Moving Colour: Explore Porter's French Wash

Clare Scanlan

May 07, 2021

Do you love deep colour, but you're afraid of being overwhelmed? French Wash may just be your perfect product. Designed with the glazes and washes of Renaissance masters in mind, French Wash both deepens and disguises a strong block colour, morphing it into a complex, subtle and organic pattern of broken colour that is the perfect backdrop for your most beautiful objects.

Layer Upon Layer

A glimpse of the two layers required to form a French Wash wall (right). Here you can see that the wall has been painted in Porter's Low Sheen Acrylic in 'Blue Steel', a paler but tonal colour to the wash. Once the wall is dry, the French Wash in 'Old Havana' is brushed over the top and immediately ragged using muslin cloth. This traditional ragging technique at once removes some of the French Wash, masks the brushstrokes, and leaves its own organic pattern across the wall. The result is a translucent wash that appears almost cloud-like in its depth and variation as the base colour peeks through.

Marbled Pink

If dark and dramatic isn't for you, French Wash lends a whimsy and variation to softer tones that is reminiscent of natural marble. This versatility of colour and use has seen French Wash become a much-loved choice for designer projects spanning contemporary to historic, and residential to commercial.

The Deep End

Delve into our curated French Wash colour collection to find truly unique and expressive darks like Cuban Turquoise and Old Havana (right). This particular combination has an extra dose of colour magic, as the two colours have quite different personalities when viewed alone (Cuban Turquoise is a bright, summery green and Old Havana the deepest Black Blue). When layered together, this particular combination takes on a life of its own, offering us deepest green oceans of moving colour, unmatchable in a single solid paint.

Natural Stone

French Wash is much loved for its ability to echo the undulations of natural stone when used in neutral and grey combinations. Genine Noakes has played with this effect (left), utilising French Wash and other handmade elements to imbue a sense of tranquility in her stunning Eastern Rise project in Byron Bay.

Unique Colour Every Time

As with all things handmade, French Wash is as unique as the hands that apply it. This simple system can be manipulated by the painter to reveal more or less of the colour beneath. This results in almost limitless colour and textural variation and no two walls are perfectly alike. At The Grounds By The Sea (right), muslin cloth was used to remove a large amount of the French Wash to reveal a large amount of the vibrant green beneath.

The Most Enticing Darks

Wish your home looked like a Caravaggio painting? Choose French Wash in a dark and moody tone like Great Dane with Brindle. Softer than black, the broken colour effect of the French Wash over the Low Sheen Acrylic is the perfect backdrop for warm tones like terracotta and stone, making them appear almost lit from within.

Nature Wins

The natural tones of leather and foliage, and the hand-spun texture of this antique Persian carpet truly sing against the blackened-green movement of French Wash in Seed with Antiquity.