The white washing paint technique can take on a wide range different styles. Sometimes, furniture has an open grain [usually anything made with oak], and often is lightly washed in white so that it retains the original wood's character, but is toned down with white. The paint also resides in the wood grain, which creates a beautiful, rustic finish. Not everything has a wood grain, but that doesn't mean white washing isn't a viable option. White washing can be very translucent or it can go more opaque, like this dresser I finished for a client recently. This dresser was extremely dark, so going opaque was the only viable option, but I love how it turned out! One of the techniques in white washing is wiping off the paint with a rag after brushing it on. The longer you let the paint dry, the more opaque your finish will become. For this piece, I waited about 10 minutes before I wiped off the paint [Annie Sloan's Old White]. I then went over the dresser again, this time with a slightly watered down paint, and used a brush to remove the paint after 10 minutes, since I liked the look of brush strokes. I knew the client wanted the dresser on the whiter end of the spectrum, and the results were just the right balance of white washed and painted. I also went ahead and distressed the dresser to add more depth to the white. I can't manage to find the before photo I took [I'll add it in once I do] but the transformation is really something. If you've got a dresser you'd like painted or white washed like this, contact me!
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