Faux Driftwood Finish for a Weathered Wood Paint Effect with Latex Paint

Whether you want to refinish a stained table or a painted dresser, this easy driftwood stain technique will give you a driftwood finish on any surface!

Ever wonder how to get the look of driftwood on your existing furniture?  Many tutorials will show you how to get this weathered wood look on raw wood as a driftwood finish stain, but this process gives you the same look on ANY surface – even metal. 

This is a great tutorial for you if you:

  • like the look of a farmhouse finish on furniture and decor
  • need to refinish a previously stained or painted antique but don’t want to strip it
  • like the coastal look of a beachwood finish on decor
  • don’t like the smell and unpredictable nature of stain
  • want to make your own driftwood!

Do you love the weathered wood finish that you often see in Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn?  That dreamy finish is MUCH easier to replicate than you think!

faux driftwood

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☑️ MY ALL-TIME BEST FURNITURE PAINTING TIPS (FREE PRINTABLE) Want to transform a furniture piece but don’t know where to begin?  Download your FREE step-by-step printable checklist that shows you the exact process I’ve used on dozens of furniture pieces while saving you time and money! And it costs you nothing. #confetti toss  Click here to access your checklist now : FREE Must-Have Painting Checklist

Why Driftwood Finishing Techniques are Better than a Driftwood Stain

Time and time again I’ve seen the same thing happen with traditional stain.  I think it’s going to look one way and it never does.  That’s because with traditional stain, it’s impossible to know how one coat of stain is going to look on raw wood.  Depending on how wet the wood is and the type, stains just absorb differently.  That’s why I use faux stains for everything now.  Your results are predictable every single time.

Also, with a faux stain, you have the luxury of being able to refinish a stained or painted piece of furniture without the hassle and mess of stripping.  For a traditional stain you have strip the piece down to the raw wood but with this faux finish you can just prime it and add the faux finish over the old stain.

To see all my Faux Stain Shades, CLICK HERE.  One of these faux stains is Barnwood and the driftwood finish is just barnwood with one last step – a whitewash.

Faux Driftwood: DIY Tutorial

Reese Witherspoon once said, “My rule is: if it’s not moving, monogram it.”  As a Southern girl myself, I definitely love her classy taste and desire to monogram ‘all the things’.

However, my own version of her quote would have a different spin: “My rule is: if it’s not moving, paint it!”

driftwood stain

It’s true that some furniture in my house have been painted not once but twice or EVEN three different times.  I’m not much of a pack-rat but I’m very sentimental about furniture for some reason.

The cabinet that held our 20 gallon aquarium when I was a kid is not repainted and in our office.  The headboard my dad used was transformed into a set of shelves, now in my daughter’s room in a shade of soft pink.  And the desk I am sitting at is made of an old door and two short shelves that were once my grandmother’s.

So what is driftwood finish? I’m sure you have noticed the driftwood or weathered wood finish on the pages of your latest Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn catalog.  Often times their stained furniture looks like distressed beach wood and goes well with farmhouse and coastal home decor.  See my DIY farmhouse home decor here.

After some trial and error, I’ve figured out how to paint a driftwood finish on any surface, not just raw wood.  In other words, whether it’s a dark stained coffee table, a laminate desk or a painted dresser, you can get a Restoration Hardware stain – DIY version!

Also, If you read my post Why I Don’t Use Chalk Paint, I’m a big fan of using good, old latex on furniture.  You could probably get a driftwood finish with chalk paint but latex has been around for decades and I’m convinced you can get a more durable faux driftwood finish with less hassle and pay much less.


Supply List: How to Create a Faux Driftwood Finish

Satin Latex Paint in Valspar Coastal Villa at Lowe’s*

Satin Latex in Valspar Harvest Brown at Lowe’s*

Valspar Clear Mixing Glaze at Lowe’s – I’ve tried others.  Get this!

Brushesthis set is great!

Zinsser Cover Stain Primer – Click here for the current price!

Sample Container of White Latex Paint*

Baby wipes (I recommend Huggies Natural Care)

Top CoatI LOVE this stuff!      You can also click here for my favorite top coats: Best Clear Coats for Furniture.

