30 Tips From Expert Designers On Paint Shades And COLOR Advice

“You see a particular shade of Aegean white all over the Greek islands, where the white washed houses seem to incandesce in the light. Each village looks as if it has been planted into the side of the cliff, and this lime wash paint feels equally organic. I’ve used it in a dining room where the mottled, chalky texture creates a sense of age and looks beautiful in candlelight.” Darryl Carter

Shades of blue with a little gray boost a beachy vibe. A range of blue-gray shades reflects a comfortable, easy lifestyle, whether you’re lakeside or landlocked.  Camel, natural linens, and seagrass all work really well with this palette, and it pairs beautifully with dark wood finishes and classic black and white” Nate Berkus

“Try this trick when choosing colors. Get a sample of the hue you like plus three variations: one lighter, one more gray, and one more brown (look at the adjacent strips on the display for these). “A color with a little bit of ‘mud’ in it will be more sophisticated,” Molly Luetkemeyer

Bedrooms and bathrooms are a natural fit for soft shades of blue. Many china patterns incorporate a medium-blue, so dining rooms as well as table linens in a deeper shade of blue are a wise choice.  Try to avoid being too monochromatic. It is the pop of an opposing color or the layering in of another shade that kicks up the level of sophistication. Blue-and-white is practically a neutral—it works with everything. Bright colors like fuchsia and orange accent indigo and navy well, whereas medium accents such as clover or lemon yellow make for nice vibrant pops when mixed with pastel shades of blue. Neutrals like taupe and khaki work for a more tailored and masculine look. There aren’t too many ways to fail with blue. Just know the difference between a bright beachy hue and a darker, moody shade, and pair your accents accordingly ”  Jane Scott Hodges

Choose a pink that is found in nature, like the pink in a sunset. What I’m seeing is less of a blue-gray pink and more of a coral pink. It’s a natural evolution from orange” Shazalynn Cavin-Winfrey

“It’s important to choose colors that are easy to live with, which means ignoring trends. What’s timeless is to invent your own color schemes. But I confess that I frequently get the best ideas from looking at antique rugs, which incorporate colors in such unique ways.” Bunny Williams

On Orange Colors That Border Yellow “These lighter colors are refined, classic, and livable.  But don’t let orange stray too far and wash out. Avoid light yellow, it disappears. The best shades (speaking of orange) are vivid and earthy and influenced by browns.Asler Valero

Natural wood tones, sandy beiges, and limewash finishes balance barely-there blue rooms. And don’t forget about paint finishes. Chalky flat finishes are warm, while shiny blues will give a bit of a chill” Stephanie Hoppen

“Stray toward purples featuring more of a blue hue than that of mauve or pink. Purple with a touch of blue can be energizing”  Sara Story

“The whole city of Jaipur, India, is painted pink. It’s an exuberant color, optimistic and positive. Jaipur pink reminds us that we’re all alive and everything is possible. I like this type of paint, because it has a chalky layer underneath that blooms through and gives it a patina. Try it with saffron and orange.” Windsor Smith

“Use a deep color such as chestnut or rusty red for dramatic effect in a powder room or small den. When you have a really small room where there’s no way you’re going to make it look big, make it more of what it is — small and dark — but make it dramatic”  Cecilie Starin

“Blue and yellow is a common color combination, but it’s generally pale blue and butter-yellow. I love disparate rich colors paired next to each other—like taxicab and indigo. The tension that they make on the color wheel is dazzling. Each color makes the other more vibrant than when they stand alone.” Miles Redd

On Mint Greens– “These “grayed-down” greens work well with other natural colors, such as the orangy-brown tones of hardwood floors and well-worn copper. “Really, anything that looks like it’s been sitting out-side, weathered by the elements or faded by the sun, blends beautifully with these shades of green.”   Prefer a more modern look? The gray undertones, Schlotter adds, make the hue extremely versatile. “Pairing the color with a creamy white, such as [Pittsburgh Paints’] Cream Puff, changes the look to modern and minimalist. It also complements darker, more dramatic grays like graphite.” Color expert Dee Schlotter

