Mixing brown

Brown is not a colour I regularly paint with.  If I wanted brown I would leave the wood and stain it- not paint it.  I know a lot of faux finishers use brown for their techniques….but I am not really a faux finisher kinda gal.  😉

However, those who love modern furniture also seem to like brown….in my experience, anyway.

I have a lovely Finnish lady who has a typical Scandinavian style.  Lots of white, grey and beiges.  I have painted in her house before and there is just something really comfortable about this particular style.

A few weeks ago she came to drop off a round claw foot side table that has loads of carving details in it.  The wood looked to be a birch or a maple but had yellowed over time.  I didn’t get a picture of the before, unfortunately, but just imagine ugly yellow wood and you are close.

And she wanted it dark brown.

But dark brown is not in the Chalk Paint pallet!  But the colours mix really well.  Problem solved.

If you have never made brown before -it isn’t difficult.  You just need to look at your colour wheel.

Basically, you mix all three primary colours together, that is the red, the yellow and the blue.  This will make brown.  There are other methods still using the colour wheel like mixing a primary and a secondary…..but mixing the blue, red and yellow is the easiest.

You may need to play around with the exact amounts until you get the brown you are looking for- but those three will do it.  Adding white or black will also lighten or darken your brown.

So I started with this:


These colours are English Yellow, Emperor’s Silk and Monet Blue.  (Monet Blue is a European colour)

I added equal spoonfuls of each colour until I got this:



A very chocolatey brown.



I painted two coats with this and thought it may be a bit light for my client.  She did want it quite dark.  So the next step is the dark wax.  This is just a bit of it done- the paint wasn’t completely dry when I took the photos.


Here you can see in the foreground the brown and the darker in the background.  But you can really see how dark the leg is after the dark wax application.


Tomorrow I should have the finished table for the Finnish lady!



2 thoughts on “Mixing brown

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s