Several years ago we bought this cool orange cabinet at an estate sale. It was a perfect complement to our vintage metal furniture on the screened in porch and it lived on the porch for about a year or so before we moved to the new house.
The oil based enamel paint did a great job protecting the wood, but after being indoors for two years the paint on one side started chipping off in big areas and the top had a couple of water marks.
I actually liked the orange color and would love to have another piece painted this color at some point in time, but since I was planning on selling this cabinet I knew I needed a color that would suit more people’s taste.
I decided to go with a bright aqua color that I’ve used on other projects.
I know! I know! But I had a plan in mind. Have ya’ll heard that one from me before?
This time the plan was going to be an experiment. I’ve painted with this aqua before and know how bright it dries. I like it but again a lot of people wouldn’t. Most painters rely on dark wax, white wax, or dark glaze to tone down bright colors but I don’t care for any of those.
Dry Brushing in Layers
Instead, I was going to layer on two different colors to give a little dimension while also toning down the bright color. All of my products were latex paints purchased at Home Depot. My base coat was Aqua Seawind from Glidden and my first layer of dry brushing was Cotton Blossom from Behr.
I dipped the tip of my Purdy brush into the Cotton Blossom and “dabbed” most of it off on a paper towel. I then lightly dry brushed in the direction of the wood grain.
For the doors and top, I dry brushed horizontally and the rest I dry brushed vertically, always following the wood grain.
I made sure to hit the raised edges to “highlight” them. I really liked how the white toned down the bright aqua. I had been painting outside all day and by the time I got to this step I was freezing to death and apparently forgot to take pictures
I next used Elephant Skin Gray and dry brushed over the white but this time I did it very sparingly as you will be able to see in the following pictures:
My mom was very unimpressed by the quality of the colors in these pictures and I have to agree with her. On my computer monitor, the colors look very washed out, but on my phone they are true to the actual colors. Sorry about that. I hope your monitor is showing the true color. It really is pretty if I do say so myself!
For any areas where I thought I had too much grey, I dry brushed with either Aqua Seawind or the Cotton Blossom (white) paint depending on what the area looked like.
Make sure to use a very, very dry brush at this point.
To correct these grey areas, I dry brushed in an “X” pattern over parts of the grey instead of following the wood grain. This helped break up the “lines” I had made from dry brushing. Think of this step as using an eraser to get rid of the area you’re not happy with. I just lightly dry brushed and kept at it until I was satisfied with the colors.
I painted the hardware with Rustoleum Metallic All Surfaces Oiled Rubbed Bronze spray paint.
The inside was painted Elephant Gray and then was stenciled using the Aqua Seawind which I had used on the exterior body.
Since the outside of the cabinet was given a shabby, aged appearance I felt it was important to carry that same look to the inside of the cabinet. There’s nothing more incongruent than having a perfectly painted, brightly colored stencil pattern when the rest of the piece of furniture appears aged. I see this quite often and wonder if I’m the only one that’s bothered by it. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just one of my quirks, ya know?
Here’s another picture of my freshly painted stencil design. You can see one of my booboos on the bottom left of the picture where paint had seeped under the stencil. I touched up these areas after I had finished stenciling the entire inside. I always have touch ups!
How To Dry Brush Over A Stencil to Give An Aged Look
I wanted the stencil pattern to look as if it had faded over time. I wanted the base coat to be showing through the stencil color in random places. You can always sand to achieve this look, but sanding is messy and you have less control over the area you are sanding.
Instead of sanding, I chose to dry brush using the base coat color.
This time I used a small, flat craft brush so that I could have more control over the area I wanted to appear faded.
Since I wanted the faded area to be random throughout, I dry brushed in a random pattern. Sometimes I dry brushed horizontally, sometimes, vertically, and sometimes in an “X” pattern. Some areas had more dry brushing than others.
This buffet is the perfect size to set up as a drink station whether it’s a fun summer bbq or a coffee bar inside.
There’s lots of great storage with easy access.