whitewash furniture

Avoid These Mistakes When You Whitewash Your Furniture

whitewash furniture

Avoid These Mistakes When You Whitewash Your Furniture

Posted on: October 30, 2019

Are you getting tired or bored with the look of your old furniture, but you can't seem to part with it?

Maybe it's a family heirloom, or maybe it's strong enough to last you another twenty years.

Whatever the reason, whitewashing that old furniture is a great way to give it an updated look.

Whitewashing is an excellent technique to use when you want an updated look, but still want to showcase the wood grain.

The whitewash will give an airy feel to your furniture while preserving the integrity of the beautiful wood.

And what's even better is that whitewashing is one of the easiest techniques to use.

When you do it right, your friends will think you're a professional painter or interior designer.

All you have to do is avoid the common mistakes we talk about below, and you will have amazing

whitewashed furniture.

Table of Contents

 

Before you can whitewash you need to clean

Neglecting To Clean The Furniture

When working with any type of furniture, especially older or antique, you need to clean it.

This step isn't fun, and it gets skipped often, dooming projects from the start.

Even if it looks clean, wood will accumulate oils and other things that aren't conducive to painting over the years.

Dirty floors, dust, and fingerprints also make furniture dirty.

It might be an annoyance, but you will be glad you took the time to clean your furniture before whitewashing it when you finish the project.

For an extra kick, clean your furniture with white vinegar to really make sure it's ready for paint.

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Skipping The Sandpaper

Many times people are so excited to whitewash their furniture that they forget to remove the old finish first.

If you keep the old finish on your furniture, your whitewash will eventually peel off and create a giant mess.

All you have to do is grab some sandpaper and start sanding until you see the actual wood.

When you whitewash over the wood and not the original finish, you are guaranteeing that the paint will stick.

Make sure you don't stop sanding until every surface is smooth and even.

Whitewashing a rough surface will leave your furniture looking splotchy, uneven, and rough.

Start with some 80 grit paper and work your way up to 400 grit for an extra smooth surface.

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Not Testing The Mixture

The whitewash mixture should be one part latex paint and one part water.

However, depending on the look you are going for, that mixture could be drastically different.

If you just want a hint of white, use mostly water.

If you want your white to be big and bold, use mostly paint.

The key to getting your desired result is to test your mixture before you start painting.

Before you put any paint on your furniture, test the mixture on a spare piece of wood.

Play around with your mixture until you are satisfied, and then you can start painting your furniture.

Or, if you want to go with a less DIY option, you can actually buy white stains that will remove the guesswork.

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whitewash furniture

You Paint Instead of Stain

Whitewashing is done using a staining process, not a painting process.

Painting and staining are very different and will achieve very different results.

To achieve the whitewash look, after you apply the paint mixture with a brush, don't let it set for more than three minutes before you work it into the gran using a rag.

This removes excess paint and gives it the unique whitewashed look you're going for.

This technique is one of the most important steps in whitewashing, but it is often overlooked or forgotten.

If you skip this step, you are doing nothing more than painting with watered down paint and creating a messy, unfinished look.

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Painting Everything At Once

When you whitewash, you want to work in small sections instead of painting the entire thing at once.

You need to work in small, manageable areas so your wash doesn't have time to try before you get a chance to wipe it with your rag.

Keep your paint area small enough so that you can paint and then wipe it within three minutes.

For big projects, you can have two people working simultaneously to speed up the process.

One person paints, and the other person goes behind them and wipes off the excess.

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Avoid these mistakes when whitewashing your furniture

Bring That Old Furniture Back To Life

We get it, that old nightstand doesn't look the best anymore, but it still does the job.

And it's strong and sturdy, not something that feels like it could fall apart at any second.

When you're in this situation, one of the best things to do to bring your old, reliable furniture back to life is to whitewash.

Whitewashing can update the look of any piece of furniture, turning an old dud into a centerpiece.

As long as you avoid the mistakes above, you will have your furniture looking like its brand new in no time.

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