4 Mistakes to Avoid when You Whitewash Wood

The process of creating whitewash wood furniture is easy and inexpensive, even for those without much painting experience. Whitewash wood pieces are versatile furniture components that can be added to virtually any room in order to enhance the aesthetic. However, while the process of whitewashing is simple enough, there are a number of mistakes that can easily be made which may serve to either diminish the appearance of your whitewash work or to reduce the longevity of the paint. The most common mistakes are identified below.

Failure to Wash the Wood

Before you begin to paint, it's important to properly treat the wood surface. A good way to do this is with a vinegar and water solution. Dilute some white vinegar with equal parts water and use a rag to gently treat the surface area of the wood. This helps to remove any stains and debris from the wood; painting over these sections otherwise might cause discrepancies in the coating or uneven patches. Treating your wood with vinegar in this way can also help the wood itself to better absorb the paint when you layer that on later on in the process.

Failure to Sand the Wood

After you've treated the wood with the vinegar solution and have allowed the vinegar plenty of time to dry, it is also important that you gently sand the wood with a medium-grit sandpaper. Doing this further helps to enhance the ability of the wood to pick up the paint when you add it in subsequent steps. Failure to sand the wood will also leave the surfaces of your furniture scratchy and rough. While not sanding the wood will not significantly alter the lifetime of your furniture, it can make an impact on the appearance and particularly on the texture of the wood itself.

Not Smoothing Out Brush Strokes

When you've painted your wooden furniture with white paint, you'll notice that brush strokes may be very clearly visible on the surface of the wood itself. If you leave these brush stroke marks, your furniture will gain a distinctive but amateur appearance. In order to create a smoother look, use a rag to even out all of the brush strokes just after you've painted. Be careful not to wipe off too much of the paint, and if you do, simply paint over that part of the furniture once again. Doing this will give your paint an even and smooth appearance.

Not Allowing Adequate Drying Time

A final mistake that is often made when whitewashing wood is to not allow the wood itself adequate time for the paint to set and dry. Be sure to leave your furniture in a protected and covered area for several hours after you've painted a coat in order to allow the paint plenty of time to dry. Make sure the paint is dry before you apply a sealant or another coat of paint.