While I was inspired by all of the shades of blue I saw in Norway on our recent trip, in Scotland it was all about the greens (and maybe the sheep!)
So when I saw this pretty green transferware platter at the Barn Chic Vintage sale, I snatched it up and decided that I needed to paint something green.
Mr. Q had recently brought home this tall serpentine dresser with lovely claw feet. His step-dad’s ex-wife (is there a better title for that relationship? step-ex maybe?), who is also a very supportive follower of my blog, snagged this for me from her neighbor who was having a garage sale (thanks again Sherry!)
It needed a little work. Ken replaced a drawer bottom that was damaged beyond repair and I dealt with some veneer issues by patching with wood filler.
Next I pulled out my paints to see what my options were for green and I had quite a few. I had some of Miss Mustard Seed’s Lucketts Green and Boxwood. I also had several shades of green milk paint that Homestead House sent me, Upper Canada Green, Gatineau, Acadia Pear. In the end I opted for Homestead House’s Bayberry.
I found it a bit challenging to get a photo that shows the true shade of this green. It’s a deep green that leans more towards the blue side rather than yellow, and with a grey undertone. I added a topcoat of hemp oil, which deepened the color quite a bit.
While working with the Bayberry, I discovered it makes the perfect ‘chalkboard green’. That’s it on the gold framed chalkboard, without hemp oil and after being ‘seasoned’ with chalk. From now on rather than mixing MMS Boxwood and Artissimo to make green chalkboard paint, I’ll just use Bayberry straight up.
I also tried a little experiment on this dresser. I added part of an Iron Orchids Design furniture transfer. I wasn’t sure how well it would show up on a dark color like this, and I knew I was taking a chance that it wouldn’t work at all and I’d have more work to do to correct it.
And as it turns out, transfers and dark colors don’t mix. I expected that the transfer wouldn’t be as obvious over a dark color, but I didn’t expect that that filmy sort of white halo would be so much more noticeable.
Speaking of which, after getting a question from Nancy recently about the ‘cloudy halo’ that you can see with the IOD transfers, I reached out to Sally at Iron Orchid Designs. She told me they are working on improving their product to minimize that halo, but in the meantime the transfers are best suited for light colors. In addition, she said that a little light distressing with a fine grit sandpaper can help blend it more on light colors as well.
OK, so next came the ‘fix’. I was hoping I could use a sharp razor blade to remove the transfer without damaging the paint too much.
Nope. That didn’t work. That transfer was stuck good. Really, that’s good news since it means the IOD transfers are pretty durable and won’t just easily peel off your surface.
On to Plan B (or would it be C at this point?) I knew this was going to be dicey at best, but it was worth a shot. I sanded down the two drawers with the transfers, sanding off the transfer as well as most of the hemp oil. Then I wiped them down with TSP substitute to further reduce the oil. I had a little bit of my mixed paint left, so I stirred it well and added a fresh coat to the two drawers.
I’ve had issues in the past with getting different shades of green doing this. I posted about that here. Over time as green milk paint sits it tends to change color slightly.
So, I do know better. But I thought I might as well try it since I had the paint. Worst case scenario I have to re-do ALL of the drawers.
Yep, worst case scenario. It’s not a really glaring difference, but enough of a difference that it bugged me.
So, back to sanding and cleaning each drawer with TSP substitute, mixing up a fresh batch of Bayberry paint and repainting each drawer. I didn’t have to do the body of the dresser, just the drawer fronts.
In the long run it would have been smarter to try this experiment with Fusion acrylic paint or chalk paint. That way I could have gotten away with just repainting the two drawers. Hindsight is always 20/20. I hope that by sharing my failures in this way, you guys can learn from them and not make the same mistakes.
To recap. New lesson learned: don’t use IOD transfers on dark colors. Old lesson reinforced: paint your milk paint pieces all at once, you can’t go back later and just paint one or two drawers. Got that?
I promised ‘dibs’ on this dresser to the original owner. But if she doesn’t want it back, it will be for sale. Be sure to check my ‘available for local sale’ tab for more details.