Don’t forget to download my Best Furniture Painting Tips and Tricks Printable for FREE HERE.

*Cost-saving tip:  If you are doing a small piece of furniture or just the top of a piece, you can get the sample sizes of these colors.

driftwood stain


DIY Driftwood Tutorial

Before you get started it’s good to have a goal or look in mind.  Here is some driftwood inspiration so in case you want to refer back to it during the process.

Does your furniture piece have any damage like holes, deep scratches or chipped drawers?  Then, read this post for an easy fix:  The Ultimate Guide to Fix Furniture Damage

1. Prep Work for Your DIY Driftwood Stain

 Stop! Before you do anything…take a before pic.  When you are done, post the before and after pics here, so I can see the amazing work you’ve done! ❤️

I‘m a big proponent of sanding and priming furniture before painting because you want to make sure that your base coat sticks to the surface now and for years to come.  In my post How to Sand Furniture in Less Than 5 Minutes, I share about how to prep your furniture surface easily.

Remember you are not sanding off the old finish.  Just take a few minutes to scuff up the existing surface so it absorbs the new paint.  Then, wipe with a damp rag.

After sanding, paint over the surface with a primer like Zinsser Cover Stain.  (To save a step, you could even have your primer tinted the same color as the base coat and skip the base coat altogether.)  Let the primer dry for 24 hours.

At this point I also painted the rest of my dresser in Behr Sonata, a really nice light blue.

faux driftwood


Step 2:  Driftwood Gray Paint for a Base Coat

Perfect for a driftwood (weathered wood) finish, Valspar (at Lowe’s) carries a color called Coastal Villa that we will use as our base coat.  You can get it in the Valspar brand or Sherwin Williams brand but just make sure to get the color Coastal Villa.

Paint it over your furniture surface with a brush, not a roller.  This is the one time we actually don’t mind seeing brush strokes because they will mimic the texture of wood grain.  Be sure to brush in long strokes from one side to the other.

Step 3: Adding a Glaze Layer to Create a Wood Look

After your base coat has dried (check the re-coat time on the can), you can add your ‘wood grain color’ by mixing a 1:1 ratio of the Valspar Harvest Brown color with the clear mixing glaze.  Stir it well and then paint that mixture on your piece.

The mixing glaze helps it to stay wet longer but I wouldn’t waste a lot of time during this part.  Paint this mixture on your piece in long strokes, not picking up your brush until AFTER you have reached the edge.

For the same technique, you can see the video above where I show you how to do a stained wood look with latex paint.  The only difference with the driftwood finish is that you add the whitewash in the next step

Again, this glaze mixture will naturally have long streak marks from your brush and that gives it the look of wood grain.  Just keep making brush strokes from left to right until you get the look you want.  If it’s getting too dark.  Wipe off your brush with a paper towel between strokes.  Getting too light?  Add a little more of your paint/glaze mixture.

You can really determine how dark or light you want your finish with this process.

Just keep brushing in long strokes and you will start to see the glaze mimic the look of wood grains like in the picture below.  When you get the look you want (and it will look AMAZING!), decide you are done with this part and don’t touch it again until it’s dry.  

Let it dry at least 24 hours.  (I actually had to refinish the top of this piece because I got a little cocky and thought I could do the glaze and whitewash in one day.  When I went to do the whitewash, the glaze began to come up because it wasn’t completely dry.  I knew better and won’t make that mistake again!)

At this point, it should kind of look like this picture below and where I would stop this process if I was doing my regular faux stain.  But on to whitewashing for a driftwood look!

faux driftwood


Step 4: Dry Brush –  The Final Step for a Faux Driftwood Finish

IMPORTANT – For this step, my instructions previously said to whitewash but because the chemicals in some baby wipes vary, a few readers had trouble with the baby wipes removing some of the brown layer.  The best solution is to dry brush instead of whitewash.  Don’t worry; you will get the SAME look but with  a slightly different technique.  Here’s how to dry brush for the last step:

Now that we have the look of wood grain, we want to add that smokey finish to get the beachy, weathered look.

