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DIY: French wash panels

01 Feb 2017

Here's how to get that aged, French provincial look for walls, panels or cabinets. Project by paint effects specialist and stylist Greer Clayton. Photography by Melanie Jenkins.

You will need

Two paint colours, one light and one darker – we used Resene Double Alabaster and Resene Silver Chalice, a roller or paint brush depending on the area to be painted, Resene Paint Effects Medium, Resene Hot Weather Additive, and a piece of washed muslin, or an old softened Chux cloth.

  • Apply two base coats, using a low-sheen paint in a light colour – we used Resene Double Alabaster. 
  • Using a darker colour (we used Resene Silver Chalice), dilute the paint using Resene Paint Effects Medium, and add Resene Hot Weather Additive to slow drying. We used a ratio of 40% paint colour, 50% medium and 10% additive.
  • Working quickly, brush the darker colour over the base colour in a criss-cross pattern. 

  • Immediately wipe off with the muslin, using a soft downwards motion, to reveal some of the base coat and create a streaky look. Practice on some card to get a feel for the effect you want to create.

  • Tip: If you are doing a larger area rather than contained panels like this, have two people – one to brush and the other to wipe so that the topcoat doesn’t dry too fast.  

  • To finish: Coat with Resene Aquaclear for panels or cabinets that need extra protection from wear and tear.