This looks like a much quicker project than it was. I love working with designers and decorators to help clients update pieces. This painted dining set was one of my favorites. I am only sorry I don’t have shots of the final pieces in place at their home.
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A local decorator contacted me about working with one of her clients. They were looking for ideas to keep their current dining set while giving it a fresher look. I headed to their house to get a feel for the whole space. It was fun to spitball ideas. You really can completely update pieces without completely changing everything.
Rather than paint the entire piece, we decided to try something a bit different. Highlighting some of the features and unique characters of the pieces would give it a completely different feel.
They have this unusual server too that just felt as though it didn’t belong with the set.
Once we settled on the areas to highlight, they hired movers to bring them to my workshop. What a delight that was!
I didn’t have to lift a finger and these nice gentlemen just brought everything in and set it up.
I was really impressed with how much care they took in wrapping and transporting everything to make sure it arrived safe and sound.
We all knew we wanted a REALLY deep dark blue but the Sherwin Williams deck we were working from didn’t have anything quite right. So I mixed up a custom color from In the Navy and Inkwell.
It’s always interesting to me how color changes from wet to dry paint.
Then the tedious part began… taping. This was SUPER important and I was at it for hours. My shop has a lot of natural light, but after dark, it can be tricky. I pulled out my Ryobi Hybrid LED Work Light and was amazed at how much easier it made everything. The hybrid part is because it runs off both a battery and power cord. I really wish more tools had this option.
Between taping, I was also priming everything. This step is really important because if you missed anything when you clean, primer gives you extra “insurance” to make sure everything adheres well. I had the primer tinted gray since the top coat was a dark color. It helps cut down on the number of final coats needed to cover everything completely.
After all that priming and taping finally the color got to be added!
It did take two full coats of paint to cover everything properly and I went back over a few areas a third time to be certain it looked the way I wanted it to.
There was one part we were all uncertain of so when I got to that place, I was able to send the decorator a photo of the area painted and not painted so the client could choose which they preferred.
I added a filter to the second photo to try to give them an idea of the true color of the paint. Our eyes can play such tricks on us sometimes.
In the end, they chose to have the ledge colored and I think the whole painted dining set came out beautifully!
The color highlights give the entire painted dining set a “Mid-Century” vibe and really make it much more modern.
The paint even gave the server a much less “moroccan” feel and it now felt like it belonged with the rest of the set.
The clients were absolutely thrilled with their pieces and I was happy to have been done with taping for a while. I will say this is still probably one of my favorite transformations.
Things I learned in this project:
- Because of the multiple layers, wait for the paint to dry COMPLETELY before trying to remove the tape.
- Using a utility knife to score the edges of the tape helps tremendously with removal.
- Using small artists brushes help if you have a spot or two that need a touch up. (The white nylon bristles give the smoothest finish)
- Frog Tape is honestly far superior to the Blue stuff. It’s more expensive for a reason…. it works REALLY well- just burnish those edges. (I explain that technique when painting my door and stair railings)