1.19.2012

Whitewashed Wood Technique {Tutorial}

* You can now see the finished pallet wall here.

First off, I am not experienced with whitewashing wood, BUT I did whitewash the wood on Owen's wall.  I really like how it turned out.  I thought I would pass along what I learned from doing it.  The photo below shows half whitewashed wood and half original wood. 


I found whitewashing to be fairly easy.  Maybe that's because I did it wrong???  Who knows, but I thought mine turned out great!  I'm pretty sure I can apply this technique to furniture as well.  But then again, I don't mind taking risks with paint.

One thing I noticed was the color of the wood had an effect on the outcome.  I know this might sound like a no brainer, but I really didn't consider that when doing this.  The color of the paint did too, but I figured that was a no brainer.  When I first started, I used the same paint color from Owen's walls mixed in with a little of this taupe gray color from Benjamin Moore.  The outcome was not so great. It turned out purple-ish.  Not the look I was going for for a little boy's room.  He ain't no Prince.  Purple rain.  Purple rain. (I wish there were a music note key on the Mac :)  I wish I had taken a picture, but I didn't.  Luckily, I only painted two small boards before I changed paint colors.  I ended up using only the wall color for my boards, which the outcome was perfect.  I have to say I was really lucky to only fail once with the color choice.  If you do this, you may need to fiddle with your paints on spare wood to achieve your desired outcome.

Supplies Needed:

1 part paint (I used Benjamin Moore's Decorators White)
*2 parts water  (meaning if you used 2 oz of paint, use 4 oz of water)
Paintbrush
Cup
Dry cloth (I used cheesecloth)


*The ratio of paint and water may not be important.  You just want to water down the paint, so the wood will show through.  So don't sweat over the actual measurements.  It. must. be. 2. oz!! j/k

** I sanded my boards with 80 grit paper before application. 

Mix your paint and water together really well in a plastic cup or bowl.  You will want to apply a small amount of mixture using a paintbrush.  You will work in small batches.  DO NOT apply paint to the entire surface you are working on expecting to be able to thin it out.  My brain tells me your paint will dry, and even if you wet it, you risk having paint lines.  But don't worry.  This isn't a terribly time consuming project.


 Using your cloth, rub the paint in the direction of the wood grain. 


You should be able to spread it out easily.  For my project, I left some of the original color on the boards, so I wasn't getting into every nook and cranny. 


Spread it out as much as you can.


This is what my board looked like afterwards.  (It's the second board down.)
 

Repeat the steps all over again covering new wood. 

Here are the completed whitewashed boards.  Some boards I chose to use two applications of paint.  Sorry, no finale shots of Owen's room just yet. ;)


 And here is a reminder of what the wood use to look like. 


This was an easy technique, and I would love to try this on a dining table!  Hmm, I am eating a card table right now. (Insert thought, *make my own table?*)

So what do you think?  Did I do a good job?  Would you try this technique in your home?

*You can now see the finished room here.

Photobucket
I'm sharing this with:
Somewhat Simple30 Handmade Days, Making It with Allie,

38 comments:

  1. Looks so great! I just really want to see the finished room!

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  2. Just as I was writing that last comment I realized I never responded to an email you sent about fabric...if you are still needing fabric, email me again. I promise this time I will respond...sorry!

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  3. UM... this is SOOO cool! what initiative. :) AND! I know i'm late on this, but i LOVE your new signature! i'm so glad you opted with using your own writing over a font (well; guess i'm assuming it's yours... still love it.)

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  4. It looks good, but I do like the bare wood itself...it reminds me of a log cabin......and of course owen is so darn cute!

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  5. I think it looks great too. Though I'm more of a naturalist and so I adore the look of the natural wood.

    And I definitely think you could do a white washed dining table. I think a big rustic table with matching chairs all painted different colors (but in the same tone, you know) looks so cool & I think your house could totally rock that look.

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  6. Looks beautiful! I recently whitewashed my fireplace mantle that was rough cedar...you're right...super easy! http://headoverheelsdesign.blogspot.com/2012/03/tv-on-brick-fireplace-whitewashed.html

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  7. I LOVE it! We're in a rental right now, otherwise I'd totally do it! I even have a huge pile of pallets out back of our yard!

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  8. This is so lovely! Found you via Pinterest- thanks for the how-to!

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  9. Love this! I painted my coffee table like this but added a few drops of gray into the white and now it has a "pickled" look to it!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. Do you mean your table turned out green-ish?

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  10. Love this! I was just googling "painting pallets" and came across this. My husband is bringing home pallets as I type. We are doing a sign in my daughter's beach themed room and I was trying to decide if I wanted to whitewash or crackle the sign. After seeing this I'm thinking whitewash. Thanks for the post. The wall looks awesome.

