DIY Tutorial: Revamp Your Decor with Whitewashing

Whitewashing is an easy and cost-effective method of decorating. By adding an air of patina and texture, this paint technique enhances a variety of decor styles like as cottage, beach, country, or shabby chic. Recently, I included whitewashing in my bedroom makeover by revamping some bamboo matchstick blinds. Because I'm re-decorating this room into a beachy, Zen space, this technique was perfect for adding texture and warmth to my neutral color scheme.DIY Whitewashed Bamboo Blinds Wall Tutorial The Decor Guru Read along to find out how I achieved this look and how you can also transform an item with whitewashing.

The wall opposite my bed badly needed some form of decor, yet I didn’t want it to overpower the room. When I hung the bamboo blinds on the wall as they were, they became the focal point of the room and detracted from the bed and my new headboard. Also, the blinds felt too matchy with the other Asian decor elements in the room.

The bamboo brought a natural vibe to the room, so I compromised by keeping the blinds as part of the decor & made them them over with a whitewash. Their texture and natural color still appear, but on a subtle level so the bed remains the focal point.

DIY Whitewashed Bamboo Blinds Wall Tutorial The Decor Guru

The “new” blinds help create a lived-in, comfy feel in the bedroom, which is perfect for the beachy aspect of my bedroom makeover.

This technique of whitewashing is quite simply, using watered down paint. The only supplies you need* are white acrylic craft paint, a paintbrush, water, a container like a jar or cup, and your accessory of choice. My bamboo matchstick blinds were purchased from Big Lots for less than $10 apiece, but you could also achieve this look on any other items made of untreated wood, rattan or wicker.

DIY Whitewashed Bamboo Blinds Wall Tutorial The Decor Guru

1. Create a mixture of paint and water. This is your first layer of paint and will be used as a base. I used a combination that was roughly 1 part paint to 1 part water and had a milky tendency. Think whole milk, not skim milk.

2. Allow the first layer of paint to completely dry.

3. Mix together a second batch of paint and water, this time creating a thicker mixture by using 2 parts paint to 1 part water. Think half and half. (Can you tell yet that I really like dairy products?!)

4. Use this second batch to apply random areas of paint to areas you’d like to be more opaque or perhaps where the first glazing layer didn’t cover much. Allow to completely dry.

5. If you’re making over a large object like I did, I suggest taking a few steps back to inspect your work. Add any touch-ups of paint if needed.

*NOTE: I did not finish the blinds with a sealant or protectant since they’re just hanging on a wall for decoration. If you’re whitewashing an item that will stand repeated use, such as a crate, you’ll want to include this in your steps. I recommend using a water-based finish, such as Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish or a acrylic spray sealer.

The process takes some time to complete (or at least mine did since I tackled 3 blinds), but it’s a very simple project. Because the painting is random, you need not be an artist. In fact, the less planned the whitewashing appears, the better.

DIY Whitewashed Bamboo Blinds Wall Tutorial The Decor Guru

Have you ever whitewashed any items? Feel free to share them in the comments below and link back to your project!

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14 Comments on DIY Tutorial: Revamp Your Decor with Whitewashing

  1. Great idea! I have actually of thinking the opposite. I found two bamboo shades in my odd window size (71 5/8 w x 30) that are a light color (much like your first photograph). I was thinking of staining the shades darker to coordinate better with my decor. I never would have thought about whitewashing. Painting, sure, but whitewashing is much more interesting.

    • Thanks! Whitewashing your blinds would seem to create more light in the room, although using a dark stain could really add some pop. I’d probably make sure to seal whatever finish you do (I didn’t do this with mine since they’re actually on the wall). Good luck!

  2. Wow! What a difference that makes. Totally love the toned down feeling that the whitewashing gives.

  3. Wow! your room looks so fabulous! That whitewashing was a great idea!

    Thank you for reminding me of how fun whitewashing looks. I had forgotten….

    hugs x
    Crystelle

  4. Visiting via the “Tickled Pink Link Party at 504 Main, and so glad I came! I have a whitewashed banister on my stairs that is starting to look beat up. Now I know how to get that look back again. Thanks!

  5. What a great idea! Silly me, I would have throw them away. Now I have a million ideas!
    Thanks for the inspiration.
    Hugs,
    Patti

  6. LOVE the white washing. Thanks for the great tutorial. Thanks also for linking up to Think Tank Thursday. I featured your white washing technique this week.
    http://www.saving4six.com/2013/02/welcome-to-think-tank-16.html

  7. Great tutorial Angela, and what a difference in the look of your bedroom! Your blinds just blend in perfectly now.

    Val

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