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Hey guys, it’s me again, just plugging away here trying to get a bunch of posts out for ya!  What have you guys been up to?  What kind of activities have you been doing to survive this cold weather, or to make it more enjoyable?  We’re taking off again this weekend!  This time to another cold place near Denver CO, just for a quick weekend visit to meet our new baby niece!  One thing you may not know about me yet is that I am the “Ultimate Baby Hog”, and I’m proud to claim this title among my family and friends!  Pretty much if there’s a baby in the room, it’s an unspoken rule that I get first dibs!  I love my baby snuggles!  So even though I’m headed to another cold state, I’m anxious to go so I can get my snuggle time in!

Today I’m so excited to talk to you about Saltwash!  I first made mention of it in my post about our travel collage wall in the entryway.  You can see that full post and tutorial here.  I want to take more time today to tell you all about Saltwash and how much fun it is to work with!  The best part is, you really can’t mess it up! 

Take a look at the saltwash powder, it’s made with real sea salt.  Isn’t it exciting already?  You’ll notice that it has a slight hue to it, but it is completely colorless when added to paint!  You can use any type of paint in any brand with this additive!  That’s pretty awesome if you ask me!  By now you know I’m kind of a paint snob and love my Behr paint from Home Depot!  So, if I had to use a specific type of paint with this additive, I’m not sure I would like it as much.  That was a huge plus for me! 

For the best results you’ll want to pour your paint in a mixing container and slowly add the saltwash into the paint in an approximate 1:1 ratio.  It’s also suggested to stir the saltwash into your desired paint mixture with every 2-4 scoops.  You’ll know you’ve achieved the right consistency when you have a thick “icing like” mixture.  Here it is on my brush, you can see how thick and globby it is. 

There’s not a lot of prep work before you begin painting.  You’ll want to lightly sand if the surface has a gloss like finish and make sure the surface is free from any dust. 

On to the fun part!  Take your brush and dip it into your paint mixture.  Then all you do is dab it onto the surface to be painted, it will look kinda glob like with tall uneven peaks.  Seriously there’s no way to mess this part up!  I honestly felt a little bit naughty like I was a kid making a mess. (Ha Ha!)  If you’re working on a small surface such as a picture frame like me, or even a small table top you’ll have plenty of time to glob the paint on the entire surface.  If you’re planning to work on a large piece of furniture you may want to work on small sections at a time so the paint won’t dry out on you too quickly.  Continue reading below to see what I mean.

Once the paint has slightly dried to a tacky or slightly wet finish take your brush and gently smooth out the tall uneven peaks on the surface of your project.  The goal here is to lightly brush the tall peaks down, yet leaving a lot of texture on the surface. 

Once you have lightly brushed over the entire surface, let the paint completely dry before moving onto the next step.

Depending on the look you’re going for, at this point you could add another layer of the same paint with the glob like texture, or even add a different color with the glob like texture.  This will add to the weathered and worn look when you’re finished with the entire project.  Or you can just stick to the one layer of the glob like texture.  This is what I did here on these frames.  Once that initial layer had completely dried, I took the final color of paint (grey) and applied it to the entire frame without any saltwash mixture.  Just plain old paint for your final layer.

Your project will look something like this once the final layer of paint has been added.  Again, you’ll want to make sure that the paint is completely dry before moving onto the final and probably most exciting step of all! 

Now for the fun part!  Time to sand all those layers of saltwash goodness!  I’d recommend an electric sander, especially if you’re working on a large project, however sanding by hand works great too, as long as you put some elbow grease into it!  (I sanded these by hand since it wasn’t a large piece of furniture.)  It’s also recommended to use 100 Grit Sandpaper for best results.  Sanding really is key to achieving this aged and weathered worn patina.  Start sanding away and all of the salty air weathered and worn finish will start to appear.  This really is the most exciting step because you can now finally see what you’ve envisioned for your piece! 

Wow what a difference!  Now it looks like this frame has been painted multiple colors through the years and has been aged and worn by the salty air.  Love it!

I also painted another frame following these same steps.  For the first glob like layer I used yellow paint, and the final layer of paint was white.

I can say that I’m pretty happy with the way they turned out, especially for my first time using saltwash.  Now I’m even more anxious to get my hands on our old upright piano and give it a makeover!  Yep that’s right!  Our piano.  We purchased it through our local classifieds, where it had been sitting in a barn for who knows how many years! Needless to say, it’s a bit rough around the edges and needs some attention.  I plan to use saltwash on this project to help bring the piano to life since it’s obviously been through a lot and seen better days!  Can’t wait to show you that tutorial when I get to it!  Make sure to come back to see the transformation!


Thanks for following along!  If you found this tutorial helpful, please share and pin. Thanks!

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