Painting Techniques – Whitewash your Wood Ceilings or Furniture
Preparation before you start to Whitewash
Regardless if you want to whitewash furniture or wooden ceilings, for both you need to do some preparation before you start.
Remove old paint or sealant with paint stripper or sandpaper. Removing the existing finish will prevent the new paint from coming off with a simple wipe as it will not bond with the surface. Doing this is essential for a lasting finish. When using paint stripper remember to neutralize the stripper afterwards with turpentine or mineral spirits.
Sand the furniture by using a medium or fine grit sandpaper or sander on the surfaces you want to whitewash. This provides the wood with an even texture and makes the whitewash attach strongly and evenly. If the wood has an existing layer of paint, lacquer, or stain, you’ll need to sand it off or strip it entirely of its existing coating.
Paint and Water Mixture
When mixing your own, use a 6 parts paint to 4 parts water for a perfect whitewash finish. An Acrylic (PVA), water based paint, is suitable for whitewashing.
Application of the Paint
For wood with large grain and pores, apply the whitewash against the grain to ensure it covers the contour of the wood. Pine and woods with a fine grain, apply the whitewash in the direction of the wood grain for best results.
Apply the paint using a paintbrush, foam roller or clean rag in long strokes to the particular surface. The mixture will dry more quickly than standard paint and therefore it is important to apply the whitewash mixture in relatively small sections rather than attempting to coat the entire surface.
One coat of the mixture normally is enough, especially if you mixed your own whitewash to the desired consistency. However, you can apply additional layers that will obscure more of the wood grain.
While the paint is still wet, wipe away as much of the paint as you need to get the desired finish by running a rag from top to bottom. A sponge can also be used for this. It’s important to wipe away the paint while still wet as this process will be more difficult once the paint has dried.
Completing your Whitewashing Project
Wait for the whitewash to dry completely before you apply a clear acrylic sealant over the surface. Alternatively, you can apply an antique wax for protection. This will ensure fresh and new look for a long time. Most sealants can be applied using a brush or sponge.
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