Hi friends! I hope you had a fun and relaxing weekend and thanks for dropping by! 🙂
I’d like to say this layered ‘Stormy Seas’ Vintage Vanity was my plan all along, but the truth is, this makeover took some unexpected turns. My original plan was to layer some pinks and then white wax for a soft romantic look but it turned out quite the opposite with this deep stormy seas layered finish.
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You guys left some comments on the last layered chalk paint post saying it was helpful to see how each layer looked while painting, so I’ve gone ahead and included step by step pics here too. They’re proof, sometimes you just have to go with the flow and see where it takes you!
- Vintage Vanity ( Salvaged | Estate Sale – kind of… you can read more here)
- Paint Brush
- DIY Dawn and Vinegar Cleaner 50/50 mix
- Rub’n Buff & Brass Hardware ( hardware salvaged from another vintage dresser)
- Spray Bottle
- Sand Paper & Tack Cloth
- DB ‘Amethyst’ Chalk Mineral Paint
- DB ‘Butter Cream’ Chalk Mineral Paint
- DB ‘Stormy Seas’ Chalk Mineral Paint
- Dixie Belle’s Black Wax
- Warm Gold Gilding Wax
HOW TO:: LAYERING ‘STORMY SEAS’ PAINT FINISH
- I started by cleaning the piece with a 50/50 mixture of Dawn and vinegar which I keep in a spray bottle. Aside from cleaning furniture, this mixture works really great for household cleaning, sinks, tubs etc!
- I patched all the original hardware holes with Bondo and sanded the Bondo smooth. (Turned out I didn’t really need to because I ended up installing the new knobs in pretty much the same place.)
- I gave the rest of the dresser a light sanding with 180 grit and then wiped away all the dust with a tack cloth.
- Now for some unexpected turns…
Layer #1. Kilz Max Pink Tinted Primer
Seeing as it’s the month of love and I wanted to join in on all the Valentine’s fun, I envisioned this vintage vanity to be soft and romantic. Very feminine. I had a pink-tinted Kilz Max Stain Primer which I picked up at my local ReStore for $15. This was a perfect start to block any bleedthrough (which often happens after sanding these types of vintage pieces) and lay down my pink base all in one step. Who doesn’t like a shortcut, right?!
Layer #2. ‘Amethyst’ + ‘Butter Cream’ Chalk Mineral Paint
To add an interesting layer to the pink, I mixed purple (did you know ultra Violet is Pantone’s Color of the Year!?) and cream to make a complimentary color. I should have measured but I think it was about a 2:1 ratio with Amethyst being the dominant color. When I painted this mix onto the pink, WOWZA… not what I was expecting! But I was a trooper and kept painting. Heavy in some areas, light and feathery in others while I thought of a plan B.
Layer #3. ‘Stormy Seas’ Chalk Mineral Paint
I picked Stormy Seas to layer over and tone down the purple. I applied the paint heavy in some areas, light in others and then sprayed a little water in places so the paint became a wash. This let the color underneath peek through. It gives it a soft subtle look with a lot of depth. You can see from the pic below where I sprayed water. The drawers, the trim, and both sides where the mirror sits have only a light layer or wash of Stormy Seas. You can see a hint of purple showing through.
Layer #4. Black Wax
I’m not sure if black wax can be considered an actual color, but for all the difference it makes to a piece, it might as well be. In the pic below you can see the piece has been sanded and distressed in a few areas (that’s why the paint looks lighter!) and the top drawer and mirror cradle have been black waxed. I applied the wax heavy around the sides and dry brushed into the middle. You can see more of this dry brushed waxing technique here and here.
Layer #4. Gold Gilding Wax
To add more interest, I applied a small amount of this Gilding Wax to highlight the details.
The last little detail was the hardware. The original brass knobs were missing a piece, so I salvaged vintage knobs from an old dresser. They were brightened up with Grecian Gold Rub’nBuff.
And here’s the finished piece. It doesn’t look anything like I was originally planning, but it’s stunning! I’m really happy with how it all turned out!
