Asked on Aug 03, 2016

What to do about white paint that is too bright?

by Susannekbullis
I painted my mcm bookcase white. Looks beautiful. The problem is I placed it next to my white painted buffet and now the buffet looks yellowish dirty white. The shades of white are so different, that both look awful. What can I do to tone down the bright white bookcase without repainting it? Guess I should have checked to see if the paints were comparable before I painted? I hate "if only's".....
I built this bookcase out of 4 table leafs and the legs (reconfigured) off a mid century modern coffee table . The shelves are permanent, re-painting would be painful. How to tone down the bright white without making it look antiqued.
  9 answers
  • Patti Patti on Aug 03, 2016
    I sometimes have this problem. You can paint your buffet to match. I prefer using clear wax and watered down brown wax over that , rubbed on and off. The brown wax deposits really quickly,so just use a drop, or the furniture will look dirty, yet again. Hope that you like the results
    • See 2 previous
    • Patti Patti on Aug 03, 2016
      Sorry that I was unclear. At any craft store you can purchase wax (which is alongside the chalk paint and made by the same manufacturers, I.e. Martha Stewart and others). I first put on the clear wax. While it is still damp, put a few drops of the brown in with clear wax and brush on, then wipe off until you've achieved the look that you want. You will be using very little wax, it is not applied as heavily as paint. Good luck!
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Aug 03, 2016
    Have a "smoker's party" and have everyone to light up ! ;)~~
  • Pat Martinez Pat Martinez on Aug 03, 2016
    Try sanding the piece and then take Old English Furniture Polish and wipe the piece down. I've done this and it tones down the color. Just add and take away until you get what you need
  • Dorothy Collett Dorothy Collett on Aug 03, 2016
    Sounds like you used a cool white (bluish) and your buffet is a warm white (goldish). What do you have on hand to make your shelves the right white, you can do patch tests on the back. The surest and quickest way would be to buy the test jar of the color you want or slightly darker and repaint a thin coat or dry brush. I know you said you did not want to repaint. What ever you do the effort and time will be the same as painting if not longer and more work.
  • JUDIE JUDIE on Aug 03, 2016
  • Kate Sullivan Kate Sullivan on Aug 03, 2016
    You can buy glazes at any home improvement store, in a variety of tints. If you can't find an exact match, try mixing and matching to topcoat your bookshelf to match the buffet. 😊
  • Nnettat Nnettat on Aug 03, 2016
    ;) Just don't put them next to each other. I saw on tv where there was three shades of white in the small area. Cabinet, next to a chest, next to a different cabinet. (Cabinets came from two different places.) Painted the chest a deep color which coordinated with the walls. Caused enough separation between the cabinets to work. If you have something to put between them then no painting, glazing or anything else. Both the whites will reflect a little of the color between them so they appear to be the same hue. (Maybe a tall plant? Something full or wide enough for separation.)In time, they will become the same white depending on what you use to dust. Your buffet may have been the same white & over time... Also, what you did to the surface of the buffet before you painted and how thick of coats of paint you put on it are also factors. The old finish could be bleeding thru the paint.
    • See 1 previous
    • Mag Mag on Aug 04, 2016
      Forgot to say also. Maybe sanding and staining just the top surface of your bookcase would be enough to meld the two pieces of furniture better.
  • Gma Kirk Gma Kirk on Aug 03, 2016
    You may want to rub it down with a brown antiquing wax, or lightly wipe a stain made for any surface (not the kind made to soak into wood) like this: (Test an inconspicuous area first!) Good luck!!
    • Susannekbullis Susannekbullis on Aug 05, 2016
      Thanks so much! I will definitely try it on another piece of wood painted the same color. Great idea!
  • Elizabeth Roy Elizabeth Roy on Aug 03, 2016
    I would use a brown glaze or dry rub brown paint on with a rag. The brown will coordinate with the warm cream of the buffet.
    • Susannekbullis Susannekbullis on Aug 05, 2016
      I'll give that a try too on another piece of wood painted the same color. Thanks for you help!