The power of paint and patience

This client wanted a dark, sexy bathroom. She's single, uses the bath primarily for long soaks at night, and applies her makeup at a vanity in her bedroom. The space is fairly small and has no natural light. Since she mainly uses the space to relax in at night after work, she wanted to emphasize the dark, cozy aspect. The inspiration was an Asian woodcut that showed an evening sky. A previous faux finish had been too literal: she was unhappy with the clouds. Further, the existing oak vanity clashed with both the granite and the slate grey walls.
After: I used the same tones of grey as before, but mixed in a little black to give more depth. I actually poured the 3 unmixed colors into the paint tray, rolled them onto the wall as a mixture, and then used rags and a brush to blend. The result gave an old plaster look to the textured walls, suggesting an evening sky without the literal use of clouds.
To give the oak vanity a furniture quality finish was a multiple step process. Since the client wanted black, I started with a high quality primer designed to bond to glossy surfaces like the pre finished cabinet. Since the final result was dark, I had the primer tinted to a dark grey. To tie in the granite and give more interest, I followed with a red layer. Then I topped that with black, painting on, then wiping off. After that dried, I sanded through around the edges of molding, and in the center of panels to give the illusion of wear through time. I then smoothed out the distressing with a glaze of black and expresso brown paint. Finally, as a finish, I applied a french polish with wax and super fine steel wool. We then replaced the chrome and white porcelian handles with a variety of hand-painted pulls.

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