My takeaway from this piece – go with the flow. I know it sounds a bit woo-woo-wee, but sometimes the furniture will ‘talk’ to you and steer you in its own direction. And what you think is a mistake just might be the way to an unexpected beautiful finish!
I’D LOVE TO HEAR IF YOU’VE EVER LAYERED BEFORE? IF YOU HAVE ANY LAYERING TIPS YOU’D LIKE SHARE OR HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, FEEL FREE TO CHIME IN… I ALWAYS LOVE HEARING FROM YOU!
Thanks and have an inspiring day my friends!
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What a beautiful piece and the color is amazing. I found your site by searching for pieces this color. I’ve been trying to figure out how to achieve that look – I’ve never layered paint before. I’ve already purchased Fusions midnight blue and their black wax. I tried a test piece and the wax did not show up. I’m guessing I need to follow similar steps to what you’ve done here. How do you know what color to layer with? Again, gorgeous work!
New subscriber here – I had been lurking and learning as I was working on painting an old wood veneer magazine rack of my mother-in-law’s. Your blog has such great information and tips; every time I googled a topic your site would pop up! So thank you for sharing your expertise. I came across this vanity and I’m truly in awe. The whole process, the fact that you shared your “mistake” and how you layered on top of the purple to create this masterpiece! I look forward to researching your projects and many talents!
Hi Suzanne and WELCOME! I’m so happy you’ve found the #siblog and so nice to have you here. 🙂 As for mistakes, you’ll see a fair share…lol. I’ve been painting furniture professionally for 9 years but am still learning and growing with each project. Have a super day. x
Bitsy Copp says
Do you have any tutorials on layering paints? I have watched several and tried doing a dresser and still not coming out the way it should. I just cant seem to get it right. I want to do 4 colors and I can’t do it.
Cheryl Atkinson says
Denise, i absolutely love this color and how you “rolled” with it and make it look so pretty. Did you use clear wax before the black wax? I really need to get with it and find pieces worth painting.
You are my favorite furniture artist. I just want you to know that.
Oh my heart Cheryl..thank youuuu! And no, I didn’t apply clear wax before the black wax. I use to (because it’s a great way to ‘control’ the dark wax if you need to erase) but now I just go for it. 😉
I love that about you Denise! No fear!! It is only paint!! It can be “salvaged”!! You are the BEST!!
Gorgeous as usual!!!!
thank you Colleen! xo
Hello Denise! This turned out fantastic. In fact, something between this and your empire dresser makeover is what my ideal finish would be… Any tips how to get something like that? Also, is there an alternative to the black wax? I love the look it gives, but would prefer to not use wax if possible… Can’t figure out if there is another way!
Jayne Zabala says
Wow — one of the most stunning pieces I’ve seen! The black wax is amazing. I rarely comment, but this is really amazing!
I love that you took the time to comment Jayne! Thank you so much. x
I am so glad I found you–all quite by accident (or Divine appointment???).
I have been perusing your page for two hours now and fall in love with every.single.piece! Then, I found this beauty. Oh my goodness! I have no words to describe the delight this gorgeous piece brings me. I truly think this is one of the most amazing pieces I have ever seen.
Thank you for your detailed explanation of how you reached the rich results.
I am now an SI follower.
Oh, Sabrina thank YOU and WELCOME! You’ve just put a big smile on my face. 🙂 Have an amazing day. x
This has to be one of the most stunning pieces I’ve ever seen & have 10’s of thousands restorations pinned! Thank you for sharing your experience is such a concise and easy approach, for even aspiring newbies like me can understand. So grateful for your generousity of sharing so many of your tips & tricks, which spawn so many inspiring projects around the world. Wow!!” This looks like it belongs in a museum. Simply gorgeous!
Oh, Lisa… THANK YOU! What a huge compliment. I’m so glad you’re finding the tips, tricks and tutorials helpful and inspiring. XO
This is gorgeous! I am speechless.
Thank you Ann! 🙂
Denise…BREATHTAKINGLY GORGEOUS! I am actually looking for this exact color and when I came across the pic I was intrigued. I found your blog through another blog. I would like to know for a piece this size, how much of the Dixie Belle paint you would use. Do you buy the 8 oz. , 16 oz. or ?? If you buy yours in large quantities about how much of each color would you say was used on this piece? A cup of each, 2 cups of each..etc.? Thank you for sharing this beautiful technique!
