What goes together better than white farmhouse tables and weathered wood? Not much! Here’s how to create a weathered wood gray finish to make your white furniture look rustic.
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These Broyhill end tables were beat up and heavily scratched when we got our hands on them.
The old finish was just the typical everyday black finish you can find at almost any furniture store now.
But the turned legs caught my attention from the very beginning.
So let’s dive into how to make your white furniture look rustic by creating a weathered wood gray finish on the top.
It’s amazing what some paint can do for a worn out piece of furniture!
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- Krud Kutter
- 220 Grit Sandpaper
- Shop Vac with Hose and Brush Attachment
- Tack Cloth
- BIN Shellac Based Primer in a Spray Can
- Homemade Chalk Paint with Behr Pure White Paint
- Sample Sizes of
- Lint Free Cloths
- Minwax’s Dark Walnut Wood Stain
- Whitewash (Learn how to make whitewash below) or PreMixed Whitewash
- General Finishes Van Dyke Brown Glaze Effects
- My Favorite Waterbased Poly Topcoat
White Farmhouse End Tables with Weathered Wood Tops
First things first, these end tables were black, and I wanted them white.
So I painted them white before creating the weathered wood gray finish.
If your furniture is already white, you can skip this step.
How to Paint a Wooden Table White
Prepping for Paint
To start out, we took a few minutes to prep it for paint.
To make sure the paint stuck to the end table, I cleaned the dirt, grime, wax and oil off of the dresser with Krud Kutter.
Then I lightly sanded the whole dresser down with 220 grit sandpaper and removed any dust with a vacuum and a tack cloth.
*Update: The best way to paint furniture white is to use a shellac based primer like BIN Shellac Based Primer before painting. I like to use the spray can version for easy application. And then I like to sand it smooth with 220 grit sandpaper before painting over it.
Painting with Homemade Chalk Paint
Then I made some white chalk paint with this homemade chalk paint recipe and some Behr Ultra Pure White (straight from the Home Depot shelf) latex paint in flat.
I sprayed 4-5 coats of white homemade chalk paint on the tables with my beginner friendly paint sprayer.
After the paint was dry, I heavily distressed the legs and base of each table with more 220 grit sandpaper.
How to Create a Weathered Wood Gray Finish
Then I worked on the weathered wood gray finish on the tops of the tables.
I layered multiple colors of paint as well as some wood stain and whitewash. Basically different shades of brown, tan, black, grey and white.
Here’s step by step, how to create a weathered wood gray finish.
- A coat of English Tea Party
- Dry Brush a layer of Sahara Desert, Suede Gray and Black
- Stain with Dark Walnut Wood Stain
- Apply a Coat of Whitewash
- Seal with a Coat of Waterbased Poly
- Apply a Coat of Van Dyke Brown Glaze
- Seal with 3 Coats of Waterbased Poly
DIY Weathered Wood Gray Finish
Step 1: Brush on a Coat of English Tea Party
I started with a base coat of English Tea Party from Valspar.
I brushed it on, leaving some white streaks showing through, and then I let it dry.
Step 2: Dry Brush on a Layer of Sahara Desert, Suuede Gray andn Black
Once that thin base coat was dry, I layered Sahara Desert, Suede Gray and Black (all from Home Depot) using a dry brush technique.
How to Dry Brush Chalk Paint
Dry brush painting furniture is when you get a little bit of paint on the tip of your paint brush, and then wipe the paint brush against a paper towel. Your paint brush should have the smallest amount of paint on it.
Then brush it on in light long strokes, all going the same direction.
I overlapped a lot and kept layering the three colors until I liked the “wood grain” the dry brushing created.
Step 3: Stain with Dark Walnut Wood Stain
I let the paint dry completely (48 hours between water based and oil based products) and then stained the tops with Minwax’s Dark Walnut Wood Stain.
(Be careful to not get any stain on the white bottoms!)
I used a couple of lint free cloths to wipe it on and then wipe it off any excess stain.
A little bit of stain really goes a long way because it doesn’t have much to soak into.
Once again, I let the stain dry completely (at least 48 hours because the next product is water-based.)
At this point, you could seal the paint and be done. But they were a little bit too dark for me.
Step 4: Apply a Coat of Whitewash
So I white washed the tops with a very watered down mixture of the white paint I used on the base of the tables.
I brushed on the watered down paint, and then wiped it off with a lint free cloth.
How to Make Whitewash
I mix waterbased white (or cream colored) paint with water to make whitewash.
I don’t really measure exact ratios.
But I personally like to mix the paint and water to the point that the paint looks like water that it tinted white.
Probably around 1 part paint to 2 parts water. But it will depend on the paint you use.
Step 5: Seal with a Coat of Waterbased Poly
When the white wash was dry I gave each table top a few good coats of my favorite topcoat for paint, Varathane Polyurethane.
Not only does the water-based polyurethane protect the paint, but it made it easier to work with the glaze in the next step.
Step 6: Apply a Coat of Van Dyke Brown Glaze
I wanted the tops to be just a bit more brown than they were at this point, so I finished the weathered wood table tops off with a coat of General Finishes Van Dyke Brown Glaze Effects.
The brown glaze was the perfect product to finish off the layered weathered wood effect!
Step 7: Seal with 3 Coats of Waterbased Poly
To give the weathered wood gray finish extra durability and make it easier to wipe down, I sprayed on 3 coats of my favorite top coat.
The difference with the extra layers of white wash and brown glaze really make a difference in the weathered wood paint effect!
There is so much more dimension now!
I know I just mentioned a lot of different products and brands. It honestly sounds harder than it really was.
I used what I had on hand, and you can too! If you’re anything like me (with a lot of extra paint lying around) this is a great way to use up all of that extra paint!
But the more layering you can do, the better in this case!
See how this same method looks with some different products, and on a different table, with The Shiplap Coffee Table with a Painted Weathered Wood Top
I wrote about a similar faux weathered wood gray finish on our kitchen chairs a few posts back too.
Happy Painting friends!
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