Mix the perfect shade of gray using 2 or even four different paint colours to make a vibrant or distressed finish on furniture, walls or trim. Make your own paint from leftover latex paints to economize and get a one-of-a-kind shade. Stir up a hurricane with historic grays in milk paint, chalk paint, period paint ranges or chalkboard paint that mimics the colour fading of moment.
Any hue with black added to it turns into a shade; add a tiny black to white, and you get shades of gray. Distress a bit of furniture by combining a couple of different combinations of white and black; small quantities of black blended into the white till you reach the gray intensities that you need. Ding, gouge, scrape and dent a wood trestle table using hammers, ice picks and chains. Then layer on the grays to get a rich, weathered finish. Coat the slice about with medium gray; no requirement to be perfect. Dry-brush on a variety of charcoals, pale grays, pewters, a splatter of black, a string of white. Partly blend different colors, leaving distinct regions with uneven colours. Sand the edges of the table where it would have worn over time, to reveal older layers of paint or variants in the grays. Rub finishing wax having a light brown tint into the distressed gray table, further emphasizing the feeling of age.
Primaries to Tertiaries
Red, blue and yellow make gray when mixed together, while red and blue in equal measure create a purple. Add a tiny yellow at one time, blending well until the paint is dark gray. Then mix in small amounts of white till you get to the perfect gray. Experiment, mixing the primaries with varying levels of white to get several hues of gray. Layer them on walls or furniture to simulate the silvering of exposure to weather or the darkening that comes with age. If you play with colours that way, the tertiary grays that result can be hotter, cooler or possess different undertones. You get much more subtle control than just mixing white and black.
Transform a dull boxy apartment into a trendy industrial loft with painted faux concrete walls. A light base coat of gray, covered in arbitrary stripes of black, blue and brown smeared on using a putty knife, which becomes the canvas to your faux art. Draw horizontal pencil lines over the paint; make them board width, about 4 to 6 inches apart. Apply three layers of tinted glaze, again using a putty knife, using a plaster blade to guide the rows of glaze. First, apply a lighter, silvered gray in blotches in order that the under-paint colors show through here and there. Then repeat using a darker pewter or smoky gray. Blur each glaze application with a rag to get a plaster effect. Last, dilute the original base paint into a transparent top glaze to get a realistic — but completely fake — gray concrete wall.
Hints and Tints
Grays that are a nearly imperceptible bit off appear to be antique colors that may have faded or otherwise been affected by age. Paint an old cabinet light gray using the merest tip of celadon — the yellow in the green warms the paint and gives it more depth. Lavender paint hardened by light gray is mysterious and soft, while lavender mixed with pearl-gray is affluent and indicates that a faded opulence.