Whatever the decoration on a living room’s walls, ceiling, and floor, it is the style and coverings of the furniture within that will give the room its definitive character. Using different painting or varnishing techniques, furniture can be transformed, creating dramatic visual effects within a room.
The choice of paint effects is limitless. Finishes such as fake rust or verdigris on wood or metal can add texture and “weight,” while a simple coat of varnish or beeswax may be applied purely to bring out the natural color, grain, and character of wood. Sophisticated surface paint can transform a piece of furniture. A simple, plain table could be painted in cool gray-worthy of an eighteenth-century Swedish interior-or in faded cream, russet and gold-befitting a nineteenth-century French salon.
Colorwashing is a versatile way of putting paint onto a wood surface. On bare, untreated wood, diluted latex flat paint sinks in, lightly coloring the wood and allowing its natural qualities and grain to show through.
Light colors, especially on pale woods such as pine or light oak, can be used to give slight hints of color.
Two colors, one over the other, will give a richer finish. The wash needs to be worked into the surface and, after a few minutes, rubbed a little with a cloth. The beauty of colorwashing is that the result is immediate and the technique easy.