“Even when I don’t use the same colors everywhere, I still like the rooms to feel connected. The bedroom should never feel like it’s in a completely different house from the living room – the whole house has to make sense as one.” Mona Ross Berman

“The formula for Prussian blue was born in what is now Poland. It was one of the first
artificial pigments and replaced the ultra expensive ultramarine, unleashing a tsunami
of blue into the world. Without it, we wouldn’t have those smart Prussian military uniforms or Picasso’s Blue Period. I’d use it in a bedroom with crisp white trim.”Alexa Hampton

“I never paint a ceiling dead white because all white paint has a bit of gray in it, and it takes the room down. Paint the ceiling a cream shade.” Derse Athalie

“If a lighter cream tone is what you’re after, watch out for green or gold undertones. Hold the colors you’re considering against a true-white paint chip to look for a rich cream with a brown base”  Mary McGee

Chartreuse is such a happy, spirited color. The name comes from the yellow-green liqueur made by monks in the Chartreuse mountains of France. I tend to gravitate toward the yellow side of the spectrum, and this shade is so multifunctional and rich. It looks amazing with anything from ebonized woods to whites.Kelly Wearstler

“Pompeian red is the red—with a bit of rusty orange—that you see in the background of all those frescoes in Pompeii. Amazing that they’ve survived for millennia. Red creates a wonderful contrast that brings everything else into focus. It’s gorgeous, very Italian and very romantic. It has the glow of the sun in it.” Brian J. McCarthy

Black looks strikingly fresh to me. Once it was reserved for dungeon dwellers and the most daring decoristas, but now it’s a glamorous neutral that just oozes chic. It glows in sunlit spaces like nobody’s business and is a pristine backdrop for jewel tones, brights, and, eternally, white. Opt for an eggshell finish, which won’t show every mark and fingerprint.”Elaine Griffin

Blue is not only for boys. I use it all the time because it’s so versatile. It works with almost any color — coral, pink, green, chartreuse, yellow. My teenage daughter’s bedroom is this pale blue that reminds me of the slightly dusty, more aged blues used back in the 1940s. I did it with this wonderful bright red Sister Parish fabric, and it should take her right through college.” Derse Athalie

“Everybody thought for a while that cream was it, and then it went out of favor. But I think it’s coming back in a big way. Trust me. It’s crisp, and it’s warm, and warm tones always make a room and everyone in it look better. I think it’s as chic as can be.” Kerry Delrose

“Terra-cotta is not the trending color. It’s offbeat, unexpected, and earthy, and that
kind of individuality seems modern to me. In shimmery high gloss, it’s also sexy. It would give artwork and antiques a fresh context and make them younger and more exciting. Maybe I should try it in my bathroom!” Glenn Gissler

“In places where there isn’t a lot of light, don’t go with grayed-down colors. Choose ones that have a little more white. “Moody” gray-greens hold up better in sunnier locales”  Kishani Perera

Orange somehow feels modern and warm, which is what people are looking for these days. The right orange fills a room with energy, and this color—inspired by the Orangerie at Versailles—is the perfect balance of freshness and elegance. Paint the trim white
and it will remind you of a Creamsicle!” Benjamin Dhong

“When you hear ‘gray’ you think dreary, but this is a wonderful gray that has a lot of light in it, especially when paired with white trim. Even on a dreary day it looks good. Plus, it’s a color that works well with so many other colors. It’s absolutely beautiful with peacock blue accessories.”
— Mary Hickey, Minneapolis designer

“Easy on the eye, easy to live with. It’s a robin’s egg blue-green with a bit of muddiness to it. I always like my colors a little muddy.” Melissa Birdsong, Lowe’s Vice President Of Trend Design

Clay BeigeThis is my go-to whenever a neutral, but not boring, background is needed. It’s a chameleon color. It has the amazing ability to read either warm or cool and never fails to make its surroundings elegant in any light.” Mandy Lowry

“I try to stay away from colors with heavy blue undertones, and I direct my clients toward warm grays that will stand the test of time,”  Katie Reynolds, Ace Design Expert

