View Full Version : muting acrylics
You could try antiquing the finished painting. I've done this using burnt umber acrylic mixed with Jo Sonjas' antiquing medium. You would brush this on, then after letting it dry somewhat, you rub it off in a circular motion, lifting out more where you would like to leave highlights, such as on the edge of a petal.
You can also do this with burnt umber oil paint, but I'm not sure of the exact method. Similar, though. This is if you like an antiqued look. I wonder if you could wash the base colour over in a very watery consistancy, if it would push back the brightness? Hmmm. Try both methods on a sample piece, and see which you like best.
02-21-2001, 12:40 AM
If you're working with acrylics and painting your furniture...try using a bit of gesso in the paint...this will take out some of the bright look.
Also a color can be toned down by using a touch of its complement...bright green...add a touch of red or sienna.
I repainted some old furniture last year for an auction using acrylics then designed some art nouveau florals for the side panels. I was really surprised at how well they sold!
Another thing I did after painting the piece a solid color...was to sand it down slightly to "knock back" the shiny painted look. You might try this and fine that its will work best for you. Use a fine sandpaper and work with the grain of the wood rubbing lightly and evenly (or you will take off the paint).
"Everything is not art and Art is not everything, but it comes close."....carly
02-21-2001, 12:54 AM
I am taking old furniture and refinishing it with paint, often trying to achieve an aged look. Once painted in solid and/or crackled colors I would like to paint flowers, etc over the finish. How can I mute or dull the colors so that they are not so bright?
02-21-2001, 08:48 PM
Welcome to WC!
There are two things you need to do to "mute" your colors. One, is to do as others above have mentioned, to tone-down already painted colors. The other is to paint your flowers with an antacid look in mind ahead of time. No amount of topical finish will overcome the under painting if it is too strong or pure in hue.
To do this in acrylics you need to learn how to use "broken" colors. That is, colors that are not straight out of the tube; adjusted using complimentaries, and white. You have probably already purchased acrylics in squeeze bottles from the craft store (be sure these are professional/light-fast colors.)
When at the store, pull all your bottles off the shelf before even buying them. See that the colors are lower in value and/or less intense than pure tube colors and that they all go together well. Most furniture painted imagery (flowers in particular) are greatly subdued from tube colors. You will be working within a narrow range of lights and darks to create the flowers.
After purchasing, do several tests. First paint a foam core board or other surface similar to the furniture with the base/foundation color you'll be using. Then trace/freehand paint a flower or two with the new paints until you achieve the color scheme you want (don't touch the actual furniture piece until you do this.) The furniture is not the place to test your colors. If you do, problems will occur.
As soon as you have a color scheme that works, begin to paint the furniture in earnest. It will help greatly to purchase a book or two on both painting furniture and fine art painting books in acrylic. Both are needed to do a proficient job. Most furniture painters try to paint something they saw in a book and not use the paint first. You can become a master furniture painter if you just take a bit more time to learn your colors, how the acrylic is used on wood and how to do a final finish.
03-27-2001, 08:34 PM
I have two tips I use:
1. Shoe polish, brown, the wax type with equal amounts of neutral color shoe polish. Blend with a palette knife. Rub on with cloth in a circular manner, just like you do shoes, then buff with soft cloth. No need to clear coat. Start with bright colors, after the waxing, very muted and lovely.
2. Golden Oak, Oil base stain. Again wipe on with a rag. Dry for 24 hours. Sand lightly with extra fine grit sandpaper. no need to clear coat again.
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