The House of Wood - The DIY Life of a Military Wife
A musician, military wife, and mother to two young children, Jen authors The House of Wood as her creative outlet for all things DIY and design, where she documents her adventures in woodworking, interior design, military life, marriage, and motherhood. Jen offers in-depth tutorials that inspire and encourage readers to build their way to a more beautiful home.
Hey, friends! It’s Carrie Bishop, owner of River Rose Flower Company. Today I am excited to share some tips on buying and arranging flowers from a flower market. Flower markets, flower carts, and flower stands are on the rise. I can not tell you how many times I have walked in flower markets and there is always someone worried about which flowers they are going to buy.
“Will this flower go with this flower?”
“Do you think I have too many flowers?”
“Do you think that I have enough flowers?”
The good thing about flower markets is that they always have so many choices (but that can also be a bad thing for some people)! Sure, you can always stick with one type of flower and you will never go wrong with that option. If you want to branch out and make your own mixed flower arrangement, you will have to make some choices. In this post, I want to teach you how to choose and buy the right of amount of flowers, a good variety of flowers, and how to arrange them like a pro. Let’s get started!
Flower Market Supply List:
1 wide mouth vase (if you have flowers with longer stems a tall vase will do, otherwise a fishbowl is a great option for all lengths of flower stems.)
1 pair of floral shears (or a pair of sharp scissors)
1 type of greenery
1-3 stems of a base flower(s)
2-3 bunches of accent flowers
1 bunch of filler flowers
Flower Market Buying Tips:
There are three main types of flowers: base, accent, and filler.
Base Flowers: Larger flowers like hydrangea, lilies, and gerber daisies. They are usually positioned towards the bottom or at lower points in order to keep a good balanced look.
Accent Flowers: Medium-sized flowers like roses, tulips, ranunculus, and daisies. Accent flowers can go all throughout the arrangement, giving a nice well-rounded shape.
Filler Flowers: Micro-sized flowers like solidago, caspia, lavender, and wax flower. Filler flowers should be added last because they have tiny stems/flowers and can be added into the gaps in the arrangement to finish up the design.
Pro Tip: Buy what is in season. I recommend buying seasonal flowers for the majority of your purchase. Depending on the size of my vase and the type of arrangement, I will usually have one or two types of year-round flowers only. It is always fun to arrange flowers that are only blooming for that time of the year.
Seasonal Flower Market Guide:
Here are some ideas for what flowers to look for during every season.
Fall: Sun Flowers, Zinnias, Heather, Dahlias, Freesia, Magnolia, Queen Ann’s Lace, Statice, Gladiolas, Celosia, Amaranths, Snap Dragons, and Lisianthus.
Winter: Tulips, Amaryllis, Juniper Berry, Heather, Holly berry, Pepperberry, Phlox, Queen Ann’s Lace, Star of Bethlehem, Statice, Magnolia, and Paper Whites.
My flower market flowers, from left to right, I bought: Willow Eucalyptus (greenery), White Ranunculus (accent flower/seasonal), Stargazer Lily (base flower/year-round), Dark Pink Lisianthus (accent flower/seasonal), Dark Pink Ranunculus (accent flower/seasonal), Hyacinth (base or accent flower/seasonal), and Grape Hyacinth (filler flower/seasonal).
Choosing the Vessel:
Wide Mouth: This allows plenty of room for flowers and greenery.
Size/Proportion: Make sure that all stems are long enough for the vase.
Style: Pick a vase that you will continue to use that fits your style.
Pro Tip: If you don’t know what kind of vase you want, fish bowls go well with all different types of styles. They run about $7-$10.
Roses always been a favorite flower of mine. I will often try to use Lisianthus in place of roses when I need more “bang for my buck”. Standard roses have 1 blossom per stem, whereas Lisianthus have roughly 15 blossoms per stem. (Typically there are 8-12 stems per bunch.) If you cut the Lisianthus stems like I did in the photo below, you will be able to fill up a big vase if it is the right size.
