I mentioned I was thinking of painting a dresser with MMS Flow Blue.  But, turns out the color wasn’t quite what I was expecting.

First, let me show you my inspiration.  The cover of the latest Pottery Barn catalog.

blue pottery barnNice, right?  Love those indigo blues.  Obviously there are many different hues of indigo on this cover, but are you like me?  You imagine a particular color in your head, and that’s the one you want.  The dresser I’m painting next is calling out for a rich indigo.  Not too dark, not too light.

I thought Flow Blue was what I wanted, but it’s not.  I have also worked with MMS’s Artissimo.  It might work for this piece, but it’s just a little darker than I want.  So, I thought perhaps a mix of the two might be just right.  I decided an experiment was in order, so I pulled out the paints and did some mixing.

blue mixologyIn this picture you are seeing Flow Blue on the left, Artissimo at the bottom, and a mix of the two at the top.  I find that you don’t really get a good feel for the colors by just adding the water and mixing.  So I pulled out an old piece of wood and painted each color on.  I ended up doing about 5 coats because the wood was very porous and just drank up the paint.

Here is the board with the wet paint.

blues wet

Since adding the hemp oil tends to really deepen the color, once the board was dry I sanded it lightly and added the oil.  Here are my final results.

blue final colorsAfter all of this, now I think perhaps Artissimo was what I wanted all along.  Or perhaps something like a 75/25 mix.  It was fun to play with the colors, and I think I have a better feel for them now.  I’ll probably look at my board in a couple of different lighting situations before I make up my mind what color to chose.  Stay tuned to see how the dresser turns out.

blue collage

7 thoughts on “mixology.

  1. I think you are living in my head Linda that PB cover is part of what inspired by renewed desire for indigo as well. Artissimo looks to have a smidge of green in it or am I color blind? I think adding the hemp oil really does it for me. I by the way picked up 2 chairs this weekend off Craigslist for $30. So instead of painting the inside of my
    armoire I was searching for inspiration to redo these and sell them. Struggling with doing them funky to appeal to the younger purchaser or to be true to my own taste
    and go Gustavian. Decisions,decisions…..


    1. I think that the green you are seeing might be partially the fault of my photography … although there is definitely more green in the Flow Blue than I expected. I think I’m going to go with the Artissimo since I already have it on hand and don’t want to buy more paint for this particular dresser. Stay tuned, I’ll post pics down the road. Meanwhile, I emailed you directly so you’ll have my email addy and can send me pics of your chairs. I’d love to see them. I know what you mean about struggling between picking something that you know will sell well v. something that is more your own taste. I deal with that same question all the time.


  2. I think Victoria hit on what is making it a little hard to nail the PB cover colors. It is that bit of green that is fighting you. But, the nice thing about playing with paint is that sometimes you come up with a color that is so awesome. Then the task becomes duplicating that color in the amount needed. What about using a regular paint in the color you want and adding the plaster of paris and water formula?


    1. I confess, I’m a complete cheapskate! I don’t want to buy more paint for just one piece. Although … wait a minute … now that I think about it, I do have a dark blue on hand that I used on a union jack dresser … hmmm, that is a possibility. Stay tuned.


  3. Yep I have been mulling that over too. I even search other milk paint companies to see if anyone had something closer to what I am seeking. But you never know until you mix it up and put it on something. Must develop your adventuresome spirit. I will send you some photos of these chairs if you email me your address.


  4. For me, this is a very interesting post and so are the replies because the topic is something I think about often. What color sells and how to mix color. I’ve often wondered if I should just use the colors Pottery Barn uses. I have some old books from the time that interior and exterior house painters actually their own colors. Pre-paint stores, I guess. I love everyone of those colors you mixed up, but I think something is not quite indigo. So, I just went to get one of the old books (handwritten, no less) and its description or formula for Indigo: 9 parts Compound of Black and 5 parts Prussian Blue. I don’t know what was used for a measurement. There are formulas for 26 shades of Blue. Turquoise is 20 parts White, 2 Parts Ultramarine Blue and 1 Part Light Green. So, it sounds like there is no green in Indigo.
    Interesting stuff.


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