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Creating a Blended Paint Finish with Two Colors: Aubusson Blue and Provence

I'm taking a short break from painting for a week of hiking out west at Yellowstone National Park! I know I'll get loads of inspiration from all the beauty nature has to offer, and I've had in my mind to do a series of furniture pieces informed by natural colors and textures. This piece is the first of that series! Can you guess what the inspiration for this set is?

Water! I've always had a love for running water, and this dresser and nightstand were painted using a technique layering two paint colors and using water to create a blended effect. 

First I started with two coats of Annie Sloan's Aubusson Blue chalk paint, lightly and quickly painted on only paying attention to avoiding drips.

I then took Annie Sloan's Provence and added water to dilute it.  The consistency should be that of milk I'd say.

I brushed this watery mixture haphazardly all over the drawers first, and then on the frame of the dresser and nightstand. Make sure not to completely coat the Aubusson blue layer, since you'll want that dappled effect. I allowed that first coat to dry, which takes quite a while since the paint is so watery at this stage! I think I gave it about four hours to completely dry, but it may vary.

Normally, I'll just go again with another layer of the same color's watery mixture, but I wanted to go a shade lighter, so I added just the tiniest bit of pure white to the Provence mixture. This creates added dimension and more of a highlight to the piece, though when you're first painting it on, it does look a little terrifying!

Sometimes I'll wipe off the drips and brush strokes, but I wanted this piece to evoke the feeling of water and have some movement, so I kept all the 'imperfections.' They've now become my favorite thing about this process!

If this look feels a little too intense for your sensibilities, I'd recommend either going with a watered down shade that's closer in tone to the base coat, or I'd very gently wipe down the piece with a cloth [VERY gently is imperative, as you'll likely wipe off too much paint and expose more wood than you'd like otherwise].

On the vertical surfaces, you can see where the paint drips and flowed downward, but on the tops of the dresser and nightstand, the watery paint mixture pooled and settled, which really helped to evoke that feeling of water and movement. 

I'm so happy with how this set turned out! It feels really organic and one of a kind, without being too outside the box. I could see this working with so many decor styles because blue is such a versatile color to work with [at least for me!]. Of all the pieces I've worked on thus far, this one truly feels like a work of art to me, and I'm so excited to continue this series and see what other nature inspired concepts I'll come up with!

Keep checking back to my shop to see these pieces. I'll post them soon!