How to Make Paint Look Rustic With Two Colors

By Elizabeth Vander Heide
Two colors of paint combine to create a rustic look.

A rustic theme adds a country feel to any home, space or surface. Buying antiques to achieve this look in your home can be costly. However, creating a rustic look on a wall or piece of furniture is possible using two different colors of paint, some elbow grease and the right tools. Follow some basic steps to make paint look rustic with two colors and create an authentic, antique feel to any surface.

Apply two coats of latex or acrylic paint to the surface you are painting. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly and apply one coat of water-based varnish with a sponge brush to seal in the color. This will stop the second color from bleeding into the paint.

Sand the edges of the surface and any areas you want to look worn with fine-grit sandpaper to remove some of the paint. Use coarse-grit sandpaper for a more intense rustic look. Sand until you are able to see some bare patches of the surface through the paint. Remove any dust or debris with a tack cloth.

Mix one part of acrylic paint in the second color, with two parts of water-based glaze. Apply a generous amount of the glaze and paint mixture to the surface with a large paint brush. The second color will settle in all of the heavily sanded areas and crevices, creating a rustic, two-toned effect. Allow the paint mixture to dry thoroughly. Add a small amount of the second paint color to a sea sponge. Apply the color in a streaky pattern to the areas where you want the two-toned effect to be more dramatic.

Apply two coats of water-based varnish with a sponge brush to the finished project to protect your work.

About the Author

Elizabeth Vander Heide has been writing since 2003. She owns and operates a successful mural and hand-painted furniture business. In addition to art and decorative painting, she is an experienced hairstylist and makeup artist with a wealth of knowledge of the beauty industry. Vander Heide writes decorative painting instructions and seminar guides for professional tole painters. She studied at Cappa School of Hairstyling.