Special Features

Weathered doors and windows

This simple distressed finish evokes time worn comfort and easy living.
A perfect decorative paint finish to complement color-washed walls.

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Basic antiquing

Antiquing is the process of aging a surface to produce a time-worn appearance. There are many methods of antiquing objects, furniture, mural paintings and wall surfaces. 

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Antique Plaster Effects

artSparx has created a 3 stage step-by-step tutorial series. Series 1 begins with basic plaster application, our 2nd series illustrates antique glazing and plaster distressing methods, culminating in the final fresco simulation series 3, hand-painted elements. You can complete each tutorial as a finish and style in it's own right. Or, depending on your interests and style needs, combine the tutorials to achieve the hand-painted fresco appearance that will bring your environment to life.

Furniture Antiquing 

Ideally suited for kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities and almost any piece of furniture. Create a polished ivory look, or a Classic French striee with this glazing recipe and technique.

More techniques
Color washing
Glazing techniques 
Rag rolling 
Wood graining 
Striee glazing
Dragging techniques 
Pouncing techniques
Style archives
Preparation of surfaces
Know your materials

Gold Leafing might be just the right accent you're looking for!

Visit our
Gold Leafing tutorials


Masking tip: 
Always test an area to be taped before beginning the masking job. Wallpaper is particularly susceptible to tearing. Lacquer and varnish surfaces on furniture may come off easily with the tape and the item could be severely damaged.



Creating a simulated Lime Wash Finish
For use on: furniture, objects

Rating 2

Antiquing Center Furniture Center Color Center Gilding Center
Basic Preparation for Furniture

Create your own Colors!

tuscan caribbean green ocean blue
mexican red celadon green terre-cotte

Custom color blends
at the artSparx
Color Palette!

  New unfinished furniture  
  Old unfinished furniture  
  New painted, stained, varnished or waxed furniture  
  To re-paint furniture
  To stain or varnish
  Old painted, varnished, stained or waxed furniture  
  To re-paint furniture
  To stain or varnish

The Lime Wash effect is a traditional white washing treatment that in recent years has been replaced with white washing and pickling effects. The basics of the Lime wash is to use lime, a caustic substance, and apply it over wood and wall surfaces, creating a matte chalky white, often bleached - white wash appearance. It is not stable however, and if used outside will eventually wash and fade away.

Following is a basic method for creating a white washed (simulated Lime
wash) effect. There are 2 methods described, each providing similar results.

  • Using diluted off white paint
  • Using a ready made wood stain.

Starting your project

This effect works best over unfinished, unpainted furniture. The natural wood soaks up the paint or stain resulting in some of the underlying wood grain showing through. Depending on how thick your 'Lime Wash' simulated paint solution is will determine the final effect. A thick and rather opaque paint solution will appear more true to the Lime Wash appearance. A thinner, more fluid solution will result in a white washed or pickled appearance.

Applying diluted white paint.

Mix a solution of a slightly off white (like Benjamin Moore Antique White) latex paint, flat sheen with water. The flat paint will dry with a bit of a chalky look, simulating the true appearance of Lime wash. The consistence should be like thick cream. You may need to experiment to determine the level of opacity you want. More water will create a thinner, paler appearance, while less water will create a whiter, more opaque look (see above comments). Follow the artSparx Color washing tutorial for basic color blending principles. Use these same techniques on your cabinets. Once the white wash effect is completed you should apply 2 coats latex, water based varnish. Varithane's Flecto Diamond Finish, in a Satin sheen, is very good, though a bit more expensive than other commercial brands. You may also use Benjamin Moore, Stays Clear, also in a Satin or Low-luster sheen. Water based products are very durable and don't yellow. If you use an oil based varnish over a white base then expect it to yellow over time.

Tips and precautions

Things to note when working on wood surfaces; depending on the type of wood, i.e., oak, pine, etc., white paint sometimes pulls the resin up out of the
wood and stains the white slightly pink. Be aware of this. If this happens,
you may need to first apply a water based sealer, then lightly sand the
surface with 220 grit sand paper (in the direction of the wood grain), then
apply your paint followed by 2 coats varnish.

Applying a wood stain.

You can also stain the wood white, instead of painting the surface. This gives a 'pickled' or 'bleached' effect and allows all the wood grain to show thru. You can get commercially available white stains (Minwax for example) that work well. Try and stay away from the 2 in 1 stain/sealer combos. Apply as above, finishing off with 2 - 3 coated water based varnish.

Always apply paint or stain in the direction of the grain, using a good brush, roller and/or rags.

More pleasing decorative effect treatments

Additional easy to complete decorative effects that offer lovely finishes and sophisticated appearances are;

Also visit the artSparx Decorative Finishes home page for numerous
additional painted effects -

Antiquing Gold Leaf

Add the finishing touched to your gold leaf surface!


Special Feature - About gilding products

Aluminum Leaf

Dutch Gold or
composition leaf

Aluminum Leaf imitates the illusion of genuine Silver, at a fraction of the cost. Each individual sheet is bigger and easier to handle then its genuine counter part.

The same applies for 'Dutch Gold', or 'Composition Leaf'. But due to the large brass content, this imitation gold must have a sealer applied to prevent tarnishing, unlike genuine gold leaf.




artSparx Book special

The Paint Effects Bible:
100 Recipes for Faux Finishes

The Paint Effects Bible is a library of faux finishes: 100 of them. Each is described on a single spread with a large photograph of the finish plus step-by-step illustrations, an ingredients list, and detailed instructions for creating the effect.

A valuable source for professional and amateur decorators alike, this book comes in a handy, pocket-sized format with a concealed wire-binding that lays flat during use.

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