Give your furniture a cool, rustic look

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

It is no wonder that my husband and I fell in love with Hawaii long before we moved here more than a decade ago. Aside from the food and cultural aspects, we quickly grew accustomed to the weather and the beach life. We have taken that affinity and carried it over to our home decor. If you come over, you will notice light ocean blues on the couch, coral prints on upholstery and rugs, and whitewashed furniture and accessories.

Whitewashed wood is one of my favorite looks. It is classic and fits in several different style categories, such as coastal and rustic. You can get the look in several ways: You can buy furniture and accessories that are already whitewashed, you can do a limewash using hydrated lime, or you can paint with diluted white paint.

To whitewash furnishings and accessories using paint, you will need sandpaper, lint-free cloths or rags, a bucket, white paint, water, and either a paintbrush or a paint roller, depending on how large of a surface you will be painting, and polyurethane clear coat.

Start by cleaning your item thoroughly. Then, sand it down to the natural wood. Depending on your item, you can do this by hand with sandpaper or a sanding block, or you can use a sander. Next, clean up the dust and residue with your lint-free rags. You want to make sure there are no particles left.

Then, take your bucket and mix your whitewash. A standard ratio is equal parts water and white paint. If you want a thicker white look, you can increase the ratio to two-parts paint and one-part water, or three-parts paint and one-part water.

Whichever the case, keep note of what you do so that you can keep a consistent mixture if you need to mix more later. Test it out on scrap wood before moving on to your item so that you can get it right.

Apply the mixture using either a roller or a paintbrush. Allow it to dry for a few minutes. Then, use a rag and wipe the paint going in the direction of the grain. This will give it the whitewashed look. If you make a mistake, paint over the area and do it again. Allow the surface to dry completely, according

to the paint manufacturer directions. Finish it off with the clear coat.

Email Joanne at thefixisin@ gmail.com.