We often talk about giving furniture an aged look with dark wax or a glaze, but did you know you can get a similar look just with paint? By layering paint colors, you can create beautiful depth and detail on your pieces.
We picked up this gorgeous cabinet at a local thrift store. The previous owner had painted it white but the paint job was old and yellowed. Here’s a pic I snapped while painting. The top drawer has a coat of Old White, and the bottom drawer is the original paint.
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We painted the outside of the cabinet with Annie Sloan chalk paint “Old White”, and the inside with Annie Sloan’s “Duck Egg Blue”. When we were finished, it still felt a bit plain, so I decided to give it an aged look using Annie Sloan’s “French Linen”.
This process is extremely simple. I usually put a little paint on a paper plate, then you’ll also need a brush, a cup of water and a damp rag. You can use a paper towel but it falls apart quickly and you’ll have to replace it often throughout the process. An old rag or washcloth is easier, and you can just rinse it out as you go.
I usually dip my brush in a bit of water, dip it in the paint, then tap the brush on the plate to unload some of the paint. (There’s no right or wrong amount of paint or water. The more water you use, the lighter the paint will end up, but if you get it too watery it’ll drip and run everywhere).
Brush the paint on, taking care to get it into the grooves and detail. Work in sections as you do this so you’re not giving the paint time to dry.
Next, take your slightly damp rag and wipe the paint off. I try to leave paint in the grooves and remove it from the raised areas.
And you’ll be left with this:
On this cabinet, I ended up doing a French Linen wash over the whole thing, including the inside sections that were painted blue. Then I concentrated on leaving more paint in the grooves and in the corners.
If you’ve never done a paint wash, it’s basically the same process as explained above, except you’re brushing on and wiping off the watered down paint over the entire piece, not just in the grooves. It leaves a hint of color over the existing paint surface, and depending on how dark you want the wash to be, you can do more than one coat.
This process really created a lot of depth and highlighted the pretty details. When I was finished, I sealed the whole piece with General Finishes Water-Based Top Coat.
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