I’m starting to think I have a furniture-painters’ alter ego. Like Beyoncé and her Sasha Fierce. Conservative and neutral for my own home – but colorful, bold and lively for selling. Today’s retro china cabinet is a perfect example.
This makeover was a creative stretch for me, but boy… did I have fun! I used four (4) beautiful colors along with blending and layering paint techniques to create this gorgeous spring rainbow cabinet!
It’s another one of those pieces that got a whole lot ugly before it looked good, but I L-O-V-E the end result. I can’t help but smile every time I look at it. I hope you feel the same way too. 🙂
Here’s what I started with.
Here’s the ‘spring-inspired’ after! The funny thing is, I started this piece two weeks ago – ditched it – and then came back to it with fresh eyes.
Sometimes with my furniture makeovers, absence makes my heart grow fonder and gives me time to create a vision. The tulips blooming in my garden were what brought me back to this piece. What do you think? Does it remind you of a spring garden rainbow?
THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS TO PRODUCTS I USE. YOU CAN SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE HERE.
- Retro China Cabinet – SALVAGED!
- Sandpaper + Paper Towel
- Paint Brush & Paint Roller
- BIN Shellac Primer
- DB Cotton Chalk Mineral Paint
- DB Rebel Yellow Chalk Mineral Paint
- DB Kudzu Chalk Mineral Paint
- DB Peony Chalk Mineral Paint
- Clear Wax
BLENDING & LAYERING FURNITURE PAINTING TECHNIQUES::
Brace yourself. It’s not pretty but here we go… 😉
Step #1 – Clean Sand & Prime
To start the retro cabinet makeover I removed the glass and handles, cleaned the piece, and then gave it a light overall sanding with 220 grit sandpaper. There were some damaged areas that needed a little fix and gouged areas that required more sanding.
Step #2 – Paint The Base Colors of The Cabinet
The bottom of this retro cabinet was painted in Cotton. If you’re looking for a TRUE white – this is it!
The inside of this of the cabinet was painted in Kudzu and Rebel Yellow.
Kudzu is a lovely spring green and Rebel Yellow applied to the wet Kudzu created a warm soft blend. Using a spray bottle with small mists of water really helps to achieve this blended look. I’ll share in more details below.
Step #3 – Blending and Layering Paint
Here’s where it gets interesting but still looks pretty scary/ugly. Using Kudzu, Rebel Yellow and Peony, I applied the colors full strength to the front drawers which were previously painted in Cotton. I applied the paint all at the same time (meaning I didn’t wait for one to dry before applying another… I just removed excess paint from my brush before dipping into the next color and painting) so all three colors were wet.
How far down you want your colors to drop is totally up to you. But be aware, once you start spraying and blending, the color will be pulled down further and cover more surface. I painted full strength about 1/3 of the way down and once blended, it covered 2/3 of the front drawers.
Side note – You may notice in the pic below I tried sanding/distressing the inside. I didn’t like the look AT ALL so I repainted it …ugggh. I’m sharing this for all of you who have emailed me saying you “screwed up” your furniture. NO SUCH THING MY CREATIVE FRIENDS! 🙂 It’s a process. Trial and error until you get the look you like. Fix what needs to be fixed or move on to a plan B. Please don’t give up! It’s all part of being creative and learning new techniques. And if we were to stop experimenting and learning, what fun would that be, right?!
Step #4 – Spray and Blend
Below I’m using a spray bottle to lightly mist the layers of WET paint. Don’t wait until the paint dries otherwise you won’t be able to blend it. Once I give the wet paint a light spray, I take my paintbrush and lightly run it in a downwards motion leaving the brush strokes showing at the end. Then I dry my paintbrush on a paper towel and repeat the process until I’ve blended all the colors across the drawers.
There’s no exact science to this. Just play and have fun until you like the effect you see. The more you spray and brush, the more blended and ‘watercolor effect’ the paint becomes. I repeated the process 2x to get the effect I liked.
Step #5 – Dry Brushing Paint Technique
To get the crisp white to blend into the spring colors, I rolled on a heavy coat of Cotton with a high-density roller and then used a chip brush to feather the paint INTO the spring colors above.
The paint on the upper drawers was 100% DRY before I rolled on the Cotton and then dry brushed it upwards.
For this painting technique, I found a cheap chip brush works amazing. Also, holding the chip brush vertically made crisp long brush strokes which I really liked. Another tip is to keep the brush fairly dry! I was continuously wiping off excess paint onto a paper towel.
Step #6 – Final Details and Topcoat/Protect
Now I’m heading out to mow my lawns and clean up my gardens while I ponder which piece is next. I’ll be singing a Beyoncé tune at the top of my lungs while I’m at it.
I’D LOVE TO HEAR WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS SPRING RAINBOW CABINET. IF YOU HAVE ANY BLENDING OR LAYERING TIPS YOU’D LIKE SHARE OR HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, FEEL FREE TO CHIME IN… I ALWAYS LOVE HEARING FROM YOU.
Happy blending and have an inspiring day my friends,