Today I’m sharing my 2 favorite paint colors and techniques for creating a weathered gray finish on furniture and accessories to update items around your home. I recently used this application to update our wicker porch furniture in the Spring and it made a big difference in the overall look of the porch!
We have had a relatively lazy, laid back Summer for the most part, but we did have a wonderful (but too short!) trip to Charleston, South Carolina, in June for one of my cousin’s wedding. I have shared alot of house inspiration posts from our trip on Instagram, but I will share an actual blog post about that soon, too. What a great coastal Southern town filled with inspiration around every corner; if you haven’t visited, you MUST go!
I first discovered this paint combination for achieving a weathered look when I redecorated our youngest son’s room about 3-4 years ago ( has it been that long?! He will be a junior this year..) The mirror was a dark brown and some other elements in the space were weathered gray, so I wanted the mirror have that appearance, as well.
Another project I did recently was painting the French armchairs in the living room with a wash of this same paint combination to give them an updated finish and more of an aged look with my French Country/Southern decor.
The 2 paint colors I used for both of these projects were Brandon Beige by Benjamin Moore and Intellectual by Behr paints. There is really no “right way” or “one way” to achieve this weathered gray look! I haven’t even done the technique exactly the same twice. And that’s the beauty of painted furniture, in my opinion.
Since the mirror was dark to begin with, I used a dry brush technique with Brandon Beige (the lighter paint color) on the entire surface, then dry brushed a little of Intellectual (the darker color) and then assessed the appearance. If you’re not familiar with the dry brush technique, it’s basically putting a little paint on a brush, then dabbing most of it off before applying quick strokes to the piece you’re working on. It’s very easy and you just sort of keep going back and forth until you achieve the color you want. I wanted more of a greige-y color, so I used a tan with a dark gray paint. For the mirror, I used paint only for a layered paint look.
For the French armchairs, I wanted more of a see through appearance, so I used a color wash technique. I added both paint colors to a paint tray and a little water ( a watery consistency that you will need old cotton t-shirts on hand because it can be messy). I didn’t mix the paint colors thoroughly together, but rather swirled them to keep the colors separated slightly. The legs of the chair were a pale golden wood to begin with, so by “washing” the wood in this formulation, it instantly took on a grayed tone. I wiped it off really good after painting it in all the crevices and after it dried thoroughly, I sanded some additional paint off. It works really well to change the golden tone of wood to a grayed, aged appearance!
We painted our porch floors and front door several years ago in tones of grays, greiges, and browns and for a few years I loved our dark brown wicker furniture and the nice contrast it added with those updated paint colors. ( to see those posts, go here for the porch and deck floors post and here for the new door color information. You can also check out this post for a great product to achieve another driftwood gray look and view this post for the overall porch makeover we did a few years ago-some more changes have been made since 🙂 ) But this Summer, I wanted to update the shutter colors on our home to a dark gray brown color. I chose Urbane Bronze by Sherwin Williams and was very happy with the contrast and depth it added. I’ve told my followers this on other social media sites in the past, and still believe it to be true:
“Urbane Bronze is a moody and mysterious color that is a good choice when you want to go darker but don’t want to use black or brown. It’s more of a black| gray| brown. In our downstairs windowless powder room it reads more dark gray| charcoal| black with no signs of brown. A true chameleon of a color.” – Melanie Robinson, The Painted Chandelier blog
Changing the shutter colors to Urbane Bronze meant doing something to the dark brown wicker chairs because the undertones were different, so I grayed 7 pieces of wicker furniture in the paint colors I mentioned previously. It actually went relatively quickly ( one Saturday ) because I used the dry brush technique again on this project. (and listened to alot of music and sang and painted….)
And here is the new grayed porch furniture…..
Did you happen to notice the layered African Recycled Glass Beads on the lady head planter? I have an Etsy shop now where I sell beads and pillows called, IM Home Shop. It’s a great additional creative outlet for me, and I’ll be sharing more about that in a different post. To see my Etsy shop and items listed, click here.
I also added new porch curtains made out of 6′ x 9′ painters’ dropcloth panels from Home Depot this Summer to the porch. I love having more privacy and sun protection during the afternoon hours! Sometimes I leave them hanging freely to blow in the wind, and other times I pull them back with some rope ties we made using this Pinterest tutorial as a guide. I didn’t do a post on these curtains, but we used conduit pipe for the rods and plumbing elbows and flanges for the brackets/support. The curtains are such easy care- I washed, bleached, and dried the panels thoroughly before hanging them from clip rings on the conduit rods. Drying the panels shrunk them to an almost perfect length!
A few more photos of the end of the covered porch with the new grayed wicker….
A few cans of paint and a few hours in a day can completely update your furniture or other home decor items into a seemingly new piece and give your space an entirely new look! What do you think….Would you try it? I’d love to hear….
Have a great week!