If you’ve been reading my blog for a couple of years or so, you probably already know that peonies are one of my favorite flowers. They have just two downsides; first, their blooming season is way too short (I wish they would last all summer) and second, ants love them.
I have quite a few old fashioned pink double peonies. When we purchased our house about 30 years ago there were two of these plants in the existing garden. Since then I’ve divided them many times, shared them with friends, and moved some back to the cutting garden behind the carriage house.
They are very reliable bloomers and really don’t require much care back there. I find that the old fashioned varieties of most plants are usually less temperamental than the newer hybrids. I like to have these out of sight in the cutting garden because then I don’t feel guilty about cutting them all off and bringing them in the house (shaking off the ants first).
I’ve also added a few other varieties to the garden over the years. The white are definitely the most fragrant.
But my absolutely favorite peony is this gorgeous bright pink variety that I planted about 4 years ago. I think this is going to be the first year that I get a really good quantity of blooms on the plant.
The color of these peonies just glows from the garden in the evening. They are so vibrant!
And I think that is exactly what drew me to Dixie Belle’s paint color called Peony.
I wonder if whoever created and named this color also has these peonies growing in their garden.
By the way, I’m faking you out a little with all of the peony photos. They are from previous years because this year’s peonies aren’t blooming quite yet. Although they will be soon with this ridiculous heat we’ve been having! But even though my peonies aren’t quite here, this gorgeous paint color is! Dixie Belle was kind enough to provide me with some of this paint for a dresser makeover I have planned. But whenever I try a brand new paint color that I haven’t used before, I like to test it out on a smaller piece before I put it on a large piece of furniture.
So I pulled out one of the chairs that I purchased at the Tangletown sales.
It’s another bottomless chair that is destined to become a planter chair.
So why not go with a vibrant pink!
Well, in the spirit of full disclosure, first I went with Rachel Ashwell chalk paint in a pale blue which was very pretty, but then I opted to try sealing it with Miss Mustard Seed’s Tough Coat Sealer and the original stain on the chair bled through the paint.
This brings me to a good q tip. If you aren’t familiar with this phenomenon, sometimes even though a pre-existing stain didn’t initially bleed through your paint, once you add a water based sealer over it, the sealer will draw the bleeding stain through the paint. This can be a huge bummer when you’ve painted your piece and it looks amazing and you’re at the final step of sealing it and bam! Bleedy stains all over the place. I don’t really have a great tip for preventing this (unless you want to pre-seal every piece just in case, but that seems extreme to me), but if this happens to you there are a couple of options for dealing with it. 1) seal the piece with a stain blocking sealer (like Dixie Belle’s BOSS for example), re-paint and then add your water based sealing top coat. 2) continue on with the water based sealer and once dry paint again, and then add a wax topcoat. Waxes will not pull the stain through like a water based top coat will.
Or, you can do what I did. Go with an entirely different color and then seal it with wax.
Speaking of wax, you know how chairs are so much easier to paint if you spray them? Well, when I went to wax this chair I remembered that a while back Dixie Belle had sent me some of their Easy Peasy spray wax.
It occurred to me that … duh … this stuff would be perfect for chairs! And it was.
Simply spray it on, wait 10 to 15 seconds and then wipe away any excess. It truly is Easy Peasy.
So I’ve tested the Peony and I love it, but you probably won’t see that dresser for a couple of weeks. In the meantime I’ll have a lovely buffet and a couple of other fun projects to share with you first. So be sure to stay tuned!