I’ve written about inspiration before, and for good reason. Paul and I know that inspiration can come from anywhere so it’s important to keep your eyes open.
A few weeks ago, during one of our Chalk Paint® 101: The Basics workshops, a participant named Barb added a little too much water to her 2nd paint color on the two-color wet distress. She was looking at it and feeling a little disappointed that it didn’t look like the finish created by another participant who used the same color combination. Paul however, was really taken with the finish.
He pointed out that although the top color was more translucent than the other sample, it was a lovely and unique finish. He told Barb that he was actually really inspired by her finish.
Paul and I learned a long time ago that we often don’t know how a project will end, we just know where we want it to begin. For this project, Paul knew that he was going to begin with that beautiful finish from the workshop.
He first applied two coats of Florence Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan to everything but the top of the chest. Once the Florence was dry, he added water to Coco Chalk Paint® and painted it on. The paint was quite watery so it was a bit transparent and that’s what Paul was hoping for.
Once the Coco was dry, Paul grabbed a Scotch Brite pad, some water, and a roll of paper towels. Using the wet Scotch Brite pad, he gently softened the Coco then wiped away some of the color with the paper towel revealing the Florence underneath.
Paul was thrilled with the look, it was exactly what he was hoping to achieve. So, he sealed the entire piece – except for the unfinished top – with Clear Chalk Paint® Wax.
Now…what to do about that top…
Paul and I were working in separate states that day and we were texting ideas back and forth to each other. My advice to him was that he needed to be happy when it was finished. Don’t settle for just having it be done.
So, he decided on Coco and copper leaf.
The Coco was painted on the frame then he painted Florence on the leather top, this was the part that he was planning to copper leaf and he wanted any cracks in the leaf to reveal the Florence underneath since it resembles the color of aged copper.
Towards the end of the project, Paul finished one package of copper leaf and opened another. As he was applying the leaf he realized that the copper from the newly opened pack was slightly lighter than the previous pack.
He finished leafing the top and texted me a photo. All that work, and the top wasn’t going to look right…what to do?
We had learned about patinating solution during a training workshop that we attended over the summer and we had used this technique on gold leaf so Paul decided to give it a go on the copper leaf.
Blotting it randomly over the copper leaf, the patinating solution ate away at the copper revealing the Florence underneath.
The effect was breathtaking and totally unique.
Now he was happy. It wasn’t just done, it was done in an exceptional way.
Don’t think that you need to see the end of every project, you just need to see the beginning. And when a project throws you a curveball, make patinated copper.
We're Paul and Johanna and we write about our life in the furniture business. The things we love, the places we go, and the treasures we find along the way.