Color Wash Tutorial

Ok before I begin you must click over here to see the before pictures of this nightstand.  It was in pretty bad shape when I found it curbside.  It officially became a member of Infarrantly Creative’s Roadkill Rescue.

Today I want to show you how to do a color wash on a project.  What I love about a color wash is that it really helps give your project a depth of color that you can’t achieve with just one coat.

First I painted my nightstand with Silver Sage (mixed into Behr Premium Plus Paint) from Restoration Hardware.


Now you don’t have to buy expensive glaze.  I just got a small bottle for like a dollar with a coupon at Joann Fabrics.


I mixed two cups of glaze into empty, clean yogurt cups (according to package directions).  One cup was mixed with the Silver Sage and the other one with black (I used Black Suede by Behr).


I first started out painting on the black glaze.


I quickly wiped it off in the direction of the wood grain with a dry paper towel.  You can see how the black glaze gets into the crevices giving it a weathered look.


After I did that to the whole piece I went back and lightened it up in places with the gray glaze.  Just a paint on, wipe off process until it looked perfectly imperfect.  I love the two toned weathered look that this process gives.


Okay now moving onto the hardware.  It is your lucky day, two tutorials in one post. 🙂

The drawer pulls were a yucky tarnished brass color to begin with.


After washing them with soap and water I used some Rub N’ Buff on them in Silver Leaf.

If you have never used Rub N’ Buff before it is a really great product to use on metals.  Because it is made with a wax the colors don’t chip like paint sometimes will. I use it on old metal hardware all the time.  I used a stiff bristle brush and painted it on.  A little goes a long way.  You will have a tiny tube for YEARS!


Let it dry and buff it with a soft cloth (aka paper towel)…


It turned it into a an aged silver tone.  The left one is before the Rub N’ Buff and the right one is after.


The aged silver goes perfectly with our new paint treatment doesn’t it!?!?



I know gray might not be your color choice but this was for my nephew’s room and it matched his TV Stand I did here.  Can you imagine using this process with two shades turquoise? Yum!

Thanks for joining me today.  Amanda is up tomorrow with another paint tutorial.  How are your projects coming along? Our first link up begins in 6 days!  Let me know if you need a painting cheerleader.  I can cheer you on until Tuesday 😉

  1. Reply
    Tonia May 19, 2010 at 6:42 am

    Fabulous job! No doubt about it.

  2. Reply
    Anita May 19, 2010 at 7:00 am

    I love it with the silver sage! And I have the same tube of rub in buff for oh, at least 6 years. Great stuff. I have been considering using it on a chandelier. I can’t decide if it’s too big for my table or not!

  3. Reply
    KelliW May 19, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Very cool! I’ve been wanting to learn how to glaze. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  4. Reply
    Our Nifty Notebook May 19, 2010 at 7:11 am

    Looks nice!

  5. Reply
    Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage May 19, 2010 at 9:01 am

    SO FAB!!!

  6. Reply
    Lesli May 19, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I never thought of glazing furniture! Gorgeous!

  7. Reply
    jenjen May 19, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Beckie —

    It looks AWESOME! I love it! The color is so great. Wow – such a fantastic project!!!


  8. Reply
    Em @ Bunch of Scrap May 21, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Turned out GREAT! I have a table that I need to do this to! Thanks for the glazing tips 😉


  9. Reply
    Funky Junk Interiors May 22, 2010 at 12:56 am

    Really pretty! The tones together marry perfectly! Rub and Buff, eh? I’ll have to pick some of that up and try it.

    Thanks for linking up to SNS!
    FJ Donna

  10. Reply
    Melinda @ One Life Many Journeys May 22, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Thanks for the lesson.I will bookmark it for future use! I love the finish and the hardware. I had forgotten about Rub’n Buff. I have been worried about paint chipping on hardware. BINGO! Gotta get me some. Thanks

  11. Reply
    Pat May 24, 2010 at 10:46 pm


    I really like the way this little table turned out. I think the rub n’buff is some kind of cool!

    I’ll have to remember that little trick.
    Thanks for the tutorial!

Leave a reply

Sign up to our newsletter!