Do you love the whitewash look and want to get the same effect in your home? Whether it’s a piece of furniture, accent wall, door or even a picture frame, this look is easy to achieve with just some paint and water.
How to Quickly and Easily Whitewash Wood
Today I have a tutorial for you on whitewashing wood. This is so easy to do and the look can be achieved on any type of wood – pine, oak, palette wood and even stained wood.
How to Make Whitewash Paint?
What is Whitewash Made of?
The easiest way to make whitewash paint is to simply dilute regular latex paint with some water. I like to keep the ratio at 1 part water to 2 parts flat white paint, but I’ve used eggshell and satin paint sheens with good success, too.
Can You Whitewash With Any Color?
As the name suggests, “whitewash” is usually white. However, the same technique can be applied to any paint color. I’ve seen cream, gray and blue used very successful to achieve a similar look over wood.
How to Whitewash
- The whitewashing technique can be applied to stained wood. Whether it’s oak, pine or another variety doesn’t matter. The end result may look slightly different due to the differences in the wood species but you’ll achieve a similar effect.
- If you’re staining, ensure the surface is smooth by first sanding
- If your wood has previously been stained or sealed, you’re good to go. Otherwise, start by staining the wood a medium brown or grayish color. Allow the stain to dry for at least 24 hours before proceeding.
- Starting with a very small amount of the whitewash mixture on a paintbrush (no rollers allowed!), brush in the direction of the wood grain. Use long brushstrokes and only apple to a small section at a time.
- Wipe the excess off the paintbrush each time so that you’re using more of a “dry brushing” technique.
- Using a rag or paper towel, gently wipe off the paint – again in the direction of the wood grain. You don’t want to completely wipe it off or you’ll need a lot of coats. Just take off the excess.
- If you want a more opaque (solid) look, allow the first coat to dry and then repeat steps the two previous steps until you get the look you want.
You May Also Be Interested in These DIY Projects
- How to repair scratches in IKEA furniture
- DIY reclaimed wood accent wall
- DIY branch wall hanging
- How to make your own chalk style paint
- How I make and maintain my chalkboards
What Types of Wood Can be Whitewashed?
Tip: If you are whitewashing a piece of furniture, finish off the project with a coat of matte polycrylic to protect it. Polycrylic doesn’t yellow over time and will protect the finish. Alternatively, a clear furniture wax will also help protect it.
I didn’t want to cover up the grain and texture with a solid white paint, so I decided that whitewashing would be a good idea.
What’s the Difference Between Limewashing and Whitewashing?
Sometimes you will hear these terms used interchangeable but there is a definite difference. Limewash is a limestone-based product made specifically for brick. Whitewash is simply watered-down paint. Both may be used to achieve a similar look on brick but usually only whitewash is used on wood.
DIY Whitewashed Project Inspiration
Here’s some examples of beautiful whitewashed wood projects to help inspire you:
Whitewashed Furniture Technique via Just The Woods
How to Whitewash Wood Panelling via Farmhouse Blooms
DIY Whitewash Bed Tutorial via The Tarnished Jewel Blog
Whitewashed Coffee Table Using Milk Paint via Simplicity in the South
White Washed Restoration Hardware Style Dresser via Cassie Bustamante
Whitewashed Pantry Door Hanger via Living Letter Home
And if you’re looking to apply a similar technique to brick:
How to Whitewash a Brick Fireplace via Jenna Kate at Home
Have any questions? Drop me a comment below and I’ll be sure to try and answer to the best of my ability!