Choosing wood wash as a background for your painting

As a decorative artist I rarely paint over a wooden surface with a solid colour. Allowing the woodgrain to remain visible can add so much character, interest and natural charm to a painting.

And the good news is… there is no basecoating required!

A wash of colour over natural timber takes very little effort. It can be as easy as a light sand, a coat of sealer and one thin, even coat of acrylic paint. If you like you can apply a coat of glazing medium; this will protect the background from mistakes and accidental splashes while painting the design.

Here I have used a cheap (& nasty) store bought chopping/serving board.

Now, for the price I paid, well I just couldn’t believe it would last too long as a functional board. But I loved the shape… so… I purposely purchased it to paint it so I can display it as a decorative item in my kitchen.

 Because this product came “ready for use”, a protective finish was previously applied. So in this case you do need to do a little bit of prep work before you start … and that’s just a bit of extra sanding to remove the previous finish.

 

Let’s begin wood wash…

Material

Fine sand paper

Dust mask

Lint free cloth

Basecoating brush

DecoArt Americana Multi-Purpose Sealer

DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint– Raw Sienna, Bittersweet Chocolate

DecoArt Americana Glazing Medium

Instructions
  1. Sand the surface till it’s smooth with fine grit sand paper. Always sand in the same direction of the wood grain. Never sand against the grain.  Sanding against the grain may create scratches and mark the surface which the paint may not cover no matter how many coats you apply. Always wear a good dust mask when sanding to prevent inhalation of dust particles.
  2. Wipe the surface with a dry cloth to remove the sanding dust.
  3. Prime the wood with the clear sealer.
  4. Lightly sand the surface after priming to remove any roughness in the wood.
  5. Mix Raw Sienna with a little Bittersweet Chocolate. Then add a little water to this to thin it out a little. Next, apply one thin coat evenly with the basecoating brush in the same direction of the grain. Allow it to dry.
  6. Apply a coat of glazing medium, this will protect the background from mistakes and accidental splashes while painting the design. Glazing medium helps to prevent the paint from soaking into the wood, yet the surface remains paintable.

 

Now you’re ready to begin your artwork.

I kept mine simple by using a stencil for the letters and then added a quick and easy cutlery set design.

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This post is part of the series “Experimenting with creative materials”

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Happy painting,

Effie

 

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