How to Get Texture With a Saltwash Paint Technique

Texturize your piece of with a simple saltwash technique.

Have you ever wanted to create a piece that has a vintage look, but it seems too time-consuming? Perhaps you want something distressed but can't afford or justify the insane price tag that accompanies those home decor items. A saltwash paint technique provides an affordable genuine vintage look for low cost and a simple process.

The salt technique is your ticket to creating that distressed look you've been hoping for! And you don't have to be a pro to do it. Anyone who thinks they have limited skills can handle this like an expert. And you'll get a unique look for your furniture piece or decor as an end result.

How to paint with salt wash

Supplies for Saltwash Paint Technique

How to Use the SaltWash Technique

Saltwash is a paint additive that comes in powder form and can be added to just about any type of paint to create a textured finish: chalk paint, latex paint, milk paint, and acrylic paint to name a few.

Pick a Paint

The first step is to pick the paint of your choice. For a high contrast, you can do a white hue on the bottom as your base coat and a color as the top coat of paint. And vice versa, for a lower contrast you can pick a lighter and darker shade of your favorite paint. Add your base paint to your mixing container.

How to use saltwash

Add Saltwash

Next, take your saltwash paint additive and add it to your mixing container with the first paint color. I added 1 part paint to 2/4 part saltwash. The saltwash label will tell you how much to add for different types of paint.

Measuring out your saltwash
Measuring out your saltwash

Mix Paint and Saltwash Powder Together

Use your stir stick to mix the paint until it reaches the desired consistency. For best results, you will want the finish of your paint to be a thick frosting consistency.

Mixing up your saltwash
Mixing up your saltwash

Paint the First Layer of Saltwash

Before applying paint to your furniture or decor, you'll want to do some prep work on the surface and make sure it is lightly sanded for your paint mixture to adhere.

Next step, use your paintbrush to paint the saltwash onto your piece in a dabbing method to create a rough texture. While you may probably think it is not looking that great, don't panic! It is not meant to look pretty here. When your salt paint is halfway dry, softly smooth out the texture with your paintbrush.

How to use saltwash like a pro
How to use saltwash like a pro

Add Second Coat of Paint

When your first coat is completely dry, it is time to add your second color of choice. Paint over the top of your first coat and let it dry.

Creating your saltwash
Salt wash painting how to

Sand Your Furniture Project

When your final coat is dry, use your fine 220 grit sandpaper to sand the paint to a smooth finish.

Salt wash painting how to

And there you have it! Easy steps to creating beautiful texture and distressed look with minimal effort.

Additional Saltwash Paint Pieces

The best part of this saltwash paint technique is that you can use it for home decor in addition to a furniture makeover. I found these pieces at a thrift store to inspire a few more DIY projects with this salt technique.

These decor pieces turned out amazing. I had the privilege of demonstrating how to use this on a local TV station, KSL Studio 5. You can watch that below.

Saltwash is a fun and easy technique. I don't let my kids paint very much, but I did let them paint my daughter's desk and it turned out great.


Using the saltwash paint technique is a great way to add texture and style to furniture or decor pieces. It doesn't take a ton of time and is pretty low-cost. Try out this method to achieve a distressed look for less.

Happy Painting!


The post How to Get Texture With a Saltwash Paint Technique appeared first on Start at Home Decor.

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