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Tutorial: Beachy Weathered Paint

I've spent a major part of my life painting things...
it's really one of the fastest, cheapest, easiest ways to give an item new life
and the only limit to your results is your imagination!

As a kid, i was into finger painting - and then hundreds of art projects.
At one point, I was actually painting houses - inside and out.
I painted props and walls and fixtures for retail displays.
I taught an art class for gifted kids, and taught them how to cartoon and paint murals.
I was painting custom murals in homes and businesses, 
and painting furniture for my small store, farmer's markets, and clients.
In the end, I ended up creating new furniture out of old stuff, and adding paint finishes to it.

Seems I've had a paintbrush in my hand most of the time!

Recently, I laid my eyes on an old, worn out picnic bench that Mom has had for YEARS.
You might remember that bench...
She was in my Garden Bar post as a supporting player.
Nothin' much to look at, really.

But since I've amassed quite a few paint tricks over the years,
it was simply a matter of using those with a few steps, a few supplies, and a few minutes
and that bench became a STAR!
She's got a terrific weathered & worn 'beach vibe' now - ready for Summer!

Here's a quick tutorial to show you how to get great results

wood object to paint . paint color 1 . paint color 2 . sand paper . paint brushes
Step 1.
Paint a clean, dry item with paint color 1. Flat or satin finish is best.
Here, the item is an old wood bench and paint color 1 is aqua.

Step 2.
Use a piece of coarse grade sandpaper to sand the piece,
wearing away paint color 1 at the edges and along joints.
Sand in long strokes, not in circles or swirls, so it looks like authentic wear & tear.

Step 3.
The next coat of paint will be applied with a 'dry brush' technique:

Dip the tips of a paint brush in paint color 2. Here, that color is white.
Then stroke the brush against a dropcloth, rag, or cardboard box to remove most of the paint.

Step 4.
Drag the almost-dry paint brush bristles across the item, depositing a small amount of paint color 2.
Do not press hard, just drag the brush over the item's surface to highlight the texture.
Use long strokes across the length of the item - with the grain.

Step 5.
Use coarse-grade sandpaper again to rough up the edges of the item again,
wearing through the white drybrush coat into the base coat.

The effect will approximate that of being left out to weather naturally over time,
instead of looking like an overworked 'faux' finish.

It will weather more on its own if left outdoors, 
or you can add a sixth step: add a coat of clear matte-finish varnish to protect it.

This technique works very well on benches, chairs, tables, 
crates, wood planters, shutters, doors, bed frames, cabinets,
birdhouses, fences & gates, even decks!

Once painted, that overlooked little bench turned in a stunning performance 
in my Breakfast at Tiffany's post!

shared online:

One Project Closer | Creativity Unleashed

Creative Country Mom's Garden | Home Sweet Garden Party
Thank You, Brooke, for featuring my post on your blog! 


  1. That looks fantastic Deb! Great job, you know how much I love aqua!!


  2. Doggone it, I've been doing it that way but people here don't like distressed at all. They ask me why they should buy something that looks old and battered. Obviously not aware of different style and looks good now. (here is west of Grand Junction, Co, we live about 18 miles west of G.J. out in country) I need to find a better and different market for what I do, I'd like to be able to sell some items. Your tutorial is excellent and quite understandable, doable. How do I educate people here?
    Thanks for sharing your talents. Happy weekend

    1. I smile because I understand :)
      After running two businesses that involved painted furniture and hearing SO many people say what you've echoed - and let's not forget the men who grumble about painting 'perfectly good wood' (insert eye roll here) - I can tell you that you need to IGNORE THEM. Do what you do, do it better than anyone else, and enjoy yourself! Because some people will NEVER 'get it' :)