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Metallic Silver Paint Wash For Gray Furniture

Try a metallic silver paint wash to dress up gray furniture. Shiny silver paint is a little over the top for some furniture pieces and this is another option The wash gives gray paint a soft metallic look.

I made a video of the metallic wash process so you can see exactly how it works. Today is Furniture Fixer Upper Tour day and there is a lot of paint inspiration going on.

Metallic Silver Paint Wash For Gray Furniture

The metallic silver wash technique is super easy. It is the same as white washing but using metallic silver paint instead of white paint. My definition of whitewash is mixing water and white paint together, sometimes in equal parts and sometimes not. Then the watered down paint is wiped on unfinished wood or painted pieces for a whitewash finish. Today we’re silver washing.

Imperial red barstools

I painted these two bar stools FolkArt Imperial Red over 3 years ago and was ready for a change. I like the color but not in this space.

bar stools before painting

This is how the bar stools looked before the red paint makeover. Just plain old wood stools.

spray paint colors

Even though I was ready for a change I wasn’t sure what color to go with. The photo above shows where I spray painted 3 samples of paint on a board; gray, blue, and bright yellow.

The gray seemed to be the best choice. It would go with the silver cabinet knobs and also the cherry cabinets better than the other colors. I also had the thought in the back of my head of doing a metallic wash.

Rustoleum Spray Paint Primer in Gray

The plan was to use the Rustoleum Spray Paint gray primer as a base for a latex paint in gray. I have several cans of gray latex paint colors on the shelf and I was going to use one of those after the stools were primed.

The primer color was really pretty I liked the flat sheen. I decided I didn’t want to cover the spray paint with latex paint. One less step in a project is always a plus. And as I always say, project plans are always subject to change.

white paint colors for furniture

The seat of the stool was going to be off-white and I brushed  or sprayed several off-white colors on the seat. The off-white was too much of a contrast.

Beyond Paint in Soft Gray

I found a jar of Beyond Paint in Pale Gray on the shelf and went with that. The pale gray was just a bit darker than the off-white. I applied two coats of pale gray on the seat. Remember all of this work is times 2 since there are two stools.

Martha Stewart Metallic Silver Paint

The Martha Stewart Metallic Paint was on my paint shelf. I’ve had it for years. I don’t even know if they make this paint anymore. I’m sure any good brand of metallic paint would work just fine.

I mixed the metallic paint with water and I have to admit I didn’t measure anything and I probably added more water than paint.

silver paint wash for furniture

Next thing to do is find a lint free rag (I use old sheets) and wipe the paint wash over the furniture. I just wiped the wash on and wiped it back until I got the look I wanted. The video shows the technique really well. Metallic paint tends to separate easily and I stirred the water/paint mix several times during the paint wash process.

pair of barstools one painted with silver metallic wash and the other with flat gray primer

The stool on the right has the metallic wash and the one on the left hasn’t been “washed” yet. See the difference?

metallic silver paint watered down for a soft metallic finish

The board I’m holding in front of the metallic washed stool has been painted with the straight metallic silver paint. The difference in the metallic silver paint and the gray paint covered with the silver wash is obvious. The look is still shiny but in a much softer way.

Silver Paint Wash For Gray Furniture

And that’s all there was to that. I like the washed gray with the cabinets. We just recently got new kitchen appliances with a stainless steel finish and the painted stools kind of match the appliances.

black bar stools

Now I need to paint the two black bar stools. I painted these several years ago. Actually, they’ve been painted multiple times. I painted them white to start with, then Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Green….which I didn’t like, then the black…distressed to show the green. Not a fan of this look either. I ran out of the Rustoleum primer or they would have already been painted.

metallic silver barstools

Want to see me apply that metallic paint wash. Take a look at the short video tutorial below…

How To Use A Metallic Silver Paint Wash
Gray furniture with a metallic silver paint washSo, what do you guys think? Does this paint wash technique look like something you want to try? I love to hear your opinions.

Find products used in the project and more of my favorite supplies on The Petticoat Junktion Amazon Page here.

Time to take the Furniture Fixer Upper Tour. Just click the pink text links below the “before makeovers” collage….

Furniture Fixer Uppers projects before paint makeovers

Metallic Painted Furniture – Just The Woods
Stinky Dresser Makeover – Confessions Of A Serial Diyer
Vintage Headboard Bench Makeover – The Interior Frugalista
Gold Velvet Accent Chair Makeover – Salvaged Inspirations
Creating Depth With Paint – Girl In The Garage
Metallic Silver Paint Wash – Petticoat Junktion (you are here)

As always, thanks for being here, Kathy

Kathy Owen founder of Petticoat Junktion
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Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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  1. These look great now, Kathy! They almost have a bit of an industrial vibe. They don’t make that paint anymore and it’s a shame because I’ve painted a couple of pieces in it before and it is really pretty! XOXO

  2. Kathy I love the new look of the stools. Much more fitting than the red and they even look a bit metal/industrial now. This month’s tour is all about repainting and metallics… you covered both. Haha

  3. I love this silver paint technique. It looks amazing Kathy! And ya, I used to LOVE the Martha Stewart Gold but I can’t find it anymore. Boooo.

  4. I remember those stools! I like the color combo you painted them, Kathy but the metallic wash makes them sing!

  5. great idea and they turned out very nice! I have some metallic silver and I think that I will try this on a nightstand as a contrast to a solid gray dresser. Can’t wait for cool weather in AZ to start painting again!

  6. I didn’t apply a clear coat. It would all depend on the piece of furniture. If it was going to see a lot of wear then yes I would clear coat it.

  7. As a neutral gray usually isn’t my first choice, but your stools look good aand fit right in.

  8. Kathy,
    I’ll confess, I’m not normally a fan of gray but in defense of those who do love it as a neutral it can be done beautifully. I’ve seen some really poor examples recently. The silver wash is genius ! It breathes light and life into the stools. A wonderful bridging piece between the kitchen and dining area. leaves it wide open to any number of seasonal accent “room jewelry” decor. Definitely pinning this one !