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White Washed Wood Ideas to Distress Over

Distress, or not distress? That is the question – unless you’ve ever met a beautifully-textured white washed wood furniture piece. Then, the answer is clear: distress, every time!
White washed wood is all about genuineness. It’s soft, weathered and charming – perfect for any home in need of a little TLC.

1. White Wash Stain Over Brown Wood Furniture


There is something remarkably charming about white washed wood. Perhaps it’s the way it feels old, in the best sense of the word. Weathered, quaint, looking like it’s seen its day, yet somehow refreshingly light and breezy. It makes any regular wood piece feel like a vintage find – and can instantly transform any space into a warm, cozy, lived-in retreat.

This is especially true of white washed dark wood, as well as wood furniture that’s been very thinly white washed. The warmth of natural wood peeking through under a light coat of white distress gives off just the slightest vintage twist. The thinner the white wash, the warmer the feel!

2. White Wash Decor

Remember: White wash isn’t just for furniture. The statement lamps above feature a beautiful base of natural wood under a white wash finish. Note the use of varying lamp heights – the asymmetry shakes away any “fussiness” in the room, creating a fun, easygoing vibe.

3. White Wash On Trellis-Inspired Designs

A gorgeous die-cut diamond pattern is made all the more vintage thanks to its distressed coating. White washing a carved piece, such as the one pictured here, can be helpful to bring out the carved details – especially if the wood you’re working with is darker in color.

4. White Wash Over Blonde Wood Furniture

For a lighter feel, go with a lighter wood coloring. Or, layer on the white wash thick and heavy. Either way, you’ll end up with a refreshing piece. (Lighter wood is also an option if you prefer the distressed lines or brushstrokes to be not as noticeable.)

5. Bright White Wash

The key to white wash is the shade of white. Off-white or yellowish white gives a more vintage feel. Brighter white gives a more modern feel. The center coffee table in this living room is almost completely coated in solid bright white, making it fit in with more modern decor. (On the other hand, it lacks a glossy finish, giving it an imperfect vibe that keeps the vintage vibes still very strong!)

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.