Miycreations Project article and photographs
Colourwash Kitchen Chairs: Faux-Finish for a Fresh Spring Look!
“Old kitchen chairs can be given a new urban-country look with a colourwash
Hands-on time: three hours per chair.
Total time: 6 hours of drying time
Cost estimate: $18.00 (cost of chairs not included, they can vary)
Materials & tools:
Kitchens chair, slightly weathered (or use unfinished wooden chairs)
Sandpaper or a sanding block and a tack cloth
Acrylic primer paint by PBO Deco
2 Acrylic paint colours
(Cream Couleurs by PBO Deco)
Measuring spoons and water
Small pieces of wood to test the colours on
A Soft cloth
Spray or brush-on matt varnish finish
clear gloss protective finish by PBO Deco
(available at arts and crafts supply stores)
Spring Colour revival. Old kitchen chairs can become beautiful urban-country pieces,
simply by giving them a colourwash finish. It’s an effective way to give plain or
weathered chairs and various decorative items a fresh and updated look.
Colourwashing is a faux-finish technique and colourwash is a water-based paint-
similar to stain - that is translucent overcoat effect, called a glaze. The technique has
been primarily used for walls and floors, but Faux-finishes, paints and glazes are now
a popular choice to revamp furniture of many styles. A glaze colourwash finish
allows the base color of these kitchen chairs and the natural
wood grain of the seat area to be to be seen.
Lightly sand the surface finish on the chairs to achieve a smooth
finish. Wipe the surface off with a tack cloth. The chairs do not need to be stripped for
this project (optional depending of the state the chairs are in or how many coats they
already have on).
The base coat will only be applied to the backrest and the legs of
the chairs; the seats will remain natural. Apply painter’s tape on
the seat around the spokes of the back rest to avoid getting paint
on the seat area.
Paint the two chairs with the same base coat colour, including the underside, and let
them dry for two hours.
(I used a corn straw colour over previously blue painted chairs).
Paint two to three small pieces of wood with the same base colour and allow them to
Apply the glaze to create the colourwash look to the chair legs with an 2.5 centimetre
stiff brush or a stencil type of brush using long, even downward strokes and side
strokes for the horizontal bars. You can use a clean, dry brush to go over the just-
applied colourwash to add more streaks again. Working in the same direction with
long, even strokes. Keep a clean cloth nearby and wipe the brush occasionally to
avoid any paint buildup and blotting.
Repeat the same steps to colourwash the top part of the chairs. Remove the painter’s
tape from the seat of the chairs. Apply the colourwash to the seat area and allow the
colour to set for a few seconds then wipe some off with a clean cloth. Repeat the same
steps for each chair. Allow the chairs to dry for two hours.
Apply two to tree coats of water based varnish topcoat, letting it dry between each
coat. Let the chairs set overnight to 48 hours before regular use. I applied three coats
of varnish because these chairs are in a busy traffic area of the kitchen and I have a
young son who still spills things. Your whole family will love the colourful and stunning
Variations: For a teenage girl’s bedroom, a chair with a pink base coat will look hot
with a purple colourwash tint; for a chic style, try painting a black chair with a silver
colourwash topcoat; for a tropical look try a turquoise colourwash on a chair that has
been painted a bright orange.
For even more amazing results try to colourwash unfinished wood items such as
picture frames, baskets and boxes. Even with two colorwash applications the wood
grain will still be visible and add a certain charm to any furniture piece.
Tips: Glaze paints can be applied with brushes, sponges, stippling brushes and can
even be used for making splatter patterns on walls or furniture. Several colors can be
applied over each other creating a colour layering effect. Antique finishes can be
applied over the colorwash finish prior to applying the varnish top coat.
|Miy Spring Colour Revival
C r e a t i o n s & I n s p i r a t i o n s
"f o r t h e p u r e j o y o f m a k i n g t h i n g s"
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~ by MaddyLane Designs ~ Madeleine Langlois