How to use Verdigris copper green as an accent colour

With zero funds left to buy furniture for our last Half Built House, it really was a case of use what we had and go rummaging for the rest. The scheme of navy, cream and verdigris had been decided on partly due to an image I’d seen of an Annie Sloan painted table in limited edition ‘Florence’, a deep, decadent and unusual colour inspired by a green found in classical Italian painted furniture.

I’d spotted a rather lonely looking bedside cabinet hiding under a dust sheet in Claire’s house, a little bit battered and in desperate need of some tlc. An antique it certainly wasn’t but it had a nice decorative detail around the top and legs which for upcycling purposes looks great slightly distressed or detailed in a highlight shade /metallic paint. Luck was on our side when we found one almost exactly the same in a nearby charity shop for £7, one for each side of the bed!

Both were cleaned down and I gave them a coat of ‘Versailles’ then a coat of ‘Florence’. I wanted the effect to be ‘clean’ looking so used soft wax not dark wax, then sanded the edges very gently to allow the paler ‘Versailles’ paint to show through. I used a water based copper acrylic paint from The Range (v cheap, v good for art supplies) and a fan brush similar to this one to highlight the detail and the edges.

Little tip for first timers: when I highlight, I use the fan brush to lightly stroke the water-based metallic paint along edges, detailed areas or in corners, then wipe the paint into the cracks and crevices of the furniture with my finger, as using a cloth can sometimes take too much paint away. If you’ve made a mistake or used too much, use a damp cloth to remove until your technique gets better! When you’re happy with the metallic detailing, leave to dry.

So I then had two lightly sanded, metallic highlighted and chalk painted bedside tables which needed one last coat of soft wax to seal the sanded chalk paint. Once the wax was dry, I polished the tables and was over the moon with the results! The copper glass candles I’d carefully brought from Manchester to Birmingham survived a fortnight on a building site and were given pride of place next to the bed 🙂

3 thoughts on “How to use Verdigris copper green as an accent colour

  1. This is great! Can I ask what finish was it originally? I have a 1960s painted plywood/chipboard shabby chic French style dressing table (similar looking to this) which isn’t valuable enough to treasure as it is but would really benefit from a revamp and wondered if this was along the same origins? Im not sure if my table would take the paint and have been hoping something like this would crop up so I could compare results and get some advice. I’d love to do something like this with it.

    • Lianne, you can use chalk paint on anything, it’s a blinkin life saver. Have a look through the Annie Sloan site for inspiration, plus she has a facebook page where people post what they’ve used her paint on. Send me an image of the finished result! x

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