I met Kate about 2 years ago.
Heyyyyyyy. Wait a minuteeeeeee. I’ve never met Kate. Ever. This Internet thing is weird, eh? I truly feel like we’ve met, but we never have. Hell. We’ve never even Skyped.
I consider Kate to be both my Internet friend and a little bit of a blogging mentor. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve emailed her with questions, concerns or conundrums. Each and every time she’s emailed me back. Usually with a response that goes something like this … Who are you and why do you keep emailing me? Stop bothering me. I’m painting something in between raising a family and saving the world. Sheesh.
Somehow she agreed to do a guest post for me. It’s amazing what you can get people to do for you when you sign your emails Design*Sponge.
Please welcome … Kate (Centsational Girl)!.
I have a theory, or a mantra, if you will and it is this: White paint is the cure for all design dilemmas. I ask you, what doesn’t look better with a coat of white paint? Your walls? Your trim? Your furniture? Your dog? Well, perhaps ‘Fido’ was never meant to be a ‘Snowball’, but one thing is true, white paint is the instant cure for all the tired pieces of furniture you may own or have inherited from Great Aunt Myrtle.
Last year I scored a trunk at a thrift store for $15 bucks and decided it was the perfect piece to reinvent as a coffee table in our outdoor cabana space , but instead of ordinary paint, I chose a whitewash technique.
What is whitewash you might ask? It’s the process of layering thin coats of watered down white paint to a wood surface to achieve a distressed look but it also allows the wood grain to show through. Some call it faux, I call it fab because the technique accentuates the details of the wood, plus you never need worry about wear and tear, it adds to the appeal. In my mind, the white + wood combo is a win-win and the look gives you an “old world distressed cottage-ish” finish and no one need know it costs pennies to pull off. Here’s how.
Sand down any piece of furniture until the rough raw wood is exposed, a good orbital will help you do it in minutes. Next mix up this formula: 2 parts white latex paint to 1 part water. After you mix up the water and paint, dip your brush into the mixture, wipe most of it off, then apply the paint in the opposite direction of the grain. I know that sounds wacky and seems counterintuitive, but I found that if you paint in the opposite direction of the grain, the diluted paint grabbed onto the rougher edges a lot better.
After I was done I gave it a quick coat of clear outdoor Varathane to seal it and protect it from the elements. Look how that fancy bowl of limes just pops.
Got a tired old piece of furniture? Consider a simple whitewash technique for a simple fix in an afternoon. Here’s a peek at even more whitewash goodness for inspiration:
Thanks so much Karen for letting me visit today! Hope you’re off doing something equally relaxing and unsavoury. xo Kate