Intense White by Benjamin Moore- “Don’t be fooled by its name — this color gives off a grayish tone. It’s an ideal backdrop for those who aren’t brave enough to go with a bold color, but still wish for a subtle contrast with white trim. I love pairing this modern hue with transitional furnishings for a more contemporary mix.”  Irene Lovett For Designstiles

Many of these quotes were found from Better Homes & Gardens, House Beautiful, and Elle Decor

Jemma Kidd's Hampshire Estate

Jemma Kidd’s Hampshire Estate- elledecor.com

Hylton Nel's Home World Of Interiors Magazine

Hylton Nel’s Home World Of Interiors Magazine  Seen At Second Hand Junkie

Steven Volpe - Designer Refines Urban Loft - Elle Decor

Steven Volpe – Designer Refines Urban Loft – Elle Decor

Scott Currie For Elle Decor

Scott Currie For Elle Decor

Michael S Smith - Elle Decor

Michael S. Smith – Elle Decor

Open Up Your Stair Case Into Open Shelving – “Opening an enclosed staircase can create interesting display options in most any venue. Here the walls that had run floor to ceiling, encasing the staircase, were removed. This relatively simple change added architectural interest and a far greater sense of space in this kitchen.” Darryl Carter Traditional Home Magazine

Be Practical And Look For Comfort In Designing “Everything hud to work for entertaining yet still be relaxing for us. Our sofas, for instance, are extremely deep so we can stretch out with the newspaper—we don’t want anyone to be scared to put their feet up. Everything has an elegant appearance but is actually practical.”- Homeowner and interior designer Philip Mitchell

Your Entire Home Doesn’t Need To Look Like A Magazine -“You need a place to watch TV,  take care of the pets, put your kids’school bags, and drop your mail. If you live in the back of the house, you can keep the front of the house tidyfor guests.” Architect Norman D. Askins

Good Design Is Based Around How Practical The Home Is For The Residents “Everything is connected now, and there’s this great flow throughout the house. It’s really because everything we did, we designed around four kids and two dogs. It had to be livable and practical.”Homeowner and interior designer Julia Schwegman

Don’t Be Such A Rigid Home Owner – “Put a Ping-Pong or pool table in a family room, along with a drinks fridge, a big-screen TV, a sectional sofa, some floor pillows or poufs, and a punchy wall color like orange. Your teenagers will think it’s the coolest place in the world—and you’ll be happy to have them safe at home.” — Eve Robinson

Lighting Is Very Important In Design, And Often Gets Forgotten – The question was asked to Virginia artist Tenley Beazley You have been through renovation projects before, what did you do differently this time?  – I thought ahead about lighting and lighting fixtures. It often takes a while to find the right fixture, so it was a part of the whole planning process this time.

Go For What You Want, Not What Trends Say You Should Do– The question was asked to Virginia artist Tenley Beazley, You trusted your intuition a lot. What did people think wouldn’t work that they love? “I went for soapstoneand marble counter-tops in the kitchen, but everyone kept trying to talk me out of it. You certainly can’t cut on them, but once everyone got used to using cutting boards and mats, they loved the look. And we did a whole wall of mirrors in the powder room, which everyone was worried would be hard to install or would show water splashes, but its a great look.

Comfort Needs To Be A Priority -“Every decision we made went through a thought process: Is it comfy, and does it feel good?” Interior designer Julia Edelmann

Take A Second Look At Your Space, See If It Is Functional For YOU “An empty nest is a great opportunity. For the past 10 years, my living room had been a hangout for our sons and their friends, which we loved. Once they went to college, I turned it into a luxurious office for myself I placed a big modern desk in the window and hung the walls with artwork I had collected. I would never have taken that space for myself until the kids were out, but now I love it.” — Windsor Smith

Old Finds That Have Been Around Forever Can Bring Fond Memories To Your Home “Act as if your new home is your first, and imagine how you want to present yourself to the world. Don’t get rid of what has served you all your life, but do spend some money on new things. Don’t settle for anything shabby!” —Ann Pyne

Collections Can Tell A Story Of Who You AreOn Moving Into Your Own Place– “Start collecting now. Go to galleries, art shows, antiques shops, and flea markets. When you travel, pick up a watercolor or drawing or some interesting object. Collections give a place depth and history. They represent your adventures, your passions, and how it all ties together.” — Sara Story

