Furniture Art - Blending Colors

The first piece I layered colors with!

For the last several years of painting furniture, I've always played it safe. I've used one color and didn't dare try anything that didn't resemble farmhouse. The biggest risk I took was to us a little bit of dark wax, and usually on a darker piece just to be on the safe side. Such a rebel, right? Now, the one thing I tell my customers is "You must get over the fear of messing it up!" If you want to move forward in your abilities and create something truly unique in your home, you have to step out of the comfort zone. That's how we grow, right? Easier said then done, I know.


The one product I found that helped make the process easier, and really got my creative juices flowing, is an all natural clay based chalk style paint called DIY by Debi's Design Diary.


As a child, my friends and I would always play with the natural clay stones we found in the creeks of Liberty, KY. They were soft, messy and perfect for stimulating the imagination. They didn't have bathtub crayons in the 80's, so we had to make do with what we found. We would crawl up onto the creek-beds and use the clay stones to draw designs on boulders, write out names on rocks and even paint our faces. A 7 year old girl really needs to make sure to get those facials in haha  ;)  As we'd watch our clay art dry quickly in the sun, we’d move onto the next flat surface, spreading our marks without a care. When we were finished, we'd wash it away with a little splash of water. 

                                  Debi's Headboard

This is exactly what Debi's clay based paint reminds me of. With more beautiful colors of course. This is exactly the mind set you need to carry into this style. There is no wrong way!  This paint is so forgiving and the colors blend together so effortlessly with the use of a little bit of water.

Prep supplies: sanding block, soap, wash cloth, denatured alcohol

Paint supplies: A chalk style brush (I prefer Paint Pixie) Two chalk style paint colors (I prefer DIY) and a water bottle.

1) Pick out your colors! This is sometimes the hardest part. If this is your first time, I suggest picking 2 colors that complement each other, or are in the same family. One primary and a secondary color. For & green or yellow & orange. 

2) To start, make sure to prep your piece well. If it has a shinny finish, you'll want to sand it quit a bit so that the paint will adhere better. Start with 120 grit and work your way back to 100 grit, if the piece has a heavy coat of poly. Next, clean with warm water and Murphy's Oil soap or Dawn. Let it dry!

I always finish up the prep work with a wipe down of denatured alcohol. This helps to insure there is no grease left behind.

3) The color you would like as an accent, will go on first. Cover the entire piece, making sure to get in all the edges and corners well, since you will want those to be your accent areas. The base coat doesn't need to be perfect. If the wood is showing, that is fine and will actually help give the furniture a more naturally worn look. Let the first coat dry completely! For best results, I wait till the next day so the paint can cure. You can also speed up the process with a blow dryer! 

4) Once the piece has dried, you'll use your spray bottle to lightly mist and dampen the piece. This will reactivate the  paint and help the next coat blend smoothly. Dip the end of the brush into the paint and with a light hand, blend the second coat on top of the first. Starting at the center of the piece (the main focal point) and the outer edges, blend the colors together. As Dionne from The Turquoise Iris says "add your highlight, like you are adding eyeshadow. Blend lightly, adding mists of water as needed. The paint dries quickly, so the water helps in reactivating. If you notice the paint starting to pull, stop for an hour and come back. Continue layering both colors until satisfied. Use a damp cloth to wipe back your top coat to reveal the color below and ad contrast. Wet sanding can give you more control while working with multiple paint colors. That is all! It really is that easy. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. Videos coming soon. 


  • Great tutorial for beginners. I have been struggling with choosing colors for an old church altar chair that is a horrid dark green – yuk. I picked up two DIY colors today Mint Chip and Old 57 plus dark wax for the scroll work. I’d like a third color but don’t know what to choose – any suggestions? I’ve worked with milk paint but never chalk paint. What size brushes would you suggest? I stopped at Red Barn but forgot brushes. Thank you so much, I’m glad there is somewhere local that I can get the DIY paint.

  • Thank you for this wonderful tutorial! Can’t wait to see the video


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