We are going to use the clear mixing glaze a second time.  Mix a 1:1 ratio of white paint to your clear mixing glaze and paint it all over the piece.  

Get a couple paper plates.  On one plate put about a tsp of your white paint/glaze mixture.  Add a little bit of white paint to your brush.  On the other paper plate, wipe off as much as the paint as you can.  

Now brush the paint on in long strokes in the direction of the grain.  If the streaks of paint are too white, use your finger to smudge it but be sure to go in the direction of the grain.  Keep doing this until you add enough white to get the look you want.

best furniture painting tips

Step 5: Protecting Your Faux Driftwood Paint Technique

It’s not completely necessary but I like to add a topcoat for added durability, especially if you are refinishing a piece that will get regular use.  After my post The Best Clear Coat for Furniture, I found the best options is Varathane’s Water-based Topcoat (check the current price here).  This topcoat is nice because it is water-based meaning it’s easier to clean up brushes and also has little odor.  It also will not yellow like some top coats will over time.

Just paint the top coat on and check for drips after a few minutes.  If this is a high-use furniture piece, I would do three coats of top-coat.  Fortunately, it goes on fast and dries fast.

To save time on your furniture project, be sure to check out my best painting tips.  I promise you will be happy you did.

Now that you are done, I’d love to see how it turned out! ❤️  Post your before and after photos here!

driftwood stain
driftwood stain

What’s nice about this process is that it’s so versatile as it can be used on any surface including painted furniture, stained furniture, metal etc.  I have a friend who wanted to know how to make sticks look like driftwood for a “bouquet” on her mantel.  She tried this process for sticks in her backyard and it worked!

You can also check out this post for the big reveal of this dresser.  It went from a horrific, stinky mess to one of my absolute favorite furniture pieces so far!  Here is the before picture.  Click here to see how it turned out!

driftwood stain

Be sure to save this pin so you can comment on it later with your before and after pics!  Pin it here: 

faux driftwood finish
You can also check out How To Create A Raw Wood Finish With Paint. This console table is white laminate!

 How To Faux Finish A Metal Door To Look Like Wood

Did you know you can use any faux stain on a metal or fiberglass door to make it look like its made out of real hardwood? To see how I painted my metal back door, click here: The Easy Way To Paint Any Door To Look Like Wood

How to Create a Driftwood Stain – Related Posts:

 ☑️ My All-Time Best Furniture Painting Tips & Tricks (FREE PRINTABLE)

Don’t forget to download your FREE step-by-step printable checklist that shows you the exact process I’ve used on dozens of furniture pieces while saving you time and money!

Driftwood Technique with Latex – FAQ’s:

What color is driftwood furniture?  

Driftwood can have more of a gray tone or a brown tone.  If you want to have a brown or taupe undertone, don’t use very much of the whitewash finish.  If you want a grayer tone, you can use more of the whitewash.   The nice thing about this process is that it can be easily customized and if you get to much whitewash on the surface, you can simply wipe it off.  

Can you do a driftwood finish with chalk paint?

You absolutely can do a driftwood finish with chalk paint.  I like using latex because it is much cheaper but also because the texture of latex allows the glaze to glide over it easier giving the look of wood grains underneath the white wash.  You can read more about why I don’t use chalk paint here: Why I Don’t Use Chalk Paint: A Better Alternative

How to Make Driftwood

You can use this same process to make driftwood for decor purposes.  Just find some branches that are thick and your length of choice.  Let them dry out well in your garage or a covered area.  Then, use this same finish as described above.  I would not use the glaze step on the ends, only on the areas where there would be bark.  Here are some fun ideas for driftwood crafts: 15 Driftwood Craft Ideas

Driftwood stain for raw wood:

If you are wondering how to get a driftwood stain on maple, pine or oak, you’d follow the exact same process as described.  However, I wouldn’t worry about primer with raw wood; just sand over it if you want a smooth surface.

