How To Get a Layered Look Paint Finish

Our mission is to bring you the best tips, tricks, and advice to make your home feel expertly designed, comfortable, and cozy. Today we’re thrilled to have Jessica from House Homemade guest blog for us and share a stunning DIY teaching us how to get a layered look paint finish. Take it away Jessica…

Hello! I’m Jessica. A stay at home mom, thrifty finds enthusiast, home décor lover, and painter of anything that stays still for too long. You can normally find me on my blog House Homemade, but I’m so thankful to be guest posting for LuxeDecor today. Because I’m a thrifty finds enthusiast, I recently found this great console table while scoping out a neighbor’s garage sale. I love anything with faux bamboo legs and/or caning, so this table had me at “for sale.”


I have plans to use it in my biggest project right now: the design of my parents’ brand new, from scratch, farmhouse-looking home in the country. Most of the design is a neutral aesthetic but my mom and I just can’t help but make sure there are beautiful pops of color throughout. And green? Green is my spirit animal. So, with that, I decided to give this table the farmhouse flare that it needs to fit right in at their new house.

I brought it home, taped off the caning and decided on a technique. To get more of an antique look, I chose to try and emulate the color of jadeite and give it a streaky, old feel. To do this, I used three paint colors from my collection specifically, Sherwin Williams ‘Clean Green’, ‘Haven’ and ‘Relentless Olive.’ The first two shades are a very light, pastel green and the last is, well, olive, and relentless probably. I mix my own chalk paint from paint store samples, plaster of paris and water. You can find the recipe here.


I began with one of the lighter colors and, brushing in one direction with a dry paint brush, I covered the whole piece with a very thin coat. I didn’t worry about full coverage and just let the paint brush leave directional lines. You can see from the picture above that this thin coat left it with the streaky look I was going for.

Afterward, I rinsed my brush, or ‘beat the Devil out of it’ as Bob Ross would say and waited for the piece to dry. The next coat was another light shade of green, but this time I used a damp paint brush to paint it. I still used very little paint, just like for the first coat, but the wet brush helps the paint spread out a bit more and helps to fill in some spaces that might have been missed by the first coat.

The last coat was the ‘Relentless Olive’ because I wanted to make the piece a little warmer than the minty color that it was. I did another light coat with a dry brush, keeping my paint strokes in the same direction and not trying to cover my previous coats. Again, I don’t go for full coverage. When I refilled my paint brush, I would dab here and there so that I was spacing the paint out evenly before I tried to spread it more. If there was a space that I applied too much coverage, I would go over it a few times to try and spread the paint to make it thinner.


Even though it seems like it would take longer, these coats went on quickly and dried even faster. The light layers help the dark wood to show through to make it look more dimensional and dynamic. Painting is easy, and this streaky look is even easier. If you don’t like the way it’s turning out, you can paint another coat over it and try again.


When I was done with the three layers of green, I lightly sanded it in a few areas to give it even more of an antique look. I like to use a medium grit (because then I don’t have to work so hard) and when I’m sanding I try to stick to the areas that I imagine would be bumped into or used the most. I typically sand the front of the legs, around the drawer pulls, and some places around the edge of the drawers and tabletop.

After sanding, it’s time for a quick coat of furniture wax. I used a lint free rag and wiped it on, making sure to get full coverage. When I paint tables, I usually go over the top a few times, just to make sure it’s well sealed. I really love the way it turned out. Streaky, antique-y, eclectic, and farmhouse. So good.


Thanks for following along with me and thank you to LuxeDecor for allowing me to guest post. Please reach out to me with any questions about this layered look process and if you give it a try, make sure you tag me on Instagram so I can see your awesome project!

Want to see more of Jessica’s DIY’s? Check out her blog and follow House Homemade on Instagram for more inspiration.