Whitewash Furniture DIY: Coffee Table Makeover

I am so excited to share this new whitewash painting technique and coffee table makeover with you!  If you’ve been to the blog before, you know that I love to paint.  I have already painted our master bedroom dresser and bed frame in another whitewash/dry-brushed method, and today I’ll be showing you how to whitewash your coffee table (with the new method).  Plus, there are tons of helpful tips and pictures to guide you through the process and make it easy as possible.  Here is Whitewash Furniture DIY:  Coffee Table Makeover. 

Scroll to the very end of the post to see:

  • the before and after pictures of our coffee table
  • the 2 whitewashing methods pictures (together)

*** This post contains affiliate links.  Please see my disclosure and privacy policies down below for more information.  Thanks so much for your support 🙂 *** 


Whitewash Furniture DIY: Coffee Table Makeover

Supplies:  

Here are some pictures of the primer and paint that I used.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 


Whitewash Furniture DIY: Coffee Table Makeover

Quick Questions/Answers:

#1:  What kind of paint do you use for whitewashing?

I use satin, latex paint for both of my white-washing techniques:  

  • Latex is much easier to clean with soap and water, and you can dilute the paint if you want more of a washed on/wiped on look.  (I did not dilute my paint for this technique).
  • Satin paint also wipes down easier when cleaning scuff marks.

#2:  Do you sand your furniture before whitewash painting?

I did not sand my coffee table before painting:

  •  I primed the coffee table so that I do not have to sand it beforehand.  
  •  If you don’t prime your wood furniture, you’ll need to sand it – trust me!

#3:  What level of difficulty is this particular painting job?  

This is a intermediate-difficult painting job/method:

  • This is not for the beginner painter – sorry!
  • This whitewashing technique will take at least 4 days.  Don’t rush it!
  • The different layers of primer, paint, dark wax, sanding, clear wax – will give you that “weathered-layered-whitewashed” look.
  • See below painting cheat sheet/playbook.

You got this – let’s get to it!!


Whitewash Furniture DIY: Coffee Table Makeover

8 Steps:

  1.   Prime – 2 Coats
  2.   Paint White
  3.   Dark Wax/Glaze
  4.   Clear Wax
  5.   Paint Again
  6.   Clear Wax Again
  7.   Sand
  8.   Clear Wax –  Final Time

Cheat Sheet/Painting Playbook:

  • Day 1:  prep and prime 2 coats (let dry)
  • Day 2:  paint (let dry), add dark wax (let dry)
  • Day 3:  add clear wax (buff), and paint again (let dry)
  • Day 4:  add clear wax, sand/distress, add clear wax again

Ok, let’s get to the tutorial!  Whitewash Furniture DIY:  Coffee Table Makeover.

 


Whitewash Furniture DIY: Coffee Table Makeover

Here are  a couple of before pictures of our black farmhouse coffee table so you can see what it used to look like.

  • The first thing you will want to do is wipe down your coffee table with a rag.  (This will help clean off all of  the dust and grime that has collected over time). 
  • Next, remove the hardware and drawers. 
  • Then go ahead and put down a drop cloth underneath it to protect your floor from primer/paint.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 


Step #1:  Prime (2 coats)

Now it’s time to prime your coffee table using your 2″ angled paint brush. 

  • Tip #1:  Always make sure to stir your primer before you begin, and remove drawers if you have any.
  • Tip #2:  You can use your more “budget-friendly” paintbrush for the primer also – instead of your more expensive brush.  

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

I also like to prop up my furniture on some old wood blocks or paint cans – just to lift it up off of the floor.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

I like to leave some of my darker furniture color (black) poking through a little, so I do not completely cover it.

*Let it dry for about an hour before adding the 2nd coat.

Here it is with the primer – 1st coat. 

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

After you have let it dry for an hour, go ahead and add a second coat of the primer.  

In the picture below, the left side has the 2nd coat of primer on it, and the right side only has the 1st coat of primer. 

I just wanted to show you the difference.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

Here below, is the picture with the 2nd coat of primer. 

Scroll back up so that you can see the difference in the 1st coat of primer picture, and this 2nd coat of primer picture.  Can you see the difference?

*Let the 2nd primer coat – dry overnight.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 


Step #2:  Paint White (one coat)

Now that you have let your coffee table dry overnight, it’s time to paint it with your white paint.

