Projects

How to: whitewash

September 17, 2015

I have a craft show coming up at the end of September, which isn’t really enough time to do much pottery. Fortunately, I have a few other crafty things I can whip together to fill up the booth space.

One fun and quick make is a cute wooden sign. But instead of leaving the wood bare, I whitewashed it! Here’s my super-quick tutorial for how to whitewash your own wood.

Supplies

Wood

Paint (I used two base colors plus white)

Paintbrush

Cloth rag

Directions

1. Begin by painting your wood whatever base color you want. I had seen a cute tutorial that used leftover blue and green paint samples for the base, which had a nice look when finished. I used one of my teal paint samples I’d used previously in my ombre chairs.

2. Paint your second color over your base color. I used Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Typewriter, a matte black that I used on my current dining room table. Because it is water-based, I found one layer to be too thin, so I painted a second coat when the first was dry.

You’ll notice in the photos that the milk paint had some bubbles in it. This is because I didn’t let the paint settle after I mixed it up, since I knew I was going to be painting over and distressing it anyway. If the milk paint was my top coat, I would have let the mixture settle before painting to avoid the bubbles.

3. Once your base coat is dry, you can distress it if you like. I didn’t, only because I knew the whitewash would pull some of the black away since it’s water-based.

4. Mix your white paint with water, about a 1:1 ratio. Since I was doing a small project, I added a few tablespoons of paint to a container and mixed with water.

5. Paint your white over top your base coat and let sit for a minute or two. The key is to let the paint set without completely drying.

6. Now, before your paint dries, take a dry cloth and wipe off your white paint. Here is where you can really make some design decisions. Do you want to take off a lot of white paint to let the base colors shine through, or would you rather leave the white a bit thick and only see a hint of the base color? It’s completely up to you!

7. Now that you have your wood painted, you can add whatever design element you like. I chose to paint a variety of arrows because I think they’re adorable, but you could paint words or names or phrases or any other doodle you like.

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