HERE IS HOW TO LIGHTEN YOUR DATED WOOD WITH AN EASY WHITEWASH STAIN FINISH | CURB-SHOPPED CHAIR MAKEOVER | YOUTUBE VIDEO
Hi SI family! I hope you’re enjoying this fabulous summer weather and treating yourself to some fun in the sun! Today I’m sharing How To Whitewash Wood to give it a lighter updated finish. If you have a piece of furniture or wood project that has red or orange undertones, this easy water-based whitewashing technique will give it a whole new look!
I’ve tried and tested my fair share of whitewashing methods on various pieces of furniture so I’m also including 10 Simple Tips to achieve this look. I’m not a whitewashing expert, but you don’t have to be. Believe me, if I can do it YOU can do it.
Here’s the wood chair I started with. It was found curbside and I love the shape and style of this chair.
There were some issues on the seat including a crack, but this chair is great for staging and styling because it’s so unique looking.
THIS POST IS SPONSORED/CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS TO PRODUCTS I USE. YOU CAN SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE HERE.
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED
WHITEWASHING WOOD USING STAIN
CLEAN & PREP
I didn’t want the stain to sit on top of the existing finish so it was important to clean and sand. After a good cleaning, I pulled out my trusty Dewalt orbital sander and started sanding off the old finish.
For the shapely legs, I used CitriStrip which is really easy to use and can even be used indoors without a harsh odor. I’ve been having a harder time finding it so if any of you know where to buy it, I’d love to know as well.
MIXING THE WASH
Here comes the fun part! Once the chair was entirely stripped of the old finish and wiped down with a tack cloth, I used this White Magic Gel Stain to whitewash the wood. I wanted a really light (more natural) finish so I diluted this water-based stain down by 50%. I mixed about a half cup of stain with a half cup of water. This dilutes the stain and gives it a softer more subtle whitewash effect where more of the grain will show through. However, if you wanted a more opaque white, you can use the gel stain at its full strength.
USING PAINT FOR A WHITE WASH
If you’d prefer to use paint rather than a stain, creating a whitewash using paint is done in the EXACT same way as above. Take a half cup of white paint and mix in half a cup of water to create your wash. The best paints to use are water-based. This included latex, chalk paints, acrylic paint, or mineral or craft paints. Do not use oil-based paint. Oil-based paints will not mix with water and will amber the wood. Once your wash is mixed, you can apply it as described down below.
I have a full tutorial on How To Apply White Wash With Paint HERE!
APPLYING THE WASH
I used a paintbrush to apply the wash but a foam brush, rag, applicator pad or shop towel will also work. I like working in small sections. This way I can paint the stain on, and let it sink in for a bit. Before it dries, I wipe it off with a shop towel. Whether you use a shop towel or rag, be sure to have a few on hand as this can get messy. You’re always working with a WET wash. Don’t let it dry before wiping it back or else it ends up looking very uneven.
When I find a new product to make things easy, I’m thrilled to share it with you. Dixie Belle sent me their new White Magic in their water-based Voodoo Gel stain and I have to say this stuff is good! I’m kind of addicted to their water-based Gel Stains. You can check out examples of Tobacco Road here and Up In Smoke on this table here, so trying this NEW white was a treat.
**UPDATE – This post has been updated on June 20/2023 and these Voodoo Gel Stains are still HIT sellers because they are so easy to work with. They are water-based. There is no odor. The stains are easily buildable to get the opacity you like. And clean-up is super easy.
10 TIPS TO WHITEWASH WOOD
These 10 tips will work if you’re using a stain or a paint wash!
- Sand off any old finish to expose the wood
- Wipe with a tack cloth to remove the dust
- Use water-based whitewash to avoid ambering (stain or paint wash)
- Thin down the wash (with water) to create the opacity you’re after
- Apply the wash in the direction of the grain with a brush or rag
- Use a lint-free cloth or shop towel to wipe off the excess wash
- Wipe off all the excess wash in the direction of the grain
- Repeat. You can apply additional coats of the wash to gain a whiter more opaque look
- Lightly sand AFTER the whitewash has dried if you’d like more grain to show through
- Use a water-based top coat to avoid ambering
To protect this chair I used a water-based Satin Clear Coat. I could have also used a clear or white wax instead so long as it was water-based as well.
And here’s this curb-shopped chair’s NEW look!
This finish really brightens up the wood and gives it a more modern finish.
I can’t wait to hear what you think!
Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on Youtube. If you have any problems viewing it below, feel free to watch it on my Youtube Channel HERE. Our #siyoutubefamily is already a community of 39K so don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t done so already! So exciting, thank YOU! 🙂
Here’s another look at this chairs’ before and after. I hope it’s inspired you and given you some ideas for your projects!
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS WHITEWASHED CHAIR MAKEOVER … OR FEEL FREE TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE… I ALWAYS LOVE HEARING FROM YOU.
Thanks for reading. 🙂
Wishing you a beautiful day filled with inspiration and Happy Painting friends!