A question I regularly get asked is how to achieve a weathered wash look with paint. I have painted several pieces of furniture with this look and have two different methods to share. Both give very similar results so I suggest you try both and work out which way suits you best.
The first method is the Annie Sloan method in her book Colour Recipes for Painted Furniture that I used on the above french chest of drawers. I think this is a slightly more complicated method (But still only a few steps) but the result is more dramatic.
To do this I painted the drawers with two solid coats of ASCP French Linen. (you possibly could just do one coat but I always like full opacity). Once the paint was fully dry, I then prepared the white paint for the wash layer. Annie suggests you mix equal parts of grey and white and then water down with water until the paint flows freely and is a little translucent. However, for these drawers I just just ASCP Pure White watered down for a slightly different look.
Working in small areas apply ASCP Clear wax and wipe it down but don't fully work it in. Then while the wax is still wet, so pretty much immediately, brush on the watered down paint with long even strokes and in the direction of the wood grain and your base coat. Have some clean clothes handy to wipe off the paint to give the effect you desire. The more you wipe off the more subtle the look will be. The clear wax will allow you to manipulate the paint relatively easily. Before the paint is completely dry apply another layer of clear wax to create a washed, dragged look. For more detailed description of this method, get a hold of Annie's book as she has a great tutorial on it.
Then last week I had a very similar chest of drawers to paint and I decided to try a different method. Instead of the clear wax and watered down paint, I used liming wax instead. It gave a very similar look. On my drawers I used the effect much more subtly but you could get the exact same effect if that is what you wanted. it will all depend on how much liming wax and how you apply it.
For the drawers above I gave them two to three coats of ASCP French Linen and then sanded the smooth and applied Porters Paint Liming Wax ( but you could use any white wax such as Miss Mustard Seed's etc). For these drawers I didn't want such a weathered look so I rubbed the liming wax in a lot and made it less streaky but you can get the exact same look as the Annie Sloan method above.
The more weathered drawers above were sold to a customer in the country a while ago and she mentioned she was looking for a second set. A few weeks ago I found another matching set that Karen decided to paint herself due to my time constraints and busy paint schedule. I gave Karen a little lesson and demonstration and she used the liming wax method on the second set of drawers that now sit side by side the drawers above and you can't tell the difference.
Karen did a great job and now has two matching sets of huge french drawers for her children's bedroom. Love them side by side.
I hope that helps. My best advice is to practice on scraps of wood until you get the look you want.