Achieving smooth blend of paint colours on any sized painting project can be tricky. So to make it less complicated I am going to share My Top 10 Tips for Blending Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint, so you have a few tricks up your sleeve that paired with some practice will have you painting smooth blends in no time.
1. The right brush makes a BIG difference.
Having the right tools just makes the job so much easier, when I started painting I used cheap brushes and found myself become frustrated picking out the loose hairs from my work, which looking back was just counter productive and time consuming . Now I have learned that paying a bit more for tools that fit the job is worth it! We all learn from mistakes, but this is a tip so you can also learn from mine the easier way. I now use Dixie Belle synthetic brushes for blending because they are soft and smooth. I can apply a coat of paint and feather through it with a soft hand, just the brush tips, and the paint melts together. If I used a dense brush, coarse or inexpensive brushes like I used too, they would leave me a completely different finish, with brush strokes and more of a textured finish!
2. Less Is More! Too much paint will make a thick gloopy mess.
Your base coat is for coverage, so that the second coat can be for perfecting the finish, applying too much paint is a common error, remember Less Is More. Dixie Belle paint gives such good coverage, that the finish can be fairly thin, and still achieve the look. Use a light amount of paint and a mist of water to keep the paint moving/workable rather than adding more paint and just likes it says on the pot use a damp brush!
3. Keep a mister bottle at hand, a bit of water will keep your paint moving.
Dixie Belle paints are water based and water is a friendly tool to use. A mister bottle produces a light fine mist compared to a regular spray bottle that delivers heavier droplets. A mist where you didn’t intend will dry quickly with little impact, but a heavy spray with drips will leave water marks that must be fixed, only complicating the technique.
4. The more contrast in your colours, the harder they will be to blend.
The easiest way to start to learn how to blend is using colours that are similar on the colour wheel, the closer the colours are the easier they are to melt together. Start out with similar tones, and work your way up to contrasting colours, for example 3 shades of grey is easier than using black merging into white. You will find that using three colours is a good way to start, as it gives a dark tone then going to a medium then into a light. This also means you can use the dark for shading areas and the light for highlights! Once you have gained confidence with two or three colours, there is nothing stopping you from getting bolder with more!
5. Not all Paints are the Same the Paint.
If you are anything like me you like to experiment with different paints, and over the years I have tried a few. I have tried to mix and blends paints which are made by different suppliers, well let me tell you it’s just doesn’t work! I use Dixie Belle Paint, because it works well with my painting style, I find it easy to apply, it works well with water compared to other paints when other paints just seem to take a reaction to water and start to peel off my first layer. Dixie Belle is self levelling, I have the pot open for longer and if it does thicken up I can just add a bit of water. The brush strokes will dissipate, because it is self levelling and for a blended finish Dixie Belle is a winner, while other paints using the same techniques just don’t provide the same outcome.
6. A clean dry brush acts as your eraser.
I always use a Dixie Belle Mini to apply my paint, one for each colour, and then a clean dry brush as my “eraser”, usually the Oval Medium because it is nice and full a bit like a make up brush. It’s a nice soft brush that adds like a filtered effect and sweeps away and hard transitions between colours Again use a soft hand for this and a little paint. I clean my brush on a lint free rag an old T-shirt or a piece of kitchen roll is good for this and this keeps my brush or “eraser“ clean and as dry as possible.
7. Work on small areas at a time.
Just works on small areas at a time, like one drawer front rather than trying to work across the whole piece, prefect those areas before moving on, it will be less stressful and manageable.
8. Brush horizontally and vertically.
The idea of blending is having the colours melt softly into each other; I am not trying to keep them separate. I think the easiest way of thinking about blending is rather mixing the colours up first on a separate palette; your piece is your palette.
Brush through your colours vertically and horizontally, usually a few times until they are seamless, letting them flow and merge with one another. You can at the end add shade or highlights to true up the colours.
9. Teach yourself a soft hand.
You can teach brush strokes and movements how to use the right amount of water but you need to teach yourself a soft hand. If you are heavy handed you will struggle with blending, holding your brush further down helps, a little water and the soft bristled brushes I have spoken about, this combination will lead to you achieving soft, wispy, and light look with transitions from dark to light.
10. Practice, Practice and Practice.
The best way to achieve something is practice, before setting to work on the beautiful dresser or piece of furniture you have purchased, get yourself an old plank or wood or as I would call it “My Practice Board” try out the colours and your technique the more you do the better you will become, you will get to see how the colours you have chosen work together, what colours to brush into one another, and it will give you confidence to tackle the dresser.
I hope you found this helpful.
Lots of Love