How to design a furniture finish using the Color Inspiration Notebook

Monday I used the Notebook to choose a basic color scheme for our master bedroom – and discovered I am really happy with the colors and accessories I already have.

Tuesday I narrowed down a new furniture finish that I fell in love with for three large pieces – a platform bed and two big dressers. Decided it is not right. Awesome look, but too barn woodish.

Wednesday I used my Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan color swatches to select finish colors.

Today let’s design the finish.

What do you need to think about when creating a finish? Having been in the faux finishing business for over 15 years, I have learned to keep it simple when painting an entire bedroom suite. Several reasons include that I probably will be looking at my furniture for a long time, plus there are three large pieces. Not to mention, I will have to do the work! So creating a multi-layer finish could be daunting.

Another reason to keep the finish simple is that – heaven forbid – if you have to touch it up, it will be easy and the repair won’t stick out like a sore thumb.

Let me show you how easy this turned out to be!

How to create a furniture finish using the Color Inspiration Notebook

These aren’t pretty photos, but they do tell a story. At top left I looked deep into the inspiration photo and I saw three colors: a light, medium and dark color that make up the look. Once I saw that, I realized my three big pieces could end up looking more like rustic barn wood. Too busy. Now what?

I took away the dark color! So easy. The finish became simpler, quieter, and more calming. It would recede in the room instead of jump out. Perfect.

I am still working on these pieces while I blog about the process. I have my dresser finished and all of the drawers complete on the platform bed and hubby’s dresser.

The photo at the bottom right shows that I have been tackling the drawers in place. The inside is clean and perfect, so I am only painting the outside. Here I have painted two thin coats and lightly sanded. After I complete the drawers I carefully pull them out and work on the frame. I put it on a drop cloth and use paint sticks to raise it up a bit.

Here is a sneak peak of my finish:

How to design a furniture finish

Want to know the recipe so you can get the look?

Come back tomorrow to

I almost forgot that I promised to share what I used Old White Chalk Paint® for – it’s in the wax!


Blogger Kim Yeager of is giving away a Color Inspiration Notebook to a lucky winner this week! Kim’s gorgeous table is featured in the Notebook. If you have not yet connected with Kim, please do. She is so well known for her amazing contributions to Junk Bonanza and Flea Market Style, PLUS her blog and design work is to die for.


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