I have the easy peasey of painted finishes for you that happens to fit into my "Beach Month" theme.
(Remind me to never "theme" out again- I have no focus or attention span so this is hard.)
SO... it is driftwood.
Yes, it has been shoved down our throats hard by the likes of Restoration Hardware and company,
but it still is soft and pretty and beachy, so I still like.
I have a new IKEA Tarva in my possession. It is awesome and it might possibly be the best of both IKEA worlds. I'm talking Malm and Rast had a baby. It is big like Malm, but made of wood like Rast so you can paint the holy hell out of it. It is also 20x better constructed than Rast. I approve.
This finish works best on raw wood, but if you want to do it on a painted surface I recommend not adding water to your paint in this first step.
#1- Mix up a 1 part water, 2 parts paint (Grayish brown- I used C2- Barnacle, it was left over from my office walls.) Don't use a Semi- Gloss finish- you want matte or eggshell.
#2 Brush it over the entire piece. Go with the grain, and move quickly so you don't get a lot of overlapping brush marks.
You don't want it to be too heavy, you should still see some wood grain.
( If you are doing this over a painted surface, you will want to make sure you have decent coverage and the old color isn't visible.)
#3 add 1 part white to 2 parts remaining brownish-gray...
Using a wide flat brush "dry brush" this new color over the entire surface, once again going with the grain. Just dip the tip of the brush in and wipe off excess on a rag, and drag the brush along...
#4 Add 1 part white to remaing paint and repeat.
You are progressively getting lighter with each step, and leaving darker streaks from underneath...
Repeat if you want it lighter.
Here is the end result. The wood grain actually shows through still in some parts...
I added some mother of pearl knobs my Mom found for me at Homegood's...
And then I had to test out some new "Fiona" O'verlays that were sized for the Tarva.
(P.S. 15% off O'verlays with coupon code YOURMOM15, good til 5/15/12).
These were spray painted with Krylon "Nickel"
and then dry brushed with the last batch of paint.
Super easy, and it has me wanting to driftwood my linoleum floors.
All in moderation...