Pro Tip: If you are unsure about the correct size of the stem, it is always better to have the stem too long rather than too short. I usually have to edit my flower arranging as I go and I have been designing flowers for 12 years.
Add the base flowers first. Make sure that you cut the flowers to be in proportion to the size of the vase.
When you add the first layer of flowers, it is always a good idea to figure out a design plan. This arrangement is a round style. I suggest figuring where your north, south, east, and west points are (I call this the Compass Method). This will help you stick to your design style. For example: I made the stems on the East and West points stick out longer for depth.
Add the first round of accent flowers. I had a bunch of five hyacinth and I put them each on a compass point (except for the last one, that went in the center.) Spacing out your flowers properly is key. This will give you a nice even design.
Pro Tip: Make sure you wash the stems of your flowers before you put them into your vase. Having clean water, will help pro-long the life of your cut flowers.
Add the second round of accent flowers in between the gaps. Make sure that you are spacing out your flowers evenly. Using the Compass Method will help you with flower spacing and balance (making sure the weight of your flowers are even to your design style:round/symmetrical).
Add any other accent flowers that are left. Smaller accent flower Buds are great to have radiating out, while larger accent flower buds can cover holes, if you push them in deeper . Alternating with some buds radiating out and some buds being pushed inward, will create great depth in your arrangement.
Add your filler flower in a radiating pattern. I usually start with the N, S, E, W points on the bottom and add more filler flowers in between those points. I will typically have one small bud as my highest point and then I will make a triangle of filler flowers around that center point.
Add the greenery last. The greenery will frame the flowers and lighten the mood from a modern style design to a loose garden/Bohemian design. The compass method will help you spread out your greenery properly.
Enjoy your flower market flowers! I hope this tutorial inspires you to check out your local flower market and try a floral arrangement of your own with some new types flowers. Have fun with it!
I’d love for you to check out my website RiverRoseFlowerCo.com for more floral design tutorials and flower inspiration!
Many of you already know and love our gentle giant, but for those who don’t, allow me to introduce you to Watson, our handsome Rhodesian Ridgeback. He’s 100 pounds of pure sweetness.
I mean, seriously. Just look at that face. He’s a heartbreaker, isn’t he? And he knows full well that the furniture is off limits, but I’m pretty sure he sneaks onto our sofa when we’re not home. He’s a smart one, but he still hasn’t figured out how to re-fluff the throw pillows after he’s been napping on them.
What a stinker. It’s a good thing he’s cute.
For Watson, the next best thing to napping on the sofa is napping on our new, luxuriously plush pet-friendly carpet from The Home Depot. It’s from the PetProof line and it is glorious. We ordered a 10′ x 14′ bound rug in the Sawyer pattern and the color Deserted Castle. Even though it’s a light-colored rug, I’m not worried because the PetProof line is nothing short of revolutionary.
Features of the PetProof Carpet:
Lifetime stain and soil protection; 25-year abrasive wear and texture retention warranties
0% moisture absorption to reduce pet odors in the carpet fiber
Nanoloc Spill Shield technology gives intrinsic soil resistance with 100% permanent, built-in stain protection that will never wash or wear off
3x easier to clean dirt, hair, and pet dander
Warranted against UV fading
The Home Depot offers:
All-inclusive carpet installation (obviously we didn’t use this service for our bound carpet)
Memory foam and non-skid rug pad attached
Did you know that you can order any wall-to-wall carpet from The Home Depot as a bound rug?! That means you can get any size you want! We ordered a 10′ x 14′ bound carpet and opted to have the non-skid rug pad built in – no need for a separate rug pad that will shift and bunch underneath!
But you had me at “PetProof.” This pet-friendly carpet is perfect for families with kids and pets. My kids actually do more damage than Watson does. #justsaying
Kids have opposable thumbs, after all. That means they can handle markers and popsicles and everything sticky.
