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!)
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.
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.
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…
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.
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 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.
I then lightly streaked the paint across the frame, adding a bit of waviness to mimic wood grain.
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.
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.
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? 😉