How to do a white wash treatment on natural wood

I recently took on the challenge of transforming a dark and neglected basement into a creative space for me to use for a few months. I was on a very tight budget for this project but luckily there were a few things left in the basement that I could use or repurpose, like this old shelving unit built out of 2″x4″. It will be very useful to store things but I had to figure out a way to spruce it up without spending a lot of money.

White-wash-shelving-before

I had always wanted to try white washing a piece of furniture so this was the perfect occasion to give it a try without too much stress about the outcome – this will be a creative space to experiment after all!  So after doing a bit of research online, I settled on making a white wash mix of 1 part paint, 2 parts water. It’s important to mix the 2 together very well to have a uniform distribution of the paint.

White-wash-treatment-step-1

I prepped the shelving unit by filling in holes with wood filler and sanding down the rougher parts.

White-wash-treatment-step-2

Then I applied the white wash mix onto the shelving unit with a brush first, and then wiped off the excess with damp rag. Please don’t go “sans-gloves” like I did or your hands will be covered with paint like mine were! 

White-wash-treatment-painting-on-square

White-washing-rag-first-coat-square

After doing the first coat and letting that dry, I opted to apply another coat for a whiter look. 

White-wash-treatment-wiping-off

The shelves had a lot of stains so I painted them instead of doing the white washing. 

White-wash-treatment-painting-shelves

I really liked how it turned out. I didn’t do this but it would be a good idea to seal it with wax or some other sealer.

White-washed-shelving-unit

Here’s the shelving unit with that side of the basement finished. I made some barn doors, including the hardware, to partially cover up the front and the things I’m storing that aren’t the nicest to look at.

Shelving-unit-with-barn-doors

You can see all the projects I did in the basement in this video, including how I built the wall panel, temporarily covered up the old carpet. 

 

 

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Comment

  1. kate

    Love the panel, a genuine budget makeover – very pleased to see more of your inventive work, including the small barn doors

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