How to Apply Color Wash on Furniture

Nov 19, 2020 | 0 comments

Do you recognize that piece of furniture? It has been part of my home for the past three years! It was one of the very first pieces I painted on a Friday Night Live with Quitta! Some of you who have been following me for that long may remember the episode as “The One With the Power Washer” because Quitta sprayed it from across the room! This was a fun way to show how to apply a color wash on furniture. 

In our old house, this piece sat in the living room next to the sofa. But, ever since we moved into our new house a year ago, this piece has lived in a hallway that leads to our bedroom. Unfortunately, that hallway is pretty dark most of the time and I’ve spent the past few weeks telling Matt that I’m going to paint it. Of course, I didn’t want to totally cover it up! I really love the piece and the colors, but I did want to give the piece a lighter look to help lighten the overall tone of the hallway.

The original color recipe included the following DIY Paints:

  • Carnival Red
  • Summer Crush
  • Bohemian Blue
  • Mermaid Tail
  • Kissing Booth

Now, because it was a piece that I finished a few years ago, the paint has been sitting under wax for quite some time. Instead of removing the wax, which would cause water to reactivate the paint underneath, I chose to rough the wax up a bit with some sandpaper and then sprayed water over the entire thing.

Pro-Tip: Two must-have colors for highlights are Queen Bee and Mint Chip! They might not seem like they go together but they do and they also make things POP!

I used Queen Bee (yellow) and Mint Chip (mint green) to paint highlights over the very wet surface using the Dusty brush from Paint Pixie, one of my favorites. I love the texture that the natural bristles give to the color wash.

You get one guess about what I did next…

Yep, added MORE WATER! The key to a color wash is to make sure you have enough water to thoroughly and evenly dilute and distribute the coat of paint. 

Pro-Tip: Need a surefire way to ensure the perfect wash every time? When you’re down to the last little bit of paint in your chalk paint cans just add water, shake it up, and save it for next time. 

I use a color wash on nearly every piece I paint! It is the simplest, most beautiful way to add dimension, depth, and texture to your piece. 

While I worked on this piece I asked the viewers what they would like to see. While some suggested abstract designs, an overwhelming majority suggested flowers! In all honesty, I wasn’t totally sure if that’s where I wanted to take the piece because I was already so in love with where it was at. 

Want to see me demonstrate my color wash techniques? Watch the video on Facebook or YouTube!

Color Wash on Furniture by Dionne Woods

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