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Saltwash™ creates a unique paint finish for furniture. This Saltwash paint additive can be combined with any kind of paint to create a beautiful distressed and worn paint finish. 

If you're curious how Saltwash™ works you are in for a treat! We're sharing step-by-step instructions on how to use Saltwash™ along with our favorite salt wash paint tips and tricks! 

We also have a helpful Saltwash™ video demonstration AND we're sharing our very favorite Saltwash™ projects to give you all kinds of ideas!

Coastal and beach decor using Saltwash. Beach weathered worn look created using salt wash.


Summer is here and if you're like me you'll agree that there's nothing better then spending some time at a pool, lake or beach to relax and unwind, read a book or enjoy making memories with friends and family. 

In this post we are talking about how easy it is to create DIY coastal weathered furniture and home decor using Saltwash™.  

Someday, I would love to have a lake house or beach front property. It's on my bucket list! ;) If you're looking to create DIY coastal home decor to go with yours, we can help!

Disclosure: Saltwash™ sponsored this post. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our full disclosure here.


What is salt washing you ask? In a nutshell, Saltwash™ is a simple and easy to use paint additive that helps you create a unique textured look that mimics a beachy weathered or worn look- It screams,"I've been out in the sun vibe!"

You can also use Saltwash paint additive to create the perfect texture for industrial looking furniture! 

It's the perfect paint finish for those thrift store furniture finds or pieces of furniture that are badly damaged. 

In just a few quick steps you can turn boring old furniture into one of a kind industrial or beachy looking furniture. 


Brake! To avoid confusion, I need to take a minute to clarify because I get asked this question a lot. Saltwash Paint is a term people sometimes refer to when they are talking about Saltwash™.

I just wanted to clarify that it doesn't come delivered as a premixed paint. 

Saltwash™ is a colorless powder that can be added to ANY type of paint or brand. The Saltwash™ itself is just a powder additive. 

Once you add the salt additive to your paint and stir, it thickens to the consistency of cake frosting and becomes a base coat- it's not a true paint in that sense because it's thicker then a normal paint consistency...

When you view our video demonstration further down in the post this will make more sense! 

We can roll with the term Saltwash paint. I just wanted to make sure you understood that there's a difference! ;)


We are excited to take a deep dive into each step in just a minute but here's a high over view on how to get a Saltwash paint finish.

1. Mix Saltwash™ Powder with Your Paint.

2. Apply Your Saltwash™ Paint Mixture To Your Project.

3. Let It Mostly Dry.

4. Wipe The Peaks. 

5. Add Another Layer of Saltwash™ Paint Mixture To Your Project (if you are working in high humidity areas.) Let each layer dry completely before adding another layer. If you only want one layer of texture/color, then skip step 5 and move onto step 6. 

6. Paint your project with your top paint color (without adding Saltwash™ to it.)

7. Sand Your Project.

Add Saltwash paint additive to any kind of paint. Use dab like motions to create tall peaks that will add texture and character to furniture, signs, or decor.


Your Saltwash™ powder measurements will vary slightly depending on what kind of paint you are working with. 

For most scenarios you'll use a 1:1 ratio which means you'll use 1 part Saltwash™ with 1 part paint. 

If you're working with Latex or Acrylic Paint you'll use this ratio. 

If you're working with Milk Paint or Chalk Paint you'll end up using less Saltwash.

Super Important Mixing Tip! 

Pour your paint into a mixing container first then gradually add your Saltwash powder to the container. You want the consistency to be kind of like icing. 

Mix your paint every 2-3 scoops with a stir stick or popsicle stick or plastic spoon before adding more Saltwash™ powder. 

This allows you to control how thick your mixture will be without wasting excess product. 


You apply your base coat to your project using a paint brush in a dab like motion. 

This "glob technique" creates valleys and peaks with your Saltwater™ base coat. 

There's a 75% chance that you're going to question yourself as soon you start dabbing the Saltwash™ paint mixture onto your furniture or project. 

I know because I was part of the 75% club. But trust me, this is one of those projects where it looks worse before it looks fantastic!


View my one-minute practice session on this remnant board and watch me dab away! ;) 

I chose to use white for this practice session, but again you could use any paint color you'd like for your base!


Here are my Top 3 tips for using Saltwash™! These tricks will help ensure that your project goes more smoothly!

  • Work In Small Sections: You'll want to work in small sections and allow it to dry just enough to feel "tacky".(For me that took about 10 minutes). 

  • Wipe The Peaks: Then with paint brush in hand, you'll gently wipe the peaks using light paint strokes in a back and forth motion. The goal here is to only slightly smooth out the Saltwater™ layer without removing a lot of the texture.

  • Add Your Paint: Once it has completely dried, you're ready to add your layer(s) of paint. Once you're paint is totally dry, you can lightly sand your project or furniture piece to reveal the under layer details of your Saltwash™ base. It's THAT simple!

salt wash paint is an easy to use base coat formula to give a layered and textured effect when mixed with any brand or type of paint.


You can either hand sand or use an electric sander. I prefer using an electric sander because it takes less effort- especially for larger furniture pieces. 

If you choose to hand sand, I suggest using 100 Grit Sand paper to get the perfect layered look. 


I've have my own Coastal Inspired before and after to "tide" you over! Did ya like that pun!? ;) We're calling this furniture makeover The Driftwood Dresser

It's a vintage highboy that was purchased from of Craigslist.

This highboy had a few gouges and LOTS of scratches to its wood finish. 