Thanks so much Shirley! 🙂 For this vanity, very little paint was used. I have the 16oz containers. I used approx 1/4 of the Amethyst and 1/3 of the Stormy Seas… and then the black wax. Hope this helps. 🙂
This piece is BEAUTIFUL!! Can you tell me why you chose gilding wax for the highlights instead of rub and buff on those areas? I am getting ready to start a large piece and thought I may use the rub and buff to highlight some areas.
Hi Mary! Rub’n Buff would work beautifully too. 🙂
That is beautiful But can you please tell me how you apply your black wax without it sucking right into the wood and being unmoveable?. I always apply a clear top coat of somesort so the wax will slide around easier.. Would like to eliminate this step.
Hi Louann! Eliminating a clear coat can be daunting because the black wax does not slide around when “dry brushing” it on, and does not wipe off or erase after it’s been applied… at least not easily! Having said that, this is exactly what gives the brushed on textured look. I dip my brush into the black wax, wipe of any excess (like you would when dry brushing with paint) and run the brush in long even strokes over the face of the drawer, lets say. Then I wait for the black wax to dry, before wiping so I don’t smear the brushed on effect. Hope this helps. 🙂
This is simply gorgeous! I am just jumping onto the chalk paint band wagon and so happy I discovered your blog..you do beautiful work! Any suggestions for a newbie? My first piece is a small table in my hallway. I love that sort of weathered wood look so I think I am aiming for that
Hi Laura! You took the words right out of my mouth! My suggestion would be to jump right in and have some fun. Great project btw. 🙂
Lisa Ludlow says
The Gold Wax!! That really made the piece. I really love the layers and depth of the paint you used. I think that sometimes a piece of furniture will paint itself and we are just along for the ride. 🙂
…”just along for the ride”…. I really like that Lisa! And I agree… the gold wax adds wonderful highlights on this piece. When the light hits it just right, it looks heavenly. 🙂
Sasha Newland says
That is absolutely gorgeous! I love when plans go awry but end up turning out lovely in the end.
Way better than plans going awry and turning out ugly, right?!…lol 😉 Thank you so much Sasha! 🙂 XO
lorin small says
Yes, I’ve been doing layer pieces. My favorite so far was a little vanity I did for my granddaughter. I did ombre: navy to turquoise to mint green.. l splashed hot pink on the turquoise and coral on the mint green. I used watere down craft paint and applied it with a makeup blush brush because they are so soft. Then gave it a little mist of water. I can’t wait to do more.
That sounds amazing Lorin! I bet your granddaughter is thrilled with her vanity! 🙂
Two words – just beautiful!
Thank you Marie!!! 😀
Gail Craven says
Wow, I have been avoiding wax as it never seems to work for me, but you have inspired me to try again! Thank you.
Hi Gail! Yes, you can do incredible things with wax. It can really change the entire look of a piece… I hope you give it another whirl! 🙂
Hi Denise ! It turned out AMAZING and this was very helpful ! One question I had was when you sprayed the water – dis you just leave it or work it in ? Thanks ! I have been a follower since 2014 and always enjoy & learn from your blog. To tell you a nice story-i just started painting in 2013 and started a Facebook page in 2014 . I named my page after a dresser my mother painted for me when I was a young girl. She passed away and finding the dresser again was my inspiration to learn how to paint & fix it up. You identified with the story and liked my page. I was so excited I ran to my husband and told him an amazing painter with 1000 likes just liked my page !! Never forgot the power of encouraging someone as you did for me or how inspiring you truly are ! Year’s later and many many pieces later I have not forgotten! Thank you so much , Cynthia, My Mother’s Dresser, Millbrook ON
Hi Cynthia!!! 🙂 Thank you for following my shenanigans since 2014!!!… and for some reason, I forgot you’re in Millbrook. If I’m ever up your way or you’re in and around Burlington, I’d love to get together! Yes, I work/brush it in. I spray and brush to get a watercolor translucent effect. Some furniture painters using the spray technique just let it run – and the run becomes part of the design. But I’m not that bold or brave…lol. And I LOVE your story because I SOOOO relate! I did everything in my power to fix up a French Provincial Bedroom set my Mum bought for me when I was a girl. 🙂 <3
Thanks so much Denise ! ❤ I would love to get together for tea or lunch ! I can always come your way too ! Thanks again for providing so many informative & friendly stories over the years! Hope to see you soon one day! Take care❤xo
The blue is so unexpected and makes a BIG statement in the room. The step by step instructions are beyond helpful. One more masterpiece, Denise. Thank you for sharing your gift with all of us!
