How to Blackwash Wood

You can give a dated look to wood by adding a color wash.
You can give a dated look to wood by adding a color wash. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Adding a wash to cabinets, tables and other wooden furniture can create a faux finish and add interest to the piece. A wash is a change in the tone of the underlying color by thinning the color. Depending on your decor, you can add a whitewash (the most popular), grey, red or blackwash to unfinished or finished wood. You can make a wash for wooden furniture with stain, glaze and even latex paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Practice piece of wood
  • Old cloth or newspaper
  • Black latex paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • #280 and #100 sandpapers
  • Damp cloth
  • Spray-on lacquer clear top coat
  • Paint spray gun (optional)

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Lay sheets of newspaper or a cloth on the area where you will paint the wood.

Place the practice piece of wood on top of the cloth. It is not a good idea to start painting on your furniture until you see an example of the finished product.

Dip a paintbrush in black latex paint. Add an even coat of paint on the practice wood. Allow the paint to dry for two hours or until it is thoroughly dry.

Sand the latex paint with #280 sandpaper and remove the dust. Apply the clear top coat and allow it to dry.

Check the results of the wood. If you like the blackwash, apply the steps to the furniture.

Lightly sand away black paint with the #100 sandpaper until the wash effect suits your taste. Wipe away the dust with a damp cloth.

Apply a coat of black latex paint with a paintbrush or spray gun depending on the size of the wooden piece. Allow it to dry.

Repeat Step 3 to finish the wood. Spray on the clear top coat for a light, even look and to prevent the latex paint from dissolving with the clear coat. Allow the coat to dry and spray on a second coat.


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