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Hand Painted Wardrobe with Cloudy Paint Effect

Listed under Blog, hand-painted furniture, Lee Simone Posted Mar 26 2014

Traditional Painter in Yorkshire, Lee Simone, recently returned to a home in which he has worked in many times, this time to update a hand painted wardrobe with cloudy paint effect.

The new look wardrobes, repaired, re-glazed, 'clouded' with a darker blue and varnished

The new look wardrobes, repaired, re-glazed, ‘clouded’ with a darker blue and varnished

Over the years I’ve been back to this property to complete paint effects in the kitchen, the lounge, the snug, the dining room and the master bedroom / en-suite.

When I painted these wardrobes the first time round, it was actually the first job I ever did on my own whilst I was working for Nicola Creasey. That was over 15 years ago!

This time I was called back to create a paint effect on the walls of the en-suite, and also update and change the look of the wardrobes.

Where are they now?

Even though it had been more than 15 years since they were finished, the wardrobes were still in incredibly good nick. Yes, they had a few chips, and the paint has been worn away around some of the handles, but all in all, it was pretty amazing how well they looked. A testament to quality cabinetry, good painting practice and top notch materials.

(Back then I used a blue oil glaze sealed with Dulux clearcoat. This time I would be doing exactly the same, so, if it aint broke …)

Bringing it up to date

Rather than a dramatic change and a complete repaint, I was going to subtly tweak the existing effect and deepen the colour – a very cost-effective way of updating your decoratively painted furniture.

Instead of the slightly ‘rag rolled’ finish I did all those years ago, I was going to do a more subtle and cloudy effect, one that was more refined and of the moment.

Preparation –

As I mentioned, over the years, the wardrobes had developed the odd chip and area of discolouration around the handles.

The original blue wardrobes - painted 15yrs ago

The original blue wardrobes – painted 15yrs ago

The damage would need to be touched up and repaired prior to any painting. This is because of the glazes I would be using – they are by their very nature transparent, so they wouldn’t cover up or fix the problem areas in question.

But, before any painting would be done, I first had to gently clean and lightly sand the wardrobes to create a suitable key. For the cleaning, all I used was fairy liquid and water, with some of the scuff marks carefully removed using white spirit.

Note to self about Dulux Clearcoat – the Dulux Clearcoat I used 15+ years ago had a different formula to the Clearcoat of today. With the old Clearcoat you can happily attack the finished surface with white spirit with no problem at all. With the new Clearcoat, this is not an option, as the coating simply breaks down into a million little bits of goo, something to do with the VOC laws, I would imagine.

Anyhow, once cleaned, I very lightly sanded all areas with a well used 120 grit sanding pad, and I was ready for the touching up process.

The Repairs –

The chips and discolouration were repaired using opaque oil paint, which I mixed up to an accurate match of the ‘old’ colour. I did this in oil eggshell and applied it using small artist brushes and my Purdy Monarch Elite, blending it out where necessary. Once everything was looking as ‘good as old’, I set about mixing up my new oil glazes.

The Glazing –

The original finish I painted was a form of ‘ragging’ which was very popular in the late nineties but is a out of date now.

The original 'ragged' effect

The original ‘ragged’ effect

This time, I was going to set about creating a more contemporary and subtle effect, darkening the colour slightly and ‘clouding’ the glazes rather than ragging them.

I mixed up up four colours using a combination of Prussian Blue, Paynes Grey, Lamp Black, Titanium White, Cobalt Violet and Cobalt Blue – one light, one medium, one dark. I then mixed them as I went along with Windsor & Newton’s Liquin so I could change the opacity levels to suit the area I was working on at the time.

The effect after the 1st new coat of glaze

The effect after the 1st new coat of glaze

I applied the glazes with a quarter inch acrylic artist brush and then moved it about using a large stippler, a hog hair brush, butter muslin and a well used Purdy Monarch Elite – blending and tinkering until I was happy.

The glazing was going to be a two stage process to ensure just the right depth of colour and make sure that the ‘ragging’ effect was subtly covered and blended away.

This picture shows the effect I achieved after the first layer of glazing. The new cloudier effect is nicely on its way 🙂

2nd layer of glaze with more blending and dark blue detailing

2nd layer of glaze with more blending and dark blue detailing

Once the first layer of glaze was complete, I left it to dry overnight and returned the next day to apply the second layer. This second layer was applied in pretty much the same way as the first, the only difference being that I used more of the darkest glaze and concentrated this around the edges of the door, the handles and the inside edge of the beaded detailing. It’s just a little thing, but it makes all the difference to the balance and overall effect of the pieces.

Varnishing –

Once I was happy with the look, I left the alterations to dry and headed home, returning the next day to finish off. All that was left was the varnishing, and exactly like the first time, I would use Dulux Matt Clearcoat – a great acrylic varnish that’s just perfect for this kind of work on wood, and for paint effects on walls.

I applied 2-3 coats, using a high density foam roller and a couple of brushes, being careful to add additional protection to the kick boards and around the handles. I then removed the tape and paper, tickety booed and voila, a thoroughly fun job to do, and not nearly as scary and stressful as the first time, many moons ago 🙂

The finished wardrobe and chest of drawers

The finished wardrobe and chest of drawers

The client, as always, was over the moon and looking forward to the next project. For me it was time to head into her en-suite and continue the prep work for the second part of the project, a cloudy colourwash paint effect on the walls. This had last been done around 17 years ago and was only now needing a re-paint – a testament to the wonderful longevity and continued interest in paint effects.

Watch this space for a Blog about that side of the project too 🙂

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The finished effect

The finished effect

Close up of the 'cloudy effect'

Close up of the ‘cloudy effect’

Close up of the 'cloudy effect'

Close up of the ‘cloudy effect’

Lee Simone hand painted kitchens yorkshireBased nr. Harrogate, North Yorkshire, Lee Simone began Imaginative Interiors in 1999 and now travels throughout Yorkshire transforming and rejuvenating furniture and kitchens to the highest level.

Alongside beautifully hand painted kitchens and furniture, Lee can also offer you outstanding specialist paint effects, faux finishes, murals and trompe l’oeil.


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2 comments to “Hand Painted Wardrobe with Cloudy Paint Effect”

  1. Charles Budd

    It looks absolutely fantastic!

  2. Imaginative Interiors Imaginative Interiors

    Thanks Guys! 🙂

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