Variation on a Theme

6 drawer chest


Sometimes adding the smallest bit of paint color can make a huge difference in an otherwise lackluster neutral piece. I had painted this vintage chest of drawers with Paris Grey Chalk Paint a few months ago but it still felt rather blah and unfinished. One of my favorite color combinations is the layering of French Linen and Paris Grey. But I try not to get too comfortable with any color palette for fear everything I paint will look the same.

I love the subtle muted color of Old Violet,  a soft, just a shade off blue, barely purple, that sneaks up and surprises you. It is so easy to overlook and miss completely, especially when lightly blended and layered with grey, grey seems to get all the credit. Using a dry brush technique I added Old Violet to the center of the drawers and side panels feathering into the grey. I also mixed it with Old White and added highlights.( a quick tip – if you are having difficulty blending the colors, dip the tip of your brush in water  and go over the already applied paint, just enough to blend the edges).

A little color floating over the grey makes the finish so much more interesting. It’s an easy fix next time you feel your neutral color is not quite making it on its own. Add just enough for slight variation of hue without changing the overall color. You will be amazed at the difference.

Old Violet has proven to be a winner for me in the color department many times. If you need inspiration for ways to include this deep velvety purple, be sure to check out my posts, Bachelor’s Chest,  Inspiration in Alsace,  and  A Tale of Two Chandeliers.

And did you know I have my own channel on  YouTube, where you can see all of my video tutorials  as soon as they are uploaded?  Just be sure to hit the Subscribe button,(on the video screen), so you can see all of the new ones as soon as they are released:)

One Comment

Adrienne Cummings

Leslie I really love your layered colors! I painted a bureau graphite but it’s just flat out boring. Can you recommend a color or two to dry brush over it?


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