Don’t Keep Accessories At Couch Levels– “A room needs low things, high things, things at different levels to move your eye around and give a space energy. If everything is the same height, it doesn’t make sense.” Designer Ashley Darryl

Look For Functional Pieces That Are VersatileOn Moving Into Your Own Place “Look for pieces that are versatile. Maybe you fall in love with a desk, but you don’t have an office in your starter home. Use it as a dining table for now and know that you can take it with you to your next apartment or house.” — Suysel Cunningham and Anne Foster

Alexandra Rowley

Alexandra Rowley Seen on Southern Living

Fortuny Fabrics Are The Ultimate Luxury– Designer Ashley Darryl was asked about what her fantasy fabric would be, and she said – Anything Fortuny. I’m using Cilindri on a client’s bench right now, and it’s very exciting!

Know Yourself Well- What Draws You To Certain Items? – “Often designers say buy what you love, it will work. But why does it work? I want you to look at why by studying the pieces you love. What do they have in common? Are they all straight lines or curves? Are there particular colors that reoccur often? Do certain materials, like iron or glass or wood show up multiple times? When you answer these questions for yourself you are on the road to knowing when a piece will work well in your room, and when it won’t. For instance, disparate items without much in common can all be tied together with a color. Likewise, different colors can often be unified by similar lines in pieces. I think the more you see and know about what you like, the more sophisticated your choosing becomes – and that’s a great thing for anyone who wants to design!” Interior Designer Don Larson


CollectionsWedgewood Nantucket Collections On Amazon

Don’t Buy Decorating Art, Go For A Piece That Really Speaks To You– Virginia artist Tenley Beazley was asked her advice on buying art – “Buy the art you love; don’t buy what I call decorating art. If you buy a piece for a specific space or to match a room, it’s always stuck in that place. When you buy art that you love, you’ll probably always love it, and it can go with you from place to place or room to room.

Swing Arm Table Lamps Still Look Great! -George Hansen gave me his original swing-arm table lamp after he sold his company to Hinson, and it’s still sitting on my desk. The design is a classic.- Designer Stan Topol

Products That Work


Allow A Single Fabric To Shine By Using It In Multiple Areas And On Several Upholstered Pieces– “I like one dominant fabric; it keeps things pure with great impact. I think people don’t use enough of a single pattern in a room. For me, spaces get mushy when there’s too much going on. But you need to be a professional to pull off this kind of thing. It’s like playing with fire—you can either burn down the house or create a beautiful candlelit setting” Designer T Keller Donovan

If They Never Did Work, Make Space For Something New – “It’s time to get all the things right that weren’t right before. Be empowered knowing that you know yourself better than you ever have.” — Alexa Hampton

Buy What You Like, Than Being Trendy “You don’t have to consider anyone’s taste but your own. Make the most of that.” — Jan Showers

Great Furniture Can Fit Into Any Style Of Home “When a client downsized from a 10,000-square-foot house to a two-bedroom condo, she was afraid that what was appropriate in her grand house wouldn’t be right in her new home. She had beautiful antiques, and her first question was,

‘Can I use any of these?’ I said, ‘Of course! We’ll just use them in a different way.’ Even though her lifestyle is different, she can still enjoy her favorite things.” — Melissa Warner

Sift Through Photos and Collections, And Select Just The Best “We all hold on to sentimental things, but is it necessary to keep every painting your children did in preschool, every trophy, every ribbon? Keep the best and move on!” — Amanda Nisbet

Save For The Things That You Really Admire, Than Purchasing Something To Fill A Space “Buy only what you love. The things you yearn for, that were a stretch to buy, that you saved for, become a lasting part of your story.”— Alessandra Branca

