As promised, today I am sharing a very easy and very beautiful painting effect.

The technique is called 


With very little practice you can create some stunning outcomes...

Here is a chair I am working on using the color wash technique...

A color wash should be done with one dark and one lighter paint. It leaves a striated or striped effect. It can be very subtle as in the dining room chairs I am painting...

Or bolder and more pronounced, like the buffet I recently painted...

The same two colors were used on both pieces.  

Each piece was base coated in Country Grey and washed in Pure White.  The lines are more pronounced in the buffet. It is a matter of pressure applied when removing the wash. 

Painting a piece with a color wash is a very creative and satisfying process.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in two different colors (I chose Pure White and Country Grey)
*practice boards , see the end of the post for more information
small containers to hold the wash (I use plastic cups)
cheese cloth gauze (I buy a big roll that has pull off sheets through my ASCP stockist)
bucket of water

latex free gloves

Creating a Wash
I used the same colors to paint both boards... but reversed the colors in the base coat and  in the color wash process...

One board was painted Pure White (PW) and the other Country Grey (CG).

1. Mix a small amount of PW in a cup. For every 1 part paint add 1/2 to 1 part water. Mix well. A little goes a long way.

2. When the base coat (PW) is dry, paint over the whole board with the wash (CG)

3. Use one length of cheesecloth and fold it over four times. Every time you wipe down an area on your board, use a clean side of your cheesecloth.

4. Gently swipe down the practice board in a straight line. As the cheesecloth removes some of the color wash it will make interesting lines or stripes on your board. You can go over your board if your lines are wavy. Just don't overwork it.

5. Let it dry completely

 Use the opposite colors to create a different look (see image bottom left).

Applying Dark Wax To A Wash

Apply a coat of clear wax to the board, let it dry and buff with a clean white rag.

2. To see the effects of applying dark wax, tape the middle of the board with two strips of painter's tape.

Scuff up the right side of the board with sandpaper.  Add a layer of clear wax and immediately add a heavy coat of dark wax. Rub it off with a clean white rag and buff.

To the left side of the board, add a layer of clear wax and immediately add a light coat of dark wax. Rub it off with a clean white rag and buff.

3. Remove the tape... you can see how the applications of wax will change the appearance of the wash. This will help you decide the look you desire when painting and waxing a piece of furniture.

4. Now you will have several examples of wax application for each color technique.

left, light application of dark wax; middle, only clear wax applied; right, sanded and heavy dark wax application.

As you can see a color wash can have some beautiful and interesting results! It is my favorite technique to use when painting furniture.

back of the dining room chair done in a color wash

*A note about practice boards:
I buy a long length of baseboard or crown molding and have it cut into 5" pieces where I buy it.  Then I can practice on it to see the result of the colors and effects I choose before painting on a piece of furniture.

Label the back of each practice board with the color of paint and the steps you used to create each board's effect.

To see a post on practice boards with lots of tips, click HERE.

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show up and show off your creativity... any little tidbit will do!