One of the most asked questions about our farmhouse is “How did we get our ceilings to look like they are reclaimed wood?”.
Here is a step by step tutorial on How to Whitewash Wood to achieve the appearance of old pine wood ceilings in the new farmhouse. My goal was for the new pine wood ceilings to look like distressed, reclaimed lumber.
Therefore, when you follow these instructions the paint will appear to have worn off, slowly over time. In addition, this technique can be used for any new wood project to achieve an aged appearance.
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Materials Needed to Whitewash Wood
The ceilings in the farmhouse are new pine wood beaded board and in order to achieve a distressed, whitewashed look, begin with a gray stain. This will make the new wood appear to have aged.
- Classic Grey Stain
- White Paint Color of your choice – I used Benjamin Moore White Dove
- Rags for applying stain and wiping excess paint.
- Paint Brush
- Protective Gloves
This technique works well with any new wood project such as this Easy Made Farmhouse Table Riser.
First, here’s something we should have done differently. Hindsight is 20/20 or so I’m told.
We decided on this technique after the pine wood ceilings were installed. This technique would have been easier and more cost effective if the boards had been stained before they were 20 feet in the air.
How to Whitewash Wood?
Today I’m sharing a sample board just like the one I shared with my painting contractor to demonstrate how the whitewashed ceiling should look. Fortunately, he was willing to duplicate this technique on the ceiling.
New Pine Wood Made to Look Old – Sample Board
Begin with the gray penetrating stain and using a soft cloth, wash the stain over the entire surface of your wood. Follow the grain of the wood while applying.
It’s important to age the new wood with the gray stain before applying the whitewash technique.
Once dry, the wood will have an appearance of aged or old wood.
If you white wash a new pine board without adding the stain, the wood has a pinkish or pickled appearance, instead of gray.
How To Add A Whitewash?
Next, it’s time to add the whitewash to your stained wood.
In order to achieve a distressed, whitewash appearance, you need to wipe the excess paint from your brush before applying to your wood. This a dry brush technique leaves a thin coat of paint over the surface.
Note: For this example, I used chalk paint instead of investing in the interior latex paint that was applied to my ceiling. For the record, the ceiling paint was White Dove by Benjamin Moore and is the same color that was used on the shiplap walls.
Begin by applying a small amount of the white paint to your brush and then remove excess paint from the brush using a rag cloth or paper towel. Next, lightly swipe the paint brush over the surface of the wood without completely covering the wood and the stain.
Once again, follow the wood grain while applying the paint. You should see random areas of exposed stain and the paint should appear to be worn and faded due to age.
Below you can see the sample board after the paint has been applied. This is the look you want to achieve.
The White Washed Ceiling
Here is a good view of the technique on the underneath side of the stairs.
To assure that the paint colors work well together, we used the same White Dove paint as was used on the shiplap walls.
In addition, the DIY Island countertop was aged to look like old barn wood with this similar technique. Prints of the original painting Grace are available in my Shop.
As you can see, the high ceilings are a focal point of the farmhouse. I was so thankful for a painter who was willing to attempt my crazy idea while standing on a 20 foot scaffold.
To see a tour of the loft area, check out – Best Modern Farmhouse Tips & Tour