DIY: Furniture White-wash

Firnityre Whitewash Do It Yourself

By Dale Anne Scogings

You’ve just finished painting you bathroom and you have half a tin of white paint left. As you start cursing for not calculating correctly you spot that old piece of pine furniture that some long lost relative or ex-lover-spouse person built, varnished and gave to you because varnished-pine used to be cool. So what does one do with left over paint and outdated pine furniture? One white-washes it. That’s what one does.

You’ll need some paint thinners, a paint brush, some sandpaper (or an electric sander), some white paint (or any other colour for that matter) and one piece of dated furniture. Armed with these tools you can begin your process of freshening up your ‘unfresh’ furniture.

How? First you need to wipe down the pine surface, using a slightly damp cloth. Next up, you need to roll up your sleeves, don your dungarees, blast some music and get in touch with your inner carpenter. It’s sanding time. Using the sandpaper you need to remove all of the old varnish. Yay for a clean varnish-free-paint-wanting surface!

The fun part comes next. It’s Picasso time! Dilute your paint with the paint thinners and get painting. I usually go by the half-half ratio, but it’s totally up to you. For a darker wash use less thinners and for a lighter wash, use more thinners – simple. The same goes for the number of coats you do, yes? One coat might seem dark at the time of painting, but give it a few minutes and the wood would (say wood again) soak it right up. Going with my half-half ratio, I did about three coats of paint to get my rocking chair looking spiffy again.


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