Chalk and Clay Paint ~ The Washed Look

Looking for something to do on a cold, snowy, wintery day? How about updating, transforming and renewing your home with paint.

We want to share with you what we know about the WASH technique. We have gathered a few examples of pieces we painted to show how a washed look can be very versatile and soft.

The key to chalk painting furniture is accepting that you really don’t know how it will look and having the confidence that it will be better painted than left alone. We believe a piece isn’t done until you have played, layered, fussed and experienced that “A-HA” moment. With all the experience under our belts, we still don’t know exactly what a piece will look like when we start the process. We may start painting with one intention/vision and end up with a completely different look once the piece is painted. The reason?! We don’t stop until we have the A-HA moment. We are patient — or at least try to be.

We use American Paint Company products and couldn’t be happier with the results, durability and the bonus of working with all natural ingredients. American Paint Company products are made in the USA.

What do you think of our “washed” looks below?




This chest of drawers (pictured above) is painted using one coat of Backyard Pond. Wedgewood is very close, if you can’t find Backyard Pond (I can’t tell the difference to be honest). FYI: All the colors are part of American Paint Company’s chalk and clay paint line.

Using a soft brush I applied the paint directly to a clean and dry surface. I used my brush strokes to soften the paint with the goal of no obvious brush strokes. Start painting a small section of your piece to get the hang of the technique. In this case, starting on the top, smaller drawers to master the technique gave me confidence to paint the larger sections on the side and the top of the dresser. I did not water the paint. Sometimes I do, but in this case the paint was super smooth right out of the can. This was my first time using Backyard Pond and I fell in love.


This is a super sleek white wash using Home Plate over Freedom Road. This happened by accident. The old saying “making lemonade out of lemons” was true on this table. My original plan for the top was a sleek dark gray (Freedom Road) and I accidentally placed my rag from distressing the white legs on the top and messed it up bad. What to do? I watered down the white and washed the top using brush strokes that were consistently going from left to right, the depth of the table. I was really happy with the results. This table has a step by step tutorial in an earlier Ivy Lane Blog. Feel free to check it out. It’s very informative, if I don’t say so myself.


This armoire is in my master bedroom and is nothing really special. A pine piece I bought at a local chain furniture store that is functional but dated and teetering on ugly. I used Limoges (a white with a tan undertone vs yellow) to wash it and now I love it! I just watered down the paint and brushed it on. Using my brush to spread the paint and using a rag to wipe back access paint. I finished this piece in 30 minutes. Fast and easy. Did you know you can go to your local hardware/lumber yard and pick up a piece of wood to practice on for pretty small dollars? I recommend you play a bit. It’s fun and you’ll get the hang of the process with a little practice.




The above three pictures are examples of a wash over a solid paint color.


The vintage dining chair was painted a solid coat of Dollar Bill and then washed with Freedom Road. What a combo! Tip: Wait for your base coat to fully dry before applying a wash. 24 hours in between is recommended for beginners.

The sweet sideboard is still one of my favorite pieces. This took time. I layered several colors washed down with water: Voyage, Smoke Signal, Freedom Road. The top was finished with a wash of Freedom Road and the base was finished with a layer of Voyage. The last layer is the most predominant color.

The wood molding has a solid base coat of Born on the 4th of July and a wash of Home Plate. This was done in one of my Paint Workshops. This is one of many techniques we practice and play with.

How you can achieve these looks?
1) Stop by Ivy Lane and we can chat paint.
2) Reach out via our website or email with your questions.
3) Sign up for one of our Paint Workshops

How can you get this paint? EASY!
1) Stop by Ivy Lane in Newburyport, MA. We have a great selection and helpful staff.
2) We sell American Paint Company products on Ivy Lane’s website and have a great track record for safety shipping paint without spills!

Questions? Stop by Ivy Lane, call or email us!

Happy Painting!!

Jen of Ivy Lane
email: [email protected]
phone: 978-462-2650


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *