Adding Whitewash to Farmhouse Furniture

Adding a whitewash technique to farmhouse furniture is an easy way to highlight the wood grain and character of your favorite pieces without the process of painting, sanding and distressing. Today, I’m sharing how I used the whitewash technique on our coffee bar cabinet and how you can use it too…

Do you guys ever have a million things on your to do list yet you kind of obsess about one random thing that’s not even on the list? Me too! Way back in February, I decided our kitchen was too white (I know… it feels weird to say that out loud to me as well) and in addition the kitchen had way too much visual clutter.

I don’t know if I was moody that day or feeling restless or what but either way I decided the thing that needed to be changed most was our coffee bar. It should be noted here our coffee bar is on a wall that’s bridges the gap between the kitchen and breakfast area. I realize now looking back on these photos what I wanted was a decluttered coffee bar but at the time the angst presented itself as “too much white in the kitchen.”

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Anyway, I decided the first change I would make was to a farmhouse cabinet we’ve had for a few years now. My bestie S helped me build it and it’s always been one of our favorite projects. It was the first time we had ever attempted to put doors on a cabinet before. You can read all about that process from start to finish here.

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It wasn’t that the cabinet looked bad before, it didn’t. I think I was just ready for a change. I was SO close to painting it black but in the end decided to add a simple whitewash technique in an effort to keep the cabinet’s farmhouse charm. To create a whitewash all you have to do is water down white chalk paint. I’m using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

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You simply paint the whitewash onto the woodgrain, allow it to sit for just a bit

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then wipe off the excess paint. I find it helpful to work in small sections so the wash doesn’t get uneven because it has dried faster in some places and not others.

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I gave the same treatment to the inside shelves too. Here’s a peek at them before…

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and after…

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Once the body and the shelves of the cabinet were finished, I created a gray wax. To do this you’ll need a bit of black paint, a bit of white and a glob of clear furniture paste wax.

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Then mix it all together

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and apply with a soft cloth or wax brush.

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It’s really subtle

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but helps to give a layered look to farmhouse pieces like this cabinet.

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I tried putting the coffee bar back together but I don’t know, somewhere along the way I lost my mojo and left it like this for months.

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My mom came over to help stage the master bedroom makeover and I was telling her how I just couldn’t seem to get the coffee bar to a place I liked anymore. “Why are all your coffee mugs out?” she asked innocently. It immediately made me realize what the coffee bar really needed was a good old fashioned declutter. It took a few hours but we in the end we came up with this…

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Right? Much better! I think sometimes we overthink things in the process of trying to make our spaces “feel fresh” when the basics of what we need are already there. Sometimes, they’re just covered up by all the stuff we think we need.

I hope you guys all have a peace filled and happy Father’s Day weekend. We have a little surprise cooked up for Rambo so I’m looking forward to spending some time with my family. We have a great week coming up next week as we dive a little bit deeper into a few projects related to our kitchen.  Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,

CoCo

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