Driftwood Finish Stain – Final Thoughts

Whether you are are refinishing a brand new piece of unfinished wood or a 50 year old stained antique, this process will never let you down.  I love that it is so easy to get a gorgeous faux driftwood stain with the same results every time.  No only is it simple, but it’s also inexpensive and can be easily customized to whatever tone or shade of driftwood stain you want.  

What are your thoughts, my friend?  Do you have a project in mind that could use a faux driftwood stain?  I would love to hear your thoughts and questions!  Scroll down to leave a comment and I WILL reply! ❤️







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  1. Hi there, what a gorgeous piece!

    When you listed SW Coastal Villa, did you mean to say that is Valspar’s Coastal Villa? (SW doesn’t list this color anywhere) – the Coastal Villa would be the underlay hue of the gray in driftwood, right?

    Also, when you describe the glaze, you left out the ratio color – is it 1 part Harvest Brown with 2 parts Clear Glaze?

    Lastly, do you feel an off-white would do as well as a bright white? (for the whitewash effect). I’m guessing a brighter white would give a piece a more fresh, crisp look?

    I ask these questions because I absolutely love the combination colors you did for the driftwood look (along with the glaze I suspect is really easy to achieve this and can be added or reduced to whatever one wants!). I’ve seen a ton of DIY ‘recipes’, but the brown, in my opinion, really brings out the driftwood (as opposed to a tan or beig-y effect). For a first-timer doing a driftwood effect for some smaller pieces in my home, this combination just….fits my style 🙂

    1. Such great questions! And yes, you are exactly right. I is actually Valspar’s color Coastal Villa that I got in a Sherwin Williams paint sample. Also, the ratio of glaze to harvest brown is 1:1. Thank you so much and yes, I think off-white would have a nice look also. Thanks for stopping by and I’d love to see pictures when you are done.

  2. Hi Karin, I love your driftwood technique but I need a lighter drifwood. Gray tones with some beige/sand and just a hint of dark browns. Any suggestions you might be able to give me would be appreciated.

    1. You can do this one of two ways Jeanne. You can add an extra layer of whitewash which is really easy to do. OR you can do a lighter, grayer base coat. Either way will work well! Best of luck and thanks for your comment.

  3. Hi. What is the blue color you used in this piece? I have a dresser and would love to replicate this.

      1. Karin, what finish is the Behr Sonata Blue? I am attempting your technique on a coffee table however want to do the base in white and curious about what type finish the paint should be. So many whites to choose from as well and open to a suggestion on that. Our house is a cottage/beach type theme and we live on the west coast of Canada near the ocean. Hardware on the table wold be in black. Thank you in advance!

  4. Thank you for this post! I just did this with an end table and I LOVE it! Your directions were so easy to follow. It’s the first piece of furniture I’ve painted so I was quite nervous. However, it ended up being much easier than I first anticipated.

      1. Hi ,
        Can I use a different color than the harvest brown? I’m trying to go for more of a dark gray color.
        Is the harvest brown a latex paint?

    1. I used satin but you could also use matte. I don’t think it matters a whole lot because the glaze is mixed in and then you also cover it with a clear coat. Thanks for stopping by Kim!

  5. I have a dining table that i refinished just recently but it doesn’t match our new chairs. The dining table is top coated with wipe on poly which gave it a brownish/Amber color. My chairs have gray weathered wood look. Do you think I could do the white paint+glaze right on top of the poly or does it need to be painted with a base color first? I also have a gray gel stain by general finishes. Do you think this technique could work with that if I add glaze to it? Your advice is appreciated:) Wish I could attach some pics.

  6. Hi Karin,
    Absolutely beautiful!! New to painting/redoing furniture and after a month or so of reading/watching your tutorials I am feeling confident to do!!
    I am not the best color picker so can you please tell me what “white” you used.
    Thank you so much;

    1. Hey Sandy, I am so glad you are getting some extra confidence. The more projects you do the easier you get, I promise! I remember my sewing machine was in a box in the top of our closet for over a year before I got up the confidence to use it. Now I realize how easy it is – I’m no expert seamstress but I know enough to hem curtains and throw pillows. ANYWAY, if you get your paint at Home Depot, I like their pure white. It is their standard white and use it for every white furniture piece so when I need to do a touch up, it’s easy to know what color to touch it up with. Hope this helps and thank you for your comment!

