How To Whitewash Wood


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Have you ever wondered how to get a whitewashed look on new wood?  Or wondered how to get  a piece of wood that looks like it’s weathered and could have been removed from a barn?   I wanted white washed planked walls in my bathroom – full of texture and dimension but didn’t want to tear down a barn to get it.   That’s when my painting experience came in to good use and I believe I’ve come up with a pretty good solution to achieve this look.  Now I am excited to share it with you!

That way you don’t have to tear down a barn either – good thing!

In case you’re curious… you can see my bathroom reveal here.


On to the tutorial.  This was an easy process, just a few steps and drying time is all it takes.

I started with pine boards.

These are 1×8 boards, but any size will do.

You can read about my design decisions for the bathroom and reason for this plank size here.

  1.  Lightly sand the boards to open up the grain for staining.  Clean the boards after sanding with a lint free cloth.

2.  After removing all dust apply stain using a lint free cloth.

Rustoleum Sunbleached

was the stain used here.

(I had some stain that was literally almost gone…

it went on kind of thick and I applied it haphazardly.  Perfection was not the key here.)

You can see the haphazard boards.

Then when I ran out of stain, and used a new can, I was able to get a more uniform look.

Again, perfection is not needed here as this is the first layer.

As always with any staining,  make sure to use proper protection.

3.  After the stain dried, white paint was applied with a foam roller.  I used White Dove (Benjamin Moore) in a flat finish mixed 1/2 paint – 1/2 water combination.  Equal parts water and paint.

The paint will be runny,

so make sure areas are covered with plastic as paint may splatter or drip.

4.  While the paint is still wet, wipe the paint with a paper towel.

It will give a muted white appearance.

If more paint is needed, do another coat.  Let your eye tell you what you need.  Be creative.

5.  After the white paint dries, it’s time to sand the boards.  I used a 220 grit sandpaper and sanded with the grain until the texture and dimension took life.

The pine boards with their knots was an area that I focused on as I wanted them to stick out.

I chose not to use a topcoat, but there are several options.  Polyurethane, wax, or lacquer.  Whichever top coat suits your finished look.

This project gives a light grey background when sanded and creates really cool dimension as though the wood has been around forever.

This is a planked wall showing you the final whitewash finish.

This was done in a bathroom, but can be used in any room on the walls or even a treatment on a ceiling.

If you like this post and find it helpful – pin away and follow along too!  There is more to come…


Every. Single. Moment.


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