Layered Saltwash Finish Tutorial

It is a breeze to create a cool coastal weathered finish using SALTWASH!  Saltwash™ powdered paint additive can be mixed into most liquid paints to achieve a textured effect on surfaces for a gritty time-worn feel.  This post shows you the step-by-step process for achieving a layered look using SALTWASH.

Saltwash Finish Collage

First things first–find something to paint!  The perfect nautical-inspired wood surface for my project is reclaimed wood pallet art.  These are created by Rhode Island Artisan Guy Lemione and are available for purchase at Sea Rose Cottage along with many  of his other designs.

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Decide on what type of liquid paint you want to mix with the SALTWASH powder.  Many types of pre-mixed liquid paint can be used to mix with the product.  Leftover latex paint works well mixed with SALTWASH.  However, if you use a glossy paint, your finish will have some sheen.

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I like using Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan for its matte quality and ease of use in application and sanding. It is also quick drying which saves time.  I also like Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint for colorful top coat options but would avoid mixing it in the basecoat with Saltwash.  The watery consistency of traditional milk paint doesn’t lend itself as well to this application.

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If you are doing a layered effect, it is helpful to work out a colorway for your project.  My plan is to do the first SALTWASH textured layer in a deep blue-green color and then vary the top coat.

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I worked out the top coat colors by playing with some color mixes and landed on a pattern of light blue-green, medium blue-green, white, and a grey blue-green.

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For the 2nd coat each wood board will be painted a different color to create a striped effect.

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First I mixed my SALTWASH powder into my deep blue-green paint.  The mixture should be thick like a cake icing–or maybe just a bit thicker.  Stir the mixture well to be sure the powder is incorporated.

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Using a stippling technique, apply the mixture to the surface with a paint brush making sure you allow thick, tall peaks to remain for best results.

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Don’t be stingy with the mixture, you will need to apply a generous coating across your surface area to create your desired texture.  It is not a fussy application–think about the looseness of finger painting in kindergarten or making mud pies in the backyard!  Just have fun with it–make your mark and keep loading the brush with the mixture and piling it on until the surface is covered.

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When the layer is still tacky, lightly brush down the peaks.  Resist the urge to smooth out the SALTWASH finish.  A rough texture is needed to create an authentic feel.  If you don’t achieve the desired result, don’t worry.  You can always apply a second layer of  SALTWASH texture if needed.

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To create a layered look, once the SALTWASH is dry apply a contrasting topcoat.  You can use one or more colors.  Since the texture has been established in the first layer, there is no need to mix SALTWASH in the second layer.

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After the topcoat has dried, lightly sand to reveal the SALTWASH layer beneath.  For my project I used an orbital sander with 220 grit paper to get the job done quickly.  Try starting out with light pressure on the sander so you avoid sanding completely through the SALTWASH layer.  Continue sanding until you achieve the desired effect.  I used a tack cloth to wipe off some of the sanding dust as I went so I could see the SALTWASH effect taking shape without over-doing it.

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In some cases a top coat is needed.  If you use latex paint, the second layer is self-sealing so your project is finished after sanding and cleaning off the surface with a tack cloth.

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Since I used an absorbent, matte water-based paint, I am sealing with a Hemp Oil Wood Finish. Wax or other topcoats can be used depending on your paint of choice and if the application is indoor or outdoor.

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I am so pleased with how this project came out!

Saltwash Anchor

The coastal weathered finish on this wall art would be perfect for a pool house, beach house or cottage décor and would make an ideal twin headboard.  I can’t wait to have fun with other color combinations and surfaces!

If you would like to try your hand at SALTWASH purchase here from Sea Rose Cottage.

 

 

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