What is whitewashing?
Whitewashing is a really easy painting technique that allows you to apply sheer color over bare wood. Before you get started on your project, make sure that the wood you are painting is as naked as possible. You may need to sand the wood down before you start painting.
Check out my Whitewashing Pinterest board to see some examples of gorgeous whitewashed furniture:
What kind of paint do I use for whitewashing?
Any water-based paint will work for whitewashing, but when it comes to furniture, I like to use latex paint with a satin finish. This is the same kind of paint you would use to paint the walls inside your house, and it comes in a rainbow of colors. I usually purchase sample sizes of paint from Lowes for these kinds of projects.
Which colors work with whitewashing?
While the traditional color to whitewash with is white, you can use this technique with pretty much any color of paint. Bright colors will give you a more sheer effect, while whites and pastels will provide a little more opacity. Dark colors need to be watered down very well in order to achieve the desired effect. Experiment with different colors on different projects to get a feel for how each color performs.
- Water-based paint
- a container and stick to mix the paint with
- a clean rag
- Drop cloths or tarps to protect your work area
- Make sure the surface that you are painting is totally naked (free of paint or stain) and clean (free of dust or dirt).
- Start with a ratio of about half water and half paint. Mix this well, making sure to break up any clumps.
- Paint a test piece of wood first, if you have one available. It's important to check out the color after it has been watered down. You may need to add more paint, or more water to achieve the right look.
- Fold the rag over, smushing it into a little knob. Dip the knob into the paint, then brush it over the surface of the wood. For a more scattered look, brush small amounts of paint onto the wood, following the grain. For a well-covered look, brush a generous amount of paint onto the wood, painting in slow circles.
- Let the first coat dry, then go back over the wood with a second coat if you'd like the color to be deeper or cover more thoroughly.
You can learn more about whitewashing, and learn about alternative techniques by checking out the following blog posts:
- Basic Whitewashing Technique | Centsational Girl
- How to Whitewash Furniture & Other Wood | Painted Furniture Ideas
- Whitewashing vs. Dry Brushing | Perfectly Imperfect
- Before & After Basics: Whitewash | Design Sponge