Color Wash

Color wash faux painting can closely imitate a weathered exterior wall. With just paint, glaze and a brush, you can create this very impressive finish.

With just a minimum need for tools and supplies this can also be very cost effective to accomplish this beautiful, weathered look.

With color washing you can choose two colors or even three.

Tip for choosing color: For the best look, just choose two or three shades of the same color. That way it looks as though an original color has simply been weathered and aged.

When choosing color you can also go two different directions. One, you can choose a light base coat and a darker wash. (That's my favorite because it mimics the weathered look the most.)

Second, you can use a darker base coat and a light wash on top. This can look beautiful as well. Especially if you're working in a room that has a tendency to be dark and needs a lighter paint job.

The best tool for this technique is simple. Just a brush. Yes, that's it. Just a brush. With just a brush, you can give it the best unique finish.

Since you will be brushing out the whole area you might want to use a larger brush. I usually use one that is three and a half inches to a four inch brush.

A four inch brush can give your hand a cramp if you're not used to it. Don't let that happen to you. That causes progress to stop and it's not good for your hands. I definitely recommend to pick a size that you think is comfortable for you.

I simply use a larger brush to cover more area, faster. But you will enjoy the whole process a lot more if you're comfortable while you're working.

Here you can see a dining room that was color washed. I started here with a light base and washed it with a white first. Then I washed it again with a darker blue.

color wash

You can see the depth of color you can get with just color washing.

One good tip is to really cover your floors and everything around. This material is mixed up thin and so it can be very messy.

Another tip is to brush out your glaze wash in a cross hatch manner. Pretend that with every stroke, you are making an "X" shape on the wall. This keeps me from painting any long horizontal or vertical brush strokes.

Something else that's always good to do is start at the top and work down the wall. The reason is the glaze will be thin and runny. So if you have drips or runs, they will be further down the wall and not in an area you've already finished.

Also try not to ever let drips or runs dry. Always try to wipe them off or brush them out.

A good tip for painting on a base that has a flat finish is you can pre-wet the walls. Because flat is so porous, you almost have no time to work with your glaze. So what you can do is take a small spray bottle that has the ability to mist the walls. You can fill the spray bottle with water and simply mist the walls before brushing on your glaze.

Usually one of the big box stores sells a small garden spray bottle that will spray a fine mist. These are perfect for this. Just remember not to spray too much water, or your glaze will definitely run down the wall.

It may be hard to see in this photo, but in this kitchen there is a very light brown wash over the orange. It created a beautiful aged and weathered look. It was also subtle, so it wasn't too busy of a look.

color wash kitchen

One more good tip is remember to keep each glaze layer thin enough to see your base coat. That means you'll brush it out until it's nice and thin. You may still see some brush strokes, that's perfectly fine and it even adds an interesting effect. Just remember that if it's evenly applied (attempting to follow that "X" pattern) then it will look great.

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