Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Chalk paint white {gray} wash tutorial

I know, I know...I have been a very bad blogger lately {so sorry}.  March was a whirlwind but the good news is that it is past us and I'm back!  Thank you for being patient and loyal readers.  Several of you have messaged me and I really appreciate the encouragement {and the reassurance that someone is reading this thing}.  I know that I need to make this up to you so how does a tutorial sound?  Good? {Yep, thought so.

I recently finished two custom pieces for a sweet couple.  E & L sent over an armoire and dresser that her dad owned before he met her mom {sweet}.  While these were in excellent condition, they wanted a fresh, updated finish.  The request was a grayish white-wash finish that shows some wood grain.  {Yay!  A new challenge}.  Annie Sloan has advertised that her chalk paint can be mixed and used as a wash and I had been wanting to try it out.  I scoured the blogosphere to find the recommended mixing ratio and I found...NOTHING!  So what's a girl to do...get to mixing and see what happens.  Well, this is what happened...

ASCP Wash {French Linen/Old White}; clear and dark wax

I'm in love.  I wish these pieces weren't so {SO} heavy because I was dying to stage them in my house to really showcase the beauty of the finish.  The pictures don't do it justice but it'll have to do, I guess.  What I found was that Annie was right.  Her paint makes an excellent wash and still adheres beautifully.  Here's the before shot...


I started by mixing 1 part Old White, 1 part French Linen, 1 part water together in a container.  Mix it really well with a plastic spoon.  Then I painted the mixture on using long strokes and moving in only one direction.  I then took a dry t-shirt, wrapped it around my hand and lightly ran it over the paint.  Be careful to work in small manageable areas and use long seamless strokes.  Continue over the entire piece.  Tip: If you want more coverage, wipe using less pressure.  The wash mixture will dry much more quickly.  This is how it looked after the first step.


after step 1
Now, this was pretty but not quite gray enough so I mixed a second coat consisting of 1 part French Linen and 1 part water.  This mixture is equal parts paint and water so it will be quite thinner and runnier.  I took a clean brush and painted one quick stroke over the first coat.  Immediately follow with a dry t-shirt wrapped hand, wiping off almost all of the wet paint. 


You will think this is pointless but what it does is give the piece dimension by adding the appearance of multiple layers and shades {and not so faux-finishy looking}.  The door on the left is after step 1 while the side panel on the right is after steps 1 and 2. 


Tip:  Be sure to use a dry area of the t-shirt with each stroke.  If you use the soaked part of the shirt, it will not give you a streaky appearance which you want for this finish.  Here is what mine looked like after step 2.


Allow the piece to completely dry.  Follow with a very thin coat of paste wax and buff gently when dry.  After applying the paste wax and buffing it off, I gently sanded the entire piece using 220 and 320 grit sandpaper {remember...the higher the number the finer the grit and the smoother the finish}.  I then lightly distressed the edges using 150 grit sandpaper.

before dark wax

Remove dust by wiping over the entire piece with a clean, dry t-shirt or rag. I then applied a thin layer of clear/dark wax mix to bring out the wood tones and add more color depth, followed by a final coat of clear wax {3 wax coats in all}. You can skip the dark wax and just apply the final clear wax layer, if you prefer.


ASCP Wash {French Linen/Old White}; clear and dark wax


ASCP Wash {French Linen/Old White}; clear and dark wax; lined drawer
I always line drawers to add an unexpected, personal touch.  And there you have it...a chalk paint white {gray} wash tutorial!

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42 comments:

  1. Cynthia W4/12/2012

    Beautiful!

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    1. I total agree. So nice !

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  2. How pretty! Glad you are back. I've missed seeing what you've been up to!

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  3. Simply stunning. It's amazing the different techniques that are out there. This is really beautiful.

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  4. that looks amazing! i love this technique!

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  5. Lovely job....and what a cute blog! I love the finish and paint color choices you used! Great piece!! The drawer liners are a sweet surprise....what do you use for those?

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    1. Thank you! These drawers were lined with wrapping paper. It is basically thick printed craft paper which works really well.

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  6. I love the look you created! I cant wait to try it. Thanks for the tutorial.
    I found you over at Embracing Change and I'm your new follower!

    Stefanie
    http://myblissfulhappiness.blogspot.com/

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  7. Looks great! I was wondering what you use to line your drawers. Thanks!

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  8. Great job! I have to try out this wash technique!

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  9. I love this technique! Thanks for the tutorial! And I would also like to know what you line your drawers with. Thanks!

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  10. That is very pretty especially the lined drrawers!
    Thanks for linking up to the party this week - please come back again soon!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

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  11. Wow, this totally went from out dated and kinda ugly to absolutely fantastic! What a gorgeous piece. You really did a wonderful, very professional looking job. This looks like it would be in a high end shop! Nice!

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  12. Love the wash tut! Washing is right up there with dark wax and both scare the bajibbies outa me. Love your site...thanks for sharing. Am your newest follower!
    K

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  13. I have a bedroom set I am looking to do this to but the wood seems to have a bit of a shinny coat to it .... Do I have to sand or pre-treat the wood before I begin my project?

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    1. If you are using chalk paint then no prep is required. With that said, I always lightly sand shiny pieces...for good measure!

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  14. Claudia1/02/2013

    Your pieces look amazing.I love them.

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  15. Thank you for the tutorial. You addressed what I've been doing wrong in doing washes - long even strokes. My washes have never lloked right. Now I'm going to try again with confidence!

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  16. Anonymous3/23/2013

    The transformation was beautiful! I've been wanting to try this method myself, but haven't found the courage to try it out. Thank you

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  17. I love this. Omg I wish you lived in Houston!

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    1. Anonymous5/13/2013

      Hi Keggy 25 - I agree with your comment, but wish she lived in the UK and ran workshops, she is so good at explaining .

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  18. I have been searching the web for tutorials on finishing a piece of furniture my parents gave me after they had it in their dining room for 45 years. And it is THIS exact piece! How crazy is that? Thank you for sharing! It is awesome to see what mine might look like :)

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  19. Do you think this method would work to darken wood? I purchased a walnut finish table and would like to darken a honey colored side table so it can be used in same room with the walnut table. A wash of black, dark brown &water?

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  20. Wow! This is a beautiful piece! I love the washed look. I have a silly question. What do you line the drawers with? I have not gone that extra step yet. Also, you throw away the used t-shirt when done, right? So, a good amount of hubby's t-shirts will help it looks like. Hope to hear back.

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  21. Thank you for the tutorial. You addressed what I've been doing wrong in doing washes - long even strokes. My washes have never lloked right. Now I'm going to try again with confidence!

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  22. Thanks for sharing your first gold paint drip pumpkins Audrey Kuether! Really, I loved to read this whole review. What a great post.

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  23. Looks great! I love your paint colors.

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  24. Hi,
    I like the way it looks. I'd like such furniture at home.

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  25. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm doing some research on painting. I need to paint my old coffee table.

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  27. What a fun look! I love your paint colors. I have a question. What do you line the drawers with?

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  28. Nice share. Color combinations are great.I love reading your blog!

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  29. I was wondering what you use to line your drawers. It's very pretty.

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  30. I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article.

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  31. LOVE! What a great way to add depth and dimension to such a beautiful piece. Thank you for the tips!

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  32. Very nice! What you meam wax past? Is it the same as clear wax?

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  33. Thank you, just what I was looking for!

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  34. Love the finished look of this dresser! I don't know but there's something so nice looking at distressed or worn out looking drawers these days!

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