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Monday, July 14, 2014

Andrea's Hand Painting Flower Tutorial And Refurbished Hutch Reveal

After all the wailing and gnashing of teeth it's finally finished!DSC_0531 
 The conservatories' roof leak and the frequent bouts of spring rain had resulted in my cabinet base warping. I had finally finished the dresser part of the cabinet prior to leaving for France but, being the obsessive that I am, during my time there my mind wandered back to not only the warp in the cabinet, but the finish of the dresser. I wasn't happy with it.

 When I got home The Darling Husband and I racked our brains trying to think how we could solve the problem of the warped top. Not being able to think of a solution straight away I decided that was it. If I couldn't sort out one I'd make sure I was happy with the other; so I stripped the dresser top down to. Using Annie Sloan's chalk paint I didn't necessarily need to do this as the paint is designed to go straight over the wax that is used to seal it when finished. However I figured a bit of hard graft would get the creative juices flowing! The cabinet top was painted as before, except this time I removed the mirrored backing and painted the interior in Annie Sloan's English Yellow to compliment her Old White. Also I didn't paint then seal it with wax as I had felt that the aged look, produced by a hint of dark wax that can look so good at times, actually made this cabinet look a bit, well, grubby. As a result I used a water based, satin, clear varnish and covered the cabinet twice. This was because I was unsure of where I was putting the cabinet and, if near the kitchen, I wanted to make sure I could give it a really good clean. The other benefit of this is, when painting decoratively, if you make a mistake you can remove the additional paint before dry with a damp cloth and start again. Apart from this all the other stages for the top dresser were the same, so I won't bore you with them here. As I worked I came up with a solution for the warping. I was considering buying a new piece of MDF cut to the cabinet's dimensions and gluing it on when I thought; You know what, Annie Sloan chalk paint is supposed to go on anything. I'm just going to paint and see if it covers it. The Darling Husband poo, pooed this idea, but I thought - what have I got to lose? I just sanded the top down to remove the bumpy surface, leaving it as smooth as possible. Then got to work with the paint brush and it covered it beautifully. Brilliant! It took exactly the same amount of coats as the rest of the dark colored cabinet as well; two full coats and one watered down coat. If you want to try something similar at home I'm gong to give a break down of how to hand paint those roses on a cabinet. The good thing is if you can apply make-up you can do this! Just for reference I see a mixture of chalk paint and tester pots of emulsion as I wanted a stronger green and pink color than I already had with the chalk paint. I always use a plate to mix my colors and at least four artist brushes from small to large, three oval shaped and the final, largest brush a square shape. You'll also need a small pot of water. 

  Rose In Full Bloom

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 To to get the dimensions in the rose I put some blobs of yellow, white and green onto it with some space in between. This is so you can blend colors from white, light yellow, medium yellow, dark yellow and a yellow with a hint of green. Don't mix before starting, as it is better to blend as you go along. Start by using a larger, oval brush (brush 1) and take some of the yellow paint to make a tear drop shape with an off center peak (first image). Then take your medium oval brush (brush 2) and lightly take some of the green color, take some yellow from one side of your large yellow blob and - from top to bottom - re-touch the lower, right corner of the shape following the curve. This will result in more yellow being placed at the top with green tones coming through as you reach the bottom. Take your small brush (brush 3) and dip it in the white color and blend this, again from top to bottom, over the upper, left edge of the shape (second image). Take brush 1 again and paint a small semi-circle on the lower side of the tear drop peak - it doesn't matter if there is a gap between the two, I'll tell you what to do with this (third image). Then paint a center ark between these two shapes with brush two (fourth image). Take the large, flat brush and, leaving a small gap, start to place it were a petal may start and curve it so that it makes a petal shape with its flat edge. Continue this with various petal shape forming around the rose heart (fifth image). Once you're satisfied with your rose shape use brushes 1-3 to add dark and light to create depth. Use brush 2 by painting little lines at the base of the petal towards the rim but only covering a maximum of a third of the 'petal' (sixth and seventh image). With brush 3 use the whiter yellow and run your brush along the rim of the 'petal'. This should fill in any gaps between your petals. By going back and forth between the paint colors as described above you will naturally blend the paint whilst adding depth.
White Star Flowers
 If you've been able to do the rose you'll find the other flowers all down hill from here! These are super easy but I think they look effective anyway. 
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 To start take your small white brush and make five makes as in image one, holding the brush quite firmly against the surface to make it splay our a little, particularly in the middle of the 'petal'. Start each petal from the center, but leave a gap in the center and between each one as above. The white shouldn't be pure white as, not only would it just blend into the background, but there is never a pure white in nature so it looks a little more realistic that way. If you need to use the reverse technique that I described above - dipping your brush in white, before lightly adding some yellow. This will result in more yellow at the base of the 'petal' and less towards the tip (first image). Then with your second brush add a little white paint and paint three or four lines to the base of the petal (second image). Take the same brush and dip it lightly in the yellow and dot this in the center of the flower, lightly dipping again in the green and repeating the process to a lesser exert. Again don't worry about mixing colors as this will just add depth to your work. 

