Our WoodUbend mermaid cabinet has gone viral across social media. Learn more about the inspiration behind this piece, and the techniques used to create it.
A while ago, Solly Jo and the team completed this shabby chic cupboard.
We sanded the cabinet and applied a selection of WoodUbend mouldings. While beautiful and striking, the sanded wood seemed sad and dull.
The most amazing thing about Solly Jo however, is her endless creative spark. She looked at the cupboard, finger on her chin, and then turned her head to the epic wall of paints, pigments and pastes that tower above the WoodUbend HQ.
“Why not add some paint?” She asked herself. “What’s the worst case, that we don’t like the colour? We can always sand it back!”.
And on that wonderful whim, the mermaid cupboard was born.
Products used For The WoodUbend Mermaid Cabinet:
Posh Chalk Pigment Infusor
DB no pain gel stain espresso
DB Antebellum Blue
DB mermaid Tail
DB Dixie Belle Blue
WoodUbend’s Solly Jo’s Blending Magic
Solly Jo is known in the industry for her magical blending.
“The best advice I can give about blending is to follow the natural light. I copy the shades that I can see on the piece. It’s almost like the sun gives you a map!”.
This technique is especially prominent on curved pieces like this blanket box.
Solly always recommends that you use at least 3 shades when blending on a surface.
You need a dark colour, a main colour and a highlight.
To start, Solly sprays the cupboard down with water using a spritzer. “The joke is that this is Posh Water when people ask. It’s not, it’s just plain water from the tap” Solly laughs.
Water is important, especially for older wood, as it prevents the paint from being sucked into the dry surface. In this case, it is impossible to manipulate the colours no matter the quality of paint.
If you are working with old wood, Solly recommends that you prime the wood, or mist it lightly with water before painting.
Taking the darkest colour, Dixie Belle Antebellum Blue, Solly works in large circular motions to brush the paint onto the edges of the cupboard. This is the darkest area of the cupboard.
Then, she applies the second colour, Dixie Belle Peacock. This is the main colour of the piece, and so had an application width double the size of the Antebellum Blue. For the final section of the piece, Solly takes Mermaid Tail.
This essentially creates 3 circles on the piece.
Taking a clean, dry brush and her trusty mister, she begins to pull the colours into one another where they meet. Again, she uses large circular swoops to gently move the colours. Where colours are stiffer, she sprays it with water to loosen the pigment and continues the blending process.
For the finishing touch, she takes Dixie Belle blue and dabs a thin layer onto the centre of the surface, exactly where the sunlight is hitting it. This is a highlight shade. With her clean brush, she pulls this vertically to lessen any harsh lines.
To ensure seamless coverage, this process is repeated a second time when the first layer is dry.
Here is a visual demonstration of the blending on TikTok.
The final touches
Suddenly, the new colour transforms the effect of the WoodUbend. What once was a shabby chic pair of pediments now becomes a pair of pediments fit for a mermaid castle! Isn’t it crazy how much colour changes our perception?
To bring out the stunning detail in the WoodUbend mouldings, Solly reaches for her trusty Posh Chalk Metallic Pigment in Byzantine Gold. Her eyes glinted with excitement. We all know how much Solly loves adding highlights with these beautiful pigments!
To mix Posh Chalk Metallic Pigments, you will need Posh Chalk Pigment Infusor. Mixing the pigments is an amazing luxury for artists. You have complete control of the consistency of the mix. You can make a strong, metallic paste for full coverage and drama, or a runny mix great for washing a layer of sparkle. You can play with the consistency and pigmentation of your mix until you get your desired result.
Solly takes the back of a 3rd Generation WoodUbend Moulding packet and pours some pigment into the middle. Taking a pipette, she slowly adds the Posh Chalk Pigment Infusor. Immediately, the powder turns into a mesmerising liquid gold.
Taking a small, flat brush, Solly dips it into the liquid, and begins to dry brush the WoodUbend mouldings.
“Dry brushing Posh Chalk Metallic Pigment onto WoodUbend is an excellent technique. The pigment only stays onto the raised surfaces of the moulding rather than the grooves. This means it exaggerates the crisp details of the 3rd generation mouldings and adds a superb level of depth.”
Once this was dry, we applied wood stain to the WoodUbend mouldings. WoodUbend has all the properties of wood. This means that you can stain it, varnish it, wax it and sand it. However, when heated, it bends. This makes it a great tool for artists and crafters.
We used a small brush to apply stain to the intricate details of the WoodUbend TR009. This stain was also applied to the top of the cupboard.
And here is the result!
“Creativity is endless, you just need to grab it by the horns! Dare to experiment with new ideas and techniques and see where it takes you. Like I say, the worst case is that you don’t like it and you can start again. The best case? Well, look below!”
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