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Need some painting help!

After a few weeks of deciding on a color for the bathroom (Behr Mystic Harbor) I was thinking of continuing with the beach theme.  The tile in the bathroom is a light sandy color but doors and molding have been stained a light wood color from the previous owner.  What I wanted to know is it possible to whitewash the doors and molding to keep with the beach theme, and where can I get whitewash?

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Posted 2011-08-06T01:44:16+0000  by JVincent79 JVincent79

Hey JVincent79,


Thanks for your question, welcome to the community!


I like the idea of your beach theme, especially with the color you picked out....

mystic harbor.JPG


To get the whitewash effect like you want on your doors and mouldings, you can go with two approaches. One, you can use a white or off-white faux glaze topcoat over your existing surfaces. This would be the easiest technique, since you already have a 'base coat' with the stain. Two, you can sand down the areas and start from scratch with a base and top coat, however that would involve more work but more options for you to get the correct and specific washed look you want. 

white wash.JPG


However, you can get a great look of whitewash by going with the first option I just discussed. To get started, simply do a light sanding of your door and mouldings. You will need to get a fine/medium grit sandpaper or sanding sponge like 120-200 grit to knock off the gloss and/or clear polyurethane that is protecting your surfaces.

sanding sponge.JPG

This step is very important as it ensures that the final top coat of paint will ahere properly to the surface. Remember, you are only sanding down the top gloss layer and NOT the entire surface!


After using a tack cloth or rag to get the dust and debris off,  you are now ready to paint your top coat. But this isn't going to be a standard painting job to cover up the area, you want just a thin layer to distress and show through the bottom layers of stain. To do that, you will need to purchase paint as well as faux glaze to acheive this. Typically, I have found in distressing wood by going over it with faux glaze paint, you will get a very nice whitewash effect.

You mix more glaze than paint, and that is usally done with 4 parts glaze to one part paint. 


Glaze works as an extender, not a thinner. It gives the illusion of thinning paint, but it gives transparency and easier working time than solid paints, as it slows down the drying process allowing for the top coat to be manipulated with a rag, sponge, or brushes. As for choosing a color, you already have a light wood color, but I wouldn't exactly place a bright white top coat. I would pick out an antique white or ecru kind of tone in your paint to harmonize with your Mystic Harbor and to get that  weathered appearance. Lastly, choose a paint that is bathroom friendly, like a satin or higher gloss. Doing this means you won't have to worry about a clear top coat afterwards.


After getting your glaze and paint, try a small area of the moulding after sanding and experiment, you can use a rubbing on method alongside a dry brush to allow the brush strokes to show through. 


Try this out on your other surfaces as well if you like this look, the play of using a dry brush after rubbing on (or off) the glaze will show the darker wood color underneath and the lighter antique white color on top should give you the whitewash appearance you want!


Let us know if you have other questions, or you want to share pics of after your done with your project!



Posted 2011-08-06T14:48:35+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
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