Finishing hardwood floors is a great way to customize your home and make it your own.
Even though it’s not as common as it once was, whitewashing is still a good finish option. It gives a rustic, country look to your hardwood flooring that can be incredibly appealing.
Whitewashing Hardwood Floors: Basic Idea
Whitewashing your hardwood floors is a fairly simple process. If you follow our step-by-step guide, you can make sure you are doing it safely and correctly.
- Prepare the area
- Remove finish
- Lay the whitewash
- Detail with floor paint
- Add a sealer or top coat
Why Whitewash Your Hardwood Floors?
If you want to renew the flooring in a room, there are a lot of options. Painting and staining are common, but whitewashing is becoming more and more popular.
With the advent and renaissance of the country home look, whitewashing is coming to the forefront. It has an austere, rustic look that will still be at home in any modern house.
It is also good for adding texture and depth to your flooring that paint or stain can’t provide.
Prep the Area
Before you begin, you will want to clear the area that you are applying the whitewash to.
Remove any baseboards or trim moulding. This will eliminate the need for taping and give you a cleaner look.
Sweep and mop the floors thoroughly. Dust particles and dirt can affect the way the whitewash dries and ruin the texture.
The cleaner and smoother the flooring is, the better the coat of whitewash will adhere to it.
Remove Existing Finish
If your floors have an existing finish like paint or clear coat, you will have to remove that.
Work with the grain when sanding off the old finish. This means only sanding in the same direction of the grain, which is usually lengthwise.
Sanding against the grain can create gouges and scratches that will be difficult to remove. They will also show up in the coats of whitewash.
Once you have sanded the entire floor, sweep and mop up any excess dust.
Choose a white stain that is approved for the type of wood your flooring is made of. Most flooring will be compatible with any type of wood stain, but it is best to make sure.
Apply the stain using a sponge and apply it to a 2×4 foot area of the flooring. Before it has a chance to set, wipe off the stain with a different dry sponge.
Continue this process throughout the entire area of the floor until you have done the whole room or home. Let it dry completely overnight.
Detail with Paint
Using a darker gray paint, you can apply detail and depth using a dry brush technique.
This technique involves dipping a brush into the paint and wiping it dry on cardboard or cloth.
Once you have dried the brush, you can apply the small amount of paint over the grain. This will give your flooring some depth and texture that will make the grain pop.
Add a Top Coat
After the dry brushed paint has completely dried, add a polyurethane top coat to the entire floor.
This top coat will protect the delicate whitewashing and detailing. It will also protect the wood underneath and keep it looking nice for much longer.
Keep the top coat even and thin to allow for proper drying. Let it set for at least 48 hours before moving any furniture back in and reattaching your trim moulding.
- Are whitewashed floors popular?
Whitewashed floors are getting more popular every year.
The country home look has become incredibly fashionable and whitewashed floors are an essential element of that style. On top of this, they are also a simple, inexpensive way to rejuvenate your hardwood flooring.
- What is the best floor paint for wooden floors?
An oil based floor and deck paint will be a good choice for any type of hardwood floor.
It is durable and bold and will stand up to a lot of abuse. It will also seep into the grain of the wood much more than other types of acrylic or water-based paint.
- Can I wax a painted floor?
If you have a top coat on your painted floor, waxing is not a good idea.
It will be difficult to rub into the floor and is not necessary due to the protection of the top coat. Your best bet is to keep your painted floors swept and mopped on a regular basis.
Whitewashing your hardwood floor is an easy and inexpensive way to get a new look in your home. It will bring out the grain and natural patterns in the wood while adding light and color.
If you want to change things up but don’t want to cover the wood completely, it’s a great option.