Ombre Color Furniture with Food Coloring
You guys, I was feeling way too lazy this week. Like, WAY too lazy.
I am in the process of transitioning my daughter’s purple butterfly nursery into a pink, fun, quirky toddler bedroom. It’s been a slow process because I can only work on it when the funds are available. However, I am still having fun with it! One of the projects I had on my list to refurbish was the yellow dresser in her room. We are renting an old — very yellow walled– please help us Lord, type of home. This means that when you walked into my daughter’s room it was like being slapped with the color yellow!
After some research and mood boards, I decided that I wanted to ombre color the dresser with pink.
However, I had one problem: I didn’t have a deep pink paint color.
The idea of getting my makeup on, my hair fixed, out of my pajamas, and driving 20 miles in the rain with a teething toddler just to get pink paint sounded like a nightmare. However, I seem to have this problem of “once I set my mind on something I have to do it” mentality.
So, it was time to improvise.
I dug through my stash of old paints and came out empty-handed. The only paint I had that was remotely close to pink was my powder pink chalk paint. If you haven’t seen my powder pink paint in earlier posts, it’s basically an off white with a kiss of blush.
In other words, I had white paint.
When I examined the chalk paint color I noticed that it kind of looked like a seven minute frosting that I make and that’s when a terrible light bulb came on.
“What if I mix this paint with food coloring?”
So, I googled tutorials/information about adding food coloring into paint to create an ombre color and found nothing but negative opinions about it.
I tried it anyways. Because, you know, they call me a dare-devil. Or maybe it’s that I am stubborn and had my mind-set. I’m not sure but the dare-devil idea sounds cooler so I’ll go with that one!
Here’s how I did it
You do NOT have to do it this way, this is just how it worked best for me — because I’m lazy, remember?
- McCormick neon food coloring
- Chalk Paint – Blush Pink (Not the same one I used but I like this brand as well. I couldn’t find a link I trusted for the chalk paint I used.)
- Craft Smart Acrylic Paint in Pink Blossom
- Americana Decor Creme Wax: This is the wax I ALWAYS use; doesn’t mean it’s better, just means it’s the only one I have experience with.
- Paint brush/mixing bowl
Prime: Before creating the ombre color technique on any piece of furniture, it’s a good idea to prime! Priming helps color to pop which is what you’ll want with the lightest shades of pink — otherwise they won’t show up as well.
Paint top drawer: I painted this drawer with the original powder pink chalk paint. This saved me food coloring and time mixing.
Second drawer: I scooped a spoonful of paint into a paper bowl for mixing and added 2ish drops of pink food coloring. Once mixed and at the right color I wanted, I began painting drawer #2. *Note – You will need to pay attention to how much food coloring you add. My reasoning for this is because it can really water down the paint. I suppose if you used gel food coloring it might work better but all I had was liquid.
Third and fourth drawer: Keep doing the same process as above. Add a couple more drops of food coloring for each drawer you do. I used a limited amount of paint for the drawers which meant that I luckily didn’t need much food coloring.
Last drawer: Here’s where things got a little tricky. I could not get the deep pink shade that I was wanting for this drawer without watering down the paint too much. My solution? Create the deepest shade I could with the paint and food coloring and paint the drawer. After that I quickly added a layer of my deep pink acrylic paint while the chalk paint was still wet. This technique made it easy for me to blend the two paints. It also create a somewhat watercolor effect so that was a fun bonus!
Handles: We found this dresser in a trash pile on the side of the road. So, I love the free aspect of the dresser but I really am not a fan of the handles. Oh well, I decided to pick my battles. I haven’t found a way to replace these built-in handles so instead I decided to paint them gold. If I have to be stuck with them, at least I can make them look cuter!
I used my Martha Stewart liquid gilding to create the gold-colored handles. Spray paint is another great choice for this project! However because I can’t remove the handles from the dresser, spray paint just didn’t seem like a safe choice for me.
I have to apologize to you, my pictures are not that fantastic. I know. However, this picture at least gives you a general idea of the ombre color.
I had a hard time finding good lighting in a tiny home with such a large piece of furniture. Plus, I didn’t want to catch my terrible messes in the background. 😉 So bear with me here!
See the yellow walls? Aren’t they…. fun? (Although I shouldn’t complain. After all, I am grateful for a roof over our heads.)
I purposely tried to create a watercolor look with the paint. So, if you notice blochiness in the picture, that’s why. It’s not the paints fault I promise! I am just terrible at picture-taking.
Would I recommend this painting technique?
All in all, this isn’t something I would choose to do every day. If I had the right shade of pink in my paint stash I would have chosen that route 100% to paint the ombre color. However, this is a way you can change the color of your paint a couple of shades without leaving the home!
Do you have any ombre furniture pieces in your home?
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