Inspiration, Projects, Tutorials

Using Paint Wash to Soften Red Tones in Wood

Transform your furniture with a paint wash using MudPaint

Pieces of furniture that have dark red undertones can be changed for a completely different look by using a paint wash in our color Driftwood or Sand.  Both Driftwood and Sand are a warmer shade and when mixed with water to make a wash, they can transform dark, red wood into a lighter, fresher piece.

Paint wash on accent table done in Driftwood from MudPaint.

Driftwood paint wash on side table.

This two-drawer side table with drop-down leaves, is an old piece that needed some TLC.  After sanding it down entirely to ensure that the surface was smooth, we wiped it well with a damp cloth to completely remove any sanding dust and debris.  For this table, we opted to use Driftwood which is a beautiful greige color.  But, instead of painting straight onto the wood, we wanted to use a paint wash technique.  Using a paint wash on furniture gives it a different look that just painting directly on to the piece.


Driftwood paint wash in Driftwood from MudPaint.

A paint wash in Driftwood can mute red tones in wood.

To make a paint wash, put some paint into a dish and slowly add water to it.  Add a little bit of water at a time until you get the desired consistency.  Essentially the goal is to have a thinner consistency than the thicker paint – more like water, than paint! To apply the paint wash, use a brush and work in smaller sections.  Apply the paint to a section, and then wait 1-2 minutes before wiping off any excess paint with a rag or paper towel.  There is no precise formula for this; and by working in smaller sections on your piece you can better control the look that you’re going for. 

Driftwood paint wash on accent table.

A fresh look for this side table that went from a heavy, dark red wood to a more beachy, light look!

Once you are finished with the piece, we suggest using our Matte Finish Clear Coat to seal it.  Our Matte Finish Clear Coat is easy to use and can be applied with a brush or sponge. We love how the table looks now with the paint wash – no more red undertones and it still has a breezy, beachy vibe!


About Kara

MudPaint Clay Furniture Paint is eco-friendly, LEED-compliant and it's unique, clay-based formula with natural earthen materials requires little prep work and no waxing for a smooth coat.

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