We have yet to test out the innovative stain resistant feature, but give us a day or two – I’m pretty sure one of these tiny humans will spill something sooner or later. I’ll keep you posted.
This pet-friendly carpet isn’t only beautiful, but it’s super soft underfoot too. There are a lot of patterns, textures, and colors to choose from as well. We ultimately chose the Sawyer pattern, but the Scarlet was also a favorite. I love that the diamond pattern adds a bit of texture and interest to an otherwise plain rug.
I think Watson is pretty pleased with our new pet-friendly rug. As soon as we laid it down, he made himself right at home. He looks so comfy – maybe this means he’ll stay off my sofa.
You can find the PetProof carpet at The Home Depot and online here.
*I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in this PetProof Program (the “Program”). As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines. This post contains affiliate links.
Hi! It’s Aniko from Place of My Taste and I’m so excited to share this fabulous Rosé Spritzer recipe with you – it might be my favorite summer drink!
Alright- so “Rosé” is pronounced “row-zay,” – so fancy, right? I’m happy to share this super refreshing Rosé Spritzer with you… and have a sip myself. I love nothing more than refreshing drinks in the summer months. I have a list of non-alcoholic drinks HERE, but I also like me some drinks with a little boost sometimes!
A few things worth mentioning for this fabulous Rosé Spritzer recipe:
You could totally make this a bit stronger and sweeter by adding a fruit liqueur like peach schnapps or Chambord. So, that may be worth a try depending on your company and tolerance. You could also switch the grenadine out for cherry juice is that’s more to your liking. I used a plain seltzer, but you could jazz it up a bit more by adding a lemon-lime or raspberry flavored one if you so desire.
I pretty much use what I have on hand unless I am trying to recreate a recipe I find elsewhere- but even then I think it’s nice to improvise. Sometimes when you switch things out, they turn out even better! So don’t be scared to make a swap or two in a recipe.
Hello and happy Summer! It is SMOKIN’ HOT here in Texas. We’re already up to 95 degrees and it’s only May. Is it a blazing inferno where you are too? I can already tell we’re going to be spending A LOT of time in the pool. Backyard barbecues and pool parties are quintessential summertime fun around here! Speaking of BBQs, let’s make these DIY Patriotic Shibori Dyed Napkins – they’re perfectly patriotic for your summer or Fourth of July table setting!
Today, I’m excited to be joining a handful of my blogger friends as we share fun summer DIY crafts! Be sure to click the links at the end of this post to check out everyone’s projects.
Alright. Are you ready to learn how to make these DIY patriotic shibori dyed napkins? Let’s do this.
Fill the 5-gallon bucket with about 4 gallons of tap water.
Empty the indigo dye, soda ash, and reduction agent packets into the water.
Stir until dissolved, stirring the mixture in one direction in a circular motion.
Reverse the direction of the stirring as you drag the stir stick along the outer edge of the bucket before slowly removing the stir stick.
Cover the bucket with a lid and allow the mixture to settle while you bind your fabric (about 30 minutes to an hour).
Bind and Dye the Fabric
Fold, tie, or bind the fabric in various ways, using shape resists, rubber bands, popsicle sticks, clothespins, and other items. Feel free to experiment and get creative!
Thoroughly wet the bound fabric with water and squeeze out the excess.
Wearing gloves, remove the cover from the bucket. Carefully push the foam on top to the side and slowly submerge the bound fabric into the bucket. Be sure that it is fully immersed for several minutes.
Remove the bound fabric from the bucket and set it aside to oxidize for about 20 minutes – the fabric will come out green, but will slowly turn blue as the oxygen hits it.
Unbind the fabric and rinse with water.
Wash the shibori dyed napkins in the washing machine with mild detergent and warm water.
Place the lid back onto the bucket. The dye will keep for several days and you’ll be able to reuse it.
Unwrapping the fabric is my favorite part – you never know for sure what pattern you’re going to get! For the star pattern, I cut out a couple of stars from scrap pieces of wood, then folded my napkins in an accordion-style and placed the star on the top and bottom of the fabric, then bound the whole thing with rubber bands.