Thank you Ellen!!… and glad you find the step by step tutorials helpful. x
Absolutely gorgeous! The tones and depth of color you achieved are just beautiful. Definitely one of my favorites – though I love everything you do! Thanks for all the details about the journey. It was definitely worth all the unexpected turns!
Hi Marcia!!! Yes, this baby has a lot of tones and depth… you could stare at it for hours…lol. 😉 Actually, I should speak for myself because I’m probably the only weirdo that would that! 🙂
Carol Roddy says
WOW…I am impressed!!! I used to refinish a LOT of furniture years ago, but my projects were mostly stripping and staining. How on earth do you ever decide what colors to use together. Anyway, it’s beautiful!!!
Hi Carol, thanks so much! I’m not sure I chose the colors on this piece… they kind of choose me! 😉
Wow!!! This turned out beautiful! I love refinishing furniture and this gives me another idea of layering different colours. Thanks for your picture tutorial.
Thanks Louise and glad it has sparked some ideas! 🙂
This is so beautiful and inspiring to me!
I have been planning a project of 2 dressers in a layered paint method, and these steps are so helpful.
I’m so glad you find it helpful Patty! Have fun with your dressers. I hope they turn out gorgeous! x
As always…… beautiful! Love your work! Pinning for sure!
Thank you Debra! And thank you for Pinning!!! 🙂
It’s gorgeous Denise! I think it would have looked very pretty in pink but it turned out stunning in ‘stormy seas’.
It’s funny how some times what we initially envision takes a left turn and ends but exactly where it should have all along. 🙂
Thanks Annie! I think it would have looked pretty in pink too but once that purple went on…. it took a hard left just as you said! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Stunning as always! You’re my go to gal for info and inspiration; I’m thankful that you’re so sweet and generous to share your talents and allow us to follow your journey. Kind regards
Very sweet of you Amy…thank you SO much! XO
Merilees Teresa says
Another absolutely amazing piece! I love your work and you are an inspiration for me. Thank you
So glad you like it Teresa! Thank you!!!
Wow, it really did steer in a different direction, Denise. Beautiful layers but the black wax made those layers so rich and the gold highlights are such a stunning touch! Beautiful makeover – pinned.
Hi Marie!!! It really did steer in a totally different direction! And the wax and gold gilding really helped layer this beautifully for sure. 🙂 Thanks for pinning my friend. XO 🙂
Wow…just gorgeous! I’ve seen other pieces in Annie Sloan and love knowing that a better priced paint is out there. Thanks for the great tutorial and all the tips.
Thank Monique! And ya, Dixie Belle is an amazing chalk mineral paint and much more affordable. 🙂
Wowzer! Exquisite end result! Thank you for sharing the details on obtaining this layered look. Especially appreciate the pics showing bare painted amethyst color & how sanding it changes the color first, before adding anything further. Great tutorial.
Wowza, wowzer, wowzy is exactly what I said when I applied the purple lol. This piece wouldn’t have the depth without it though. Glad you like the tutorial. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Another STUNNER Denise!! I just LOVE your work!!
Thank you Suzanne!!! The Amethyst threw me for a loop but it turned out just the way it was supposed to. If I had the room I’d keep this one for myself. 🙂
Sandra Murray says
Wow that’s amazing … Unfortunately I cannot purchase the paints etc as I live in the uk …. , wish they had a site over here.
