Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Whitewash Treatment

As you guys know, we white washed our wood paneling in our living room and dining room. It was sort of a shot in the dark, but we figured we could always just paint it solid if we didn't like it. That was our original plan anyway. Our paneling is real wood, not the veneer stuff you see sometimes so thats what sold us on keeping it. We knew we needed to lighten the room, but didn't want to completely compromise the wood look. Thus began the white wash discussion, and luckily my MIL decided she'd come up to join the fun... aka help our clueless selves out! 

Here's what we started with... 

Feel like you're in the mountains? 

Yes, we know -- loooots of brown, but look at those huge windows. Pretty green views were what we were looking at when we bought the house... not all the paneling. 
We knew we could change that part.


BEFORE, hand me down furniture and all... 

My MIL and master mind behind how to white wash! 

First step: clean clean clean
We used a Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) spray and sponges - wear gloves!

50+ years of DIRT - yuck!

Then you sand... 

Then it was time to paint. We chose a whitish paint color with a tint of grey {your surprised, right?}. We mixed it with paint thinner. Gosh, this was done a year ago so I have no idea what the ratio was {yes, I realize this is an important step}, but I want to say it was about 80% paint, 20% paint thinner. We messed with it a little.

My MIL and I explored all kinds of ways to apply it to the walls - sponges, paint brushes, towels/cloths - but what we found worked the best was a sock. Yep, a sock. So we went with it! 


The next part was just trial and error. I found it best to dunk half of my sock in the paint/thinner mixture rub it on the wall then use my drier end of the sock to smear it around a little more.





The white wash really doesn't photography well, but the photo below is the best representation of how it looks in person. We love that the knots and grain show through so you can still tell that it's wood.


But look how much it lightens the room! 

BEFORE

AFTER 

Then we replaced the trim, added crown molding, painted the fireplace white, added new furniture, and.... 

NOW

See more about the process of renovating our living room and many more AFTER photos {here}.

And look! Tyler Wisler on Design Star even did it in episode 3! What gorgeous arches!

What do you think of the white wash? 
It might not be a look for everyone, but we absolutely love it. 


34 comments:

  1. thanks for the info. the LR looks fantastic.

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  2. What? This looks so great! I am in process of renovating a 1970's fixer and it has the crappy faux paneling, so it's getting plain old paint. I love the look of your whitewashed paneling - it adds such an interesting backdrop!

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  3. I was just thinking of that room from Design Star when I saw your whitewash project. I loove whitewashing! I do the same thing with colored paint on wooden furniture. Your room is so pretty.

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  4. oh my gosh! it makes the room look totall different. I didn't realize you also took out half of the wall to have the bar area in the kitchen. so clever!

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  5. Love the whitewash! Its looks really great with the solid white trim. Plus... I'm falling in love with those mirrored chests on either side of the fireplace. Love it!

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  6. It looks great! So jealous of your DIY skills!

    www.sarahandthecityblog.blogspot.com

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  7. I love it, too! Your living rooms is gorgeous... elegant and warm at the same time.

    I'm coveting those mirrored chests. ;)

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  8. Such a great idea for paneling to lighten up the room. good job!

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  9. I think it's a great alternative to soften up a room - especially if you are not going to part with the paneling. Our paneling was a laminate so we didn't have any reservations about removing, but I agree with your decision to keep it and cater to your own tastes.

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  10. WOW! Great job! This really came together beautifully!

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  11. It looks great, Rachel! It reminds me of what Sarah Richardson did on Sarah's Cottage :) Also, I threw up in my mouth a little when I saw the pic of the sponges post-TSP clean. OMG. Well worth the effort!

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  12. I've been admiring your whitewashed room for a while now! Beautifully done! My parents have a house they're currently renting that we might buy one day and it has panelling. I'm keeping this idea for inspiration just in case....
    Great job!

    Jennifer
    thewaymanfamilynest.blogspot.com

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  13. The whitewash has made such a difference. I love it!

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  14. I absolutely love it in your space...it's kinda perfect because not only do you get the light and bright of white, but you still see the pretty wood grain, win/win!

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  15. I like the idea of white washing. It brightens up and "opens" a space up. And you guys have mad DIY skills!

    P/S: I just host a new giveaway so stop by and enter for a chance to win a $75 gift card from Arcadian Lighting!

    Jessie
    www.mixandchic.com

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  16. The first time I saw this room, I fell in love with the fact that you whitewashed the walls instead of painting them solid. A brilliant idea and outcome! You have done so much with your house and it has been fun to watch.

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  17. Wow, you guys did an incredible job... I always thought white washed wood was stained, great idea using diluted paint! Looks awesome!
    Lindsayandandrew.blogspot.com

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  18. I can't believe how good the white wash looks! I too like the wood knots showing through. The final out come is beautiful. We painted our paneled walls. Looks like something Sara Richardson would do. ( Not sure that is how to spell her last name.)

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  19. What a great solution for the wood lodge problem!

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  20. thanks so much! we have the same real wood paneling in our kitchen and the honey color hurts me everytime im in there ;) we wanted to do the same thing, and now you have just given us the confidence to do it ourselves! the room looks great, and I cant wait to see our finished product!

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  21. Oh my goodness. Not what I expected! That looks wonderful! Kudos to you!

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  22. Hi! I am actually interested in one thing, of course if that's not too much to ask could you please tell us your place of origin?

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  23. You have the EXACT same paneling that is in the house my husband and I purchased last summer! He loves the paneling. I hate it! But we both agreed that since this is a starter home and we will be moving we shouldn't mess with it since it does add value to the home. We have the paneling in 2 bedrooms, the dining room, and the hallway. We agreed to paint our daughters room but other than that he won't budge on letting me mess with it, however the dinning room walls, ceiling, and floor are all matching wood!!! It is like walking into a cave! I'm hoping white wash can be a meeting point for us.

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  24. love it, dont think I'd keep the white benches with the white wash table thou, needs a bit of contrast like turquoise or other deep tone to balance the soft whitewash from the hard white edges of the bench backs.

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  25. Love the whitewash and the mirrored cabinets. I have just whitewashed a mirror frame and am now whitewashing a chest of drawers.

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  26. We're about to whitewash the paneling in our bedroom, so your blog is very helpful! I do have a question, did you fill in nail holes with anything or just leave them?

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  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  28. yep, I am definitely going to whitewash my walls now.

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  29. wow nice painting.. your living room and dining room are looking very beautiful after painting.

    Painting Perfection with Solution

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  31. If you think about it it's weird that this is the popular thing right now. and in 50 years people will be like ew faux white washed walls the same way we are with ew paneling.

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