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How to Create a Painted White Washed Effect

how to give a weathered look with paint

My previous post was all about how this thrifty table was fixed and given a lower shelf.

Today's post is about the finish. 

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how to add a lower shelf to coffee table

At first, I thought on given this table a two-toned color, with legs and lower shelf painted white, and giving the top a stained finish. 

However, since this table was going to be only steps away from the kitchen table, and that table sports those same colors, I changed the plan.

diy on how to add shelf to coffee table

So, I decided to paint the whole table.

opps paint cappuccino color for whitewash effect

I used a "Oops paint" - I have no name for that color- but it's like a Cappuccino color that I made into homemade chalk paint. I wanted to go for a white-wash paint effect like the one on this shelf:

After applying two coats of paint and they had dried, a white-washed effect was given to the table with a sponge.

The whitewash mixture is one tablespoon of paint mixed with a cup of water. Using the sponge, I spread the paint, trying not to leave puddles on it. Once the first coat was dried, after about one hour, another coat was applied.

This is how it looked with the two white-washed coats:

The flat surfaces were lightly sanded, but the corners were done a bit harder trying to get to the wood.

Clear wax was applied thoroughly, followed by small amounts of dark wax.
coffee table with white washed effect + clear and dark wax

It was OK at this point, but I still wanted more white spots, specially on all the crevices. So, I mixed a tablespoon of clear wax with a small amount of paint and applied it with a small brush all along those lines.

I waited a full day before buffing it.

It got a really nice sheen.

Some shots of how the top looks.

I might be given it some more coats of white wax later on. For now, I'm OK with it. ;)

For more DIY Home decor ideas, check these out:

How to install window trim

Enjoy what you read today?



  1. Cristina, the table looks fabulous! Really a great makeover. Two questions: 1. did you use 3/4 inch plywood for the bottom shelf? 2. did you use newel post caps for the new feet? bonus question... did you put an additional support in the middle of the new lower shelf?
    The table really looks great, thanks for all the tips and how to's! ~ Christina

    1. Thanks Christina! Yes, I used ¾" plywood for the bottom shelf and it's also a yes for the use of newel post caps for the feet. I used the plastic little caps, it's easy to move this heavy table with them. As for the additional support, no I didn't install any, the ¾" plywood feels strong however, I'll try not to store anything heavy on this shelf. ;)

  2. Hola Cristina ! Que bonita esa pátina , me encanto ese efecto blanquecino sobre la pintura !,,

    1. Gracias Angélica! Como tu, siempre experimentado. :)

  3. What a great finish you achieved! I enjoyed reading up on how it was done. Great work as always.

  4. Cristina, your table looks wonderful. But I am even more struck by the appearance of the white-washed shelf with the wood showing through. What was your technique for that shelf?

    1. Thanks Birdgardens! I bought the shelf at T.J. Max, it came with that finish, I tried to copy-cat it but I still need to keep working on it. The end result for the table was similar but not the same.

  5. You are just my guru on all things building, crafting and painting Cristina!

  6. I love what you did to the table. I had that exact table and donated to GW and now I wish I had it back and would do this to it. It looks amazing and what a great job you did. Did you also put the handles on the sides....that's a great touch and makes it easier to move. It's a very heavy coffee table so that idea is brilliant. It is a Broyhill Fontana which was their most popular seller of all...and now it has been discontinued. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Debbie, Thanks so much for all this info! The only thing I knew, because it's written underneath the table, is that it was made in the USA. Yeah, it's a very heavy table, and I love it just the way it is! :)

  7. This just looks amazing! I love your tutorial and might even try this soon. I wonder if you can use a car polisher to buff the wax?

  8. Gorgeous Makeover! You really do such beautiful work. Loved your tutorial! xxx Maria

  9. it look wonderful Cristina! Hugs P.S. I hope you will stop by and share at the Thursday favorite Things blog hop ( you can link up tonight through Sat at midnight)

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