Sweet South Cottage

Category Archives: Paint Wash

Don’t Get All Washed Up When Doing a Paint Wash – Follow the Rules


Tip #3A paint wash can add beautiful, layered depth to your piece of furniture. While not difficult, they do require some practice and if you follow a few simple rules you can be very successful. Below is a picture of a dresser that I did with multiple washes. Here a few tips I have learned after doing many washes:

Chalk Paint Tip #3

  • A single person should do a wash. While it is fun to paint a piece of furniture with a friend, when it comes to washes, they should be done alone. No two people apply a wash in exactly the same way and it can dramatically affect the finished product.
  • Mix enough wash to complete your entire project. You will NEVER create the exact same wash again and you don’t want to risk running out in the middle of your project.
  • There is not a specific ratio of paint to water for creating a wash, as it is all about personal preference. It is a good idea to test the thickness of your wash on a sample board first.
  • A wash should be done all on the same day. Even a single person can have a different wash technique from one day to the next. By doing your wash on your piece of furniture or your kitchen cabinets all at once, it can help maintain consistency in your technique.
  • Even when following all these rules, you still need to apply your wash to your first drawer or door and then use that as your model as you work on the rest of your piece. Look at your first example as you do the rest of your wash. This will keep your technique consistent. Because even a single person doing a wash all on the same day can use a lighter or heavier hand as a project progresses.
  • When doing a wash on top of a piece of furniture, use a 3″ synthetic straight-edge paint brush to apply your wash. Load enough wash to do a complete drag across the top and use the same technique when wiping off your wash with a paper towel. If you stop in the middle of your top, you will see the stop/start marks on your piece.
  • In the event that you apply your wash too thickly and paper towels do not remove enough of the wash, use Clorox Wipes, to wipe back your wash. The bleach cuts a too-heavy wash beautifully. (Lysol Wipes do not work for this technique).
  • Finally, after wiping off your wash, mottle it back onto your piece to create depth and variation.

I hope these suggestions make your next project with a wash very successful! Happy Washing!

We have all Annie Sloan Products, including Chalk Paint®, in our Sweet South Cottage Shop to meet your painting needs. To find an Annie Sloan Stockist near you visit www.anniesloan.com.

Wash Collage

This beautiful piece was painted Chalk Paint® color Old White. Then a wash of Antoinette was applied to the base and a wash of Coco was applied to the drawers. Additionally, the doors behind the dresser were originally a salmon color and were given a wash of Antoinette to coordinate with the colors in our paint studio. The wash allowed us to continue see the underlying beauty of the aged wood.