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Upcycling Inspiration - The Ombre Effect

Most of us have a scruffy dresser hanging around ready for hard rubbish but instead of kicking it to the curb, try this simple ombré paint effect to give it a new lease of life. Meaning ‘shaded’ in French, the ombré trend is a gradual fading technique, which sees colours of the same tone subtly shifting from light to dark. It’s a great way to inject bright colours into your home without painting the walls!

Step 1:

Make sure your dresser is in relatively good condition and has at least three drawers - any less and you won’t be able to create the fading effect. I opted for a three drawer unit but when it comes to creating an ombré effect, the more the merrier!

Step 2:

Prep the dresser by giving it a good sanding, especially if it has a varnished finish. Take off any handles and wipe down the dresser with sugar soap to remove old grease and dirt.

Step 3:

Choose a colour! Make sure you pick your colours from the same palette or paint swatch so the tones will fade into each other smoothly. The number of drawers you have will determine the number of different colours you’ll need and don’t forget some extra paint for the main body of the dresser. The three colours I chose from darkest to lightest were, Haymes Evans Delight, Haymes Meandering Stream and Haymes Pitty Pat. I selected them all in a practical, low sheen acrylic finish, which is easy to apply, washable and hardwearing - perfect for furniture that’s used regularly.

Step 4:

Throw a drop sheet down, take out the drawers and unearth your brushes. Start by painting the lightest drawer first. To create a smooth finish the key is long, even strokes with several light coats of paint. I gave the drawers and handles three coats of paint, with plenty of drying time in between.

Step 5:

Put the drawers and handles to one side and paint the main body of the dresser in the lightest tone of palette - in my case it was Haymes Pitty Pat. It is best to paint the main dresser in one of the existing tones rather than introduce a new colour, as it could detract from the overall effect.

Step 6:

Once everything is dry, put the handles back on, pop the drawers back in and step back to enjoy your new stylish dresser!

Image credits:

Image 1: Teal glass from HK Living Australia. Cinematic light box from Form Function Style. Image 2: Dresser stylists own. On dress from left to right: Yellow ceramic dish from Turner and Lane. Red ‘Twiggerie’ sculpture from House of Orange. White bottle and green carafe from HK Living Australia. Dresser and lilac shoes, stylist's own. On floor: 'Diamond' rug in smoke from Aura. Image 3: Haymes paint & brushes. Image 4 left to right: Woven basket from Turner and Lane. White chair, stylists own. Grey ‘Gran’ cushion from Norsu. Petrol blue pendant light from HK Living Australia. Dresser and lilac shoes, stylists own. On dresser from left: Yellow ceramic dish from Turner and Lane. Red ‘Twiggerie’ sculpture from House of Orange. White bottle and green carafe from HK Living Australia. ‘Oh the places you’ll go’ print from Hunting For George. Grey ‘Ondria cushion’ cushion from Country Road ( Turquoise glass from HK Living Australia. On floor; ‘Diamond’ rug in smoke from Aura ( On wall; ‘Atlantis Sky’ in matt acrylic from Haymes. ‘Swiss Alps’ walldot from Form Function Style (


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