DIY Faux Malachite - Juniper Home

DIY Faux Malachite

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I would have never guessed a couple years ago when I made this double wide desk from IKEA components, that I’d still be using this inexpensive combo today. I really love it – it’s great to have so much work space – but it was time to change up the look a bit. When Sherwin-Williams invited me to use some of their green paint to dream up a project for National Painting Week, I knew my old trusty desk was going to be the lucky target.

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I shared last week that I’ve been dying to try my hand at a faux malachite painting technique, but I’ve been a little intimidated. I had no idea just how easy it would be! Here are the paint colors I used, all of the colors were mixed in Sherwin-Williams All-Surface Enamel Latex Gloss, going clockwise from top left: Cape Verde (SW 6482), Active Green (SW 6986), Country Squire (SW 6475), and Faux Impressions Clear Glaze.

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I put a coat of primer down on the desk, just make sure the surface was smooth and clean. I did a little sanding too, just with a hand block.

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Then I brushed on a coat of Active Green for the base of the malachite.

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I let that dry for at least a couple of hours.

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I made glaze mixtures in both the dark green and dark teal colors. The mixture was about one part paint to three parts glaze, and then it was mixed well.

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I think the secret to doing a very easy faux malachite is two sizes of fan brushes. If you can find something very small and another very large brush, that would be ideal.

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The malachite pattern part is fun and easy. I started at one end and worked in rows. The trick is to layer the swirls on top of each other. You cover up the start-stop part of each swirl with the smooth, round part of a new swirl. The glaze makes it so the paint dries a little slower and you can layer on the swirls in a clean way, so that the clear bright green base shows through.

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Turn on some music and try to keep a loose hand. :) The trick is to not go over the same part twice, if you can avoid it. Also, rather than doing perfectly rounded circles, add some wiggle to the brush so that the lines of the swirls have some movement. It takes some playing with to get the hang of it, but it’s fun to do and it goes really fast!

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Don’t forget to switch back and forth between the small and large fan brushes and the dark green and the dark teal glaze mixtures. I mixed the mixtures together sometimes too (such a rebel, I know).

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I also tried to continue the same swirl pattern and glaze color down the side of the table top for a consistent look.

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And here’s the dried, finished look:

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It’s definitely not meant to fool anyone into thinking it’s real malachite. It’s just meant to be a pretty, abstract look. I love it!

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I like how much blue there is in the finished desk – I think the SW colors were perfect! I’m really loving how they look against my dark gray walls and with my leopard Eames chairs.

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And now for the barrage of photos of the desk at all angles!

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I loved getting to try another faux painting technique – especially one that had such quick and easy results! A big thanks again to Sherwin-Williams for sponsoring LGN and letting me participate in this year’s National Painting Week. And be sure to catch the thirteen other design bloggers’ projects this week! Today, Cassandra at Coco + Kelley has another green project (I love the color she chose!) and tomorrow Erin from House of Earnest and Justin and Cassity at Remodelaholic will share their yellow projects. It’s going to be a colorful week in blogland! :)

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67 thoughts on “DIY Faux Malachite

  1. Wow, Jenny! This is gorgeous. I too have been too intimidated to try a faux malachite. Once again, you've inspired me to try. I also love the yardage charts!

  2. The leopard and the malachite, tied together by the desk legs and the lamps is just an amazing combination! I didn't think anything could top the lavender dresser from last year, but this may have. I'm dying for a malachite paper lampshade – do you think this would work painted directly onto a paper shade?

  3. Looks awesome. I love all the accessories on top too. Just had that gold Threshold bowl in my hand yesterday at Target, might have to go back and get it ;)
    I love the leopard chair too!

  4. WOW! This looks amazing! Seriously you could have fooled me at first glance! What a great DIY, can't wait to try this on a side table.
    The leopard chairs pair so nicely with the rich greens!
    Well done and thanks for the inspiration!
    xo Quinn

    Quinn Cooper Style

  5. Love the faux malachite – the leopard chairs- the brass – and the yardage charts! …Did you enlarge them at an office supply place – or do you have another trick up your sleeve? :) Thanks for sharing your painting technique!

  6. This looks fantastic! I think I'm ready to try it at a smaller scale. I admire your gusto for trying it with a big piece, it really turned out well! I am also obsessing over your yardage charts. I saw your post on them awhile ago, but how did you get them all orange and gorgeous?!

  7. Jenny, this looks great! I have a vintage malachite necklace from my grandmother that I wear all of the time and I never get tired of it!

    I love the yardage charts you have framed above your desk. I'm curious, what's the source on those? They're cooler than any yardage chart I've ever seen. Thanks!

  8. You are ridiculous Jenny!! I'll have you know a couple weekends ago at the Joy & Revelry retreat, me along with the rest of the team (Bryn Alexandra, Reichel Broussard, Courtney Lake & Paloma Contreras) were going on about how we'd give anything for an ounce of your energy:) It's so inspiring!

  9. Just want to say – I've been looking for a desk for our office and I think that you just convinced my boyfriend and I to do the same Ikea combo of table top and legs! We've only been working on figuring out the office for maybe 2 years now! :-)

  10. Great job! You've inspired me to try this technique; on a smaller scale of course. You're braver than I! I love the way you finished the edge, it looks like that raw edge you get once stone has been cut.

  11. Great job Jenny. It looks amazing. You may have just given me an idea of what to do with a piece of furniture I've been wanting to paint. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

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