It may be hot outside where you are, but the best dressed dressers, and furniture are all asking for the Layered Look! Are you hearing what your furniture is saying? The cool kids are all doing this technique and I know you are cool 😉
I put off painting projects all the time. I think I actually LIKE having a garage full of furniture and keeping my car outside when it is over 100, just so I can sweat bullets, ruin my hair and be generally miserable every time I get in my car. Not to mention all the furniture that yells at me and mumbles complaints every time I walk past all of them. I think all of that furniture gets together and gangs up on me every time I enter the garage. If only they could be more diplomatic and just TELL me who is next in line to be painted and repurposed! Then I wouldn’t have to agonize over which piece to prioritize, how to set my schedule for who comes next.
I decided on a hierarchy of needs. First in, First out. This piece was the first in for this batch of furniture. I thought I should set the example with all the other furniture on how diplomacy works. The oldest gets out first. The trick now will be settling arguments between pieces that were picked up on the same Dumpster Dive run. But that’s a story for another post. Read more about Dumpster Diving HERE.
Back to the layered look. Don’t know where to start? Think it’s too advanced? Think again. If you can make a mess with paint, then you are highly qualified to achieve this look. I recommend my favorite and always go to paint, DIY 100% Natural Clay Paint. DIY Paint is different from every other Chalk Type, Clay-Chalk Paint on the market. DIY Paint is the only paint with CLAY as the primary base. This makes DIY Paint the most durable, most velvety and most fun paint to create with. It’s also one of the easiest paints you will ever use because it is so forgiving. DIY Paint has 5x the pigment of any other brand, which means you don’t have to use very much of it either.
Not using or having to buy a lot of paint is very important if you are doing a layered look. You will want to have multiple colors on hand, and you can paint an entire dresser with just 8 oz sized containers or Pint containers of DIY Paint.
If you have been wanting to try this look and have been putting it off, you are in good company.
I started this dresser last Fall when I was doing a FB Live with the amazing Dionne Woods of the Turquoise Iris. Dionne is the artist who set the paint world on fire by showing that drips and runs and layers of drips and runs on furniture was beautiful. Not just beautiful, but breathtaking. She has TONS of tutorials, so be sure to get them out HERE for more ideas on how to turn your furniture into art.
In the LIVE, I was following along with the colors Dionne was painting. It was so fun to see how our different interpretations of the same DIY Paint colors showed up. Which is just one of 1 million reasons I can’t stop going ga ga for DIY Paint. When the LIVE was finished, I was 100% committed to finishing the dresser and quickly selling it. Fast forward through the Holidays, The Cold Winter, The lovely Spring, and finally the blazing Summer. I realized that Dresser had to leave, or it would literally become part of the scenery of my garage. I have a garage FULL of free furniture and I promised myself not one more project until I had finished the Tall Boy I had started.
In fact, there IS a before picture, but the Tall Boy Dresser is the background, totally upstaged by the Buffet. That I bought for nothing, which turned out amazing, and you can read all about it HERE.
Back to the Layered Look Dresser….
This time I decided to go Grey. And Gold. And everything in between. With a hint of White here and there. And OH MY GOODNESS was I amazed at how this dresser came together
I started with Painting the entire Dresser in DIY Paint in Old School Grey. This is a beautiful Dark Grey, almost like a Chalkboard Grey. I love DIY Paint Old School color as a base, it plays well with everything.
After I let this base coat completely dry I started with the fun part. I heavily watered down DIY Paint in Letter Press Grey. This is a true Grey, not to blue, not to beige. Just Right Grey is what it should really be called.
I followed Dionne’s technique of spritzing the furniture with water, to make a damp canvas for the next layer. Then I applied the Letter Press Grey in very thin strokes, working on just one section of the dresser at a time. Such as the bottom half, the top half, etc. As soon as I got the brush strokes on, I started spraying it down with with THIS AMAZING water bottle.
Instead of getting a whole bunch of water droplets at once, it creates a fine, continuous mist. You can get one or 2 or 3 like I did on Amazon 🙂
I alternated spraying water with a bottle of straight up White Vinegar. The White Vinegar seems to break the bond of the paint and causes extreme dripping, the water loosens the paint and makes more subtle dripping. I like the combo of both.
