Thursday, June 19, 2014

Layering with Chalk Paint®

Color Wash of Pure White over Color Wash of Greek Blue over French Linen.
Soft Clear Wax to finish.

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I use layering techniques quite often in my painting as I like the look of a worn patina, like the piece has been painted over the years and the paint has worn gently off. I have found that using Chalk Paint® is so much easier to use than with other paints to get this look.

There are several methods you can use, I often combine them  - there is no right or wrong way. Here are a few of my favorites:

Note: Unless I am aiming to show some of the underlying wood I usually paint a first coat solidly over the clean, dry piece and let dry. I also use Annie's paintbrushes and the Ultimate Wax brush unless stated otherwise. The right brush does make a difference!

Wet Distress: 

Add a light second coat of another color. When the paint is almost dry (I think of it as soft), I take a baby wipe or damp cloth and wipe back in places to the first coat. Keep adding colors to get the look you want.

Color Washes: 

This is a favorite in my The Basics Workshop. Apply a second coat of a color wash, wiping back immediately. I try to do this in straight lines with the grain, from one side to the other. Repeat with more colors if you want. To make a color wash, mix the paint with 1/2 to 1/3 distilled water. I find that a mix of 2/3 paint to 1/3 water works for me.

Waxed Paint Finish: 

This is a technique that Annie introduced in her book, Color Recipes for Painted Furniture, available at both shops. Wax over the first coat with Annie's Clear Soft Wax, wiping off the excess. Before the wax dries, brush a color wash over it, immediately wiping back with a soft cloth. This is one instance where a small chippy or china brush works well.

Dry Brushing: 

Dip the brush into the paint, wiping off any excess, then wipe off more on a paper plate. You want the brush to be "dry". Brush over the first coat in "sweeps". Better to do this a little at a time, it's easier to add more than take off. Again, I use a chippy brush for this.

Wet Brushing for a Mottled Effect: 

Here's a fun way to paint! Dip one side of your brush into one color and the other side into a second color, then paint. Or, using two or more brushes, dip each into a different color paint then alternate them on the piece. The paint will "mix" as you brush it on, creating even more colors.

Although the colors do not have to close in tone, I have found that this makes for a harmonious look, but by all means, if you like Antibes over Emperor's Silk, go right ahead!

With most of my projects, I like to paint a sample board or test on the side of the piece before committing to the entire piece. But sometimes you just have to trust that the piece will tell you how it wants to be painted.

The complete line of Annie's Chalk Paint®, brushes and other supplies are available at both shops.

I also teach these techniques in my two Workshops, The Basics and Beyond The Basics, so if you want to learn more, please join me in one of my next Chalk Paint® Workshops. For more information or to register online:

Happy Painting!   Rachel

Chalk Paint® and supplies are available at my two shops:
4323 Irvington Rd., Irvington, VA and 804-438-6404
2012 Staples Mill Rd.Richmond, VA 804-447-2868

To see more tips, tutorials, photos: Brocante Home Collection

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