Another favorite pattern of mine was the one below – I folded the napkin accordian-style and clipped 3 clothespins, alternating each side. Isn’t this pattern fun?
Hope y’all enjoyed this DIY patriotic shibori dyed napkin tutorial – don’t forget to visit the links below to see my blogger friends’ summer crafts! Happy Summer, everyone!
Asparagus marinated in citrus vinaigrette is the star of this spring salad with tangy oranges, creamy goat cheese, and toasted pecans.
Hi there! This is Sara from Biscuits & Burlap, a Southern food blog my mom and I write together, and I am so excited to be back at House of Wood sharing another yummy recipe with you! If you missed my first post, go back and check out the no-bake mini lemon cheesecake tarts. Today I’m showing you my new favorite spring salad!
This recipe includes a family favorite of ours: marinated asparagus. I used the simple marinade (a mixture of olive oil, lemon and orange juice, dijon, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper) as a dressing for the spring salad as well and it couldn’t be more perfect. Just pour enough over the blanched asparagus to coat it and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Reserve the rest for the dressing!
I find that a lot of people are intimidated by cooking asparagus because it’s so sensitive. There’s really fine line between under- and over-cooked when it comes to asparagus, but blanching it really is the easiest way to get it right. In a pan large enough to put the asparagus in a single layer, bring enough water to submerge the asparagus to a boil. While you wait, fill a small casserole dish halfway with ice water. Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook 2-3 minutes (depending on the size). As soon as the time is up, grab them out of the hot water and submerge them in the ice bath. This stops the cooking process and leaves you with perfectly cooked asparagus!
Once your asparagus has been cooked and marinated, you’re ready to put this spring salad together! The addition of the tangy oranges and creamy goat cheese balances the flavors so well (and let’s be honest- goat cheese makes everything better) and topping it with toasted pecans brings it all together. Drizzle the dressing over the top and enjoy!
May has been an exciting month already with the official launch of Spruc’d and now, I have more good news to share… I’ve signed on as a Brand Ambassador for JOANN this year! Lots of fun and crafty projects to come! Speaking of projects, I have a simple but beautiful DIY to share with you today. Mother’s Day is fast approaching, so let’s make a DIY wood-burned cutting board for your favorite lady!
This DIY wood-burned cutting board is not only great for Mother’s Day, but it’s the perfect gift for the hostess, new homeowner, or foodie in your life. And it’s so simple to make too. Are you ready? Let’s do this!
You can either buy or make a cutting board. (You know which route I chose.) I picked up a Walnut Hollow Creative Versa-Tool Kit from JOANN. I had some scrap wood laying around (isn’t that always the case around here? I mean, it is The House of Wood after all!), so I whipped up a quick cutting board out of some hard and curly maple cutoffs.
First, use a table saw to rip the boards to the same width (about an inch and a half), then lay them out in a pattern. I alternated the hard and curly maple wood and turned them on edge for a thicker board. Tight-grained, dense hardwood species like maple, walnut, or bamboo are superb choices for making cutting boards. Wood with a more open grain, like red oak, are not ideal because the open grain can harbor bacteria and other yucky stuff.
Glue, clamp, and let the glue dry for at least a couple of hours. Try to line up the boards as best you can and make sure it’s as flat as you can get it. The flatter it is now, the less you’ll have to sand later. And believe me, if I can cut down on any task, that task would be sanding. It truly is the bane of my existence.
I left the board in the clamps to dry overnight, just for kicks.
Okay. It was actually because a new episode of The Handmaid’s Tale was on.
I mean, priorities.
The next day, I took the cutting board out of the clamps, then squared off the edges with a miter saw. A bit of sanding on all sides and this cutting board is ready for burning!
Screw on the wood-burning tip of your choice onto the wood-burning tool, plug it in, and let it heat up for at least 5 minutes. Sketch out a design with a pencil. I decided to use a ramekin to trace a circle on one side of the board.
