I recently asked my readers on Facebook if I should paint this pediment or leave it alone. As is often the case, they were split on whether I should paint it or not. But one astute reader said, “The fact that you are asking tells me you have already decided you don’t like it, and will be painting it soon.” Give that woman a cigar! Or a bowl of ice cream or something.
She was right. I was tired of it.
If you were one of the many that voted for me to leave it alone, let me apologize to you right no. I painted it.
I think it looks pretty fantastic. It blends with the bookcase now, but the detail still shows up very well. Why? Because I used a color wash.
It is not exactly the same color at the bookcase but close. I think if it were exactly the same you might not notice, and a lot of the detail would be lost. Okay so how did I do it? I mixed about a 1/4 cup paint with a tablespoon of water. I used chawk paint in the color Stanley you can purchase here.
Stir up your paint and test a spot on the back of your piece. Then add water or paint to adjust for the consistency you want.
Now if the wood has a sealer on it or a poly coat, this technique won't work. The wood needs to be able to absorb the paint. If the paint beads up, then you will know that your wood is sealed in some way. You can try removing the sealer, but honestly, I just use move on to another technique if the color wash isn't working.
The paint thinned with water becomes a cross between paint and stain. Brush it on very thinly. In the raised areas, I added a bit more paint, but didn't in the crevices. So the raised areas became lighter, and the recessed areas stayed dark, since not a lot of paint made it in there.
The main point with a color wash is that the paint is thinned and you are putting on a very thin coat of paint. It is going to show off any detail better than a regular coat of paint.
It will look uneven; that is the look you get with a color wash. If you try to even it all out by applying more paint, you will end up with a regular paint finish. I did not use a latex paint for this technique, I used a chalky paint. If you use a regular latex, your paint may not stick.
I love how it turned out! It’s the crowning glory of that bookcase now!
Jill Brewster says
I like it! No that’s an under statement….I love it! I like that you didn’t just show “look what I did” but shared the process with us who might want to try this in our home. Explaining the why’s and what happen’s if. Thank you Anita.
Oh…that’s perfect! The stained piece screamed “they stuck me up here cause I match the piece below”. Now it’s the crown.
Ha, ha Chris. Well I didn’t paint it before because I wasn’t sure I wanted to paint it.
What color of colorwash did you use for your pediment?
Southern Honey chawk paint in stanley.
Francoise Coadou-Porter says
Anita, I ” wash/paint” a lot of furniture most of them I imported from France to Sydney Australi
I use Annie Sloan chalk paint and to finish off the wash, and sealed it, I use Annie Sloan clear wax or the dark ( or both ) depending on the finish you want
For your readers, Annie Sloan paint can be used on sealed wood, the wax is the sealer
When the wax is dry, give it a polish with a sof cloth and you get just a semi sheen which gives life to the finish
Love, LOVE, L O V E the color washed wood pediment, dear friend!!!
You always do the most amazing things to bring out the true beauty of each piece!!!
Thank you for allowing us to have a part in the decision process (wink! wink!)!!!
I love the blue tint and the contrast with the bookcase!
Lauren English says
This is beautiful and so unique…I’ve been wanting to try something like this on our hutch and will have to give your technique a try. Thanks for sharing!
It’s beautiful, and the detail work shows so well now! So, Annie Sloan is the way to go for sealed wood? I have a dark wood, very traditional bed that I really dislike, in the setting of my room anyway. It’s not too heavy, though, and there’s some detail I think would look pretty with a lighter color, wash or just straight up painted. It is sealed though.
Mary, you can use Annie Sloan or Amy Howard paint. You can’t color wash where the grain absorbs the paint if it is sealed. You’ll just have to do a solid coat of paint if the wood is sealed.
Denise Cox says
It’s lovely!! And as a lover of blue in home decor ( just ask KariAnne), I love the peek – a-boo of blue color shining through!!
Denise, I love blue too!
Where did you buy your desk?! Love it!!!
Thanks Liz. I found it at a French antique auction. I think it’s beautiful too!!!