Layering Chalk Paint® is a fun and easy way to give your furniture pieces some added depth, dimension and interest. Using multiple paint colors on a piece can create the illusion of a really nice patina or trick others into believing that your piece of furniture is older than it really is. Painting layers using Chalk Paint® is simple and easy!
With a little bit of practice, even a beginner can do it! There are lots of different ways to achieve a layered Chalk Paint® look. Today, I'm going to explain one of my favorite methods, called Dry Brushing.
Layering Chalk Paint® On Furniture Tutorial
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Meet Ms. Emory. This lovely full bed frame traveled all the way from Pennsylvania to Arizona. She had been well cared for and was taking up space in an unused guest bedroom. With a few scratches here and there Ms. Emory was a great candidate for Chalk Paint® layering!
Chalk Paint® Dry Brushing Painting Supplies:
- Chalk Style Paint (I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® in Provence & Aubusson Blue)
- Two Paint Brushes
- Clear Plastic Wrap
-Lint Free Cloth or an old T-shirt
Step by Step Instructions To Layer Chalk Paint®
Step 1: Decide If You Want Your Furniture To Look Distressed
Decide if you want some of the original wood finish to peak through on your piece. I personally like to leave some of the underlying wood showing. I think it gives my furniture an added layer of color plus, revealing some of the wood gives a piece a natural distressed look without ever having to pick up a piece of sand paper.
And I think it's less work!... Visit our detailed tutorial to Learn how to naturally distress your furniture with paint! :) We're going with "show the original wood" for this furniture makeover.
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Step 2: Start With Your Darkest Chalk Paint® Color
I like to start with the darker paint shade when I'm layering paint. Aubusson Blue Chalk Paint® is the darker shade so it's first in the line up. I lightly dip my paint brush into the chalk paint so that the bottom 1/2 inch of the brush is covered.
My first layer of chalk paint goes on very light. I brushed it all over the edges of the headboard working in small sections at a time. To get a variety of coverage, I place my newly wet paint brush in different places within the area that I'm working, then I brush out from the first few strokes. This helps you get variation in your piece.
I work the Aubusson Blue Chalk Paint® into all of the crevices being careful to allow some of the wood to show in places. For this piece, I concentrate the shading along the edges and lines of the piece.
Small amounts of Aubusson Blue Chalk Paint® were also painted onto the flat spaces of the headboard to give the darker blue a chance to peek through the Provence (coming next). My goal for this step isn't to have full coverage. Once I finished applying the highlighting color, I wrapped my paint brush in saran wrap to keep the brush moist. I'm going to need it in a bit.
Step 3: Apply Your Second Chalk Paint® Color Layer
I grab my second paint brush and gave the headboard a medium coat of Provence Chalk Paint® being careful not to rub my brush too heavy over the Aubusson Blue chalk paint because I want that color to show.
Can you see the contrasting colors in the below picture?
Step 3 Example: How about in this next picture? Do you see the Aubusson Blue peeking through the corners? Now, we've got a few layers going on... You can see the Provence, the Aubusson Blue and the original wood.
Step 4: Dry Brush Paint To Add Extra Highlights
Once I had the coverage I wanted with the Provence, I unwrap my original paint brush from the saran wrap and just barely dip it into the Aubusson Blue paint. Really, just barely enough to dampen the ends of the bristles.
At this point in the project, I'm looking to add a few additional highlights to the piece. So, I'm not using a lot of pressure with my brush. I'm not putting gobs of chalk paint on my brush. My goal is for light, long sweeping motions across the headboard.
Step 4 Example: If you look closely to the flat space on this footboard you can see the blue sweeping strokes. The lighter the strokes, the more blended your layering will look.
Layering Hint! When you're layering chalk paint on your next project, don't worry about being systematic. Layering paint is about making mistakes, having fun and playing around with paint. It's not supposed to be matchy-matchy. It doesn't have to be uniform.
And if you get too much chalk paint on your brush, you can always wipe the excess off or go back over and dry brush another color on top of it.
Chalk Paint® is forgiving. ;)
Step 5: Protect Your Furniture With A Top Coat
If it's a low traffic furniture piece like this headboard, I like to protect my pieces with wax. If you're working on a high traffic area like a nightstand where cups might land, my favorite top coats are General Finishes High Performance in Flat, Polyvine Wax Finish, Polyvine Hard Wearing Varnish.
If you're drawn to turquoise hues, you might enjoy our Turquoise Chalk Painted Media Console Project or our Turquoise Painted Bedroom Collection. Would you like to see more examples of layered painting? Check out our Hamilton Mirror project and our Kevin Mirrors to see more painted pieces and more projects using layering techniques.