Painting Pattern: Neutral Linen Faux Finish on Furniture

Painting Pattern: Neutral Linen Faux Finish on Furniture

Nick Siemaska
Jun 27, 2011

When a wooden piece of furniture is not in a condition to be easily restored to its natural state, I am usually very happy to paint the piece with a carefully selected color. But sometimes, a solid block of color won't do well with a blocky piece. In that case, I will usually consider painting a pattern to add texture and depth. With this dresser, I gave the linen technique a try, and the results were surprising.

Like my last Painting Pattern post, I learned this technique from a favorite interior guru, Martha Stewart. Please check her website out for detailed instructions on this technique.

This is what you'll need:
• Latex paint
• Latex glazing liquid
• Horsehair flogger (or a newer bristle paint brush)
• Paint brush

For the color, I did what I often do when I need great color matching – mixed white paint into one color, thereby creating two tones from the same source. My choice of a neutral grey for the base color was to make the linen look warm and inviting, like a linen blanket. After painting the body of the piece with the base color, I took the original color, without the white added in, and made my latex mix.

Because I could not find a horsehair flogger anywhere around where I usually shop, I decided to use a new bristle brush for the linen pattern. If you choose this route, a new brush is crucial because you don't want the built up paint on an older brush to affect the delicacy of the fine lines needed to successfully create this pattern.

After giving it a go with the glaze, I was a little disappointed with how subtle the contrast was between the two colors. Also, I had to wipe the first glaze off because I did not get the results of fine lines that I expected to produce. This could have been a result of using something other than the flogger. But in the end, the subtlety of the color choice grew on me and the texture of the linen patter turned out to be exactly what I wanted the linen technique to create. After adding the Anthro knobs, the project was complete.

Please try this technique yourself and let us know how it goes!

Images: Nick Siemaska

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