Guest Blog Post- Color Blocking Organizing

Guest Blog By Sharon Munroe

Having begun painting furniture this summer I am looking at wood furniture in my home in a whole new way. My family has caught onto this trend and each of my three children wants a part in painting. I decided that I will work with each of them individually to plan and paint something old or new for their bedrooms.

First up, my eight-­year old who I fondly call “the pack rat.” Since my son was about three years old he has been a maker and tinkerer. To satisfy his creative and builder instincts, he saves odds and ends. They end up everywhere, including in the corners of his small bedroom. My son also has an interest in art and color. He has had the opportunity to draw and paint since he was a toddler. His favorite activities lately are making comic book drawings and crochet. Since he was able to hold a pencil, I have him a sketch pad to use in his car seat.

We decided that our project together would be one focused on organization and color. I own an old­-fashioned, shaker-­style organizing unit that once sat on a kitchen counter. With my kitchen remodel some 10 years ago, the organizer was relegated to a closet where it collected dust. It turns out that the dark, wood stain on it matches the color of my son’s bedroom furniture. We could make the unit match his room’s decor easily. With the help of Katie at Silk and SageDesign Studio, I wanted to try something a bit different.

Katie and I discussed the project in person and how to achieve a look with multiple paint colors. I often visit during my lunch break at work. Silk and Sage is open from 11:00AM to 7:00PM Tuesday through Friday (plus weekend hours). Originally, we considered doing stripes of green and yellow paint to match the bedroom’s wall paint and another small dresser inside. By looking at the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® Colour Card at home, my son and I had selected bright Antibes Green, just like his bedroom wall color and the sunny shade of English Yellow.

Once back in his room, the inspiration came to me. Color blocking this very rectangular piece would make it fun for a child’s room. Leaving part of the surface in the dark stain would make it look very customized to the existing dark furniture. The best part was that my son had done color blocking on a canvas in an art program a year earlier and that piece was already hung above the dresser and the new spot for the painted organizing unit.

He was excited to help with the project so I reviewed all of the steps with him and asked him to paint the larger flat surfaces, including the top and side of the unit plus one of the fronts of the drawers. With his apron on and a paintbrush in hand, he was happy to help.

How to Color Block in a Few Easy Steps:

1. Clean the entire surface you are going to paint with a damp, soft rag. Follow with a dry soft rag.

2. Mark off areas that are not getting painted with two layers of painter’s tape. Two layers means that the paint is less likely to run into the other surface.

3. Apply a coat of one color Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® throughout the piece.

  • Alternating sections of color to the left/right or up/down makes it more visually interesting.

4. Apply a coat of the second color in your pattern. (Repeat if you have a large piece with a third or fourth color.) Let the first paint coat dry thoroughly.

5. If the original color of the wood is dark as mine was, apply a second coat of each paint color. It evens out the tone and provides full matte coverage.

6. Use a soft pure­ bristle brush to apply a coat of Annie Sloan’s Dark Soft Wax (looks brown) to the parts of the piece that you want to keep dark. This gave shine and new life to my piece.

7. Apply Annie Sloan’s Clear Soft Wax to give the newly painted areas an all­over smooth surface.

8. Wipe off any extra with a soft shop towel, similar to a paper towel but thicker and without any lint. Let the furniture dry overnight.

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Now see the painted and refinished organizing unit in my son’s bedroom, ready to be the new home of his favorite drawings, yarn and odds and ends.