to the mix.
But I know that whatever you decide, it will be amazingly beautiful!

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Leslie Stocker

Rhonda,
Thanks. You have a good point about Old Ochre. It is a color I find myself considering and rejecting often. (same with Country Grey). I could use different tints of Old White (mixed with Pure White) and dark wax. I will keep that in mind.
Cheers,
Leslie

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Bev miller

Leslie,
If your chest was mine, I would definitely paint it. It is beautiful wood, but a bit “busy” with all the different wood tones. From seeing many of your posts and finished pained pieces, you like calmer finishes..anyway, that is what I prefer and what attracts me to your work. When I first saw the inspiration piece after looking at your chest, I thought it was yours that you had painted. I loved it! You need to trust your instincts…. You have fabulous taste and talent! Thanks so much for sharing that with us!!!

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Leslie Stocker

Bev,
Thanks, I love sharing and hearing your ideas. Really, my secret is once I start painting , is to keep going until I like the result. Sometimes that has been many layers of paint, but always worth it.
Cheers,
Leslie

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Lynn Ryan

Everyone has so beautifully written my exact thoughts…….don’t paint the walnut chest. All of your work is beautiful and I am looking forward to your new videos, especially the one about layering paint.

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Leslie Stocker

Lynn,
Thank you.Very sweet of you and I appreciate your thoughts. The new videos will be up on the blog starting next week. Cheers,
Leslie

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Jan M

First I’d like to say I love your style. I know pictures don’t always represent what a piece looks like in person. But based on this picture I think the walnut and black compete for attention rather than let the unique design be the attraction. It’s an unusual piece and I would like to see it painted in the colors you suggested.

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Leslie Stocker

Thanks Jan,
I am still undecided but I promise a follow up post on this. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate your kind words,
Leslie

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ellery

Leslie, have you ever considered using clear and tinted wax on it instead of painting? That way the grain would still show through?

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Anne Maij

Hai Leslie,

I also lóve to paint and even more with Annie’s Chalk Paint, but I really like your dresser the way it is… maybe because we don’t see solid walnut over here that often… It’s beautifull classic the way it is now!

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Leslie Stocker

Anne,
Thanks. It’s pretty beat up or else I wouldn’t consider it . I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do but I will post about it and show an “after” if I do decide to paint it. Happy Holidays,
Cheers,
Leslie

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Tracey

It is a beautiful piece, and would amazing in the whites. I have successfully painted units in Country Grey, then waxed then gone over the whole piece with old white or pure white painted in fine lines, then scrunching a cloth and wipe the paint off – in one direction. After that I do the same with French linen, it comes up fresh but has an old look without the yellowing. I gently rub in dark wax after clear waxing again in corners. It’s so pretty. You can also do it with old white, then and rub of pure white and French linen. Everyone loves the freshness but as you do, adding colours to give it the antique look. Good luck with your decision. I love seeing what you do.

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Leslie Stocker

Tracey,
I will have to give that a try….. I have not used Country Grey often, so I sometimes forget about it. Thanks . Good idea
Happy Holidays,
Cheers,
Leslie

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Kirsten

I love the idea for the geometric chest, I want to do this finish on an armoire, what order of color would you recommend to achieve that light finish? I read you usually start darker first. My armoire is light but has a yellow cast to it that I don’t want. What are your thoughts? Much appreciated!!!

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Sue Champion

I have a very similar chest of drawers and have been going through the same paint or not to paint, you have now inspired me to paint, I think I will probably go with country grey and dry brush highlights in old white. Thank you

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CT Steel

You are a professional, expert, furniture painter so I imagine the the urge to paint wooden pieces—knowing you can make them beautiful and uniquely yours—must be powerful. But this chest is already beautiful, with it’s own character. To my taste, a mix of painted and wooden furniture in a house enhances both. If I were offered the chance to buy this either painted or as is, I would choose as is.

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