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    1. great! it's so easy to whitewash. good luck!

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  11. Thanks for taking the time to share. I've. been debating whether to leave a space overlooking the ocean natural or fully painted white. Maybe this is my compromise.

    Dan

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  12. There is a music key... Purple Rain... OK, so... in Safari, go to EDIT/SPECIAL CHARACTERS, then click the little cog in top left, then select customise. The select 'Musical Symbols' and Close. Viola, you have access to musical symbols from your special characters box which is available via many apps under EDIT.
    Just drag & drop them for any kinda purple rain you want to sing to...

    ♬♫♩♩♩

    Cheerios,
    Cam.
    PS, Whitewashing looks like hard work, I have plenty if you're looking for some ��

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  13. Nancy,

    I've been agonizing over how to stain my floors a light gray, similar to my barn door that's been naturally aged. While I've been hoping to keep some of the myriad of colors in the barn door, it may not be possible in the floor. Just running out of time. My floors are a combination of white and red oak. I'm wondering if you sealed the walls afterwards. Probably not, but I had to ask.

    I'd like to send you some pics if that's possible to get your feedback if you wouldn't mind. You've done very well and thanks for posting your tutorial.

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    1. That's fine. Send me your email address, or send me the photos (and I'll get your address then). You don't have an email attached to your name. I hope I can help!
      owensoliviaAThotmailDOTcom

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  14. I LOVE this room, my 4year old is home from camp for two weeks so we are going to try to do the same thing in his room-wish me luck!

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  15. Love this! Googled whitewashed wood and I found your really gorgeous room (lucky Owen!). I am wanting to whitewash a very large wood mantel....it is totally the wrong color for my taste...I call it the "piece of timber clinging to my wall"...and if it were whitewashed perhaps I would love it more. Thoughts? If you are open to it, I'd love to email you some pics for your thoughts. I am no designer, just a mom with an idea....?? :) Thanks for the "how to's"....makes me think I could DO this! (??)

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  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  17. this is amazing! So glad we discovered your blog!

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  18. This looks amazing, thanks for the Tute!! Fabulous job!!!!!!

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  19. Ok so I know I am laaate commenting but I found this via Google today, Lol! Anyway I think you did a beautiful job and I dont think Ill refer back to Google for anymore tutorials this morning! I fully trust in yours to guide me through my project, yay!! (that's not usually what I do before a project, Lol) I am getting on it right now, excited and confident!! Thanks and love your site! (I've bookmarked it partially because Owen is so stinkin' cute!)

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  20. Hello!

    I'm sorry, but what is the color of Owen's wall that you used to whitewash the boards? I've going over ideas for our guest room and I want a focal wall and this would just be great!

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  21. I used the same method in white when we did our tongue-in-groove ceiling for a beach cottage effect when we remodeled. It really turned out pretty - so many compliments! We sealed it with a clear sealer but that was because it was in the kitchen; I wouldn't seal it otherwise. I plan on doing this again (unsealed) on the walls of our cabin to keep a rustic feel (probably in a very pale gray).

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  22. Looks gorgeous! I think I'm going to try this on a table I'm refinishing but I'm terrified!

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  23. I just love it, you did a great job, now i need to find a room to do it in .

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  24. White wash inspired!!! Your project turned out great. We are about to undertake the project of pretty much white washing our entire house which is wall to wall cedar, good times. We are struggling a bit on the actual paint color however. We dont want it to look pickled, similar to your Purple Rain situation. What color of paint did you end up using? Was it Benjamin Moore? Thanks so much in advance!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I used Benjamin Moore's Decorators White.

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  25. This looks really awesome, thanks for sharing! I'm in the process of restoring my old farmhouse and love the white and pastels theme, but am struggling with painting wood white because I LOVE wood. Whitewashing seems to be the perfect compromise because it allows the wood grain to show through and yet gives you the light/brightness & crispness of white. Thanks again!

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  26. Thank you so much for sharing this easy 'how to'. I had searched for a lot of methods and ended up using yours to whitewash crates to make a corner bookshelf. It was so simple and quick to do and they look amazing!

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    Replies
    1. That is great to hear! Thanks for sharing!

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  27. A little tip to save some time, as I was reading your blog to learn whitewashing, I called my dad who happens to own a construction business, he said follow the instructions you found online but change two things, use white primer rather than white paint, primer is water based (it not only spreads better but you also get to skip the loads of chemicals in your home part) he also said to use a roller so you don't have to scrub it with a cloth. I tried both of these and they worked great. I used the cloth every now and then when the paint was a little heavier than I wanted but just 2-3 times, the roller did the trick the rest of the time!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, that is wonderful to hear Anne! Thank you for sharing the tip!! xx

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  29. wow you have done nice paint on wood. thank you for sharing nice tips of painting.

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