Paris Grey, Graphite and Coco Chalk Paint® Buffet

The Purple Painted Lady The Grateful Painter corner shot Buffet Chalk Paint General Finish GlazeThe Purple Painted Lady loves to share pieces that have been completed by her customers. One customer in particular, is Nikki Counahan. She is also know as The Grateful Painter.

Nikki,  “The Grateful Painter” has both a Facebook page HERE and an Instagram account HERE for you to check out.

I asked Nikki to share some information about this buffet that she recently completed because I think it is helpful to understand how others use products and to learn from one another.   The Purple Painted Lady The Grateful Painter Logo

Here is the fantastic information Nikki shared with me:

I bought this piece from an online auction. I spent more than I normally would on this buffet but I have always wanted to paint something like this so it was worth it!

The Purple Painted Lady The Grateful Painter BEFORE buffet fuller shot June

I am always so excited to start painting a piece as soon as I get it home but this one needed just a bit of prep work before I could dive in. Luckily it was in near perfect condition when I picked it up.

surform plane The Purple Painted Lady The Grateful PainterOne of the cabinet doors was a bit tough to close– the top of the door just seemed to not fit into its space. I tried to adjust the screws in the hinges but it wasn’t budging. I have this handy dandy tool called a “surform plane” that I use in these situations. It basically shaves down the wood making it easier for doors and drawers to fit. Make sure to smooth the surface out with sand paper after using the surform plane otherwise it will be left a bit uneven.



This piece was a very bright mahogany wood and I knew it was going to have MAJOR bleed through. Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac is the quickest and easiest way to make sure you have NO bleed through.

Read this post HERE on The Purple Painted Lady website’s to learn more about using Shellac.

I ran sand paper over the entire piece just to rough up the surface, wiped it down with water and bit of mineral spirits, then let it dry before starting. I did two thin coats (of shellac) just to make sure the piece was completely covered. I lightly sanded with 120 grit sand paper before I applied the second coat. Let each coat dry for about an hour and make sure to dust off the piece after sanding! This is definitely an “extra” step but it is VERY important!! (per The Purple Painted Lady ~ sanding between coats of shellac will help prevent paint from crackling)


Once the shellac was dry I started by painting the body in two quick coats of Annie Sloan Coco and the top in two coats of Graphite.

The Purple Painted Lady Graphite Chalk Paint open lid Paris Grey  Sample Board

I ordered Annie Sloan Paris Grey from The Purple Painted Lady and I knew the color would compliment Coco perfectly!


Coco Sample Board - Copy





If you’re like me as soon as you get a new piece of furniture you want to paint it IMMEDIATELY and the best part about ordering from The Purple Painted Lady is her fast shipping. The paint was at my front door as soon as I was ready to paint!!


I poured a bit of Coco, Paris Grey and a mix of Graphite + Paris Grey on separate plates.

I lightly dipped each side of my brush in each color and then started painting. The technique I used was so simple!!!

I messily painted the colors on in every direction, blending them just enough that they didn’t look obvious. One coat of this technique did the trick.


I wanted to highlight all of the pretty details on this piece so I dry brushed just a bit of Annie Sloan Old White. Barely dip the edge of the brush just on the surface on the paint and then wipe off the excess with a paper towel. You hardy want ANY paint at all on the brush! I lightly feathered the brush over the details until I was happy with the look.The Purple Painted Lady The grateful painter dry brush June Chalk Paint



I decided that I wanted to add some dimension to the top of the piece as well so I mixed a wash with 50% Paris Grey and 50% water. I painted the wash over the top and let it sit for a minute or two before wiping it back. It was subtle but enough to add a bit of character.



Next, I applied General Finishes High Performance Top Coat over the entire piece. General Finishes Satin The purple painted LadyI used a foam brush on the bottom half of the buffet to make sure I could get into the small grooves of the details. Its easy to see brush strokes in a sealant with any kind of sheen so I used a small foam roller for the top. I was able to achieve a smooth and seamless finish with this type of application. I applied two coats, sanding in between with steel wool.Steel wool





Once the top coat was dry I used General Finishes Glaze Effects in Van Dyke Brown.The Purple Painted Lady Van Dyke Brown Glaze General Finishes I chose brown glaze over black because I wanted to compliment/bring out more of the Coco rather than both of the grays. I applied the glaze with a foam brush just along the edges and in the details of the drawer pulls and appliqués.


Only glaze small sections at a time as it can get VERY messy! I painted it on and quickly wiped it off using an old t-shirt. This leaves the glaze only in the grooves and gives an aged look!


When using any type of glaze or wax to make a piece look antique I always use a bit over the entire piece, including the top.

The Purple Painted Lady The Grateful Painter Close up Hardware Van Dyke General Finishes Glaze June 2015

I painted on a thick coat of the glaze and let it sit for about 30 seconds before wiping it back. It left behind a very subtle look (hardly noticeable at all) but made the piece look more uniform. I let the glaze dry for about two hours before applying one final coat of General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Satin.

The Purple Painted Lady The Grateful Painter FULL AFTER shot staged June


Nikki did a beautiful job on this buffet!  And you can too.


If you are interested in staying touch with The Purple Painted Lady- visit our Facebook page HERE – we would LOVE to hear from you and see your before & after photos!


As for buying any of the products we mentioned earlier in this post- I hope that you select The Purple Painted Lady™ to be your one stop resource!  We have two locations in western NY.  Check out our Information tab and come and meet us!  Otherwise- if you are not located near me- the following information may apply to you.  This information is directed to those who do NOT have a local stockist.  Because if you do – go and meet them, shop from them and build a relationship with them.  The guidance, information and knowledge they share with you – will be invaluable.  But, if you are in a location where there is no one selling paint products- and you must buy on-line- consider us.  With that said, visit to find a stockist near you.
We are here to help you, our customers!  We want you to be successful!  And, just so you know, when you place an order with The Purple Painted Lady:
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