Buy Quality Pieces, They Tend To Hold Up Better ” It’s tough at the moment, from an economic point of view. But as a result people are more interested in buying quality, not quantity. At our shops we’ve noticed a steep increase in sales of classic 20th-century products by great designers and architects. They tend to be expensive, but will last forever” Terence Conran
Make The Most Of What You Have – Eat Off The China- My mother loved it as well. We didn’t live in a grand house, just a small one, but she always made it look beautiful. She lit candles every night. I love rooms with atmosphere. Axel Vervoordt
Don’t Underestate What The Staples Are “A good-quality sofa and bed contribute to easy living. Not long ago I bought a new handmade mattress by Savoir Beds. It changed my life. I realized that I had spent a lot of my life in an uncomfortable bed.” Terence Conran
Collections That Are Personal Can Create Happy Memories “We had an English bulldog, Lulu, who came with us to the factory every day and made people smile, so we began collecting bulldog objects. My advice for starting any collection: Do it for the fun of it. Display pieces in groups—like items make a powerful visual statement” Mitchell Gold
Build Your Palette From The Outdoors – “My favorite colors come from the shades of local earth. Dig in the ground and you’ll find so many layers of color—amazing yellows, sand, browns, black, beige. I don’t like cool, dogmatic white houses. They’re not human. I prefer warmth. Axel Vervoordt
Take Time Off To Finish Mini Renovations To Completion “Try to get your entire home done at once so it feels serene. Having a work in progress for three years can be a drag: You’re always looking at something you’re unhappy with” Mitchell Gold
Look For Chairs That Appear Like Pieces Of Art “We pay a lot of attention to the backs of chairs: The best ones float in a room like pieces of sculpture. ” Mitchell Gold


Is re-upholstering worth the money? “A Reupholstering is expensive, but if the piece of furniture is well made, then it can be worth doing. I know someone who has had the same sofa for 40 years and has reupholstered it three times during that lifespan. It’s costly because the process doesn’t only involve changing the outer fabric; the upholsterer also has to tighten the frame and change the springs, padding and cushion inserts as needed. What you end up with is essentially a new piece, and in some cases, this could still cost less than buying brand-new. If you’re unsure whether your piece is in good enough condition, ask for your upholsterer’s opinion and weigh the benefits of reupholstering versus buying new. If your sofa wasn’t high-quality to begin with, there’s no sense in throwing good money after bad.” Designer Cameron Macneil

Color, Where is the best place to use it?  “Color is best used in small spaces that you pass through. A dramatic color in a room where you’re going to be spending a lot of time might feel too heavy or dark, but if you use it in a foyer or pantry, it makes the whole house feel colorful It also makes the house feel bigger, because it turns a space you might not notice into one that catches your attention.” John Barman

Don’t Be Afraid Of Having Too Many Chairs -“Today everyone likes rooms sparse, but for a living room, you need the sorts of chairs people can pull up together, so that they want to come into the room and sit down and chat.” Paula Perlini

Showcase Your Favorite Finds “A photographer I worked with taught me the importance of the axial view. When you’re looking down a corridor, you want a wonderful object at the end of it to draw you forward—a sculpture, a chandelier, anything to define the space and pull you in.”Nancy Braithwaite

When Renovating or Building -“Spend the money to make openings between rooms as high as possible—anything to get away from the standard, squat 7-foot-tall door. It really creates a sense of openness, lightness, and grandeur in a space.” Suzanne Lovell

Outdoor porch curtains?  Special material needed?   I also love the look of drape panels on a porch — they’re perfect for privacy and blocking out the sun, and I find they have a certain romance to them. A lot of people use inexpensive ready-made cotton drapes, usually with a grommet or tab-style heading. These work fine, but can easily get stained or fade from exposure to sunlight. I’ve seen more and more outdoor drapes made of acrylic or polyester recently. They’re softer than the materials used for awnings, but are still stain- and mildew-resistant and won’t fade. I’ve kept mine up through the winter without any problems. West Elm has woven-polyester grommetted outdoor drapes in solid white or flax, either of which would look quite dreamy on a veranda. Treated outdoor drapery rods are available, but I’ve simply used a black indoor one. You may have to touch it up with spray paint if any rust appears, which is easy enough to do. Install the rod so that the panels hang about 1 and a half off the porch floor to prevent the hem from getting dirty” Designer Cameron MacNeil

