How to White Wash Furniture

Do you have some old piece of furniture that you are just so sentimentally connected to, and you don’t want to throw it away or give it to anyone, but it still looks worn out and useless? 

Maybe you should consider one of the most popular techniques nowadays that everyone raves about. It’s called whitewashing, and the furniture will breathe new life and make it look nice, new, and most importantly – unique. 

Whitewashed furniture is bright, has a pleasingly imperfect aesthetic to make any room appear cozier and friendlier, and complements any modern farmhouse or charming cottage. 

What makes it way cooler than a regular painting, it’s the bright look of the wood surface that allows its natural grain to show reflection, and in the end, you’ll be getting results out of the ordinary that will amaze your household and guests. 

Besides being extremely easy to do even if you lack many DIY skills, the process is swift and requires only a few simple tools. We have just the right guide on how to white wash furniture that will make you proud of your skill and masterpiece at the end of the day. So, let’s take a look!

How to White Wash Furniture

About WhiteWashing Furniture 

So, before we share our tips on how to white wash furniture, whitewashing furniture creates an appearance of weather wood. 

Other than that, it looks like something like a white wood stain applied over your piece of furniture. One of the best things about this look is that you can do it yourself and give a completely new and refreshed look to every old piece. 

Why whitewash furniture?

Suppose you are still wondering why whitewashing; there is no reason for doubt. It will make the finished piece look great, refresh the wood texture, and give your home a timeless chart. Another great advantage is that it is budget-friendly since it doesn’t demand too many materials. 

You can turn every old piece into a new one and enhance your living area without going to waste. It’s always a good idea to reuse and revitalize old products instead of investing money and purchasing a new one.

Also read: What Style Is Nailhead Furniture?

How to White Wash Furniture

Step 1: Prepare the materials 

Before you start the process, prepare the materials. This is what you’ll need:

  • White paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Stir stick
  • Mixing bucket
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Damp cloth
  • Sander and sandpaper
  • Water-based clear coat
  • Protective equipment by choice.

Making the whitewash is very simple. Just dilute white-based paint with water and oil-based white paint with paint thinner or turpentine. The ratio of the paint density depends on the look you want to achieve. 

For thinker coverage, we recommend using two parts of paint to one part thinner, and for thinner application, try the reverse option. 

It’s always best to first experiment with the mixture in an unnoticeable spot to ensure it’s what you want it to look before committing. Otherwise, it will be more challenging to reverse it. 

Step 2: Prep the surface 

It doesn’t matter whether the piece of furniture is old or new; it needs good prep. You must know that if you are putting paint over bare wood, it will get much more easily absorbed. 

Preparing your surface doesn’t require anything particular. Most of the time, you’ll only need to wipe down the wood piece. 

However, you can do a light scuff with sandpaper to help the paint stick more evenly. We recommend using 150 grit since it’s right enough to scuff the surface but not too much to damage. 

Work in the same direction, lightly sanding the entire surface of your furniture and when you are done, remove the remaining residue using a clean damp cloth. 

Step 3: Time to whitewash

Once your surface is prepared, it’s time to begin the white paint application. Work the paint mixture on the surface of the wood using a paintbrush to give a more even look. 

If there is too much paint buildup in certain areas, clean it with a damp cloth and then repeat the step until you are satisfied with the finish. To maintain a proper opaque, spray any of the inconsistent areas. 

After you finish applying your first coat, let it dry completely so that you can determine whether to apply a second or a third one. Leave it for a couple of hours, then use fine grit sandpaper to even the areas where the coverage it’s thicker than the ideal. 

Step 4: Seal with a protective finish

Finish by applying a clear polyurethane sealer using a clean brush to perfect your creation and bring it to competition. Make sure you apply it to the surface as evenly as possible. Once it’s sealed, the whitewash will look perfect for many years. 

We recommend using a water-based clear coat as a finish instead of an oil-based one since they tend to yellow over time. Also, it’s much easier to maintain your whitewashed look. And voila! Now you have your pretty and unique piece ready to show off and amaze everyone. 

Read More: How to Wash a Tempurpedic Pillow


Upcycling furniture is the rage these days, whether it’s putting some glamor back into an old rug, painting wood, or even turning the shabbiest pieces into a new lease of glamor. 

Probably whitewash furniture holds the top as it is one of the most straightforward and budget-friendly methods to upcycle any old furniture. 

This type of styling can truly embrace the imperfections of any piece in a pretty aesthetic way and create a soft, rustic look that will ideally match any farmhouse or any other space. 

Don’t doubt that this type of look would go out of style, and yet it’s a cost-effective option. It’s simple and doesn’t require too much professional skill. 

These were the key techniques, and we hope that you found our guide on how to white wash furniture truly inspiring and helpful. When you are done, take a picture of your masterpiece and share it with us, as we’ll be more than happy to see your work. 

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top