  7. I’m confused. You say in (step 2?) paint gray, then it goes on to describe painting white….? I’m assuming paint gray then do whitewash..? I just want to be certain I understand correctly. Thanks

    1. Yes exactly. You paint on the Coastal Villa gray color, let it dry, then do the brown glaze coat, let it dry, then do the whitewash. Let me know if you have anymore questions.

  8. Hello, I recently spilled fingernail polish remover on my wood kitchen table!! I want to get it refinished but I am really concerned that the finish won’t match! Do you think this driftwood finish would hold up to everyday use on a kitchen table and chairs? I also have 3 small kids! So they aren’t really easy on it either.
    Thanks, Tina

  9. This was my first time painting furniture and I am obsessed with the weathered driftwood look so I took the plunge… although it was intimidating at first… I got my supplies as listed (colors were PERFECT, although I initially thought they may produce a look that was darker than I was seeking), then took it step by step… I am so glad I did, it is beautiful and I cannot believe I did it!! Thanks so much

  10. I’m wanting to try this on some patio pieces. Any advice/suggestions to try and adapt this to use exterior paints?

  11. After reading this, I’m ready to try the technique on my dining chairs. However, the are mission style, and I’m really worried about doing the separate spindle like pieces that make up the back of the chair, especially where it attaches to the seat. Any pointers?

  12. You did such a beautiful job!! I want to try this so badly but I’m nervous because I’ve never painted or stained piece of furniture before. Is this beginner friendly?

    1. Hey Krystle, Thank you so much for stopping by! Yes, it is absolutely beginner friendly. There is a video in the post to help. And let me know if you have ANY questions! Let me know how it goes.

  13. New to your site and love the driftwood look! It definitely matches the coastal style I’m trying to achieve in my remodel. Would this technique work on brand new metal light fixtures that are already painted to “look like” wood but the color is too light and I want to darken it up a bit? Would I still start with the “sand and prime” step since they are new fixtures and the paint on the metal already has a wood-grain appearance?

    1. I think it would definitely work Kari. Instead of priming with the primer I recommend in this post, I would use a spray-on primer. Rustoleum spray paints are great. That would save you some time and the paint will adhere better. Let me know if you have any other questions and I can’t wait to see how they turned out!

  14. Hi Karin. I love your driftwood dresser. I need to refinish an entire dark cherry stained bedroom set and I’m considering the faux driftwood. Is there a reason you only applied the faux finish to the top of the dresser? My set includes a queen headboard/footboard, chest, dresser, armoire and 2 nightstands. I’ve been looking for months trying to find a look I like. Would the faux driftwood be too much if I did it on all surfaces on all of the pieces? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  15. in step 3 are you using the shiny clear mixing glaze that is usually used as a topcoat? Then mix with paint in a 1:1 ratio.

    1. Hi Ilene, The mixing glaze is different than the top coat. It is specifically for making paints thinner and also more workable. I mix it 1:1 with the paint and then do the separate top coat on top when it is all dry. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

  16. Karin,
    I am wanting to use this technique on floating shelves
    I made. In the FAQ, you said that this can be done one new wood and that the primer step could be skipped. These shelves are pine and I am concerned that without a primer the wood will really soak up the paint and that the paint won’t adhere to the wood.
    I look forward to your reply.
    Thanks for such a great color and easy to follow tutorial.

    1. Great question. You can skip the primer step although it wouldn’t hurt anything. But I think for pine it is an unnessesary step since the base coat will adhere to the bare wood. Thanks Jocee!

  17. I’m thinking of painting my bedroom furniture this same color and doing the driftwood top. What color comforter/duvet color would you use with it? I was thinking blue but I’m not sure if it would be too much. What’s your opinion?

  18. I am going to repaint my bathroom cabinet. Currently the top is a laminate and I love the idea of painting it because I do not want the hassle of removing double sinks and replacing it, but there will be water present. Do you have a recommendation for how to proceed?

