How to Whitewash Knotty Pine

How To Whitewash Knotty Pine

The primary color and prevalence of open knots give the knotty pine its distinct name and appearance. If you look back, natural woods underwent whitewashing. With a specific lime, solution it preserves the furniture made with that material.

It also helps to repel it from unwanted critters. Technology has helped people figure out more manageable and more convenient ways to whitewash materials in today’s world. It allows us to achieve the classic whitewash look on our favorite woods without the hassle that people back in the day gone through. Here you’ll discover how to whitewash knotty pine.

What is Knotty Pine?

Those who don’t know what Knotty Pine is are a particular pine wood board with many visible knots. People use wood a lot in decorations for kitchens during the 1950’s era. They used it because of the rustic look and appealed it is utilized. Kitchen cabinetry often involves a honey finish that can range from orange to red colors. 

When you partner Knotty Pine with Formica countertops and hardware made from wrought iron, it makes a trendy design. In present times, renovators bring back the classic style of using Knotty Pine by including it again when styling modern homes. This provides the aesthetic appeal with a touch of that classic style. Knotty Pine isn’t the most durable when it comes to wood. They are used more for their look rather than their function. 

What is Whitewash?

Whitewash has similarities in appearance to traditional paint. The difference is in the ingredients. Whitewash helps your wood achieve a rustic look, that is because the process of creating a whitewash is also rudimentary. It is made with just a few common ingredients. Masonry lime, table salt, and water are all you need to mix together to have your own batch of whitewash at your disposal. If white isn’t your favorite color, numerous dyes can be mixed in with a whitewash solution. 

Knotty Pine Whitewashing Process

Priming The Wood

With open-grained woods such as the Knotty Pine, it provides a high chance that the whitewashing process will be done effectively well. This is effective because of the whitewash soaked into the wood. It works rather than drying up on just the surface of it. When Knotty Pine is painted over or sealed with a top coat, it will need to be stripped of its same topcoat to reopen the grain. It involves a long process of applying a chemical stripper and letting it sit on the wood according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

When it starts bubbling, it should be scraped off using a small knife carefully to not damage the compromised wood. If the Knotty Pine you are using comes naturally with no finishing, all you need to do is sand it using 100-grit sandpaper. Brush the dust entirely before moving on. Then stain the wood once it is sanded with a brown or gray stain to achieve a more aged appearance, but a self-sealing stain must not be used. Once the stain is dry, give it one last light sanding and remember to remove the dust entirely before proceeding to whitewash. 

Mixing the Whitewash

The next step is to prepare the specific whitewash mixture you have chosen for this project. You can go old school and use the mixture mentioned above or use other combinations. Another thing you can use is flat latex paint. The flat latex paint is for when you want to choose a specific color for your whitewash. It is done by mixing two parts of pigment with one part of water then it is ready to apply. 

Wood Whitewashing

The technique for whitewashing is more similar to staining than painting. Use a new or well-cleaned paintbrush to apply the whitewash on the Knotty Pine wooden boards. When applying the whitewash, always remember to have consistent and long strokes with the wood’s grain. The knots are a little harder to cover thoroughly, so you might have to spend extra time on those. 

It is also recommended that you use a paintbrush instead of a roller to apply the whitewash. Once the whitewash can sit and sink in the wood for a few seconds, you can remove the excess whitewash with a clean and dry cloth. After all the wood is soaked with whitewash, you can begin applying as many layers as you would like.

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Wood Finishing

Sealing the whitewashed Knotty Pine would be dependent on how you are going to use the wood in your project. Wainscoting and walls can be okay to age, but flooring, dressers, beds, and other furniture should apply a clear protective coat. There are many kinds of protective coats, but an acrylic or polyurethane brush-on sealer will be the most effective in protecting your Knotty Pine from damage.

One or two coats would be best for furniture, depending on how much it is used and abused. Outdoor furniture might need three to four layers. Once the sealer dries up, it is also recommended that you sand it smooth with 100-grit sandpaper. Eradicate the dust, and it is good to go. 

The Pro of Whitewashing Wood

There is one main advantage of whitewashing wood: repurposing old and seem useless timber. Consider it like re-upholstering leather or a specific type of furniture. It gives you the liberty of choosing what kind of shade or color the wood would be like. It also gives you the allowance of a contingency if you grow tired of the color you chose. You can sand the wood down again until it is bare and then apply a different whitewash than the one before. 

Parting Words

As you find how to whitewash knotty pine, it can be the best process in utilizing scrap wood or improving its longevity. It applies throughout different parts of your house. It is a straightforward process to do, and it is also cost-efficient when it comes to the stuff needed. It can be lengthy, but it also can be a fun home project for you to do with family and friends.