Carefully touch the wood-burning tool to the board, using your pencil marks as your guide. You may want to practice on a scrap piece of wood before going in for the real thing. I used the slanted tip and followed the outline of the circle.
If you want to change out the tips, use pliers to remove the hot tip and replace it with another. Caution: the tool will be very hot – you can either use pliers to switch out the tips or wait for the tool to cool down completely. I wanted to use the leaf tip here, to mimic a wreath. I laid the leaf tip down on the board, pressing firmly to make the burnt leaf shape. Experiment with different pressures – the longer you keep the tip on the board, the darker the mark will be. I varied the pressure, just to give the leaves a little more interest.
Repeat these steps as desired. Even though I used only the slanted and leaf tips for this project, feel free to get creative with your designs. The possibilities really are endless!
Unplug the wood-burning tool and allow it to cool down completely before storing it away.
Apply a few coats of mineral oil to the board to seal it. Mineral oil will bring out the beautiful wood grain, protect it from moisture, and it’s food safe. It’s a win-win-win!
Finally, wrap a pretty ribbon around your DIY wood-burned cutting board and give it to your Mom for Mother’s Day or load it up with some of your favorite treats and enjoy!
*This post is sponsored by JOANN and may contain affiliate links. I am a JOANN Brand Ambassador; all opinions and efforts are my own. To read my full disclosure policy, please click here.
I feel like I can finally say “Spring is here!” and, after what seems like the longest winter ever, I am so happy to be thinking about how to design and improve my outdoor spaces. This is Sheri from Hazel + Gold Designs and I am excited to share with you this tutorial on how to make a Easy and Inexpensive DIY Outdoor Bench. This isn’t the most complicated piece of furniture I’ve ever made, but I wanted to design something that even a beginner can build without too many tool or supply requirements. Here’s how I did it!
Easy DIY Outdoor Bench
(2) 2 x 4 x 8 ft. boards
Sanding discs (80-grit, 180-grit, 220-grit)
12-inch miter saw
Here are the plans in a 3D diagram. This project is pretty simple, so I just created this diagram to show you the measurements that I used. You can easily customize this to your space by adjusting the top board measurements. Mine is 48 inches wide, if you opt to make a longer bench, you may want to consider building a third leg section (just one more 2×4).
Cut two pieces of 2×4 at 18 inches long. These will be the top of your two leg sections. Cut two pieces of 2×4 at 16 inches long. These will be the bottom of your two leg sections.
Next, we’re going to create the V in the leg sections by cutting four pieces of 2×4. Each of these pieces will have 15º angles on both ends going the same direction, and from one end to the other is 16.5 inches.
Once you have all of the leg section pieces cut, sand them all. When sanding I used an 80-grit sandpaper first, then 180-, then 220-grit. It is A LOT of sanding, but when you are working with these inexpensive stud boards it really makes all the difference. They look like brand new boards after you’re done sanding. My favorite thing is to put some great music on my headphones and just get it all done as soon as I can. Sometimes my hand starts to go numb, but that’s just a sign of great work, right?
Next it’s time to assemble the leg sections. I marked the center of the 16-inch boards and glued and screwed in the angled boards in the shape of a V meeting at that line. You can really attach this any way you want, say with pocket holes, but I wanted to build something you wouldn’t need another tool for, so I just did it this way. I do make sure the screws sink into the wood so they aren’t sticking out at the bottom where it could cause leveling issues or scratching floors.
Now attach the top 18-inch boards, again using glue and two screws from the top down into each of the sides of the V.
Follow these steps again to build the second leg section exactly the same. (Full disclosure: my husband helped me with a few steps while I was suffering from a migraine. What would I do without him?)
Cut your 2x10x8 board in half to create a 18-inch deep 48-inch long seat. If you don’t have a 12-inch miter saw you could use a circular saw for this step.
