3 Simple Techniques to Whitewash Wood

Looking for that rustic whitewashed farmhouse look?

Try any of these 3 easy wood whitening techniques and turn drab into fabulous for your next project!

Technique #1 Paint and Water: Supplies

Using equal parts paint and water, the paint becomes semi-transparent and allows the wood grain to show through. This technique is best used on new woods or smooth surfaces and creates a smooth, controlled modern look.

  • Wood
  • White paint
  • Water
  • Mixing glass
  • Rag

Technique #1 Painting and Water: Steps

  1. Mix paint and water to the desired consistency (for this example, I used equal parts).
  2. Dip the cloth in the mixture and apply it generously to the wood as if it were a stain, wiping with a cloth to distribute it evenly.
  3. Dry and repeat layers until desired opacity is achieved.
  4. For large projects, it is helpful to lay the planks on a flat surface, such as easels, when painting. Use these tips to buy or build your own easels.

Technique #2 Ink and Wax: Supplies

With this technique, use wax to mask high spots and grain on the surface of the wood before painting. It works on all types of wood and creates a vintage, chipped look. See how you can make new wood look worn.

  • Wood
  • White paint
  • White or clear wax candle
  • Brush
  • Rag
  • Water (optional)

Technique #2 Ink and Wax: Steps

  1. Using the side of the candle, rub the wax vigorously into the wood, working quickly and sporadically, leaving wax on the surface.
  2. Paint the entire surface with white paint and let it dry until tacky, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Use a cloth to scrub the surface, applying pressure to the wax areas to remove the ink. If desired, moisten the cloth with water to remove even more ink.
  4. If you are working on a large project, it may take more than a day to complete. Try these tricks to store your brush overnight.

Technique #3 Paint and Drag: Supplies

This technique works best on highly textured surfaces, such as rough or reclaimed wood, and creates a more rustic barn wood look.

  • Wood
  • White paint
  • Plastic scraper or wide putty knife

Technique #3 Paint and Drag: Steps

  1. Pour a drop of ink directly into the center of the plate.
  2. Use the scraper to drag the paint across the board and fill in the grooves in the wood grain.
  3. Repeat on required areas and allow to dry overnight.
  4. Final touches
  5. Lime add polyurethane

Now that you know how to whiten wood, choose the right technique for your project and the desired look. For all techniques, consider finishing with a layer of polyurethane to seal your hard work.

We hope you enjoy watching this video about How to Whitewash Wood

Source: The Craftsman Blog

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