After the Letter Press Grey layer was dry, I turned my attention to making a wash of DIY Paint in Vintage Linen White.
A paint wash is pretty much just water tinted with some color. Believe it or not, it was hard to make a wash with DIY Paint because the paint is SO highly pigmented. To paint the entire piece with the Vintage Linen Wash, I literally used (not kidding here) about 2 Teaspoons of Paint to about 1/2 cup of water, if not more.
I was asked to take over the DIY Paint FB Page on Tuesday, July 31st 2018. I did a LIVE on the page showing how this technique works. You can check that out by clicking going to the DIY Paint Page on Facebook.
How do you test a wash to see if it’s the right consistency. You want to dip your brush in, and then literally see the watery paint just drip right off the bristles.
With the wash, I mostly just dabbed my brush at the top of each section and spritzed it again with more water and vinegar, then let the paint do its thing. It’s super smart paint, and it knows how to run and drip. 😉
Golden Ticket is a Liquid Patina tinted with Gold Metallic. It can be thinned to be very translucent, or you can paint a couple of coats for a very opaque coverage of just the right Gold, not to yellow, not to brown. Again, just right Gold.
I added the Golden Ticket in much the same way I added the White wash. Again with the water and vinegar spritz. Watching the Golden Ticket run is fascinating, it just looks so cool when you see it dripping down over the other layers you have created.
Once the entire piece was dry, I lightly sanded the entire dresser and drawers with a 400 Grit Sandpaper. I like using this very high Grit for 2 reasons. #1, it doesn’t distress, unless you are really going for it, and #2 it creates a beautiful, very velvety smooth finish and polishes the paint. If you try this, you will see what I mean. The paint actually starts to glow and shine. See? Magic Paint.
It goes on so smooth, it sets up fast, and you barely have to buff it to be rewarded with a lovely, soft glow.
Happy ending to my story right? Just put the hardware back on it will sell right away!
Not so fast. Holy Cow dressers can be so snobby about the jewelry (hardware)they will wear.
Am I the only one who always has analysis paralysis with Hardware? It’s like finding the perfect piece of jewelry to go with your over the top outfit. Sometimes you are lucky and the hardware that came with the piece is perfect. Sometimes I paint the hardware the same as the piece for a totally cohesive look. This time I removed it, painted each piece of the super brassy hardware with 2 thick coats of Golden Ticket.
I applied the Golden Ticket in a dabbed and cross hatch method to create texture. While it was still wet, I used a little of DIY Paint’s Liquid Dark & Decrepit Patina. It goes beautifully with the Gold and created just the right aged look. When the hardware was dry, I used Steel wool to lightly “distress” each piece. FINALLY! Entering the home stretch.
I lined the dressers with a toile black and white wrapping paper. I like this added touch, as Martha Stewart famously said, “the details make the difference”. I measure the bottoms of the drawers and cut all my pieces accordingly. I then use a Spray Glue (I like Elmers) and lightly spray the bottom of the drawer. Only do one drawer at a time. It might take a little practice, but it really takes your ho hum piece to hot hot perfect. I buy mine on Amazon.
The sides of the drawers also get the Golden touch. Who wants to see an ugly drawer when they open them. I have taken to the painting the sides of all drawers with a heavy coat of Golden Ticket. It just adds one more luxurious detail to a piece that certainly deserved to be pampered in layers.
The Dresser that wanted the Layered Look is DONE! It’s for sale in my space at Consignment Envy in Brentwood, CA. If you are anywhere near me, come in and check us out. I have an amazing amount of DIY Paint for sale as well. (I may as well sell what I love and spread the love!)
Let me know if you have tried the layered look. For more instruction on how to really layer, I highly recommend checking out one of the very affordable tutorials by Dionne Woods at The Turquoise Iris.
That’s it for the Layered Look. Stay tuned for the next story. Hopefully coming soon from my garage…
PS This post contains affiliate links, but you probably already figured that out. I only push, I mean share products I LOVE