Now that your leg sections are assembled, go ahead and paint them with your exterior paint. Mine had a satin finish. I just love it.
Stain the seat boards with whatever stain color you like. I apply this wearing vinyl gloves and just use a rag to wipe on and off.
I just love seeing the difference after staining. It creates so much dimension in the wood!
Next, coat with outdoor polyurethane. Let dry (according to the instructions on your product), then lightly sand with 220-grit sandpaper. Add second coat of poly, let dry and sand again, then finish with a third coat. Let cure for 24 hours.
To attach the leg sections, turn other your seat boards face down and mark where you want the leg sections to go. Add wood glue, then screw the leg sections onto the top boards.
I used two screws on each end, then two in between the side boards of the V.
Like I said, it wasn’t too difficult, was it?
Add a flower pot on each side and you have a gorgeous sitting space on your front porch!
The depth of grain and color on the seat boards is always my favorite.
What do you think? Do you like my bench? I’d love to hear your comments! Feel free to share this on social media as well!
Thanks again for reading, my friends. Get out there and build something!
Happy Friday, House of Wood friends! It’s Maritza from Maritza Lisa and today I wanted to share this DIY Terrazzo Wall Art with you. I grew up in a tiny island in the Caribbean and the floors in our homes were terrazzo. It helped keep our homes cool while enjoying the tropical heat. It’s wonderful and nostalgic to see terrazzo popping up as a design trend now. What’s old is new again. Although I won’t be able to update my floors with terrazzo, I can take this trend and use it as an accent in my home with this quick and easy DIY.
I decided to add a pretty gold touch with gold foil mats too. You can play around with colored card stock as another option. Be creative! Let’s begin…
DIY Terrazzo Wall Art
Graphic Software (I used Silhouette Studio – there is a free version)
Terrazzo Patterns/Images (I got mine on Creative Market)
Ruler, craft knife and cutting mat
White picture frames
Gold foil (I got mine at the craft store)
In your graphic software, open your terrazzo patterns
Resize and print each pattern on your card stock
Take the mat out of the picture fame
Using your pencil, trace the outer rectangle of the picture mat on each printed terrazzo pattern
Using your ruler, craft knife and cutting mat, cut each rectangle
To make the gold mat, trace the picture mat on the non-gold side of your gold foil
Using your ruler, craft knife and cutting mat, cut each mat
Assemble your wall art (picture, frame and mat)
All you need to do is hang these pretty framed patterns up on your walls! Your home decor will now be on trend with these pretty patterns without having to spend a lot of money. Thanks so much for reading and making with me – I can’t wait to hear how your stunning wall art turned out!
Hello, House of Wood readers! It’s Jenny from Paint Yourself a Smile! I’m thrilled to be hanging out with furniture-loving friends today because I’m a geek about refinishing furniture. I’m excited to show you how to whitewash furniture. An old thrifted cane chair gets a new lease on life with a new gorgeous whitewash finish.
Allow me to introduce you to the makeover candidate – this ugly chair…
I’m not sure why I brought home this second-hand chair, but I did. I tried to tell my husband it followed me home like a stray dog but he wasn’t falling for it. After several eye rolls, would you believe he had many unflattering things to say about my growing ugly chair collection?
I know, I couldn’t believe it either. So just for grins, I doubled down and proudly displayed the obnoxious chair next to the TV in our family room. Ugliness this good deserved prime real estate.
(In case you are wondering, the chair did come with cushions, but I removed them because they gave off the pleasant aroma of a nicotine scented candle. No really, I’m certain that was the Yankee candle scent of the month once or twice back in 1977. I have the chair to prove it.)
It was good! But at the risk of taking a joke too far and despite my love for “poke your eyeballs out orange”, last week I caved and hauled this guy to the garage to give him a softer look. (I’m referring to the chair of course. The husband is already perfect, just ask him.)
