Friday, May 2, 2014

Aqua & Red, Baby!........Chalk Paint Makeover

Aqua and Red, Baby!

Y’all know how much I adore any shade of Aqua, and paired with Red, it’s perfect!



This poor little jewelry box had great bones, but really needed cosmetics to accentuate the positive.

It was also musical, but the mechanism was broken. So, like I’ve done in the past, I removed the chime parts, and filled in the holes.

It also had/has a chip on the bottom front corner of the top drawer. Since I planned on distressing this piece, I chose to leave it, rather than repair it, as it would add more authentic charm.

While my typical M.O. is to layer several chalk paint colors, this piece was more about the hand-painted designs and the good bones.

I started with a base coat of warm black, and then Annie Sloan’s Emperor’s Silk Red. After that, I spent hours designing and re-designing the graphics and placement of the Aqua, Red, and Black topcoats.

The gorgeous Aqua is a custom mix that resembles a deep Tiffany blue. Need proof? Here ya go….

After stripping the drawers’ interiors, I lined them with gorgeous and vibrant Italian paper. I was looking for a design with Red and just-the-right Aqua, and found it in a paper that I ended up having to order from an Etsy shop in Germany! How’s that for being ultra-picky! 

The paper’s graphics truly dictated my hand-painted designs, thus making this project especially challenging. I really wanted them to gel with the style of the paper, so my choices had to be somewhat geometric, without looking modern. While it might seem like a no-brainer to design a modern piece that could have more mass appeal and sell easily, I tend to only create for my own taste, and modern is not it. I think it’s safe to say I always gravitate towards Medieval or Old World, which seems to be an obvious indicator I lived there in a past life…..:)

I drew shapes that slightly echoed the shapes in the paper, without looking too matchy-matchy. I even added that shape behind the drawer knobs, as sort of trompe l’oeil rusty escutcheons. It just gave the plain knobs a little more visual interest. I’m a big fan of adding the illusion of objects and architecture using only paint. So cheap, yet so effective!

Okay, so I said my next project was going to be the spice cupboard, but since the Italian paper was waiting for me, I felt obligated to finally use it. Since I’m planning on a really time-consuming design for the cupboard, I may end up working on it simultaneously with a couple other projects, so I don’t feel completely imprisoned. I say this because whenever I’m focused on one painting design, depending on how long it takes, I feel completely liberated when I finally finish it. I think since the sun is finally shining and Spring is in full bloom, the chicken wire creations keep calling me back. We’ll see what I finish first……:)

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  1. whenever you post, I always wonder what your new creation looks like and this one did not disappoint! Beautiful design, paper and compostion. Love it!

    1. Whenever you comment, I always wonder what wonderful things you're going to say, and this one did not disappoint!.....;)

      Thank you for always appreciating my artistry!

  2. Wow, what a gorgeous labor of love. The colors and lining are perfect and your pattern makes it extra special.

  3. Stunning, absolutely stunning. My readers would love this, I hope you'll share it today at my History & Home link party. Love the colors and designs you chose.
    Dawn @ We Call It

  4. Thank You ladies! My smallest painted treasures always seem to take the longest to complete, so labor of love is the appropriate term for this....

  5. You really do put your heart and soul into these little works of art and it shows!

  6. Oh my Maria! You turned a junker into one fabulous stunner! Love everything about this piece, the color choices, the graphics, the paper. Stupendous makeover,.. My favorite post at Sand and Sisal this week! Great job!

  7. So pretty! Love the red and aqua combo. I'm featuring you over at Power of Paint tomorrow!

  8. I like that you said that you spent hours designing and redesigning the graphics. You make doing this type of work look so easy. So when you say you worked for hours I feel better having worked for days.


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