Paint a Stunning Rainbow Dresser Step by Step Tutorial and Tips
Mar 15, 2020
You can create this beautiful Rainbow finish on a dresser, wall, or your home decor by following my tips, techniques and videos on this blog post. Whoa...can you believe how drab and sad this ugly duckling used to be?
I was willing to take a $25 risk on this beast because I was desperate to get my 6 year old daughter's hot mess of a room more organized. She had big dreams of a dresser bursting with color and glitz. The design she had created in her mind, matched her sparkling personality so I knew I had to at least try to make her vision come to life.
Here's the laundry list of products I used for this rainbow finish.
Dixie Belle White Lightning Cleaner
Dixie Belle Slick Stick
Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint Colors in 8 oz. sizes and you'll have plenty left over for other projects
Aubergine mixed with fluff
Silver Metallic Custom mixed top coat 1 part silver base coat with 2 parts satin clear coat but you can easily use the Dixie Belle Hi-Ho Silver to keep it simple.
Dixie Belle Synthetic Large Round Brush
Dixie Belle Premium Chip Brush at least a few
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Typically, on wood pieces, I don't need to use anything before I paint with Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paints. I can usually just clean, rinse and get to the fun stuff...painting! Even though this piece was solid wood, it had some funky, speckled, shiny wood looking veneer on the entire surface. I decided not to take my chances and gave the entire piece 1 coat of Slick Stick. That's my go to problem solver for painting ANY slick surfaces. It's AMAZING STUFF! It's water based, goes on quick and dries fast. It's a trifecta of paint prep goodness.
Before I added Slick Stick to the front of the dresser, I removed the drawers and the hardware so I could paint the surfaces without working around anything.
Tip: On other slick surfaces like tile, glass, metal and laminate, I typically use 2 coats of slick stick to improve adhesion.
Add: Slick Stick to prep a slick surface
Tip: Keep all the hardware together so you don't loose parts and pieces along the way and I always keep the screws that come with them. Vintage hardware is hard to find replacements for so if you plan to reuse it, place it in a Ziplock bag for easy storage.
Remove and Gather the hardware
After I removed the hardware, I was able to cover the surface of the drawers with one coat of Slick Stick too.
When that was completely dry, I added my base coat of Dixie Belle pink champagne chalk mineral paint.
Tip: Whenever I create a blended finish I always start with a base coat of a lighter color. I typically use one that is in the color scheme I have chosen. It allows me to use my mister as I add layers of color and move the paint around without worrying about the wood showing through. Of course, if you want the wood finish to show, you don't have to worry about the base coat. Click on image below to view The Live How to Video for more detailed instructions. It's packed with tips so you can learn more about this particular finish. See how I got started on the front of this piece.
Watch the rainbow finish tutorial Above
Tip: When I blend a piece with drawers, I always put the drawers on before I start the blending process to create a more seamless look. Using a good brush like the Dixie Belle synthetic brushes and having a water mister and clean brushes on hand will make the blending process easier, especially when your using a crazy amount of colors like the rainbow dresser has!
The next morning I took another look at the blending on the front and realized it felt too heavy and dark so I decided to use a quick trick to brighten it up a bit. I added more of the lighter colors to the tops of each drawer to give those areas a highlighted feel. See what I mean?
Highlighting to Brighten up the piece
Now, the rainbow finish has started to come to life and the detail work has begun. This is always my favorite part because it's what pulls everything together and gives each piece that special something to set it apart from the ordinary. It's like adding the perfect pair of earrings or shoes to an outfit. The accessories make it feel more put together and special. It's the same thing when you add the details to a painted piece of furniture. Although, if you saw how I dress, you'd wonder why I didn't apply this strategy to my wardrobe. I can dress up a dresser with all the pretty layers but I can't dress myself!
I decided to use the lightest color from each drawer and outline the dressers with those colors. The crevices made a perfect place to add some subtle interest and dimension to the framed out areas on the drawers. I used lemonade, the gulf and apricot Dixie Belle colors for this.
Tip: Use a craft brush with a narrow tip and add water to it with a water mister when you are trying to create smooth, thin lines.
At this point I start to get super excited because I get to add the top coat. I chose to custom mix a topcoat with a mixture of 1part Dixie Belle Silver Metallic Base Coat to 2 parts satin clear coat for this piece because I really wanted to give it a glitzy feel without hiding the vibrant colors. It was just the thing it needed to tie everything together and protect the painted finish.
To be completely honest, I'd rather spend time scrubbing my toilet than clean and paint hardware but it has to be done if you want to reuse it. So, of course I left it for the end of this project. I gave all the pieces a good cleaning with white lightening and then give them 2-3 coats of Dixie Belle's Silver base coat. I gave them a brushed finish so a tiny bit of the original color would peek through. I replaced 4 of the handles with sparkly glass knobs for obvious reasons. Who doesn't love a little sparkle with a rainbow?
Tip: when using metallic top coat I like to use light layers so I can see how it looks each time the layers dry. Each time you add a layer, it gives you a more metallic look.
Adding Metallic Silver to the Hardware
A little Silver with a big impact
And here it is in all of it's rainbow dresser, glitzy glory! I'm so excited to share this special piece with you and hope that you feel confident to recreate this finish. Please let me know if you have any questions and I'd love it if you left your comments below or share your rainbow finishes with me. Go be fearless and create something beautiful!
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