February 5, 2013 by Decorum DIYer
Okay, I really wanted to title this post “¿Que Pasa, [H]Ombre?”, but couldn’t figure out for the life of me how to get the upside-down question mark in the post title. As you see, it wasn’t a problem for the text’s body. Oh, well, it’s those little things that bug me.
Back to the post….
I did it. I fell victim to yet another trend. One that has been high-flying for quite a while – an ombre painted dresser. In case you don’t know what ombre is, it is a gradation of color from dark to light, or light to dark, along the monochromatic spectrum…, or something like that.
A few weeks ago, I purchased this little, campaign-styled dresser for $10:
I have an idea of where of I would like it in my house, but I can’t tell you, just yet. (Pssst, you can see what I did with it here.)
The seller added, for FREE, a ‘big box store’ storage unit (not my thing),
(Remember, I found a use for the above in my master closet reorganization?)
and this little dresser, also for FREE:
Since I had no use for the last item and hadn’t really planned upon my husband bringing it home with my new prized possession – the campaign dresser, I thought, “Why not?”
This sounds like a Pinterest Challenge to me!
(via Young House Love)
So, I decided to try my hand at painting the drawer fronts in an ombre fashion. I happened to have a sample-size of Martha Stewart’s ‘Persimmon’ in my paint stash.
I have read plenty of blog and websites, and especially Pinterest, which created an ombre effect, but most painted each drawer with a separate color as found on paint chip samples. One would purchase a sample of each color along the spectrum, like so:
Since this was an impulsive decision at a time of night that most paint stores are closed and I am too
cheap frugal to spend more money than the original cost of the paint sample pot, I decided to forge ahead by only mixing my original color, ‘Persimmon’, with the ‘Cottage White’ by Behr (same color as Claire’s trim, furniture, and accessories). This would work equally well, if you want to paint the dresser in a color similar to your room’s wall color. Simply use the wall color and lighten it using the following process.
- Remove drawers from dresser and remove all hardware.
- Clean drawers, dresser base, and hardware.
- Lightly sand drawer fronts (or whatever else you are painting).
- Lightly wipe down sanded surfaces with a damp cloth. (Come on, you don’t need a picture of that, do you?)
- Prime sanded areas. (Wait at least 24 hours after priming before painting.)
Now, you are ready to prepare the paint!
I prepared three paint colors using a method of thirds (thirds because the dresser has three drawers). Since I was only painting three drawer fronts, I knew I didn’t require much paint.
Using a tablespoon as measurement (not the same one that you use for food), I placed one tablespoon of my color paint, in this case ‘Persimmon’, and my white paint, in this case ‘Cottage White’, into three separate ramekins lined with cling wrap (to keep clean up to a minimum and as not to contaminate my ramekins with non-food items). The following graphic illustrates this notion of thirds (for three drawers). If one were painting a dresser with four drawers, use fourths. Five drawers, fifths. Easy, right? Although, if I were using fourths or fifths, I would consider changing my unit of measurement to teaspoons, otherwise there could be just too much paint (what a waste).
After measuring out the two paint colors as described above into three, separate, cling wrap lined ramekins, I simply stirred the combined paint (‘persimmon’ and ‘cottage white’) until thoroughly combined. This is very important to do well, or your paint will be streaking and not consistent.
This left me with three hues of the same shade:
- dark (3/3 the original color)
- medium (2/3 original and 1/3 of white)
- light (1/3 original and 2/3 white)
Now, get to painting!
You will need several, light coats with a drying time of 2-4 hours inbetween.
Inbetween coats of paint, simple cover the ramekins with cling wrap, making sure that the cling wrap touches the paint to prevent a skin forming and to keep the paint ‘fresh’.
I was quite smitten with the results.
I adored the colors that were produced.
I bet you want to see the finished project, don’t you?
Well, remember, here is the white dresser
[H]OMBRE NO BUENO 😦
Sure, the ombre es muy bueno, but sadly, the dresser just couldn’t handle all of that style.
“What happened?”, you ask.
Well, it was one of these moments…
I was upstairs making lunch for the family and I asked Chris, my husband, if he could move the dresser (as the paint was dry and cured) to the ‘storage’ area in the basement. Moments later, I heard a loud crash and then dead silence. True to form, much like in “A Christmas Story”, I tore down the steps to find my beautifully painted dresser in shambles.
Now, perhaps on a really bad day I would have screamed or cried, but I didn’t. I laughed so hard that I had tears streaming down my cheeks. My poor husband was frozen, braced for what he thought was going to be a ‘not-a-finger’ moment. Instead, we both laughed and took a picture of our poor, little dresser.
So, in summation, creating an ombre dresser is quick and easy (it took me two days from start to finish, including drying time).
The look is fantastic!
A bit of advice, if you are going to go through the trouble of painting the drawers,
make sure the dresser can handle all that style!
Until next time…, happy painting!