I used Behr Swiss Coffee for this whitewash method, because I wanted it to have a creamier-tan base.

This step requires only one coat of paint.

*Let Dry at least 4 hours.

In the picture below, you can see that the front part of the lower shelf has been painted, and the back part has not been painted.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

Now, if you scroll back up to the 2nd coat of primer picture, you can tell that the color now has a creamier-white appearance.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 


Step #3:  Add Dark Wax

Taking you economy brush (or wax brush), go ahead and add the dark wax to your coffee table.  Then wipe it off with your t-shirt or rag.

  • Tip #3:  It is easier to begin on the bottom shelf (if you have one), so that you don’t rub off your wax/glaze on the top shelf.
  • Tip #4:  Completely cover a small section at a time, so it wipes off easier.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

You won’t want to wipe the wax completely off, but just leave some stroke marks  – kind of like wood grain.

And remember to wipe in the direction of the wood grain of your table.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

Don’t forget to get under the top “lip” of your coffee table and the sides also.  

I’m sure you already knew this, but I’ve definitely skipped some spots – trust me!! LOL!!

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

Once you’ve double (or triple) checked yourself, go ahead and add the dark wax to the top section now.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

Like I mentioned above, just remember to always wipe off in the direction of the wood grain.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

And here is what it will look like at this stage.  

*Let this dry overnight.  Don’t rush this step for sure.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 


Step #4:  Add Clear Wax

Once you’re dark wax has dried overnight, it’s time to add the clear wax. 

This is an easy step – finally!!

Just apply the clear wax with your sponge (or brush), let it sit for 15-30 mins, and then wipe it off with a rag.

It should buff out to a little shimmer/sheen when you are done.

*Let this dry 30 minutes or go directly into the next step.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 


Step #5:  Paint Again (dry brush)

Hang in there!!  I know that this is just about the time that you’re starting to get a little annoyed with the process, but you’re on the home stretch.

You can begin this step almost right after step #4 – adding clear wax.  

Now you will use the Swiss Coffee White paint again, but just keep your brush dry.  

Basically, you will dip your brush into your paint, wipe it off on a rag, and then brush it on in streaks.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

You will keep dry-brushing the paint on in streaks until you achieve the “whitewash” color you want. 

This process WILL take a little while – just a FYI.  It’s not difficult, but does require some time.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

I wanted my table to have a layered look, so I kept adding more white paint to achieve that “washed” appearance.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

Here is what it will look like after I kept adding more…. and more paint.  See how the dark wax “look” peeks through the white – in streaks?  

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

And it has a “golden tan” kind of color.  Very soft and subtle -right?

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

What a difference!  Here it is before I did the drawers.  The drawer looks so tan against the whitewash table.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

*Let this dry overnight.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 


Step #6:  Clear Wax (again)

You will use the same method as before for applying wax, let it sit for 30 minutes, and then buff it off with a rag.

  • If you are happy with your table at this step, or don’t want it sanded/distressed, you are done.

If not go right into step #7:  sanding.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 


Step #7:  Sand 

For this part, take a 150-grit piece of sandpaper, and gently sand the coffee table and drawers.

This will work best if you sand down edges and corners in random sections so that it’s looks naturally scuffed. 

Then sand down the top and bottom shelves too.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

Remember how I said in the beginning that I wanted some of my black to show through?  This is where it ties all together.  

Now, if WHEN it gets bumped or scratched – it will just look more “loved!!”

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 


Step #8:  Wax – Final Time

Add your clear wax, let it sit 30 minutes, and buff off to your preferred sheen.

*I recommend waiting 72 hours before putting anything on TOP of your coffee table.

…..And You are Done!! 

Add some fun gold knobs for a coastal farmhouse/boho look….. or add some rubbed-oiled bronze or black hardware pulls for a modern farmhouse/cottage style look.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

What do you think?  I love all of the movement and “layers” it has  – to give it that weathered and whitewash look!

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

Here are some before and after pictures of our whitewash coffee table makeover.

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

 

whitewash furniture diy: coffee table makeover

*Scroll to the very end to see the 2 whitewashing methods together picture.

Have a Great New Year 2021 Everyone!!

Love & Hugs 🙂

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2 Different Whitewashing Methods:  Can you see the difference?

  1.  Top drawer – coffee table
  2.  Bottom drawer – master bedroom dresser

whitewash furniture DIY: coffee table makeover

 

 

 

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