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How to whitewash wooden furniture

Why whitewash wooden furniture? It’s an affordable and enjoyable way to transform old pieces of wooden furniture. It really does give them a new lease of life. Many people can be a little nervous when it comes to whitewashing wooden furniture, but with the right preparation and a little know how, you will get fantastic and rewarding results.

A step-by-step guide on how to whitewash wooden furniture:

Preparation – what you will need

It’s always best to gather everything you need before you start. You will need the following to whitewash wooden furniture:

  • White paint
  • A stick for stirring the paint
  • White vinegar
  • Water for thinning
  • Rags
  • Brushes of different sizes
  • Sandpaper or sanding sheets
  • Varnish

Step 1: Thoroughly clean the wood

The first step is to thoroughly clean the wood. This means removing any stickers, nails and anything else that covers the wood. You can use soapy water, but if the wood is particularly old and is covered in protective oils, then you may need to use an old rag dipped in white vinegar. Just remember to wait for the wood to thoroughly dry before sanding.

Step 2: Sand the wood

You need to sand the wood down to remove all of the old finish. This can be done via sanding sheets, or paper for small items. For larger pieces of wooden furniture, a sanding machine will be useful. All finish needs to be removed so that the paint will ‘stick’ to the wood. Be sure to wipe down the wood after sanding so that no dust remains.

Step 3: Mix the paint

To create a whitewash, you need to mix the white paint with water. Latex paint is a good choice, and the most popular ratio is that of one part paint to one part water. You can, however, use three parts paint to one part water. It all depends on how much grain you want to show through the paint. This is why it is a good idea to add the water gradually and do test patches. Just remember to thoroughly stir the paint, so that it is very well mixed, otherwise the paint will not bond to the wood.

Step 4: Paint the furniture

Be bold and apply the paint generously to the wood in even strokes. It’s a good idea to paint in the direction of the grain. You’ll also notice that the whitewash will dry much quicker than paint alone.

Step 5: Correct as you paint

Do not be worried about making mistakes. As you paint, if you feel that the paint is too thin, then simply wipe away the excess with a clean rag and start again.

Step 6: Seal the paint

The last step is to seal the whitewash and this is done by adding a layer of polyurethane varnish. As this is clear, it will not affect the paint, but will simply add a layer of protection. Apply the varnish in a thin and even layer.

Contact us if you have any questions regarding how to whitewash wooden furniture. View some great whitewash ideas on Pinterest. For further painting tips check out our blog.

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