    1. Definitely use a top coat and do several layers. My favorite is Varathane’s Waterbased BUT since you are going to be using this on a counter with lots of contact with water go to a site called Crystalac. I believe they have an oil-based clear coat that is great for restaurant tables which are constantly being wiped. If you ask them, they will respond quickly and steer you in the right direction. So, use the the process I detail in this post and then just add what they recommend and ask how many coats. I’m sorry I’m not more help but they are more knowledgable than I am. Thanks Lorena!

  19. Hi! This is my very first time at a painting project. I’m going to attempt to pain my fireplace in driftwood finish. Love all you easy but detailed instructions. Just one questions – for a surround wooden fire place piece, do my strokes go down on the sides (because that the long side) and across (because that’s is the long side) on the top of the attached mantle or do I do the whole piece in strokes that go from side to side?

    1. So glad you are going to be able to use this finish for your fireplace. I would go in whatever direction the wood grain goes. If you don’t like it when you first brush it on you can always rebrush, changing directions. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  20. Hi! I love this project. I am going to try this technique on an old hutch I have in my kitchen. I cannot find the harvest brown paint color, could it have been discontinued, and if so, have you tried with another color? Also, before you painted the the blue, did you sand and prime, and is that a latex paint? Thanks

    1. Any dark brown will work. And yes, before I painted the blue I sanded and primed. That color is Behr Sonata. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  21. I want to do a dresser with 4 drawers , but I want to do the whole piece not just the top, should it all come out about the same? Have you ever used this technique on a whole piece or only the top? Also if I get the nerve to do this, I would like to add a transfer *for wood* on the front, would putting this transfer on ruin the paint job? I guess I would do the transfer right before the sealer. Your opinion would be appreciated.

    1. Just to be on the safe side, I would do the clear coat, then do the transfer and one last layer of clear coat. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  22. I’m trying to get this look on a coffee table I am refinishing. I’m wanting to do a two tone, different color for top and bottom. The top has already been stained with Bombay mahogany. How can I get this look on the top of table without stripping the stain? Thank you!

    1. It’s funny you say that but I’m actually working on a post now for some different shades of faux stain. It will be out in a couple weeks. How soon are you wanting to redo your coffee table?

      1. Well it’s been an ongoing process for about 2 months now. I’d love to finish it soon but I’m being patient because I want it to look right. I’m just curious if I can use some technique to paint over the stain the make it look like your weathered piece. I have a goal picture in mind if I could send to you.

        1. You can add a little gray paint into the whitewash. That will make it overall a little grayer. You can practice on a piece of cardboard to make sure you are getting the look you want.

  23. Hi Karen! I love your driftwood finish! Your furniture is gorgeous. I’ve followed your directions exactly – using the same brands and colors you recommend, letting each coat dry 48 hrs before the next step. I’m having a problem getting the paint to stick. Twice now when I get to the last step (the white glaze mix), wiping with a baby wipe causes alllll the layers to peel off – all that’s left is the primer! I am not wiping very hard so I’m not sure why the paint won’t stick. Any ideas? Help!

    Thanks – Tiffany

    1. I’m so very sorry Tiffany. I know that must be super frustrating. What primer did you use? You might try the Zinsser Cover Stain and sand a little before applying it. I wish I could come help you!!!

    1. Find some clear furniture glaze. The problem with some is that they are too thick so add some water in it if the consistency is thicker than say paint. You want the glaze/paint mixture to be a little watery. I hope this helps. Thanks Keely!

  24. I’m using your technique to do a redo a bed frame. On the base coat in Coastal Villa, do you do a couple of coats of paint to completely cover or is that not necessary since we’ll be adding two more coats in other colors?

  25. Exactly the information I needed for my sofa table! Thanks! Quick question, I have a friend who has a latex allergy that does frequent my home. Would the clear coat be enough to seal it from activating her allergy or in this case opt for the chalk paint? Thanks!

    1. Yes, it should be enough to seal in the latex and encapsulate it. Also, I’m not sure if the latex in the paint is the same kind that people are allergic to. But if it is, the sealant should encapsulate it.