Breaking Up Sets Of Furniture – One thing you will never see in a Nate Berkus interior? “You’ll never see a set of furniture. Ever. I think we can all do better than that. I know instant interiors are tempting, but it goes against my entire philosophy: that a room should evolve over time, and a good interior is assembled and feels layered and collected. I have no problem with clients who buy sets of furniture, but I will always break them up: use them in different rooms, paint or refinish some pieces or add different tops. Put a nightstand in the family room as a side table, or try a dresser as a serving piece in a dining room. I think that if you use a little creativity your home can feel much more personal. Designer Nate Berkus

What furniture piece always looks more expensive than it is?– “A classic Parsons table is pretty universal. You can dress it up with a pair of lamps or drape it. It can be used as a desk, sideboard, entry table or nightstand. Those are the kind of things you don’t have to spend a lot of money on”  Designer Nate Berkus

Knowing Where The Fine Line Is “One of my mentors always said, ‘Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Great projects are the ones that show a little restraint”. Heather Hilliard

Cool Colors – — Keep your color scheme uncomplicated and fresh. Brady loves timeless blue and white fabrics, and white walls. He’s also a fan of charcoal, dove, off-white and black…very Chanel…for a color scheme with an edge. Black is his go-to color. – Stephen Brady

Double Duty Furniture — Versatile furniture makes life simpler. A large upholstered ottoman can also be used as a coffee table topped with a tray. A day bed instantly becomes an extra guest bed. (Dress it with a selection of throws, blankets and wraps.)- Stephen Brady

Practical Upholstery  — Stephen loves fabrics that look like men’s haberdashery–tweeds, wool herringbone, checks, slubby linen, and flannel. For his country house on Long Island he uses slipcovers in natural off-white denim, or indigo washed denim feel good against bare skin–and can be thrown in the washing machine for instant cleaning.- Stephen Brady

Avoid Harsh Lighting— In the evening, banish overhead lights. “They should be taboo,” said Brady. “Overhead lighting is harsh and unflattering.” Stephen Brady

Antique HIGH-CHAIR which turns into PLAY TABLE Cour De Alene Craigslist -

Antique HIGH-CHAIR which turns into PLAY TABLE Cour De Alene Craigslist

French Style Painted Console - $295 Great Gatsby's Auction Gallery Atlanta

French Style Painted Console – $295 Great Gatsby’s Auction Gallery Atlanta

Rare Postal Cubby Sorter--vintage - $700 (st charles) Chicago

Rare Postal Cubby Sorter–vintage – $700 (st charles) Chicago Craigslist


5 Key Lessons From Interior Designer Jessica McClintock


Jessica Mc Clintock has been known for more than 4 decades for designing romantic wedding gowns and flashy prom dresses.  The designer started her business at age 38, and at it’s height, Jessica McClintock had 41 stores, and a reported $100 million in annual sales.  In November of 2013, McClintock decided to retire and license out her prom and bridal lines, but keep her home and perfume collections. Her home collection, shown at American Drew, (an extension of Lazy Boy), features a line which resonates around the richly ornamented pieces found in Italy.

In her 2007 book ” Simply Romantic Decorating Jessica Mc Clintock” reveals 15 illustrated “do-it-yourself projects“.  Here are 5 of my favorites:

Carved Decorations For Above Mantels, Doors And Windows

Trumeau is the decorative treatment of the space over a mantel, door, or window, consisting of a mirror or painting, popular during the Louis XV and Louis XVI periods.

Salvage yards and large antique malls often stock carved wood decorative elements of all kinds.  You can create a stunning trumeau mirror using a wooden door, or a sheet of plywood, and an existing wood picture frame.  Consider making your own decorative elements that appear French or Swedish using pine doors, or window frames from your local salvage yard.  Decorative appliques, such as swags, roses, bell flowers can be added to add a romantic edge to your creations.

Add Floral Hand Painted Details To Your Floors

Floors are often a forgotten decorative element of a room.   Floors can be dressed up by hand painting floral patterns using stencils.   Wooden floors can also be stripped, and white washed. Consider creating a 5- or 6-inch border around the room or an all-over pattern of small flowers or ribbons. A center medallion on a wood floor entryway would also be very appealing.  If you are not skilled at hand-painting, you can use stencils, decals, or simply add detail around the edges of an otherwise plain floor.

