Hi there! I’ve been asked by a few people on instagram how to get that Restoration Hardware like whitewash finish on a wood table and I’d love to share my experience. First, these are the things you’ll need:
- a sander (I use an electric Ryobi sander)
- Annie Sloan chalk pain in pure white (cooler tone) or old ochre (warm tone)
- a t-shirt you can destroy
- Annie Sloan clear wax
- rubber gloves
- a table with a dark stain
These items may change for some people depending on the look trying to be achieved. I used Annie Sloan paint specifically because when I have used the off-brand chalk paints out there, I have never been satisfied. I also knew that this technique was originally adapted from the Annie Sloan book on painting furniture.
I first sanded my table. The reason I did this was because I didn’t know for sure what I would find. I was hoping to get a natural rustic finish just by sanding. But no such luck. The dark stain didn’t budge. It was less shiny, but that was about it. I also went fairly hard against corners and edges because I wanted those areas to really stand out. If I had known that the stain wasn’t going to budge, I would have not sanded prior to painting. It actually made some unforgiving marks in the wood that I can’t get out now. Annie Sloan paint can go over un-sanded furniture easily if you want to skip this part. However, I do recommend sanding your corners and edges for that true rustic look.
As far as painting technique, I first brushed on a modest amount of paint to the top of the table. You don’t need to be careful at this point. You are just going to saturate the surface with enough paint to wash it down. Then I took an old white t-shirt and with a little water to dampen the shirt, I glided the shirt carefully along the long way of the table. You can use a fair amount of water or a little. Play with it depending on the look you want. The more water, the more streaks you will have. The amazing thing about the paint is that it really reacted to water well. If there was an area I felt was too heavy with white, I used more water and just washed it away. I tried to keep a balance of wiping the table with just water and then dabbing a little more paint on the shirt as I went from my paint brush. I only used the paint brush to apply paint a fresh area, but I used the shirt to get all the paint even distributed throughout the entire piece. Once I had the top done, my shirt was fairly saturated with an even mix of paint and water. Just holding the shirt covered my hands and nails in paint (hence the gloves – lesson learned). I didn’t see much point in using my brush beyond this point. From then on, I only used the shirt to cover the sides, legs, and cane-back chairs. I’m not even sure a brush was necessary to do the top either, but that is how I started at least.
When you see mistakes, just go over it again with mostly water. The chalk paint washes off easily, not all the way though.
Where I struggled was getting straight streaks with the t-shirt. I was getting a total body workout! I started at one edge and swiftly glided along the side of the table to ensure I didn’t have any breaks in between the streaks. I broke a good sweat from this project! I suppose since I haven’t been exercising, this was a great project for my jiggly post-baby body.
Before waxing, I took a dry brush with a dab of the AS pure white paint, and applied it to some areas that popped out on the chairs for an extra punch!
Once the paint was dry, I went over with clear wax. No need for dark wax unless you want some warm streaks. When using dark wax, remember to only use a dollop in a mixture of clear wax. Dark wax alone is too dark! I learned this from my dear friend Jaime on instagram. She has been a huge help to me and always answers my question with a such kindness!
Here is the finished product! I am happy with it for the most part. I hope you enjoy and would love to hear from you! Feel free to pin these images and share with friends!
Shopping Sources || Chandelier, Linen Chairs, Vase, Striped Candles are all from World Market Cost Plus, China is Ralph Lauren, Silver Chargers are Pier1, Champaign is Chandon, Champaign Flutes are Ralph Lauren