OMBRE DRESSER - tips, tricks, and graduation

Have you wanted to paint an Ombre dresser?
Have you ever asked why it's called Ombre?
Ombre in French translates to *shadow or
shade* ... so that explains a little.  

I think the painted Ombre looks really good on mid-century dressers.


I had the pleasure to paint a mid-century Ombre dresser for a new member of the family.

It wasn't hard to do but I found it tricky to figure out where each color should start and stop. What I
 mean by that is what color goes on what divider, or should the drawer color go on the side panels or
 should it be white. To answer a lot of my own questions I referred to online photos of dressers
already painted in an Ombre theme. I took note of what I did and didn't like and mapped out my plan
 from there. Everyone's dresser will be different so starting with a plan will definitely help you.

To get the different shades of color I worked with ASCP Florence and Pure White.
The principle I worked with was to start at the bottom with the strongest color and work
 my way up mixing more white into the last color I used.

I did not keep any extra paint of each color but made sure I had full coverage before remixing.

first attempt
Unfortunately I didn't think my color graduation was strong enough through the middle
(see the above photo)
so I took drawer three and repainted it much darker, moved drawer four up, and the now
darker drawer three became the new bottom drawer. Did you follow that?
You can't always do this with every dresser but I was lucky and it worked for me.

Consider as long as you have a nice paint job on the dressers outer frame you can repaint
the drawers as much as you want and have fun with it, and most importantly don't be afraid.

I hope my tips can encourage you to give it a try.

and if you need some more inspiration check out the very well executed Ombre dressers

Here are some unique hardware pieces available at


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  1. Pretty! had no idea that was how to achieve that look. Way easier and less expensive than buying all the colors on a paint chip from the hardware. :)
    This turned out cute...and I'm sure will be loved and appreciated.

  2. So....I repinned most of your pins yesterday! When I first saw them appearing in Pinterest, it was the perfect inspiration for a 7 drawer chest I am going to do for a client. The timing of your Pins was perfect, so Thank You! I spent about an hour today mixing General Finished Coral Crush to get the correct gradation. And similar to you, my first go round didn't have enough differential in the colors to really stand out. It's amazing how much white you can add with impacting the color always thanks for the tips, and the Pinterest inspiration. :)

  3. Kristy, I have not tackled an ombre transition using paint, but back when I was a independant graphic designer, I hit upon this guideline: the human eye just doesn't respond strongly to an increase/decrease of l0% change in amount of colour mixed into white. I would typically estimate in 20% changes, but if more colour levels were needed (like for many drawers in a highboy), I would use a 15% amount colour change. These 'steps of gradation' will both give you a smooth gradient that is discernible, but not too abrupt. Hopefully paint will fall within these working guidlines for printer's ink!