  Stems and Leaves 
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Take brush three, two and one and add a waved line away from the rose shape, interweaving them to add depth (first image). Then take brush two and using either the same technique for the petals of the star flowers or a more curved line, add 'leaves' were you think they should go. Then dip the same brush into the yellow shade and in a clean part of the plate slightly blend to make a yellow green and run this along one edge of the leaf. Re-dip this into the darker green and paint a line either in the center of the leaf or slightly off center for curved leaves (second image). The thicker leaves are made by making a curved leaf shape then curving a second shape in towards this, stopping just before the end of the first half (image three). Dip the same brush into the yellow and blend on the plate as above and paint this over the center only of one half of the leaf, doing the same with the white and the other half. Re-dip the brush into the dark green and paint a center line, with some lines from this center to the edges to add veins.

 In the center panel I added an extra dark pink rose using the same technique as for the yellow. Then, to add more detail, I added some rosebuds.

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 Put a blob of dark pink on your plate. As your working with a different color wash your third brush (the smallest oval) and dip into the pink and paint an oval shape which thickens slightly towards the top where you want the rosebud to be situated (image one). Lightly add some white to the brush and, as you can see in the second image, run a separate line as if your edging a horizontal oval at the top of the shape and use it to shade one side of the bud by curving it towards the edge. This should gradually tale off towards the base and the darker pink color should naturally come though adding more depth (image two). Run your brush over the upper tip of the main oval shape to add a highlight there too and, if needed, re-dip your brush in the dark pink color to define this oval at the top of your bud (image three). Take the second brush and add a small ball of green at the base of the bud shape (image four). Then curve two leaf shoes out of this ball. Curve a thinner leaf along either edge of the bud. Dip your brush lightly in the yellow and highlight one side of each leaf. Then add a stem as before. 
 In each corner, or in diagonal corners, add a wavy line as you did with the stems. You can add leaves, star flowers and rose buds to a pattern you like using the techniques above.

  Here are some more images from the cabinet; what do you think? I'd love to hear your comments!

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For more creative posts visit Andrea at Mrs. Domestic Bliss

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. 


  1. You got to be very patient to take pictures between painting. I don't think I can ever do that. I just get so lost with colors!! Love the Rose bud!


  2. Beautiful, i bet you are so pleased with it Thanks for linking up :)

  3. Great job! I love painted pieces. Thanks for linking to the Monday party!

  4. Thanks for sharing your lovely post at Home Sweet Garden Party! This is just darling! I hope you can join us again this week too! It will be open this afternoon at 4pm! {} Hugs...Brooke

  5. This looks so pretty! Pinned. We really appreciate you taking the time to be a part of our party. Please join us tonight at 7 pm. It is a pleasure to have you!
    Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

  6. These hand painted flowers look amazing! Such talent! Thank you for sharing at The Creative Exchange!

  7. Hi Mindie - That is beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing with the Let's Get Real party.

  8. Darling, The hand painting makes it a very unique and original piece! Thanks for sharing it with SYC.


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