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Before you decide to scrap the dark wood paneling in your home, whitewashing your walls may be all it takes to transform your space from outdated to fresh with just a simple paint job. Here’s how to DIY Whitewash your walls:
Before you begin, make sure you’re wearing clothes you don’t mind sacrificing, and cover the floors with plastic. Start by mixing a bleach-and-water solution, following the ratios recommended on the bleach bottle. Apply it with a sponge or brush to a small, inconspicuous area on the wood paneling or a piece of scrap wood and allow it to dry completely. As long as the solution doesn’t damage the wood and you’re happy with the amount of lightning, open the windows (this is key!) and get bleaching. Allow the walls to dry overnight, preferably with the windows open; then follow these steps.
Mix a solution of white paint and water. We used a half-and-half solution of Benjamin Moore Timid White, which falls in the middle of the cool-warm spectrum, making it great for whitewashing all kinds of furniture and accessories.
Using a paintbrush, cover a small section of the paneling at a time with the whitewash.
Wipe off the excess paint with a rag (scraps of flannel sheets are ideal; make sure you have lots of them).
Continue painting and wiping, then step back every few sections to check your work. Using the same hand (and the same pressure) for painting and wiping will produce the most consistent results, and you’ll be able to fix any inconsistencies if you take frequent check breaks.
Allow the room to dry completely. Voilà—whitewashed walls!