January 12, 2013

How to apply a Whitewash finish

 how to apply a whitewsh finish
Long ago, when I first started planning my Guest Bedroom/Craft Room, I created a mood board with round whitewashed table to use as my workspace. Here it is in case you need a re-fresher,or are new to these parts (welcome!) and have never seen it before or have no idea what I’m talking about.
mood board for guest bed
Since then, I kind of switched gears started dreaming of a gorgeous glass top trestle table, then quickly realized that a) It’s not in my budget, and b) It’s not very practical for crafting. So I went back to the original plan and decided to re-finish an old beat-up, drop leaf table we had laying around. I had all the paint & supplies on hand so it didn’t cost my anything to do, just time. Here’s a shot of the table before:


table before
table before up close
As you can see, the top looked like it was in pretty rough shape, but fortunately it was just the finish that was peeling. Nothing a good old electric sander couldn’t fix! This was probably the most tedious part of the job, especially when sanding the turned legs by hand. I used a coarse grit sandpaper to remove the finish first, then lightly sanded again using a fine grit sandpaper to get my surface nice and smooth. (Tip: these Contour Surface Sanding Sponges came in handy when sanding the legs!)  I concentrated the most on the table top itself because I wanted it to be smooth, but the legs weren't perfect. But it’s okay…thats the beauty of creating a weathered effect! Just try and get most of the previous finish off.

sanding table
After my surface was sanded and wiped down with a damp cloth,  I started my paint technique. (Make sure the surface is clean and dry before starting to paint!) I mixed 1 part white paint  to 1 part water, but you can adjust this to be more or less opaque. Working in small areas and going WITH the grain, paint on some of your paint mixture, then immediately wipe it off with a dry rag. Try to work quickly as it soaks in and dries very fast on bare wood.

painting white wash
Here you can see that I finished the middle section with 1 coat. Let dry in between coats and re-apply as often as you feel necessary to achieve the effect you want, somewhere between 2-3 coats. I applied 2 coats on my table.

white wash table in progress
After the paint has fully dried, you can distress your piece of furniture as much or as little as you want. I took a Fine Grit Sanding Sponge and lightly sanded around the edges, on the legs as well as on the table top in certain areas to accentuate the grain.
 disstressing table distressing close up    
After you are satisfied with the distressing, wipe your piece down with a damp cloth to remove and dust and debris and let dry. Apply your choice of sealer / protectant. I chose to use  Minwax Satin Polycrylic


I used a Polycrylic instead of a Polyurethane because the finish is clear. A polyurethane will add a yellow tint to your piece, which is fine when staining wood, but not suitable for a whitewash effect. And the satin finish is much more natural looking than a high gloss. You may also use a wax finish instead, but since I want to use this piece as a work station, the polycrylic will be more durable.

To apply, brush on 2-3 coats of the sealer using a high quality brush, or whatever the manufacturer recommends. Let each coat dry and sand with a Super Fine 400 Grit Sandpaper in between each coat to ensure a smooth surface. I did 3 coats on the table surface for added durability, but only 2 coats on the legs. Please! Make sure to follow all manufacturers recommendations as far as safety and disposal when using this product!! Safety first people:)

how to whitewash a table whitewashed technique how to whitewash  whitewash finish    whitewash table copy whitewash table leg copy   

I’m really pleased with the way it turned out!! The beauty of this technique is it's fairly quick and easy and doesn't have to be perfect. The imperfections is what gives it that rustic charm! And with the money I saved, I can splurge on these to finish off my room:)



vintage Plumes  ghost chair

Robert Allen RA Vintage Plumes - Jade Fabric            Louis Ghost Arm Chair


Check out my other completed projects for this room!


