White Washed Horizontal Planked Pine Wall-1Today is a scary and hillariously exciting day. Why you may ask? Well, today you get to see my first ever video tutorial. This has been something that has been in the works for a while, I just never actually get around to doing it… after all there is only one of me. When your husband is a film maker, ideally he would make videos for you… so obviously I made a video while he is half way around the world. #logic

Sometimes a girl has gotta do what a girl has gotta do! So, as a disclaimer, Matt didn’t make this, and I have no idea what I am doing. Love me and my mad skills, and my head scarf. #dirtyhairdon’tcare

In this video I show you how to make a super simple white wash- and the technique for applying it to raw pine. This is a great solution for someone who may have a husband that loves wood… but is a wife who wants to lighten and brighten things up! I’ll give you a clue as to how easy this is: Mr. Miyagi minus the wax.

For anyone who prefers a written/photo tutorial, read on!

White Washed Horizontal Planked Pine Wall-5

How to White Wash Pine

For this project all you need is some latex paint in the color of your choice {it doesn’t have to be white!} water, a brush, and a rag. It truly is ridiculously simple, but if you are anything like I once was you might wonder “Wait, can I make my own white wash or stain and have it turn out the way I want? Can I really just do that??” The answer is, why yes, of course!

Step 1

Mix one part latex paint with equal parts water. White Washed Horizontal Planked Pine Wall-7

Step 2

Apply the wash to the board. If you are working on a vertical surface {like a wall} be sure to have a drop cloth down as the wash is runny. Work in small sections. I found 2.5ft x 1.5ft to work well, which is about 3 board widths.

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Step 3

Allow wash to set briefly then wipe off excess with a rag.

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The Results

A subtle wash that lessens the yellow tones of the wood while leaving the grain exposed.

White Washed Pine

Easy peasy! I used BM Gray Owl lightened by 50% and then mixed with water.

How to White Wash Walls The Easy Way| This Mamas Dance



I would love to hear your feed back. What did you think of the video? Is this something you would like to see more of here on my blog… more tutorials, room tours, diy questions, other topics? What are you, my readers, interested in?

Onwards and upwards my friends!

-Miss Ash

linking up to: BlesserHouse, Creative Gallery and Chic on a Shoestring

32 thoughts on “DIY: How To White Wash Walls”

  1. Hi…I enjoyed watching this done on your video. I am about to try this on the pine ceiling of a new house we are building. Scary, but I love the difference the white makes to the wood. One question..why did you choose to use a gray toned paint verses a pure white? I really want this to last and hope the pine doesn’t keep darkening. Just wondered if there was a reason that I should be aware of to use a gray! Thanks so much!!!

    1. Hi Kim! The only reason I used the gray owl (lightened by 50%) was because I had some left over from our living room. It is a very subtle grey and I liked the look of it, but it is truly so close to a white wash. You could definitely use an off the shelf white paint. I used a more true white gel stain on our bathroom ceiling- which also looks lovely. If possibly I would recommend treating your boards before you put them up… I have done both- and while it isn’t impossible, it’s so much easier to stain boards that aren’t on the ceiling. Good luck. I am glad you found the video helpful!

      1. Thank your for answering my question. That makes sense to use what you have! I do plan to do this before putting it up. However, I have ,one ceiling that is already up that I will probably do later, if I like it. Thanks again!

  2. I recently consulted a painter about this as I have some VERY high ceiling areas that I want done — and he to.d me that mixing paint and water 50/50 is “not stable” — he was quite insistent about this. What does he mean by “not stable”? Do you have to keep stirring it? Or do the walls need touching up from time to time? I love the look and would like to do it but he advises against it for that reason.

    1. Unfortunately I am not completely sure what he means by this. If you do add water to your paint, I would recommend mixing small quantities- as it does not have a long shelf life once the water is added- the paint separates and changes consistency. Perhaps that is what he means? As far as our walls themselves- they still look great! I am however not an expert, so you would be doing this at your own risk 😉
      To get a white washed look on the ceiling- that is less of a mess- I have used a “pickling white” gel stain- it doesn’t drip like a liquid wash, so is a bit easier to work with overhead. That is what I used in our bathroom- and shared a few details here:

      Hope that helps!

  3. hi…I have a similar walls in a room but I’m wondering… is other wall in your picture a solid white and the other white washed? if so do you like the look? I have white washed 3 of 4 walls in a porch with the ceiling and 1 wall already existing with solid white paint. Like the white wash but not sure if the combination just looks like it’s unfinished.

    1. Hi Sharon- thanks for stopping by! In this room we have 3 solid white walls (Benjamin Moore Simple White) and one white washed wall. I personally really like the look. We also have an entire room with white washed walls- which you can see here: http://mamasdance.com/one-room-challenge-boys-cottage-bunk-room-reveal/

      I think trim work can help to make everything look finished- for example base board, corner trim and some sort of trim along the roofline- whether its similar to your base board or crown moulding. Hope that helps!

  4. Hello. Just bought a house with lots of dark wood walls. This wood is not paneling, but I believe cedar planks with a lot of texture. Do you think your whitewashing method would work to lighten up this dark wood? Thank you.

    1. Hi Shirley.I think it would depend on whether or not the wood has been previously tested. If it has any type of sealant, especially an oil based product then this method would not work well. I would suggest trying a test patch in a small area- and not applying it in the groove, so that you could sand it off if there were an issue. I applied this white wash on untreated boards.

  5. Hey there. Nice tutorial. I am wanting to do something similar with white pine I just bought from a local mill. The wood was stored under a roof. My concern is the knots “bleeding” through the whitewash.
    Any issues?


    1. Hi John, the whitewash still allows the majority of the grain to show through, and I am sure while not overly noticed, there has quite possibly been some yellowing over time. I have used primer and 2 coats of paint on the same pine in other parts of our home, for a solid painted finidh- and after a year the knots still bled through. However, I don’t notice the bleed through with the white wash as you can still see the knots and grain visibly. Hope that helps!

  6. Hi Shirley,

    Great tutorial. I want to ‘whitewash’ a wall in my screened in porch. I plan on using pine boards and will apply the paint before installing. If I want the walls to be more white, with less grain showing through should I leave the application sit longer before wiping off? Or do I use a less diluted paint? As well, this wall will have some exposure to the elements (although not a lot)….can I do the same with an exterior paint?
    Much appreciated,

    1. Hi Colleen- if it is going to be outside I think it might be best to go with a sem-transparent outdoor wood stain- perhaps there is something in a “pickled white” or liming white. In my experience stain holds up much better than paint on wood in outdoor areas. We used Benjamin Moore Arbourcoat- though it was solid white- and have been very pleased with it. All the best!

  7. We installed knotty pine planks vertically in our bedroom and I used this technique. I love it. And it’s so easy. I get so many complements on it. It’s just enough to tone down the yellow tint. If you wanted it a little whiter, you could keep adding and wiping off until you get the look you want. Love it.

    1. Did you use 1:1 ratio? I have been advised to use 2:1 paint to water. Otherwise it gets too thin and most colour is lost with the wiping.

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