In this easy DIY tutorial, we’ll show you how to whitewash furniture without sanding to achieve a limewashed effect. I just love the power of paint and how it can absolutely change the entire attitude of a room!
White paint comes in all different types and there are enough techniques to write a massive paint encyclopedia. (Hey, maybe there already is one?!)
If you want to learn how to whitewash furniture without sanding, you’ve come to the right place! I’ll show you my favorite tips to get that lovely whitewashed wood look without using grit sandpaper, complicated paint ratios, or impossible-to-find chemicals.
I’m basically a simple girl dreamer with simple needs and it only makes sense that my painting techniques are equally uncomplicated. I’ve tried all varieties of paint and it seems that I always fall back on traditional house paint or craft paint.
This is why I’m pretty much obsessed with this farmhouse table painting idea. I love the ease of it and how the whitewashed finish turns out every time I use this technique.
I’ve worked with all levels of projects and when push comes to shove I go for the straightforward. Our dining table is one that we built several years ago and I shared it in an updated TUTORIAL.
We scored the base that is from a Pottery Barn farmhouse table at a yard sale a long time back. The top had a lacquered ugly yellow finish that was really thick and the table was too small.
Off came the base and we used it to build a new tabletop. The base and legs were already painted in the creamy white that is still on it, so we didn’t do a thing with that.
I love the farmhouse look of the top that we built, stained and waxed, but it has been calling my name to lighten up for a long time!
Can you whitewash over varnished wood?
The short answer is no. The varnish won’t apply the other paints to adhere to the wood and this is going to cause a problem later on. If you have a varnished wood table, you’re going to want to use another method of painting over it or try to remove the varnish beforehand. For this situation, I go straight to a chemical stripper and start from scratch.
Do I need to sand before whitewashing?
No, you don’t have to sand your wooden furniture before whitewashing. People do it because they think that it adheres better, but it is not necessary.
I didn’t do it with mine and it worked out perfectly.
How long will whitewash last?
This is just another reason why I love to whitewash a table with paint. If you take good care of the surface and area that it’s painted on, it’s going to last you for a really long time!
Do you prime before whitewashing?
To prime or not to prime! Well, in my experience priming depends on how you want your whitewash finish to look.
If you want your furniture to look rustic or have that farmhouse feel, you really don’t have to add a primer. Now, if you want a more solid and saturated color, then you should consider priming it.
How do you get whitewash stains off the floor?
After so many years of DIYs and giving new life to my old pieces of furniture, I noticed that whitewash stains are almost impossible to avoid during the painting process.
If you find that you’ve dropped some of the paint on the floor during your project, there are ways that you can get the wood stain off without worry. Warm water and dish soap can help to get a lot of it off and if it lands on a hard surface, you just need to let it dry first and then gently scrape it off or try to peel it off.
Whitewashing A Farmhouse Table In 30 Minutes
I used this paint by RUSTOLEUM and they also have a CHALKED PAINT, but I’ve never used their brand. It has good reviews, but in all honesty, I’m not generally a fan of chalky paint, but I’m a fan of milk paint and house paint. A whitewashed farm table is a beautiful thing and looks good everywhere, no matter your home decor style.
I’m pretty excited to be working with Benjamin Moore this weekend as a color consultant at a local event!
How To Easily Whitewash Furniture
- Prep your wood furniture. Make sure to wipe down any dust and grease first. If it needs a bit of restoration, make sure to work on that first and then start the painting process.
- Grab a paintbrush and white acrylic paint. I would recommend using water-based paint.
Try to avoid oil-based paint at all costs! You would have to thin it out with mineral spirits and that is pretty toxic.
- For your whitewashing mixture, you’ll need a diluted paint mix. I recommend watering down the paint in a small manageable bucket. (I like using a large plastic yogurt container).
This helps to make the paint consistency perfect to nail the whitewashed look.
For this table, I mixed about 2/3 paint to 1/3 water. This table had an original wax finish but I didn’t think that it was necessary to sand it off. To be on the safe side you certainly can give it a light sanding first if preferred.
- Using a paint brush, start painting! Use little brush strokes and try to go little by little in the direction of the wood grain of the boards, just like I showed you before in this tutorial: FARMHOUSE TABLE. Use the same instructions if your tabletop is one solid piece of wood or veneered. Try to avoid going against the grain of the wood.
- Paint a small area at a time. Before the paint dries, make sure to have a damp and clean rag on hand to wipe down the paint you just applied until it looks like a whitewash finish. Use a lint-free cloth for this step, to avoid messing up the final result. Have in mind that you may have to repeat this step in some areas if you’ve wiped off too much.
- Depending on what your end goal is in terms of style, you may want to consider adding a glaze or topcoat as a final touch. But, that’s up to you!
Furniture Wax With A Whitewashing Technique
Here is the finished table! Although it sounds nearly impossible it truly took me maybe 20 minutes to do.
I’m going to let it cure for a day or two and then give it an additional coat of wax with my FAVORITE WAX. I’ve been using the wax for years and it’s the best and so incredibly easy to use!
I can’t wait to set the table for some fun posts to share coming your way soon!
Do you have a piece of furniture that you would like to lighten up by whitewashing? Let me know if you have any questions!