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Salt Wash Style Painting

Saltwash applied with a paint sprayer provides a real chalky finish that lasts.



The hottest new paint treatment adds a vintage seaside finish to almost any surface. Matthew Mead shows us his best insider tips and tricks.


Sitting pretty

A mish-mash of furnishings are united with a spray of paint and Saltwash. Sea glass shades in saltwater-kissed finishes. Saltwash provides an authentic seaside finish in this outdoor great room. Tables, chairs, even shutters and screen doors can all have that "by the sea" look.

Saltwashed Furniture

Authentic-looking vintage finish

Furniture painters are always looking for a real, authentic-looking vintage finish. While steel wool and sand paper do well to add years of age, until now the only way to get that beach-like salt finish was to use a watered-down white paint. But that often changes the color intensity of the paint. Enter Saltwash finish, a powdery salt additive that can be added directly to paint or washed over a finish when mixed with water and a scant amount of white acrylic.


Spray on depth using saltwash

Now, with a paint sprayer, you can add this subtle and powdery finish to any piece of furniture including intricate wicker and cane material. Saltwash in the paint allows the powdery finish to rise to the surface.

Sprayer on Table

Recipe for success

Saltwash can be applied in several ways. Traditional application is to add three cups of Saltwash to a quart of paint to make a thick cake-like batter. Apply to furniture and let dry. Top coat with untreated paint applied with a sprayer over salt mixture. For best results, the top coat should be a different color. Distress to show off both shades and a crumbly salt finish.

Salt wash with sprayer

Using saltwash in a sprayer

HOW TO USE SALTWASH IN A SPRAYER: Dissolve one even scoop of Saltwash in 8 oz of water. Stir to combine and add 2 oz of white acrylic paint. Stir and spray on as topcoat over a painted finish. Let dry and distress. Be sure to keep finished pieces out of the rain. TIP: Keep shaking the sprayer paint bowl to keep the salt additive dissolved.

Spraying Saltwash

Easy application

Cane, rattan and wicker are all a dream to paint with the sprayer.

Salt wash furniture

Vintage look

Get an instant vintage look with the addition of Saltwash.

Spraying bottles with saltwash

Spray Transformations

We transformed this whole pile of flea market finds with a Wagner Home Décor Sprayer in just a weekend afternoon.


Let cure

Remember to let the paint fully cure before any distressing.

Watering Can Saltwashed

Beachy chair

A transformed chair has a most popular and desired patina of seaside blue.

Saltwash Chair

Sprayed on style

A room full of revived summer furniture glows with seasonal color and style.

Chairs before

Distress wood

Once a piece is painted and cured, distressing is possible. You can use steel wool, fine grit sandpaper or a small electric sander.


Spray with clear coat

Distress to your desired finish and then spray the entire piece with a clear coat of water-based urethane. Keep all outdoor furnishings under cover during inclement weather.


Spray your way

Creating your own specialty finish is fun and easy and a great way to truly express yourself. Almost any object can benefit from the depth that Saltwash will provide. A painting gains subtlety with a thin coat of Saltwash gently dulling its bright colors. A cast-off table becomes a powdery and textured work of art. A new bottle enjoys a vintage seaside appeal. Saltwash applied with a paint sprayer provides a real chalky finish that lasts.

Saltwashed Furniture

Salt wash style

For more information on Saltwash finish and where to purchase it go to

Salt Wash Style Painting
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