How to Whitewash Wooden Floors

Written by sharon sweeny
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A whitewashed floor brings country charm to even the most contemporary room. Whitewash is applied to unfinished wooden floors, most often softer woods like pine. It's different than painting wood because the grain of the wood shows through. Whitewashing a wooden floor is just as easy as painting the walls, except you have to add a clear, protective finish. This is a job that any do it yourself homeowner can do.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Long-handled paint roller
  • Water-based whitewash
  • 10 to 12 old rags
  • Water-based clear varnish or polyurethane
  • Good-quality floor wax

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  1. 1

    Sand off the existing finish of your floor. Clean up sanding dust by vacuuming and then damp mopping.

  2. 2

    Apply whitewash to floor with long-handled paint roller. Work on a small area at a time.

  3. 3

    Let the whitewash sit on the floor for two to three minutes, then wipe off with a rag.

  4. 4

    Allow the whitewash to dry for the length of time recommended by the manufacturer.

  5. 5

    Apply a water-based clear varnish or polyurethane to the floor using a long-handled paint roller.

  6. 6

    Let polyurethane dry and remain free of traffic for at least 24 hours.

  7. 7

    Wax with good quality floor wax, if desired.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not use clear oil-based finishes on whitewash because they make the whitewash look yellow.

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