How to: Whitewash Wood with Chalk Paint™

Using Chalk Paint™ to whitewash wood brings out the grain and creates a classic limed oak look in just a few simple steps.

On some projects, you’ll be working with old wood with the most beautiful grain in it. Creating a whitewash with paint is a great way to bring out the grain and create a classic country look. If you want to recreate the appearance of limed oak, choose Chalk Paint™ in Old White, but you can also try Pure and even Duck Egg Blue!

Whichever colour you work with, this technique is great for lightening dark wood while retaining the appearance of the natural woodgrain. You’ll be thinning the paint right down with water to create a wash. The paint will seep right down into the grain, acting as a stain, while you wipe back the top for a translucent or limed oak finish.

Annie Sloan using Chalk Paint® in Old White to bring out the grain in wood

Step by step guide to whitewash wood with Chalk Paint™

  1. Add a little water to your Chalk Paint™, making sure to stir well.
  2. Apply the thinned paint by brushing it into the wood every which way with a large Chalk Paint™ brush to make certain it goes into the grain of the oak.
  3. Before the paint has a chance to dry, wipe off the excess several times with a lint-free cloth until you have achieved the colour and intensity you are after. The first wiping will give it a translucent stain, but if you wipe again the wood will look more like limed oak with the paint just in the grain.
  4. For a stronger effect, repeat steps 1 and 2.
  5. Finish by making sure that every part of your furniture has been waxed at least once with Chalk Paint™ Wax. If you’re painting a floor, be sure to use Chalk Paint™ Lacquer instead.

Whitewashing wood with paint is a great way to lighten and clean up an old piece of furniture without losing the grain of the wood. It’s also a great technique to use on floorboards for that rustic country look. Want to know more about whitewashing or creating a limed oak look? Each Annie Sloan Stockist is trained to offer you workshops and practical advice on this and other techniques using Chalk Paint™. When you’re done, take a picture of your finished project and share it with the Annie Sloan community using #AnnieSloan.

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