Glaze Your Walls For An Old World Effect

Antiquing glaze is a transparent coating that mutes a painted finish and adds a hint of without being obvious.  Glaze comes in a clear or milky formula which can be mixed with existing paint, or pre-mixed at a hardware store.  The beauty of glazed walls can remind a person of the old estates in Italy, Sweden and France.  The best results look natural, as if the walls have naturally aged to a pale, warm patina.

You never want to look at a glazed wall and say, “Oh look, a faux finish.” In fact, the effect should
be so subtle that you don’t really notice the various layers of color.

Painting and glazing a wall takes several layers of color, and is hardly a weekend project. One room may take you a week or more to complete. The best results happen when a homeowner isn’t in a rush.  Ideally, you want to do one layer at a time, and the end result should have at least three to four shades of the same paint tone, working from darker colors to lighter tones on top of the base coat.

Hand Paint Motifs On Your Walls

Hand painted designs over glazed walls can really add a romantic feel to a room.  Consider adding a  swag or flowering vine. You can use a stencil, but tracing a pattern on to a wall and filling it in with paint achieves a better painted result.


1. Select An Image and Have It Enlarged On A Copier, or A Transparency.   Choose something fairly simple such as flowers, or a swag of foliage and fruit.   Stay away from animal or  human figures which can be challenging even to the experienced artist.

2. Use Painter’s Tape To Fix The Transfer Or Graphite Paper To The Wall-   With a pencil, trace in all the lines with a pencil, and when you lift up the paper, using graphite transfer sheets, the image should be transferred to the wall.  Using an overhead projector, you can simply transfer the image using a pencil.  As you move along, you simply move the overhead projector around the room.

3. Begin To Paint. Fill in all large areas first and then work on fine lines. Don’t worry too much about perfection, because the end result will be sanded slightly and glazed, which will  blur any errors or stray lines and create an aged, antique, romantic look.  When you are done and the paint has completely dried, lightly sand the painting to soften the color, which is best done after the paint has dried a day or two.  Use fine-grit sandpaper or a new, clean white scrubber, often used on pots and pans, and don’t rub too hard.

4. Add One Final Coat Of Glaze.  Adding one last coat of glaze on the walls will further blur the overall image.  You can have your paint pre-mixed, and simply use a roller and go over the entire wall.  This step often blends together all the work, and gives it a subtle appearance.

Add Patina To Your Mirrors

Fix up your existing mirrors to make them appear older than they are.  Most new mirrors have a flat gray protective coating over the covering of the glass.  You have to remove most of this to age the mirror. Use protective rubber gloves and pour some paint stripper into a plastic dish, and then use the 2-inch paintbrush to paint it onto the back of the mirror, covering most of the glass.
Eventually the surface blisters and bubbles, and at that point, you can take off the backing with a plastic putty knife. The paint remover will take off only the gray backing, revealing the mirror’s silver leafing.

You don’t have to remove every inch of the gray backing, but you should have removed most of it.
After the mirror is cleaned with soap and warm water, dry it off using a lint free cloth.  Pour some of the metal patina solution into a plastic dish and soak a kitchen sponge with water and set it aside.

Pour a moderate amount of the patina solution onto the sea sponge and dab it onto the silver leafing. The silver leafing will begin to corrode immediately; as soon as it has achieved the desired effect, pat the sponge soaked in water over the silver leafing to stop the chemical reaction, otherwise it will eat straight through the silver finish.

To seal the back of the mirror, paint four layers of gold, copper or black paint over the “antiqued” silver leafing, allowing each coat to dry fully. Gold paint will create a sepia tone, copper will appear rusted, and black will give it a charcoal feel.

Once the black paint is completely dry, reframe the mirror and hang it up.

  • Making History: How to Antique a Mirror- Story By Mod Cloth
  • Create A Mirror Using Krylon Looking-Glass Mirror Like Spray Paint- Petticoat Junktion
  • Traditional Black Patinas – Finishes
  • Modern Masters METAL Paint Effects – Pinterest
  • Modern Master Products On Amazon