Hello beautiful friends! I’m back today with this gorgeous wood cabinet to share how to whitewash wood:
It was marked $12 at the thrift store, and I just couldn’t pass it up.
Although it is lovely as is, I envisioned a lighter, more coastal feel for this handsome cabinet.
I often use Dixie Belle’s Voodoo Gel Stain in Up in Smoke as a base because I love a gray base for whitewashing.
Here is what I’m talking about as you can see on this paddle I redid back in 2020:
I sanded back to the original wood and then applied the gray gel stain before whitewashing.
But what if you want to whitewash right over your wood surface?
I’ve had that question asked many times! If you decide to whitewash right over the wood, you will get the original wood color peeking through instead!
How to whitewash wood
For this cabinet, after a good cleaning, I was able to get straight to the whitewashing part because there was no sealer on this piece.
If you suspect potential bleed-through which can happen with older cherry and mahogany pieces, you may want to prime first with a coat of clear BOSS.
To whitewash this cabinet, I watered down white chalk paint just enough to thin it a bit and brushed it on:
Then, I took a clean cotton rag and wiped it back off, going with the grain of the wood…
I reccomend gloves for this step since it’s pretty messy.
Whitewashing is a really easy way to update a piece. You should be able to get away with one coat if your paint isn’t watered down too much.
Although I would normally stain the wood first with the gray stain to get it a little more gray, I really like the result here too!
I decided to whitewash just the body of the cabinet and paint the door more solid:
I love the combination of the two!
The door got just one coat of chalk paint, and a quick sanding with 220 grit sandpaper. The contrast is just enough.
I removed the glass insert to be able to paint the grids more easily…
To hold the glass in place after I replaced it, I used a bead of hot glue all around the inside edge.
Everything was sealed with clear wax.
Isn’t it a cute cabinet? I wish I had a place for it!
I painted the shelves on the inside in the solid white as well…
The rest of it almost looks pickled. I just love this relaxed coastal feel now!
It definitely took away the heaviness of it!
I hope you enjoyed this simple update today!
If you enjoyed this one, you’ll like this one too!
It’s very similar but involves fabric. See what I did with it HERE!
I’ll be back to my Spring Haul next week for Trash-to-Treasure Tuesday with this metal bread box my mom passed along to me:
See ya then!
UPDATE: See how much cuter this little box looks now HERE!
Don’t Miss a Thing!
If you like what you see, there are several ways to follow along!