  26. I’m really excited to give this a try on my living room log furniture set that has a lot of damage from kids and basset hound claws, I thought I’d have to strip it all down and restain. I wasn’t crazy about its honey color though, driftwood is more inline with my decorating taste (and maybe some of the damage would give it more driftwood character). So thanks for breaking this down to not be so scary looking! Just to be sure, as I read this elsewhere, if you sand it like you have here then you don’t need to do any chemical removing of varnish right?

    1. That’s exactly right. If you sand it enough to rough up the surface and use a primer, you don’t have to use a chemical stripper. Thanks for your comment!

  27. Hi Karin – I appreciate your clear, concise tutorials. I find your site enjoyable & very useful . I checked & double-checked for a link to the hardware you used on the small drawers on your dresser but could not find anything. I hope I didn’t overlook the information. Would you mind helping me, please. Thank you!

  28. I would love to try this technique to update my dining table with a wooden pedestal and apron. Unfortunately, the top is laminate. Would you do anything differently to be sure the top would hold up to daily use?

    1. Hi Kimarie, Yes, you can still do this process. The only thing I might change is to use an oil based primer like Zinsser Cover Stain because it does a little better job of helping the paint to stick to the laminate. Be sure to sand it before applying the primer to really rough up the top so it’s not slick. Let me know if you have any other questions! – Karin

  29. I got my piece unevenly white washed… do I need to reapply the brown/clear wax mix over it then reapply the white/clear wax?! I love it otherwise.

    1. Hey Brianne – That’s an easy fix. Once your last white-wash layer is dry, go back and add a little whitewash in the areas that you need more. Let that dry and then clear coat it again. Let me know if you have ANY other questions. – Karin

  30. I’m in the middle of doing this to old oak. I just did the base coat. I didn’t anticipate to be able to see the old grain so much through it! I don’t know if I should finish with the glaze stage. How is the graining going to work with the oak graining still visible?

    1. Hey Beth, If some of the original color is showing through, that’s fine. But if you see more of the old color than the new color, I’d add another coat. It definitely won’t hurt. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  31. Karin,

    Thank you SO much for all the color “recipes” and for being so detailed in your explanations. I was wondering if you had thought of what you would use to make a faux finish for the brown/gray stain that is so popular today. I will try to think of the name of the furniture finish used on those pieces, but for now, if you have any tips I’d appreciate it. I have tried using your technique and substituting SW black fox (which is more of a gray brown) for the browns in your barn wood recipe but it comes out way too dark. I-have tried various grays for the base coat, and even swapped the base and finish coats. I really love the SW black fox and have a gallon of it in BM a
    advance furniture paint (which is amazing paint). I want to do this finish on a fireplace mantle and sliding barn doors for my pantry. Any advice would be appreciated!

  32. I just stumbled upon this on Pinterest and love it! I have an oval table and chairs that I bought 3 years ago to refinish and sell and still have done nothing with it. Now my daughter and son-in-law are needing a new dining table and chairs, but with a 5 year old and a new puppy, she said she’s not spending ANYTHING on furniture at the moment. Well…recently two of their four chairs broke.
    The table I have is what I call the precursor to the farmhouse look. It has the original yellowish unfinished pine wood on the top with a coat of varnish. The chair seats are that color also.
    The chunky table legs, chair legs, and backs of chairs are painted white from factory.
    The walls in their home are light gray, with white trim. The floors are very dark wood, like mahogany or darker.
    Do you think the weathered barnwood look for the top of table would look good? I’ve really struggled with what colors to use that would complement their home, but seeing the grays and browns in that color makes me think it would match the floors and walls both? And I think I would go over the existing white on table legs and chairs with a fresh coat of white. What do you think? Please…I need some help lol!
    Thanks for any suggestions!!
    Angie W.

    1. All of the colors would work with the wall because they are technically neutral but I would go with a medium brown like the weathered barnwood so as to contrast with the dark floors. So, any in the medium brown or light brown range would work. I just put a new post on the blog on how to get a Restoration Hardware Finish if you are interested:https://renovatedfaith.com/the-secret-to-a-restoration-hardware-finish-on-any-furniture-surface/ Let me know if you have any other questions Angie!

