Are you daunted by all the furniture painters out there that create beautiful and colorful blends on their pieces and you get discouraged just looking at their pins? This week I’m painting a HUGE dresser (it’s more than 5′ tall) and I’m using chalk mineral paint colors that are perfect for beginners who want to learn how to do paint blending. I’m calling this one How to Blend Paint on Furniture for Beginners, so let’s get started!
Supply List for How to Blend Paint on Furniture for Beginners
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Step 1: Cleaning and Prepping Our Piece Before Painting
I mentioned above that this piece is huge. It’s part of a set that I’m working on for a client and this dresser stands over 5′ tall. The proof is in the photo below! 👇🏻😂
Here I am beside the dresser. It’s huge!
I needed a step ladder to reach the top of it when I was painting and cleaning. Anyway, let’s get started with the prep. The first step is to remove all the hardware and put it somewhere safe since we’re reusing what was already on here.
After that I cleaned it with White Lightening and then went back over it with a clean rag and water to get any residual off. I always do this extra step so that I don’t run into adhesion issues with any of the product that I’m applying.
This dress is painted all black and you can see below that it has a shiny factory finish making it perfect for a gripping primer. With gripping primer you can paint over a finish that is super shiny and not worry about what’s underneath when you apply your paint. We’ll have a nice surface that will be perfect for our chalk mineral paint.
This chest was paint black and has a shiny finish which is not ideal for painting over. So we’re going to use a gripping primer to cover all that up and give us a nice surface for our paint.
Step 2: Applying the Slick Stick – gripping primer
This is another prep step prior to learning how to blend paint on furniture for beginners. You want to shake the Slick Stick and stir it up before putting on your first coat. Let that first coat dry, put on a second coat and let it dry for 24 hours.
I’m putting the first coat on with a high density foam roller.
You can use a brush or a high density foam roller. After it’s dry go back in with a brush to get all the cracks and crevices.
This piece is quite ornate so I went back over the detailed areas with a brush.
Once the Slick Stick is dry, you’re ready to paint right over top of it. You now have a good strong base and don’t have to worry about the shiny surface. It’s a problem solver and I love using it on things that are not wood or pieces that have mixed wood and other types of materials.
Here is the chest of drawers with 2 coats of Slick Stick.
Step 3: Painting the Chest of Drawers with a Base Coat
The base is Manatee Gray. It’s a nice light gray color that I’m using all over because the light shade helps me to visualize the blending.
Manatee Gray is the base color.
For this you’ll want to use a high quality synthetic brush and a misting bottle. You want the paint to be nice and smooth and a light misting of water will help with that.
My vision for this piece is a dark outline around the edge of the drawers leading to the lighter shade of grey in the middle. So dark to light from outside to inside. My next step is to paint the outline of the drawers with Hurricane Gray which is a dark color and is going to be one of our blending colors. I’m just doing the outer area here, not the entire surface of the drawer, so the dark grey is staying on the outsides of the drawer until it’s time to start blending.
The Hurricane Gray is painted overtop of the Manatee Gray but I am just outlining the drawers here, not painting the entire surface area.
Step 4: Time to Blend
It’s time to start blending! So I take my Manatee Gray brush and start to apply it in the center of the drawer and keep spritzing with the misting bottle. Start to overlap the dark and light colors a little bit. Both gray colors are still wet, so make circles with your paint brush for a rough blend.
A rough blend of light and dark grey on the drawers.
Now we’re taking a 3rd chalk mineral paint color called Fluff and I’m putting that in the center so that the light area in the center is going to look a little more dramatic going from light to dark. Blend Fluff with the Manatee Gray, again using circles with your brush. Once that’s blended, take your mister bottle and clean dry neutral brush and start blending all 3 of the paint colors together.
Adding the 3rd paint color, Fluff, to the center of the drawers.
These 3 colors of gray paint are very similar – you can see that from the image above and that is what makes this an ideal palette for beginners who want to learn how to blend paint on wooden furniture. When you’re working with similar colors, they are more forgiving and easier to work with than completely different shades.
In the case of our 3 colors of gray, the paint is still wet and I’m using a mister bottle to keep it moist. You want to use a light hand! Go back and outline a little with your Hurricane Gray to add a little more shading and then use your clean dry neutral brush to start feathering.
Feathering the light into the dark gray with my clean dry neutral brush.
Play around with the blending until you’re happy with the result. This takes practice but your misting bottle will help because you don’t want the paint to dry while you’re blending.
Step 5: Applying Wax Over the Entire Piece
I knew that I was going to be applying a dark wax to shadow some of the areas on the dresser so I applied Easy Peasy Spray Wax over the entire piece. By doing this it acts as a priming wax so that when you go in with your colored wax, it allows it to wipe away more easily. Spray this wax and then buff it in with a clean microfiber cloth.
Freshly sprayed with Easy Peasy Spray Wax.
Step 6: Adding some Black Wax
Best Dang Wax in Black
I want to add a bit of shadowing and depth to some nooks and crannies on this piece, in areas where it would naturally occur so I’m using Best Dang Wax in black and applying a light coat over top of the paint and the Easy Peasy Spray Wax. Because this was pre-waxed, when you wipe off any excess of the Best Dang Wax it will be much easier with your microfiber cloth.
Applying Best Dang Wax in black
After applying it you want to wipe it back when it’s still fresh.
Using a microfiber cloth, wipe back the Best Dang Wax to get it to a level that you’re happy with.
Wait for 24 hours for this wax to dry before moving on.
Step 7: Applying a Protecting Coat
Gator Hyde is a great way to protect your piece after you’ve painted and waxed and it will help to seal everything in once it’s dry. Use a synthetic brush to apply and wait 36-48 hours for this to be completely dry.
Applying a coat of Gator Hyde to protect all the work I just did.
Step 8: Decorating the Ornate Areas with Gilding Wax
Gilding wax is iridescent and this gray is a pretty metallic, subtle but will add a beautiful glow to the areas where you apply it.
Silver Gilding Wax for a subtle glow
You can apply this with your finger or even a makeup brush. This is oil based so it goes on over the top coat (in this case the Gator Hyde) and it’s self sealing so once you put it on you don’t need to do anything else to it. On clean hardware, it will stick to it and you’ll just need to give it a few days to dry completely.
Applying a silver gilding wax to the ornate areas to give them a bit of shine.
Here is the hardware with silver gilding wax.
YouTube Video Tutorial
If you prefer to learn by watching the whole piece from start to finish, I’ve got you covered. Each week, I post my YouTube video tutorial where you can learn the techniques and why I do things the way I do so that you can eliminate any trial and error. Click the video below to see the How to Blend Paint on Furniture for Beginners tutorial
Watch me transform this piece.
I’ve got lots of how to videos! If you like this one, check out some of my other posts here: https://bellarenovare.com/2019/01/revive-frozen-paint/
Happy Creating and see you next week!