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Layering Chalk Paint® On Furniture


Layering Chalk Paint® is a fun and easy way to give your furniture pieces some added depth, dimension and interest. Using these simple layering paint techniques, you'll learn how to blend multiple paint colors together to 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 of Chalk Paint® is really simple and easy to do



With a little bit of practice, even a beginner can do it! There are a lot of different ways to achieve a layered Chalk Paint® look. Today, I'm going to explain one of my favorite methods, called Dry Brushing.
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Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links to products I love and use every day. This means that I receive a small commission for purchases that are made through these links. Please read our full disclosure for more info.



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 just a few minor scratches here and there, Ms. Emory was a great candidate for layering Chalk Paint®!



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Chalk Paint® Dry Brushing Painting Supplies:


Chalk Style Paint (I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® in Provence & Aubusson Blue)
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 naturally distressed look without ever having to pick up a piece of sandpaper


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.





Step 2: Start With Your Darkest Chalk Paint® Color


I like to start with my darkest paint color shade when I'm layering paint. Aubusson Blue Chalk Paint® is the darkest shade I'm working with so it's first in the lineup. 


I lightly dip my paintbrush 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 brush 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 paintbrush in different places within the area that I'm working, then I brush out from the first few strokes. This helps you get color 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 bed makeover, I concentrate the darkest 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 1st step is NOT to have full coverage. Once I finish applying my darkest color, I wrapped my paintbrush in saran wrap to keep the brush moist because I'll come back to this paint brush in a bit. 


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Step 3: Apply Your Second Chalk Paint® Color Layer


I grab a second paintbrush 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?



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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.



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Step 4: Dry Brush Paint To Add Extra Highlights


Once I have the coverage I want with the Provence (lighter color), I unwrap my original paintbrush from the saran wrap and just barely dip it into the Aubusson Blue paint (darkest color).


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.

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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





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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. ;)





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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 furniture piece like a nightstand where cups may land, my favorite top coats to use are General Finishes High Performance in FlatPolyvine Wax Finish, Polyvine Hard Wearing Varnish


If you're drawn to turquoise hues, you'll enjoy our Turquoise Chalk Painted Media Console Project 



Would you like to see more examples of layered painting? You'll find LOTS more blending and layering paint techniques HERE!


Check out our Hamilton Mirror project and our Kevin Mirrors to see more painted pieces and more projects using paint layering techniques



If you found this tutorial helpful, save it for later so you'll always be able to access it! You can PIN it here! 


Have a great rest of the week, friends!
Carrie || Thirty Eighth Street



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12 comments

  1. I'm crazy over the color. The bed was nice before but now it says WOW! Well done :)
    Hugs -Jenny

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You made my day! Thanks, Jenny. I'm glad you liked it! :)

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  2. So so pretty! Can't wait to check out more of your furniture makeovers!

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  3. So beautiful!! I'm just learning to paint with chalk paint. Did you let the first coat dry before using the other colour and when did you put the clear wax on it?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jackie! I think you'll really enjoy working with chalk paint! Yes, I let all of my layers dry before applying any new layers and the wax! Chalk paint dries quickly though, so you don't have to wait too long!

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  4. Love the bed! I have chalk painted a couple of pieces of old mahogany furniture and have this recurring problem. The red color in the mahogany bleeds through. What can I do to
    prevent this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bleed through from mahogany furniture is such a common problem! You can use a sealer to prevent the tannin or stain from penetrating through. I like to use a shellac or shellac based primer to fight the bleed through. Hope that helps!

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  5. I am really exasperated. Just came across your blog and knew right away I was going to love it. Problem is i start reading but ain't see any pictures. Then I read the comments and it skips to a different project. What am I doing wrong? Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Joette! I'm sorry you're having trouble navigating our blog. I was just on our Layering Chalk Paint article and could see all of the pictures just fine. Are you trying to view it on your computer or mobile device?

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  6. Replies
    1. It depends. If I run my hand over the surface and I can feel a little grit, I'll give a light sanding with very fine sand paper. If it feels pretty smooth, then I don't. I like to add a tiny bit of water to my paint on the very last coat which helps prevent the gritty feeling most of the time!

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