Whitewashing wood

By Michelle Kelly »Michelle Kelly

August 12th, 2010


1 comment

You must have thought that I’d jumped ship! Not at all, it’s simply that things are busy busy at the office right now as we prepare to send our October issue to press. Well, not entirely true: I did squeeze in a few days off over the weekend for a short summer trip across the pond to attend the wedding of a dear friend in Henley-on-Thames, England. While we were only on the Old Sod for five days (see? Busy in the office), we did manage to see quite a few sights during out quick jaunt through London (the Tate Modern and, obviously, the antique shops of Portobello Road) and enjoy a few country hikes around Henley.

But now it’s back to the grind, not only here at work, but also at home, where we are finally starting to make some decisions about how to furnish our new home. I’m all for minimalism and reusing what you’ve got on hand, but I’m just about over having an old, half-broken futon for a couch and two stools and the kitchen island on which to eat my three square.

We do have some furniture from our old apartment, of course, but not much (it was a furnished rental). One piece we are trying to incorporate is our wooden gateleg table from Ikea. It’s sort of like this one here, but with a solid top and a bit bigger:

It’s certainly functional (seats about 10) and the size is about right for our dining space but, I’ll be frank: I don’t like it. Although it’s solid wood, I think it looks kind of fake and cheap, and the hue is, well, bad, for us anyway. So we must compromise. I think I’ve found a good solution in an article from the September 2010 issue of Canadian House & Home magazine. The featured homeowner whitewashed her similar table, also from Ikea. Whitewashing will take care of my fake wood and hue issues, and will also serve to lighten up the space. Problem is that I don’t really know the first thing about how to whitewash and am fearful that it will turn out looking even cheaper and kind of tacky. (Oh, the fear!) Enter good ol’ design*sponge. Just today they posted a fabulous primer on using milk paint and have totally turned my previous perspective around. Yip yip!

However, until I take brush to hand, I thought it best to run the whole scenario by the lot of you first. Have you ever used milk paint? How did it turn out? What about any other ways of whitewashing? I’d love to hear your advice; I know you’re full of great tips. Even better, send me some photos of your whitewashing work; I’d love to see!

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Greg McLeod

Aug. 12, 2010

6:04 pm

Hey Michelle, You might want to call Jenny Pringle at Homestead House (milk paint vendor/manufacturer?). Greg

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Michelle Kelly