Posted in dollhouse, How to, miniatures

50 Shades of Gray

When I set out to make the IKEA furniture for my mini craft room I decided to make them gray which was one of the IKEA color choices. I thought this would be a good project to try out chalk paint.

This is Plum Pudding; she quickly made herself comfortable at the new desk. She and my other constant companions are from the Strawberry Shortcake gang. They all have fruit names so they are now affectionately known as the Fruity Girls, the Little Dolls or the Girls.

Upon seeing the choices at the craft store, I just wasn’t sure. The chalk paint colors seemed too dark or too light. I diverted from my instinct and brought home the gray weathering medium I showed you before, which didn’t work out. My experiments with the products I had on hand led me purchase some gray oil-based stain. It went on well and then I assembled all the pieces for the IKEA Vebjorn desk.

There was one problem. The assembled pieces looked darker than my vision. I lightened some samples using straw-colored stain that I had on hand. That wasn’t right either, so I went back to Google to research the color options. That led me back to the craft store for Parisian Grey chalk paint. I tried it out on some scraps and found that it went on smoothly and covered well. And it was closer to my vision.

I exaggerated, there weren’t 50 shades, only seven. Parisian Grey it is. I was hoping to use a color straight from the container.

Once the color was resolved I started on the drawers. I cut and glued everything except the fronts. Then, to make the tiny routed edge on the drawer fronts I glued on a piece of card stock that is a bit smaller, and painted them.

Chalk paint requires a coat of wax to give the finish a subtle sheen. That also warmed up the color a bit. I designed the label holder drawer pulls from card stock and cut them using my Cameo 4 and then painted them with a silver Sharpie. The wax repelled the Weldbond that I tried first, so I had to go with a CA glue.

I finished the desk top with three coats of shellac and two coats of the same wax. This will be a good start to furnishing the craft room. 

You know how much I enjoy our local miniatures club. Well, I offered to write an article for American Miniaturist about it. When I received the issue I was blown away at the cover. This artist is amazing!


I’m a Californian living in Oregon. But home is where my miniatures are.

6 thoughts on “50 Shades of Gray

  1. It doesn’t matter what you are painting–a tiny desk or your real life living room–choosing the just right paint color is such a challenge and sometimes a lot of trial and error and then are you still really sure? Always so afraid of choosing the wrong tint, hue, or finish, I always do test strips to make sure the I’ve the right paint. Your final choice is perfect and the little desk is perfect. The girls will certainly challenge each other over who gets to use it.

  2. Oh the Ikea desk came out wonderfully! It’s fun to make paint and stain chips, and I like to tape them to the containers, too, because my memory is short and unreliable!
    Great idea for the article! I feel bad about confessing that my last two issues of AM are still in the plastic. I hope to find some time to sit down and enjoy them, and read your articles soon!

    1. Thank you! What a great idea to save your paint chips with the containers. You have been pretty busy learning and putting to practice new skills, so I understand why you haven’t had time to get to your magazines. I’m anxious to get to this most recent one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s