I got a call from a client asking if I would paint a china cabinet for her if she brought it to my studio. I said “sure” and she replied that they were on the way after a quick stop to round up some help….that should’ve tipped me off! It took 3 grown men to wrestle the “beast” off of the truck and into my studio. The piece had some nice lines, but it was just very big and brown all over.
We discussed finishes and she chose French Linen Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan for the outside and Country Grey Chalk Paint® for the inside to contrast with her white china. After applying two coats of Country Grey to the inside I started on the exterior. I tend to be very “light handed” when I apply paint so that the character of the piece is enhanced rather than covered up, so I started with a dry brushed mixture of of 50% Graphite a 50% French Linen and allowed that to dry. Then I did another dry brushed coat of French Linen, allowing just a touch of the darker undercoat to show through, giving the finish more depth.
I turned my attention to the elaborate brass hardware by applying a wash of Graphite thinned out with water, working it into thecrevices and wiping off the high spots. After that dried, I dry brushed some French Linen over those high spots, allowed that to dry and then finished the pieces of with some Dark Wax/mineral spirit mix, which turned the pieces from brassy to dark and elegant, perfect for the piece.
After I applied Clear Wax and rubbed it into the paint with a blue shop towel, I was ready to apply some Dark Wax thinned out with a splash of mineral spirits to create a Dark Wax glaze. Working a section at a time, I brushed the Dark Wax mixture on, concentrating it more heavily in the crevices of the piece, and then wiped most of it off, leaving just a hint of the brown wax in the finish. Next I worked a wash created with water, Paris Grey and French Linen into the wax in strategic spots to lighten and create more depth to the finish. Once it had some time to dry, I reattached the hardware and called the client so she could round up some strong men to muscle the beast, now turned into a beauty, to her new home.