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Is There a White Wash Stain for Wood?

Is there a white wash stain for wood? I’ll discuss this with product examples and ways to make your own white washed product.

The use of wood in home décor is timeless and classic, right? Whether it’s used to create furniture, flooring, or wall paneling, wood is a great way to add warmth and character to any space. One popular look for different wood projects is the white wash stain look, which gives the wood a light, weathered look. But is there actually a white wash stain available for wood? I’m not talking about white paint here, but a white stain. 

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What Is White Wash Stain?

White wash stain is a type of finish that gives wood a light and white appearance. It’s often used to give furniture and other wooden items an aged or vintage look. The white wash effect can be achieved by using either paint or stain, but the latter is more popular because it allows the natural grain of the wood to show through. There are a couple ways to achieve a whitewash stain look. The final white wash look will depend on the different types of wood you choose and the white wash technique used. Let’s talk about a few of these techniques with product examples. 

I’m no stranger to whitewashing wood or even painting wood white to give it a whitewashed look. As a matter of fact, I’ve created many posts about how to whitewash and all things in between. 

Related Whitewash furniture posts

In my post, How to Whitewash Bare Wood with a Latex Paint and Water Mixture, I shared how to use a part water part white latex paint to create a lovely white washed look on wood. This is probably the easiest way to achieve the white wash look and it allows you full control over how white or how translucent the finish will be. This is the best method to make a water-based stain or white wood stain. 

If you are looking for a heavier and bolder white wash look, then you need a thicker whitewash mixture (more paint, less water). If you want a slight whitewash look where you can see more of the wood grain, you need a thinner and mixture (more water, less paint). The great thing about this kind of white wash mixture is that the paint mixture will (most of the time) be a low VOC formula with a low odor (or even zero vocs) in comparison to using other techniques like white stain products. Soap and water cleanup also makes using this technique a breeze. 

how to whitewash wood with latex paint and water

One of the first projects I did to give an old piece of wood a white wash finish is this post on How to Create an Antique Fireplace Mantel with a Whitewash Technique. This was a heavily stained mantel from early 1900’s that I wanted to give a whole new look to. The white wash finish blended well with my new style and was so easy to create. 

antique fireplace mantel with white wash

Speaking of using paint, check out my Paint Wash for Furniture; Mute Outdated Furniture Tones blog tutorial. If you prefer to use paint to achieve a water-based wash of color, then this is the post for you. The cool thing about this technique is that you can essentially use any color to “whitewash” wood. For this post I used a beige color paint to mute an outdated orange/red furniture tone. This has quickly become a popular technique to tone down certain raw wood species like any type of red wood. It also works for outdoor wood surfaces but for best results needs to be done on smooth surfaces. 

applying tan wash or paint wash to pine wood

If you don’t want to use paint to white wash wood, there are other product options on the market. Ever heard of liming wax? It’s essentially a white wax product that sits in the wood grain to transform the look of wood. It’s great for giving the wood a touch of age and highlight the natural wood grain. I will say, this product works well on small projects.  See more about this product in my post How to use Lime wax with a Lime Washed Coffee Table Makeover

Lime Washed Coffee Table Makeover with Liming Wax

Speaking of a different product (not wax, stain or paint), I applied joint compound in the direction of the wood grain to achieve a white wash finish. This technique created a Weathered Barn Wood look on New Wood.  This was a fun project that had a surprising result that will give an antique look to any surface. 

DIY Weathered Barn Wood look

If you are looking for more white wash furniture inspiration, check out my post; White Washed Furniture Makeovers that will Wow you!

white washed furniture makeovers

Once you’ve successfully created a white wash finish, do you need to Seal Whitewash furniture or wood? Most of the time, yes! This post will walk you through how to add a top coat and seal your existing finish. 

sealing whitewash furniture and wood

How Do You Create a White Wash Stain?

Creating a white wash stain can be done in several ways depending on the desired effect. We’ve already covered a few methods like mixing paint with water and then brushing it onto the wood surface to get that white washed look and creating a similar finish with a liming wax product.  

Another method involves mixing together equal parts of paint or dye with a clear finish (such as polyurethane). This mixture can then be brushed onto the surface of the wood for an even lighter effect than with just paint alone. You can see where I mixed a wood dye with Polyurethane to create a custom color here. Rather than mixing a dark wood dye (like I did in this post), if you mix a light color, you will have a beautiful white washed color mix to apply to wood. 

mixing polyurethane with wood dye

Are There Pre-Made White Wash Stains Available?

Yes! There are several different white wood stains available on the market today that make it easy to achieve this popular look without having to mix your own whitewash concoction. Each stain color comes in various shades ranging from light gray to off-white and are designed specifically for use on a wood surfaces such as furniture, floors, and walls. They are easy to apply with just a regular brush, foam brush or roller and provide excellent coverage while still allowing some of the natural grain of the wood to show through. 

Below are a few of my favorite white washed wood stains. I’ve included a few oil-based stains and water-based formula too. 

Best White Wash Wood Stain for Furniture

Check out the BEST white wash wood stains for furniture with this list of my six favorite products.

So yes – there is indeed a white wash stain available for use on wooden surfaces! Whether you choose to mix your own concoction or purchase one pre-made, I hope you find the perfect wood finish to help you achieve an aged yet timeless look in your home décor projects.

Did this list help you decide on an existing white wash wood product? Or maybe you are going to try to make your own. Either way, I hope I’ve given you some inspiration!


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