How to Whitewash Wooden Floors

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wax with good quality floor wax, if desired.


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

Things You'll Need

  • Long-handled paint roller
  • Water-based whitewash
  • 10 to 12 old rags
  • Water-based clear varnish or polyurethane
  • Good-quality floor wax
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.