Apr 22, 2015

Grey Wash For Wicker

I love wicker baskets and collect them in all sizes and shapes. They're great for storage on a bookshelf, under a table, on a bath vanity, and for inside cabinets to keep things organized.  Sometimes the shiny finish or dark color isn't right for the space that I'm designing. So....I bring out the craft paint. I use a dry brush technique to apply the color I want to the surface allowing a hint of the color underneath to show through - hence the term "wash".  There's very little to prep, it's simple to do, and "mistakes" look natural. Both whitewash and graywash finishes are ideal for casual style decor and it happens that they are trending right now. So try your hand at this with a few baskets and give yourself a fresh look with a little bit of paint. If you plan to put your baskets outdoors for summer, spritz on a clear satin top coat. Here's how you do it:

What you need

Surface on which to mix and pour paint 
Chip brush

1. I like to pour paint and mix it on ceramic or glass plates. I find that I can move color around nicely, and can keep paint wet on one side and "dry brush" off on the other.   If I unload too much paint, I can go back over what I've brushed off and the plate keeps the paint wet enough to make that easy. As I'm working, I also keep a moist rag on hand to be sure that my brush stays "dry" but moisten it occasionally so paint flows from it nicely. 

2. Pour out 2-3 tablespoons at a time of acrylic craft paint - purchased at Michael's – onto a small corner of your plate. In this case it's by Folk Art and the color is medium grey. The paint dries pretty quickly so don't pour too much out. 

3. Load your brush with paint by 'painting' back-and-forth over the wet paint on your plate.

4. Unload the brush on the other side of your plate so that you have paint on the inside of your but the outside is fairly dry. 

5. I always start with the top, but if you're a little worried about technique, turn your basket over and start on the bottom.  Dry brush the paint over the surface of the wicker. I don't work the paint into all of the crevices because the idea is to obtain a wash and not a solid finish. If your initial basket is too dark or light you can change that first with a quick coat of  solid color paint, then finish your final color coat with your drybrush.  You absolutely can go over it and work paint into crevices if they are still too dark – for example the corners.