Thanks Sandra, and ya, I’m not sure if DB Paints are in the UK. It would be interesting to see if they will be one day though 🙂
Hi Denise! What a gorgeous color you ended up with on the piece! I love the tones you pick for your painting projects! I also have a question for you. What is your secret to getting no drips? I am plagued with being as careful as I can and later discover I’ve got a semi dried drip of paint! I’ve never used chalk paint, but. any other paint has been a problem for me. I’d love some advice. Thank you!
I go over my work – and then go over it again and again to avoid those horrible drips Heather. I keep double checking while the paint is wet to make sure I brush out any drips that may be happening. This is especially important when thinning the paint with water. I know some layering techniques just let it drip and the drips become part of the finish, but I like to keep mine clean. A little trick if you have a dried paint drip, take an Exacto blade and carefully cut the drip off being sure to keep the blade level with the finish…then repaint the area. Hope this helps. 🙂
Joette Hilton says
OMG! So beautiful! I’m DB Kudzu green with envy!
lol… super cute…thanks Joette! 🙂
Beautiful! I am beginning my first “layered” piece and found the post so helpful. I will remember to “go with the flow” Thanks.
I’d love to hear how it all turns out for you Laura. Go with the flow and have FUN! 🙂
Teri Ronk says
Thank you Teri! 🙂
Linda Manuel says
So FAR past a piece of furniture – this is a piece of ART. Stunning doesn’t come close to describing it. And I do not like blue anything except in jeans! WOW, just absolutely WOW!!!
Huge, huge compliment Linda…thank you so much!!! 🙂
Cindy D says
I am totally pinning. I was awestruck when the piece turned out totally different then the first layer. Ab.so.lutley stunning. I love it. Thank you for sharing the tutorial.
Awwww thanks, Cindy! So glad you like it and thanks SO MUCH for the pin/share! Have a beautiful day. xo
Lorrie S says
That turned out really nice. A lot of steps. I chalk painted a a china hutch using two coats of paint and a layer of wax. I still find that iif I knock something against it (a dish I’m putting away) it goes straight through to the wood. Any suggestions?
Hi Lorrie! It sounds like the paint did not adhere properly or maybe it’s not yet 100% dry/cured. I’m not sure if its a freshly refinished piece, but if so, you can wait to see if it cures up. Otherwise, it may be that the cabinet would have benefited from a light sanding prior to applying the paint.
Absolutely stunning! Thank you so much for the step by step instructions. I’m preparing to tackle a big piece with lots of layering and this is super helpful!
Oh good! I hope it does help and I’d love to hear how your piece turns out for you Becky! 🙂
Wow. Beautiful. I’m inspired to try the layering.
I hope you give it a try Carol!!! It’s really fun! You don’t have to be overly particular with your brush strokes and this layering technique is amazing at covering up any imperfections. 🙂
Tamara Townsend says
This piece is absolutely stunning!!! Thanks for sharing your process, it really helps!
Yaaay, I’m so glad you’re finding the process pics helpful! … and thank you Tamara! x
Carole Atkins says
I love when the piece speaks to you… they definitely have their own minds. This is beautiful Denise! I’m glad you listened to her xx
It sounds funny but they sure do…lol. I thought for sure this was going to be a ‘Valentines Vanity’… but there was lots of love put into the painting process – so she’s romantic in her own way. 😉
Wow… thanks for sharing this technique… I love all the pieces you do… but this is my favorite because of the black wax and the golden touch… I gotta find myself a piece to do this…
Hi Claudette! Isn’t it amazing what wax can do?! It really changes the whole look of a piece. Good luck finding your piece… I know you’ll have a lot of fun. 🙂
Catherine Patterson says
Beautifully and classy!!
Thank you, Catherine! xo
Debra Wise says
Denise, it turned out beautiful! Thanks for the step by step tutorial on layering. I’ve been wanting to give this a try so thanks for the inspiration! I’m pinning this.
Oh Debra, I hope you do give it a try! Like I was saying to Carol (previous comment), it’s so much fun and you don’t have to be to ‘perfect’ about it. Thank for pinning and sharing! 🙂 🙂 🙂