Using chalk paint to get a drift wood look

i’ve been using chalk paint for the better part of 6 years and am continually surprised by the various looks i can get.

the giant frames below were made for a client. these measured 6′ x 8′ and eventually had beautiful sea scape canvases placed atop.


i find painting to be so relaxing and meditative. and the best part is that you can always correct something if it’s not just the right look you want.

i had some frames made for my mom and admittedly, it’s taken me far too long to paint them. what can i say? life takes over when you’ve got a house full of boys to love on!


so…to the technique! i use a lot of Annie Sloan…


and i also use a lot of Funiture Paint as it has a dark brown called Coconut Shell that i love and use often. Funiture is completely No VOC, which differs than Annie Sloan, which is low VOC.


Funiture founder and owner, Anne Gilbertson, is local to Orange County and is a gem. we’ve become painting buddies and i love supporting local business!


i started by painting all of the boards of the larger frame in Funiture’s Coconut Shell. then it sat in our garage for 3 months. doh!

for the smaller frame, i painted some slats in Coconut Shell, but also used an ASCP blend of Graphite + Napoleonic Blue for the base color.


then, in alternating colors of Annie Sloan’s Duck Egg, Paris Gray, and Funiture’s Sea Shell, i used very watery (75% water, 25% paint to be like the consistency of non fat milk) to dry brush the colors onto each slat. by applying different colors, you achieve layers and are able to see the colors pop through, giving it a beachy, drift wood type of look. if the wash is too thick, then wipe off with a rag.


you can see from the 3rd slat from the bottom on the left frame that the Paris Gray is ever-so-slightly dry brushed on the plank. on the 2nd to top slat, you can see that the gray is heavier, but not completely uniform on the plank. remember that drift wood isn’t the same color on a single piece of wood. it differs in shades based on the sun and salt water, so a single plank shouldn’t have a uniform look.

in total, painting these frames took about 30 minutes. it’s really that easy, so don’t be nervous to try it!!

i’ve heard from so many of you who’ve been using my techniques and i’m elated! keep sending your projects. i LOVE hearing from you all. 🙂

hope everyone’s off to a great week!

About meesh

Meesh has a passion for people, creative projects, and technology. She enjoys painting furniture back to life, gardening, playing with her kids, and connecting people.


  1. Thanks so much for the kind words about my FUNiture paint! You are an amazing juggler of being a mom, wife, consultant, painter and follower of Christ! I don’t know how you do them all so well.