White Wash Wizard

Construct, DIY, Interior / Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Painting and Sealing the Recent Farm Table

Evan and I have been hard at work trying to complete his Mom’s furniture pieces for her beach house. Our current projects are:
1) Assembling and painting IKEA dresser drawers
2) Building and painting the dining room farm table
3) Building and painting a large entry table to go in the foyer
4) Building and painting patio lounge furniture

Needless to say, we have a lot on our plate with me still going to work during the week. But, good thing we love constructing and painting…most of the time. I mean, if I said I loved it at all times I would be lying because, let’s be honest, it can get tedious and downright frustrating. I have had many thoughts of what might happen if I were to throw my paint brush across the room in anger. Thankfully, I have resisted that temptation.

For this post, I am focusing on the farm table which just so happens to be my favorite piece thus far. I have been testing different methods of white washing wood, and I must say that I am in love with this technique. It’s so easy and not to mention, cheap. Your paint lasts twice as long because you are watering it down. It’s such an awesome way to give your piece an original look. In the middle of white washing the boards I told Evan that I wouldn’t be disappointed if his mom didn’t like the table, we can just keep it for ourselves.

I used flat-white latex paint and E gave me a cute little paint holder for me to hold instead of putting it on a plate or just leaving it in the can, which I have been known to do. Our first farm table still looks great, but the process definitely made us realize a lot of things that we needed to improve or do differently for this one. Correction number one, paint the top boards before they are put together. I painted the boards individually and also painted the frame/legs before Evan attached the table-top boards. This way, paint won’t seep down into the cracks of the boards AND you won’t see any unfinished edges anywhere on the table. Seriously, everything is painted. The white wash gave it an aged, but modern feel since it is crisp white.

To achieve my white washed finish, I mixed water with the latex paint in equal parts. I don’t do well with exact measurements so I just eye-balled the amount. I’m the same way with recipes, which sometimes comes back to bite me. I used a cheap brush (not a sponge) so I could just throw it away when the project was complete. I used the technique of brush on, wipe off. After I brushed on the paint/water mixture, I’d wait a minute or two so the paint could have a moment to stick to the surface. Once the moment had passed, I wiped the paint with a soft terrycloth rag. Stay away from paper towels unless you want towel fibers all over your furniture. The lovely thing about white wash is that you can make the layer as thin or as thick as you want. Here is a tip though; let your layer completely dry before you add another. The layers tend to look thinner once the paint is dry and if you keep going over wet paint and wiping it off, it will never fully cover how you want it. Once the paint was dry Evan went over the top boards with the sander a few more times just to be sure it was nice and smooth. We actually really loved the natural wood peeking through the white, so instead of adding one more full layer, I watered down this last batch and quickly went over the bald spots. It looked awesome.

You know you’re a craft nerd when you get extremely excited about a new painting technique. Y’all this watered down, brush on wipe off method of white wash is genius and so dang easy to do.

The neediness continues, when we get giddy over a new Valspar Sealing Wax that E just reviewed. No more arm workouts trying to buff on Minwax Paste Finishing Wax and no more elbow grease needed. Just a paint brush and a clean rag for that stuff. PLUS, it doesn’t have a yellow tint when it dries; it dries 100% clear and I’ve never been happier. I do have to admit though, it is technically for chalk paint surfaces, therefore it doesn’t dry 100% smooth and grain free if the surface is rough. I used the Valspar sealing wax for the legs and the frame of the table, but still used Minwax for the top surface. I did this simply because everyone wants a smooth, easy-to-clean table top, and I know from experience that Minwax does the job correctly.

Since we are newbies to blogging, we still forget to take pictures of some of our projects. How did we forget this farm table? I have no idea. Evan brought the table to the beach house and snapped a few pictures so these will have to do for now until we can take better shots of it.
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Isn’t the house GORGEOUS? White wash ship lap walls…I’ve died and gone to heaven.


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