How To Whitewash Wood

| Last modified on January 27th, 2022

Since the late days of ancient Egypt, the art of whitewashing has been utilized for its aesthetic and practical benefits. White coloring allows for a clean, uniform finish to update and spruce up any room in your house. Whitewash wood rather easy and can be made by applying white paint to the wooden surface. However, there can be some difficulties, so it will be great for you to explore this issue and learn how to whitewash wood in an easy way.

How To Whitewash Wood

If you want to learn how to whitewash wood, you have to be ready to put in the time and research to make sure you don’t end up with a messy, splotchy, or unevenly slathered space.

Materials You’ll Need For White Washing Wood

If you are considering whitewashing wood but are not sure about the materials needed for the job, I created a list of essential materials you might need. Besides this, you need to protect yourself, so just take on a long-sleeved shirt and rubber gloves and a dust mask. Below, there’s the list of materials:

  • White Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Mixing Cups
  • Bucket
  • Rags
  • Scraper
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Polyurethane Sealer

How To Whitewash Wood: 5 Proven Steps

Step 1: Remove The Existing Finish From The Wood

Before you can add a new finish to the wood, you need to remove the existing finish. This is a step that many DIYers skip, and then they wonder why they can’t get the finish they want to stick. The bottom line is that you need to remove the existing finish before you apply a new one.
There are several ways to remove the finish. The easiest is to sand it off with sandpaper. You can also use a chemical stripper to remove it. You want to make sure you remove all the dust and wood fibers from the wood to provide a good surface for the whitewashing wood. 

Step 2: Dilute White Paint: Water-Based And Oil-Based Options

Now you need to prepare the whitewashing. When you need to dilute white paint for an interior or exterior job, it’s hard to know just how much water to add. Too little water and the stain will remain too thick, impossible to work with while adding too much will make the paint too thin, which can also be a problem. This procedure is about water-based paint, but if you’re going to use oil-based paint, you need to use turpentine for diluting.

Step 3: Apply The Whitewash

Apply the whitewash is a much easy job then you may think, but to ensure you do it right, it’s best to take your time and follow these simple instructions. Use a roller or paintbrush and apply the white paint on the wooden surface according to the wood grain’s directions. If you want the wood grain to show more, just wipe away some paint with the help of the microfiber cloth.

Step 4: Let Dry Between Coats

While painting, you need to determine if you will need additional whitewash layers. If so, you need to wait for several hours while the paint dries and then apply another coat.

Step 5: Seal The Wood

The wood sealer is the protective coat that goes on before you finish your wood. It helps keep the wood looking good for a long time, and it also gives you some protection from water and the sun. When your white surface completely dry, you can seal it with a clear polyurethane sealer.
To make sure your new deck or fence doesn’t crack and split, apply the sealer in thin, even coats. A clear polyurethane sealer works on all types of wood, but it can be tricky to apply correctly on various surfaces. Never use oil-based sealers on wood that’s been treated with preservatives since the finish will crack, leaving the wood vulnerable to moisture damage.


What Paint To Use For Whitewashing Wood?

Whitewashing wood is a great way to spruce up any old furniture; it also makes it look brand new and can hide any blemishes. But what paint do you use? If you have any allergies to latex or other chemicals, consider using an oil-based paint instead of a latex-based one. This is especially helpful if you paint a wood floor since most paints with latex in them are not meant for floors. You may also apply water-based white paint for indoor surfaces.

Do You Have To Sand Before Whitewashing?

If you are looking to whitewash wood, you should know that the first step to any successful whitewashing project is sanding. Whitewashing wood is a very simple process that requires the wood to be stripped of its old finish. You can use sandpaper or a power sander to get the wood smooth. If you skip this step, the whitewashing process will be complicated and result in a not bright and uniform coat.

How Long Will Whitewash Last?

If you’ll apply the whitewash correctly and remove the previous finish from the wooden surface, this cover can last up to 25-30 years. It’s also important to keep the surface of white-washed wood clean. If you don’t keep it clean, the whitewash will end up cracking, creating a patchy look, and the wood will start to rot.

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