A Painted “Sunbleached” Frame… and an Announcement

Happy Friday! I’ve been rather busy painting the attic and laundry rooms this week, but I did find just a little time for some more artistic work, and I’m excited to share it with you.

Step-by-step tutorial to paint your own "sunbleached" look!

Though I generally like a “clean” look (especially in the bathroom!), our plaster walls are not in the best shape, so I thought a picture above the towel bar would be a nice addition to my boys’ bathroom. I wanted something serene, as this is also our bath for overnight guests (and, as you know, I love to use my own black and white photography!)

Step-by-step tutorial to paint your own "sunbleached" look!

The inspiration for the frame came from the towel hooks I made for my boys which hang on the opposite wall. I used Rustoleum’s Sunbleached stain on unfinished wooden letters, and I wanted a soft gray look like that.

Create your own adorable toddler-sized towel hooks!

Thankfully, I was able to use a frame I already had sitting in the closet (yay for free!), but it was not the right color and not in great shape.

sunbleached frame before

And here’s where my big announcement comes in… Do you remember the Country Chic Paint I sampled when refinishing the side table in my kids’ playroom? I have so much more to show you about this fabulous paint…

Create your own "sunbleached" look with Country Chic Paint...

I’m honored to have been selected to be a part of the Country Chic Paint blog squad, so I can’t wait to show you more about all the amazing things you can create with chalk-style paint. Today, we’re going to start with a step-by-step tutorial for the “sunbleached” look.

Step 1: Paint your frame 
I used Pebble Beach (a color I’m slightly obsessed with… a not-too-cool, not-too-warm gray; and you know I like to paint things gray!) as my base. If you’re trying to achieve a smooth finish (which I was), you’ll do best with two light coats rather than one heavy one. Here is the frame after one coat.

Step-by-step tutorial to paint your own "sunbleached" look!

A nice thing about this paint is that it dries quickly. It only took about 1.5 minutes (seriously!) to paint one coat. I answered emails for 30 minutes and then painted the second. Super easy. I’ve also heard people express concern with chalk-style paint that it’s great for distressed pieces, but what if they want something more modern?? If you’re a person who prefers a clean, smooth finish, that can easily be achieved, too! Just do two light coats like I did here and stop there, finishing the piece with a wax or poly. See how soft and smooth it looks at this point?

Step-by-step tutorial to paint your own "sunbleached" look!

Step 2: Wax your frame
I normally would not wax a piece until I was finished, but I knew I wanted to layer the paint and I wanted to be able to play with the second layer… A good way to do that is to put a light wax coat between your layers. The chalk-style paint will still adhere to the wax, but not as firmly, allowing you to adjust it more. Plus, Country Chic Paint wax is very quick and easy to apply, especially on a frame this small. Simply brush it on and wipe off the excess with an old t-shirt.

Step 3: Apply a white wash to your frame
I used Vanilla Frosting for my wash (you can see the full line of colors here). To make a wash, simply water down paint. In this case, I was using so little that I just dipped my brush in water before I touched the paint and then blotted off the excess paint on a paper towel.

Step-by-step tutorial to paint your own "sunbleached" look!

I then lightly streaked the paint across the frame, adding a bit of waviness to mimic wood grain.

Step-by-step tutorial to paint your own "sunbleached" look!

Step 4: Wax your frame
I followed up with clear wax and even included a tiny bit of antiquing wax in places where I wanted to add a little more dimension to the sunbleached effect. I used so little that I literally applied it with my finger, rubbing it into the frame and smudging it with my old t-shirt where needed.

Step-by-step tutorial at www.maisondepax.com to paint your own "sunbleached" look!

That’s it! It doesn’t really look like sun-bleached wood (which wasn’t actually my aim, honestly), but it does have the same color palette and textured variance as the letters across the room, which is exactly what I had hoped for.

Step-by-step tutorial at www.maisondepax.com to paint your own "sunbleached" look!

And, best of all, it was a fun creative outlet done in 2 minute spurts over the course of a single nap time. Start to finish: approximately 3 hours; actual time spent working: approximately 20 minutes. I’d say that’s a pretty good return, wouldn’t you? 😉

Disclaimer: As a part of the Country Chic Paint blogger squad, I do receive compensation in the form of goods and products from Country Chic Paint, but, as always, all opinions are 100% my own!

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  1. Your frame looks great! I haven’t tried chalk paint before, but my best friend is painting her kitchen cabinetry with it this week!

    The frame compliments the photo very well, and I think it looks great in the bathroom.

    Linking from Mod Mix Monday,
    Ricki Jill

    1. Thank you so much, Ricki Jill! I’m so glad you stopped by and that you like the frame. I hope you get a chance to try chalk paint sometime soon, too; I love it! 🙂

  2. What a fabulous tutorial, Rachel! I never dreamed you could get such a good sun-bleached look through paint! Pinning and sharing!

  3. Great redo on the frame. So pretty. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  4. Love this and especially love that it can be done over naptime. Coming over from the party at TT&J.

    1. Thanks, Ashley! Nap time projects are the best, aren’t they? 🙂 I’m so glad to have you here. I hope you’ll be back!

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