How to Whitewash Wood :: Making over our Pottery Barn Inspired Table

Good morning!!!

Fall is very much underway here in the Kootenay Mountains and I couldn’t be happier about it! The leaves are changing to all sorts of glorious shades of yellow, orange and red and creating pretty little piles on the sides of our roads and all over the hiking trails. I’ve dug out the sweaters, boots, wool and plaid. And, instead of reading books in the sun on our deck, I’m curling up with a nice cuppa in front of the fireplace.

Hubs and I have been working so hard to tackle all sorts of projects around the house before the snow flies, in fact, I’ve got weeks worth of posts to write to get y’all up to date. But, no matter how excited I am about each and every accomplishment, I just can’t stop myself from dreaming about all things Fall! I’ve never really decorated my house for anything other than Christmas (couldn’t possibly pass by the most wonderful time of the year!), I suppose I’ve never really had a house to decorate for Fall. So, prepare yourself my friends, because if I can accomplish even half of what I am planning in the next few weeks, you are in for a ton of Fall inspiration! I cannot wait to transform this house into a cozy, warm and welcoming mountain retreat just as Fall makes its way through the Kootenays!

In the mean time, I’m CRAZY excited to share my latest project with you today! It’s one of those projects that makes me smile every single time I walk by it and I just know y’all are going to love it too!!!
How to Whitewash Wood :: making it in the mountains
There’s nothing I love more than a rustic piece of furniture full of charm and chippy paint! When we (and by we, I mostly mean hubs) built this gorgeous Pottery Barn Inspired Table for our new courtyard deck, we knew that we eventually hoped to tackle something similar for inside the house too. In fact, we sort of thought of this outdoor table as practice for whatever farmhouse table we decided to make for our dining room.

One of the items on our ever growing to-do list (boy hubs loves those lists!) was adding another coat or two of varathane to our outdoor table to help protect it through the Winter. It turns out that sometimes not getting to every single project on my list the second I think of it is a blessing in disguise (Brady, I have a feeling you are going to read far too much into that statement)! It did give me the time to have that “ah ha!” moment. With another cold & snowy Winter on the way and an empty dining room (aside from the treacherous chandelier that everyone forgets to walk around), it occurred to me that maybe we should slide this lovely table through our double french doors and let it live inside for the Winter. Our gorgeous table would be safe from the elements and we might even get a chance to actually use our dining room!!! Brilliant right? Or maybe just obvious. 😉

As much as I love this Pottery Barn inspired table, there is just one part that I haven’t always been thrilled with – the top is a different colour and it drives me a bit mad. You see the bottom is made from pine boards, but the top pieces were so large that we were only able to get them in cedar, which meant that even with the same stain, the two different woods made for slightly different colours in the end. As I was getting ready to paint another coat of varathane over the top boards again (as in literally opening the can on the drop cloth and dipping the brush into the varathane) I thought it might be fun to do some sort of whitewash to the top instead. And that’s all it took folks, one spur of the moment fleeting thought and it was decided: this imperfect table top was getting a makeover!

So, down to the garage I marched with the varathane and up I came with some watered down Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White. The ratio was approximately 1 part paint to 1 part water, which created a milky sort of consistency. At first I tried to just lightly brush the paint onto the table top, but it just wasn’t giving the impact that I was looking for. So instead, I decided to just slap on a thick coat of this milky paint before wiping it off with a clean rag.

How to Whitewash :: making it in the mountains
I knew I wanted something that looked REALLY rustic – like old, weathered, chippy paint rustic. Sadly, this subtle, all over white just wasn’t it.

How to Whitewash  :: making it in the mountains
Hmmmm. Back to the drawing board I guess. I decided the best way to get something more dramatic looking was to make the paint more dramatic. I started over with a ratio of about 3 parts of paint to 1 part water and very lightly brushed it onto the table top. This created a much darker, streaky sort of finish with a ton of imperfections … just what I was looking for! I played around with it a ton adding a bit more here and a lighter touch there to get that really weathered look.

How to Whitewash  :: making it in the mountains
I swear with each paint stroke, my smile was growing bigger and bigger! It all just looked exactly as I had pictured it in my head!

How to Whitewash  :: making it in the mountains
With one quick coat of varathane on top, this beauty was ready for dinner! I cannot wait to host our upcoming Thanksgiving dinner around this new gorgeous dining room table!!!

How to Whitewash  :: making it in the mountains

How to Whitewash  :: making it in the mountains

How to Whitewash  :: making it in the mountains

How to Whitewash  :: making it in the mountains

How to Whitewash  :: making it in the mountains

How to Whitewash  :: making it in the mountains

How to Whitewash  :: making it in the mountains

How to Whitewash  :: making it in the mountains
I actually loved it so much that I even debated painting over the rest of the table, but in the end I decided to leave that beautiful dark wood exposed. I mean, I can always paint the rest later if I decide I need to! What do you think: would you paint the entire table or are you digging the two-toned look?

Wishing you SUCH a lovely day!

You can find me sharing here & at Savvy Southern Style.

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78 thoughts on “How to Whitewash Wood :: Making over our Pottery Barn Inspired Table

  1. Two-toned all the way. It is just perfect! From the side, it almost looks like it has a metal top which is cool too. My projects usually come as spur-of-the-moment ideas that just hit me out of nowhere rather than a ton of planning. I think it’s more fun that way 🙂

    1. Thank you Emily!!! I really was SO torn about painting out the bottom too! I’m thrilled that you love the two-toned! I definitely think some of the best ideas come when you don’t give yourself a chance to second guess yourself!

  2. It looks very charming in your dining room. The top has that weathered appearance you were going for and makes your chairs pop. Very farmhouse rustic, my favorite look!

  3. This looks SO good! I totally love this table inside, actually, and I’m sure it will thank you for not leaving it out in the cold this winter! Love the pop of contrast that the new whitewash brings. And I bet you and everyone else is glad to not be running into the chandelier anymore 😉

    1. Thank you SO much Erica! It will look so much better having spent the winter warm and dry and hopefully we’ll put it to good use! Everyone is thrilled to not have to remember that silly chandelier – everyone except Carson and I who are short enough that we never once hit our heads 😉

  4. Kristi, your table is beautiful! I love whitewashing furniture too and am pretty much obsessed with this. Pinned!

  5. I love it. It is gorgeous. It definitely adds character to the piece. I can’t wait to see your fall decor on it. And I wish the leaves were turning red yellow and orange where I leave. What a scenery.

  6. I’m not brave enough to do an entire table, but I would love to do this to a single piece for a food backdrop!

    Thanks for linking up to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Board.

  7. I love it! I am so loving white-wash lately, I have done a stool and a TV dresser in a white-washed gray and I love how it turns out. It’s almost impossible to mess up (my kind of project!) Your table is gorgeous!

    1. Thank you Bethany!!! I’m officially addicted too! I agree that it’s difficult to mess up, just wipe it off and try again 😉 Would love to try white washing with a colour – I’m sure the gray looks fab!!!

  8. Hello, your table looks great! I am about to start a similar project myself with a whitewash finish. I was wondering if you have had any issues with the table yellowing from the Varthane? (I am guessing you used the Varathane water-based poly?) Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Steve, thanks so much! I haven’t had any problems with yellowing at all that I’ve noticed, though I did choose the water based poly for that reason). Hope this helps!

I can't wait to hear your thoughts?