The bones of this piece were in great shape and the scratches made it an ideal candidate for a beachy inspired piece!

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We gave the drawer fronts some gorgeous texture by applying the Saltwash™ paint additive to some medium toned grey chalk style paint. 

Once it was dry, we added a layer of warm white paint and then gave it a light distressing. 

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This was a quick and easy furniture flip rich in texture and so fun to do!

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Are you ready to give this wash painting technique a try? It's super fun to work with! 

Where can you purchase Saltwash? Saltwash has distributors all over the United States. 

You can purchase Saltwash™ online at Amazon and have it delivered by clicking on this link: Purchase Saltwash Online HERE!

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The following salt wash tips are things I wish I would have known before trying Saltwash™. So, I'm passing my sea salt paint wisdom onto you!

Saltwash ™ Application Strategy!

Are there specific locations where you should place the Saltwash base coat on your furniture? Sort of. 

I say that not to stress you out or to have you overthink during the Saltwash application process but there is a little bit of strategy to consider when you want an authentic worn look to your furniture. 

Before you mix the Saltwash additive with your paint, take a hard look at your furniture piece. 

Ask yourself where this piece of furniture would naturally get worn over time. Those are the areas where I might add a little bit more Saltwash mixture to the piece. 

Sanding Is The Key To Saltwash Victory! 

What does this mean? The sanding step is an important one so give a little bit of extra attention with the sander and where you sand. 

As you sand, all of your delicious paint color layers are uncovered. This is the step when it truly comes together to deliver that naturally worn weathered look. So, until this step happens, don't judge your project!

How many layers of Saltwash™ should I do?

Honestly, that's entirely up to you! If you want a few different paint colors to peek through you'll do 1 coat for each color. 

If you're working in a wetter climate apply Saltwash™ in a thin layer to your surface. You'll need to plan to do 2 coats (no matter what color scheme you're going for). I suggest 2 lighter coats over 1 heavier one in higher humidity areas because it just takes longer to dry in those conditions. 

You can't mess up Saltwash™. Can I just bold and underline that statement right there. 

The most important thing to remember is to just have fun with it! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I'll help you through it. 


Continue to ask your Saltwash™ questions, they are good ones! I'll place my answers here for all to see. 

Q: Will Saltwash™ stick to any surface?

A: Saltwash adheres to any paintable surface. If you can paint wood, laminate, glass, fabric, plastic and tin, then you can use Saltwash™.

Q: Is Saltwash™ paint additive safe to use indoors?

A:  Yes! The Saltwash™ additive is a no voc product. Saltwash advises wearing proper respiratory and eye protection when mixing and sanding. 

Q: What sizes does Saltwash™ come in?

A: The Saltwash powder comes in a few different sizes.
 4oz., 10oz., and a 42 oz. can and a few gallon buckets for large size DIY projects. 

Q: How much does the Saltwash™ cover?

A: Another great question! According to Saltwash's website:

The 42 oz. can covers approximately 65-75 square feet. 

The 10 oz. can is enough to cover approximately 15-20 square feet.

The 4 oz. size makes the perfect sample size and will cover 3-5 square feet. 


Browse these beautiful saltwash projects and ideas for more creative ways on how to use this Saltwash powder:

Saltwash Hand Painted Table by Wild Sparrow Designs

DIY Farmhouse Style Bench by Southern Revivals

Saltwash Furniture Makeover by 2 Bees In A Pod

Textured Home Decor by We Lived Happily Ever After

Leave a comment below and let me know what YOU would like to create with Saltwash™!

"Sea" YOU later! (Sorry, I know but I couldn't resist. ;)

Carrie || Thirty Eighth Street

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  1. LMAO! You're so 'punny'! hehe he ;)
    Awesome piece tooooo

  2. It's a beauituful piece and I love the color you picked out. Lovely

  3. So gorgeous! Thanks so much for linking up with us at The DIY Collective Link Party! Please come back and party with us again next Thursday! xoxo, Cassie @ Little Red Window

  4. Your makeover turned out absolutely fabulous Carrie! Love the distressed look of it. Soo lovely! I've never heard of that product so thanks for sharing it with us at Vintage Charm.

  5. Love it! It totally transformed your piece. Thank you for linking up to Talk DIY to Me.

  6. How awesome is this painting technique?! Coastal decor is all the rage here in South Carolina and this would be a great way to update a piece of furniture!

    We loved this project so much that we have featured it at The DIY Collective this week!

    {Big hugs} and thanks for sharing!
    ~ Ashley

    1. Thanks, Ashley! It was SO much fun to play with... I'm glad you liked it! :)

  7. So beach chic! Love it and featuring this evening on The Painted Drawer Link Party! Thanks SO much for linking up!

  8. I am amazed at this beautiful update! It is such a unique piece with a great beachy feel!

  9. Great update with beautiful colors!

  10. The grey is a great look! The next thing I'm anxious to do is some really rough wood.

  11. Love this technique with the soft grey Carrie, wonderful piece!

    1. Thank you, Brenda! Saltwash was such a fun product to play with. :)

  12. Do you recommend darker colors on too or lighter?

    1. Hi Cheryl! I think Saltwash works with either dark light paint colors! If you have a contrasting colors (base and the top paint coat) your texture will be more noticeable. If you choose two paint colors that are really similar the texture will be subtle. You can see this chalk paint furniture before and after using saltwash and chalk paint in pink, grey and white here: