The Black Pearl Paint Effect

I was commissioned by Charlie Smallbone of Ledbury Studio to create a totally new and unique paint effect.

My brief for the hand painting of this kitchen was to compliment the pared back design but give the cupboards a depth of character, subtle interest and movement that would sit happily next to the zinc panels and oak drawers. 

I designed a layered paint effect of near black colours interspersed with subtle pearlescents. This effect is much more successful if painted horizontally, which was fine as I took all the doors off. However, the vertical panels were more of a challenge.

The whole effect had to flow through all the panels, giving a feeling of even movement without looking patchy.

The first coat was a cross hatch layoff of near black Teknos Aqua 20.

First Coat

Second Coat Black Pearl

The second coat was a bespoke glaze mix close to a pearlised dark silver. This was applied with a cloth, broken with methylated spirits and softened with a badger softener brush.

Second Coat

Third Glaze

The third coat was another bespoke glaze mix of the near black basecoat. Dry dusted over to make the paint effect more subtle yet keep the pearlised metallic burnish in the depth of the paint.

I applied a further coat of this glaze, using meths to break the effect if the glaze became too solid.

Third Glaze

Protective Coat

Because of the pared back handless design of this kitchen, the paint effect really did have to be bullet proof. I had to ensure that the paint would withstand constant in contact use. So a protective coat of Polyvine Crystal Clear varnish was also applied.

Protective Coat

Completed Black Pearl Paint Effect

So that’s five hand painted coats that went into creating the ‘Black Pearl’ paint effect for this bespoke kitchen.

It is worth all the effort though. A solid near black colour would have deadened the whole effect and not have complimented the other elements within the kitchen as successfully.

To Conclude

This kitchen is another fine example of designers and artisans working closely and in harmony together.

Something that is completely within my ethos in this bespoke industry.

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