A long-time CeCe Caldwell’s Paints Retailer, Donna Hay of Fine and Funky Junk in Hoover, Alabama, mixed the primary color for today’s edition of Mixology Monday. The CeCe Retailers have a private Facebook® page where they can share ideas, ask questions, and socialize with each other. Donna mentioned this color in a post and shared a picture of a piece of furniture she painted using the color. I was intrigued by the picture and wanted to mix it to observe it without camera and computer monitor distortions. I loved the color! Donna describes it as a ‘deep taupe’ and that is very accurate. Donna’s recipe uses 4 parts Pittsburg Gray, 2 parts Texas Tea and 1 part Vermont Slate.

Donna Hay

‘I think I was the 34th person to sign on to be a retailer. It was in March of 2012. I was painting with latex for about 25 years before and actually got a terrible sinus infection in painting an old French hutch for my home. It caused me to explore other possibilities regarding paint. I was astounded to find a paint such as CeCe’s Paint. My husband has COPD, so I always painted outside and as far away from him as possible because of the harmful fumes and VOC’s. Of course that was conditional to weather, and also pretty frustrating.
To find CeCe’s was a dream, and a true blessing. The rest as they say is history… I signed on right away and haven’t looked back. I love to mix colors, tell customers about this paint, teach classes and have daily therapy painting! When my hubby was in the hospital, I actually went by the store for an hour one morning on my way home to paint and have my “zone out” therapy!!
Last year for Mother’s Day I introduced my 2 year old grandson (Awesome Sweet high functioning autistic Special light of my life child) to CeCe’s Paint when we made a Mother’s Day gift for my daughter! We loved it! I have been involved in antiques for About 20 years, so familiar with all types of furniture. Amazingly I had no problems with painting most furniture, unless it was a special piece or a special maker. Most older pieces are fair game as there are still others like them around. They can be transformed and reborn to come alive again for a new space or a new family member with a safe, made in the USA paint.’
Being one who cannot leave well enough alone, I started toning it down with some of ‘whites’. I used Dover White Wash, Simply White and Vintage White to tone it down. I loved all of the tones I mixed as I slowly added additional “white” to the deep taupe. As I was lightening, a table I had downstairs (in hoarders’ paradise) presented inserted itself into my mind. I knew I wanted to paint it using the deep taupe and a toned down version of it. For the project, I settled on the version I toned down with Vintage White.

The inspiration for the name of the darker color came quickly. I had a mental flashback to thirty or so years ago, when my girls were little. There was a ‘buffalo ranch’ nearby. I would take the girls to see and feed the buffalo. It was not a picture of the mature buffalo that flashed before me, it was of the babies. As the buffalo (I am sure they were bison) age, their fur gets sun bleached and develops a lot of color variation. The young are more uniformed in color.   So I Googled ‘cities and towns named Buffalo’. What appears was the perfect name: New Buffalo, Michigan.


Next up was naming the white I had mixed. When I painted with it, the color had a very chalky undertone. Not a pure white, not a dirty white, but an impure color with beautiful undertones. Similar to the undertones viewed when visiting the famous Dover Cliffs in London. Once again, I Google; ‘cities and towns named Chalk’. I had several to chose from, but I liked Chalkhill. Chalkhill, PA is a census-designated place located in the Wharton Township of Fayette County, in the southwestern part of Pennsylvania. Chalkhill is 1 part of the New Buffalo and mixed it with 6 parts of Vintage White.

So, true to my style, I dragged the table into my kitchen and start on it. Of course it never occurred to me to take a “before” shot, as I was not planning on it being part of a blog post. I did find one that I had from when I moved the table into hoarder’s paradise. I also did not take any “progress” shots. I do have an “after” shot.

I painted the entire piece with a thin layer of New Buffalo. Then I painted everything, except the top, with Chalkhill. I gave the top another thin coat of New Buffalo. Once that was done, I then had to decide where I wanted to take this table. What was my vision for it? I decided I wanted it to appear to have been loved and painted previously and then allowed to naturally age. I always turn to Clear Glaze in such situations.

I applied a coat of Clear Glaze that had been diluted with water: about 40% water and 60% Clear Glaze. The clear coat of glaze gives you more control of your colored glaze. It prevents the colored glaze from grabbing onto the paint and makes it easier to manipulate and move around on your project piece. Once that dried, I used the Clear Glaze/water mix as a base to add paint into to make a colored glaze.  Not knowing this was going to turn into a blog post, I didn’t record how I layered on the glaze or what ratios of glaze to paint I used.

This where the fun begins for me. I started with the legs and body of the table. I remember I began with some of the New Buffalo mixed into the Clear Glaze/water mix. I aim for around 4-5 parts glaze mix to 1 part paint, when mixing colored glaze.  After applying that, I then lightened my mix with some of the Chalkhill. I applied it using a combination of a natural bristle brush (Chalk Pro is a great brand) and wet cheesecloth to apply the glaze with. I keep a dry piece of cheesecloth handy to wipe away any excess. I like to let each layer of glaze dry well between applications. At times, I will distress some between layers.   I believe I then went back with a darkened layer of glaze.

Once I was happy with the body and legs, I turned to the top.   I first applied the last color I had used on the legs. I used a much more linear, consistent application method on the top.   I repeated using lighter layers of glaze. It had a very nicely grained effect on the top. Again, not knowing this project was going to be the subject of a blog post, I went on to put a coat of ‘something else’ on the top.   Sorry, top secret and can’t share that right now. I actually liked the top better before I did that ‘one more thing,’ but that is how it rolls with me. Always taking a finished piece and doing something else to it to just ‘try and see how it goes.’ (This is the reason I rarely share pieces I have painted. They usually have R&D — aka Top Secret, yet to be released products used on them.) I finished the piece off with our brush on Satin Finish to give a nice level of protection to this table.


Tilda the Wonder Dog trying to Photobomb. Excuse the kitchen pictures, as we have some remodeling going on.

I found the tones of New Buffalo were very “driftwoody” in color. If you have a project that you want to have that beach feel, try all of the various tones of New Buffalo. Chalkhill, I took 1 part of the New Buffalo and mixed it with 6 parts of Vintage White.

New Buffalo: 4 Pittsburgh Gray: 2 Texas Tea: 1 Vermont Slate

Chalkhill: 6 parts Vintage White; 1 part New Buffalo