  33. Any suggestions on doing this technique on a long beam? I won’t be able to do one long brush stroke. Thanks!

    1. Great question Pam! You have a couple of options. The first option is to tape off all but one side of the beam. You can work on one side at a time and let it dry before going to the next. I would recommend having someone help you with the brown paint/glaze step. I know this isn’t ideal but it will get the best result. The other option is doing about 4 feet of one side at a time. When you get down to the end, do thin brush strokes so it kind of feathers into the next section when you are ready to paint it. Just make sure the first section is dry. Let me know if you have any other questions and have a great day! – Karin

  34. Hello Karin,

    I have this farmhouse table top I’m working on… I’ve painted it this beautiful olive fig color with a latex enamel Behr paint. I want to add some texture to it now because it’s just not what I wanted, too flat and one dimensional. I love your techniques. I still want to see the green top but I was wondering what you suggest to make it more of a wood grain look. I’m trying to stay away from anything dark as my floors are a very dark white oak. Any suggestion would be helpful.

  35. Hi Karin! I’m going to give this a go on a tv console table I have. I painted it navy hale – do I need to maybe paint it white and then do this or can I go right over the blue??

    Thank you so much!!!

    1. Hey Amanda, If you painted it with latex, just start with the base coat but you might need two coats of base coat to cover the dark navy color. Let me know if you have any more questions! Thanks Amanda! – Karin

    2. Thanks for mentioning that color. My husband just built me a sofa console table and I was debating what color to do the legs. (Using the driftwood on top) I painted my bedroom room accent wall using that navy color and have some left over!

  36. I tried this technique on my metal front door (inside) and it came out amazing. I cannot stop looking at it. A few tips for those who may want to attempt this on a metal door:

    Remember, the wood grain on doors goes in various directions. Center points in the top, middle, and bottom travel horizontal, the recessed lower part runs verticle, and the sides run the full verticle length top to bottom. After letting my base color dry, I worked in stages, taping off sections as I went. I started with the horizontal grain effect, let it dry, then moved the tape to do the verticle. This resulted in a nice clean edge where wood would naturally be fit together. I let it dry for 24 hours, then did the whole taping technique again to dry brush the white. 24 hours after that, I covered the whole thing with 3 coats of Waverly matte finish chalk paint varnish. (I chose this varnish over the one suggested because it said it’s approved for painting on metal.)

    Overall, I am so happy I found this website. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome discovery with us!

    1. I’m so happy it worked out well! Good for you for painting a door and yes, you definitely have more to think about in terms of taping with a door. I’ll make a blog post on how to do doors early in 2021 but I’m so impressed you figured out it. I’d love to see a picture of your door ([email protected]). Thanks for your great information Toni!

  37. Hi there, I wanted to upload my before and after pics to show you all how nice they came out ( I did a dresser and desk for the guest room) but I don’t see the option to upload pics. It was my first time using this technique and it really came out nice! 😍 Actually, I loved it soo much that I decided to do the driftwood on a sofa table my husband just built me.

  38. Karin, Thank you for sharing all this information. I repurposed a desk that I found on trash day. LOVE the results!!! I will send you a before and after picture.

  39. Hi Karin,
    Using your technique to do my 2 dressers , when I started brushing the glaze/brown paint to the base coat it pulled the paint is some areas, did you have that problem? I let it dry over 24 hours before doing step 3 so I’m not sure what happened. Any ideas?

    1. That’s weird. Try adding more water to the glaze. That will make it so you don’t have to drag your brush with as much pressure and will hopefully prevent it from happening again. Let me know if you have ANY other questions, Giani. Blessings, Karin

  40. Karin,
    I am refinishing my dining room table with your technique. I love it so far!
    I did the brown/glaze mix yesterday but I noticed a lot of bubbles in my mixture when I was applying it to the table. I did get rid of most of them but brushing many times. Is there something I can do differently with the whitewash so that I do not get those bubbles?
    Thanks for this post!

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