Guest Bedroom/Craft Room Mood Board

Thibaut Inspired Stenciled wall

DIY Faux Roman Shade

Sharing With:

Weekend Wrap-up Party @ Tatertots & Jello * Saturday Nite Special @ Funky Junk Interiors * Overflowing With Creativity @ It’s Overflowing   * It’s Party Time! @ Setting for 4 ,Three Mango Seeds, Cupcakes and Crinolin, It’s So Very Cheri * The Sunday Scoop @ I Heart Naptime * The DIY Project Parade @ The DIY Showoff * Tutorials & Tips @ Home Stories A to Z * Get Your Craft On! @ Today's Creative Blog  * Hookin' Up with House of Hepworths @ House of Hepworths * Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Creek Cottage  * Live Laugh Thursdays @ Live Laugh Rowe * Flaunt It Friday @ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating * Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest * The Humble Brag @ One Project Closer  * Happy Hour @ Craftberry Bush, Crafty, Scrappy Happy & Design, Dining & Diapers  * Furniture Feature Friday @ Miss Mustard Seed

21 comments:

  1. I love the look of white wash, you did a really good job. I am a new follower! I found your link at the “It’s Party Time” party. I would love for you to link up to my weekly linky party Fluster Muster on Wednesday’s @ http://www.FlusterBuster.com.

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    1. Thanks Robin! And I'll make sure to check out your linky party:)

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  2. Wow! Your table turned out just gorgeous! Thanks for sharing. IT'S A PARTY @ Three Mango Seeds

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  3. I think you turned your junk into a gem! What a great job. I love a whitewashed finish. Don't you just love it when a projects goes well!

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    1. YES!! I've had quite a few failures, so it's nice to have a winning project every now and again! Thanks for visiting Robin!

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  4. Really nice and I'll be pinning for future use! Visiting from The Shabby Nest!

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  5. This is really awesome! Love the finish! I like it way better thank the trestle top table :)

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  6. Thanks for linking up your whitewashed table to It's Party Time - it's adorable! Great job you did refinishing it Sarah!! I love whitewash!!

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  7. Featured your gorgeous table today here, Sarah! http://www.settingforfour.com/2013/01/its-party-time-1-20-2013-linky-party.html Thanks so much for linking up last week - hope to see you at this weeks party!

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    1. Thanks so much Heather! Greatly appreciated:)

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  8. Great post Sarah and love the table. Not sure how I have missed Polycrylic, but i have always used polyurthane and hated the yellow tint. Thanks for schooling me! :) btw, was excited to see you on Blogtalk!!

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    1. Thanks Jocie! I’m thrilled to be a part of it :) The polycyclic works great as it doesn’t change the color at all! You can tell its not quite as hard and durable as the polyurethane, but as long as you are not using it on super high traffic areas such as floors, its great!

      Looking forward to chatting a bit more on Blogtalk!!

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  9. The table looks great! Thanks for sharing how to whitewash.

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  10. YOur table turned out great!! I'm sitting here looking at my worn out kitchen table thinking how awesome it would look with this treatment! I've been thinking about painting it, but I like this waaaaaaayyy better! Thanks so much for the tutorial- pinning it now!!!

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    1. Thanks for sharing the love Laura! It really was an easy finish to do because it doesn't have to be perfect! The only time consuming thing was taking off the previous finish, but you could always use a stripper. I hear citri-strip works really good. Send me a picture if you decide to do it! I would love to see the final result:)

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  11. Nice job on that table, it turned out gorgeous! I like your tutorial too, thanks and I've got this linked to my whitewashing DIY's post too today!

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  12. The table turned out so great! I host a DIY link party every Monday and would love for you to join! http://homecomingmn.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-diyers-link-party.html

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  13. This is beautiful I just bought a round table and chairs and have been in search of a tutorial just like this. Question... have you ever used a liquid sanding product, if so do you think it would work instead of sanding by hand the entire table like you did?

    Thank you, Stacy

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    1. Thank-you! I have never personally used a liquid sanding product, but I have heard that they work really good to strip painted pieces. Sorry I couldn't have been more help!

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