This old cane chair was a great conversation piece, but I decided to switch things up by adding a light grey fabric and giving the wood frame a soft whitewashed finish. Whitewashing can mean different things to different people so for the sake of this post, I’m referring to whitewashing as a method to lighten the overall look of the wood without losing the wood grain.
Whitewashing is one of my favorite finishing techniques. Not only is it easy to apply, but unlike traditional stain, the thin layer of paint doesn’t soak deep into the wood which is nice if you ever want to revert back to the original finish. (High five to not spending dayssss in a hot garage trying to pull out stubborn stain)
Before I could apply the whitewash, I needed to remove the dark finish. The chair had that typical faux stain finish that much of today’s mass-produced furniture has. It’s simple to remove with nothing more than a can of acetone. Underneath was a light wood which is also common to this type of furniture.
The reason I didn’t go overboard with sanding and pulling out 100% of the color in the stripping process is because the leftover color works as shading and depth when the whitewash is applied over the wood.
Acrylic White Paint
A note about paint and color:
I use whatever paint I have on hand including regular wall paint. I prefer a flat or a satin sheen. A true white hue can produce a slightly gray finish. You may want to consider selecting a cream or ivory shade of white for a warmer tone. Ultimately, the final color will depend on the tones in the natural wood and how many wash layers are applied.
When I refinished my maple dining set last fall, the end finish came out with pretty soft pink undertones. This chair I just finished had greenish yellow tones and the final color was slightly different.
Easy Whitewash Technique
Step one: Mix
Mix a small container of watery white paint that is approximately 2 1/2 parts water to 1 part paint. A little goes a long way so start small, you can always mix more if needed. I also make a second slightly thicker mix (1 1/2 to 1) and work out of both containers.
Step Two: Apply and Remove
Using a paint brush, apply the thinnest wash mix to a small area and work quickly using a rag to wipe it off. It’s important to work in small sections because the thinned paint dries quickly and you don’t want it to dry on the wood before you have a chance to work with it. Don’t worry if the first coat appears too sheer for the result you want. That’s okay because unlike stain, you can add a second coat right away.
Once in a while, the first wash coat will cause the grain of the wood to raise and leave the wood rough. If this happens just sand the raised grain smooth again and you should be good to apply another coat of wash. I’ve only had this happen once or twice and it was when I was working with newer wood.
For small nooks and crannies that the rag misses, I take a completely dry paintbrush and lightly brush where the paint wash has pooled to feather it out. Other areas like the deep grooves in the legs of the chair, I used a small paintbrush.
Step three: Dry-brushing
Sometimes the brush on & wipe away method works perfectly, but other times you may want a little more control over select areas for more shading. In these cases, I go back with a dry-brushing technique.
If you are not familiar with dry-brushing, dry-brushing is when you add a very small amount of paint to the tip of a completely dry brush so when the paint is applied it’s more dry than fluid. After I dip the tip of my brush in the paint, I use a scrap piece of cardboard to brush off any excess before I apply the paint to the surface. Then I take a second completely dry paintbrush and blend that paint out even more. This will create soft flawless shading.
You can create a streaky look with dry brushing too. Add slightly more paint to the paintbrush and skip the second blending step.
I know that was wordy but trust me it’s super easy and when you get the hang of it you will love the control it gives you when applying the paint.
Step 4: Steel Wool
Use fine steel wool to blend and remove paint in areas to show more wood grain. Sandpaper is not the same as steel wool and I would avoid it in this application. The whitewash coat is thin and sitting on the surface of the wood, sandpaper will completely remove it. Steel wool works like a champ – and it’s cheap!
Step 5: Finish Coat
It’s up to you with how opaque or sheer you want your finish to be. To simply lighten the wood like I did when refinishing my dining set (see above photo), one coat will do it.
For the chair, I wanted a whiter finish so I applied a couple of coats.
Once you get the look you desire, finish off with a top coat of a water-based polyurethane.
I hope this post inspires a few of you to try whitewashing! Now I’m off to enjoy my new (to me) chair.