Introduction: White Washing Tutorial | Furniture Painting

Picture of White Washing Tutorial | Furniture Painting

White-washing is a great way to brighten up any piece without losing the beautiful grainy look of the wood.

In this tutorial we'll show you how to create a white washed look on your piece. If you'd rather watch a video, we also have a video tutorial available towards the bottom of the page!

All Country Chic Paint products used in this tutorial are available at

Step 1: Prepare Your Surface

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If you're working with a raw wood surface, start by using a metal brush to open the pores of the wood.

This technique works best on raw wood that doesn’t have a finish on it. But, if you have a nice piece of oak furniture with a clear finish, that you want to white-wash. we recommend a good sanding with medium grit sandpaper to rough it up and open up the pores of the wood, so that it can soak up the paint better.

Step 2: Apply Simplicity

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You can apply the paint at full strength, or you can thin it with water (up to about 1 part of water to 2 parts of paint). Make sure to go in the same direction as the wood grain.

You don’t have to get perfect coverage, just get it on about 75% of your surface. With white washing, you want give the wood a light wash, without getting full opaque coverage, because you want the wood grain to show through.

Step 3: Remove Excess Paint

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Immediately after applying Simplicity, you’ll take a damp cloth and wipe away as much paint as you want to create the look you’re after.

Step 4: Build Up in Layers

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If you realize you’ve taken off too much of the Simplicity, you’ll simply go over it again with another coat of paint and wipe it off again. You can build up your coverage in layers.

That's all there is to it. Pretty simple isn't it?

There is no reason you can only use Simplicity as a wash, so experiment with other paint colors as well!

Step 5: Check Out Our Video Tutorial!

Watch this video to see our company co-founder, Rosanne creating a gorgeous whitewashed look on pallet wood!


Merv_Martian (author)2016-05-05

Hey, thank you for this. I wanted to know if you have any suggestions for fixers as am looking to put the product outdoors and would like it to last for as long as possible. TIA

Hi Merv,

That's a great question! I would definitely recommend our Tough Coat for sealing an outdoor project. It's extremely durable and can stand up to the elements. You can learn more about it here:

Happy painting!


Bill Rose (author)2015-12-03

I saw your 'Dragons Den Ca.' episode, very impressive..

Hi Bill,

We're so glad you got to watch the episode! Thank you for your support.


Bill Rose (author)2015-09-25

I white-wash timber items too. However I find the 'White' can look a little 'Dirty' over time. So I switched to pale Cream colour, this turned out far better over time. I have also tried pale Red and pale Blue, with variable amounts of success.

Hi there,

It's nice to hear the results of your experimentation! We've seen some very neat pieces done in a few different colors and grey especially tends to be very popular.

Happy painting!

mrcutolo (author)2015-09-18

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2015-09-15

Very nice tutorial

About This Instructable



Bio: Country Chic Paint is a beautiful furniture paint specifically designed for DIYers with a love for refinishing furniture and home decor. This fabulous paint is ... More »
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