Thursday, September 3, 2015

How to achieve a painted washed effect on your furniture

Sabine recently asked me paint some of her furniture. One of the pieces was this pine sideboard.  She wanted a duck egg blue and a washed effect. I thought it was a great example to share with you step by step on how to achieve this look.

The sideboard's original varnish had turned quite orange. This is very common and is due to the alkyds in the oil based vanish. Over time the alkyds will yellow, turning the pine orange. One of the reasons I never use oil paints.  You can slow down this process by ensure the paint is exposed to natural sunlight but so often in our houses that just isn't possible. Anyway there is nothing better than a makeover that gets rid of ugly orange pine :)

I sanded the sideboard gently to reduce the gloss surface and create a key for the paint to adhere to. I did some minor repairs to the sideboard including filling a dent in the top with timber putty and gluing in a drawer support. Wipe down your piece with a semi damp cloth, let the piece dry and get ready to paint.  I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for this piece so skipped the primer for this piece.

To create the bluish duck egg that Sabine desired, I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Duck Egg as my base. ASCP Duck Egg is actually quite green so I added Pure White, lots of Greek Blue and a little bit of Louis Blue to create the end colour. It's very lovely and soft. Below is a photo of the first coat drying - you can see what great coverage this colour has.

And then the second coat drying.

After you have your base coat down, now comes the fun part. Adding the wash!  To me this is the creative part of painting furniture - what will set the pieces apart.  To do this wash, I mixed white paint and water so the paint is a little translucent and easy to spread. I then waxed my piece in sections and while the wax was still wet, I apply the wash and wipe it off immediately. I then distressed the piece and sand smooth. It's a beautiful soft look. You could also using liming wax. 

Sabine was thrilled with her sideboard and other furniture. Such beautiful feedback on these pieces that really made me happy.

What do you think? 
Do you like this big blue sideboard?
I'm finishing off two other pieces today and will be listing them for sale tonight. 
Have a great day - beautiful sunshine here. A great day to paint.

Fiona xx


  1. it looks gorgeous! love the blue and thanks for the tips!

    1. Hi Cassie – I’m sure there are no tips I can give you!! Have a lovely weekend
      Fiona xx

  2. I adore this, and I find your tutorials to be really informative. Pinning for future use! Thanks from the USA.

  3. I love it, and then some !.......... this is probably my favourite paint effect especially as I live by the sea and favour a coastal style.
    Many thanks.
    Maria x

  4. I'm not a huge blue fan, but it is my favourite accent!

    I have played with washes before - I love the look - but have never seen a tutorial using a coat of wax below the wash! On reflection, this makes sense, because you are creating even more depth between the painted layers. Would you share just a few words on your perception of this bit of your technique? I am planning a dark wash of graphite over Emperor's Silk (an upcycled clock cabinet), and wondered about incorporating this "just in time" bit of information!


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