Finishing furniture has become a new little hobby of mine ever since Patrick picked up woodworking. He builds, I finish and that’s generally our rule!
We decided to finish the coffee table Patrick built with an oxidized finish which gave it a gorgeous brownish-gray color. Our dining table is also finished like this! The problem with the oxidized finishes is if you aren’t careful with liquid and heat it can leave ugly marks like these:
Also, my dogs drool a lot. That added to the problem and helped me make the decision to refinish it!
The idea of whitewashing the coffee table was tossed around and I wasn’t really sure if I was going to like it. After some debate, I just decided to go for it!
The other furniture in the living room was still oxidized so in all honesty I was a little worried how I would like it in the long run. But, I L-O-V-E it now since we whitewashed the end table and it looks incredible. Next on the list is the console tale and then, furniture-wise, the whole living room will be done soon!
Without further ado..here is a whitewashing tutorial for y’all!
This post contains affiliate links for added convenience. Read my disclosure policy here.
Here’s what you’ll need:
You’re going to want to at least sand off the finish of the piece of furniture you have. Since I had those little splotches on mine, I sanded it little further down than I needed to, but that is okay because I wanted it to look a little rough. I used 60 grit to start with and then used some 220 to get it nice and smooth. Wipe your piece down with a damp cloth and you’re ready for the next step!
If you sanded it down to where the natural wood is showing, you may want to add a little stain Just to give the whitewash a little more depth. I took some Minwax stain in Weathered Oak to the parts that needed a little color. I let it dry for about an hour and here is what it looked like after! It wasn’t too much of a difference but it gave the little bit of color pay off and contrast I wanted to accent the leftover oxidation.
Whitewash time! To make your whitewash, mix one part water and one part white paint. I chose a off-white with cool undertones. Something important to note is to apply your wash with the grain in long, steady strokes. If it isn’t even, you’ll be able to tell. You could even do a light grey. That would be pretty! It may look like it goes on thick but the wood absorbs the wash and shows some beautiful grain and a little bit of color from underneath. I let the coffee table dry for about a hour.
I decided to finish with a clear wax. If you’re finishing a piece of furniture that isn’t touched or used quite as often as a coffee table, you probably don’t have to worry about a wax.
Show your awesome “new” piece of furniture off to the world!
I am IN LOVE with the finished product. It definitely exemplifies what I’m going for with the theme in our home.
Why did I think I needed MORE detail on this table? Who knows, but I found these super pretty and delicate brass corners for the table. They just add a sweet, delicate touch to the tables and I think they’re perfect.
The little hint of color and grain from the oxidization shows through the whitewash and that is one of the main reasons why I think this finish is so great.
I really enjoyed refinishing this piece. I’m currently working on finishing a bookshelf Patrick just finished building. Be on the look out for a post soon! I’m so thankful for my amazing husband who is willing to put up with my furniture qualms!