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Whitewash & Walnut Stain Console Table

What a beautiful weekend.

Sister sleepover with pedicures Saturday night, pizza with family after church this afternoon, and a newly painted console table.

Does it get any better? ūüôā

My three kids spent the night with my sister Friday night, and with¬†Mr. Wonderful¬†away on a snowmachine trip, I didn’t have to think long about where I would spend my evening.

At my favorite thrift store.¬† Of course ūüôā

Have you been admiring all the pickled, whitewashed and driftwood-style furniture pieces we’ve been seeing everywhere for the last year or so?¬† I love this Durham¬†collection of tables¬†from Ballard Designs:

The whitewash wood¬†complements the dark metal¬†beautifully.¬†Traditional wood with a twist…a bit of metal for¬†that modern edge.
Here’s another coffee table.¬† I don’t remember where I found this picture, but it’s been in my inspiration folder for awhile now:
And, of course I LOVE this chandelier which we finally received this month after it sat on the backorder list since October:

Here it is hung above our dining room table, missing a few bulbs ūüôā

We own¬†many traditional dark wood pieces, so I’ve been trying to vary it a bit in this new house with some lighter tones and a bit more of a modern feel.¬† I’ve noticed that once I start loving a certain look, I tend to see it everywhere.

What is really fun is when I start to see that new look’s potential in a thrift store find.¬† Which is what happened on Friday when I came across this:

Yes,¬†there’s a bit of metal.

And yes, there’s quite a bit of wood.¬† (Matter of fact, the top cut of wood is quite beautiful…)

I immediately pictured some Oil-Rubbed Bronze spraypaint on the metal…a whitewash finish on the wood (which I had never tried but was itching to do…)…a bit of negotiating with the owner, and before I knew it¬†the table¬†was in the back of my truck.¬† Woohoo!

I had done some reading recently on whitewashing and staining, layering paints and stains to create a timeworn look.  I was very excited to try it.

***I must apologize for the next series of pictures.¬† The Auto-Focus on my camera was switched to Manual Focus and I couldn’t figure out how to change it until I dug out the instruction manual.¬† The problem is now fixed, but I was so excited to begin my painting project I didn’t want to take the time to fix the focus.¬† The good news is that I FOUND my manual and am already learning so many new things about my camera!¬† I should have read it a year ago ūüôĀ

First I removed the wood portions of the table by unscrewing them from underneath.¬† I then primed the metal with Kilz primer and spraypainted with Krylon’s Oil-Rubbed Bronze.¬† Oh, this bronze leaves an amazing finish, very similar to the barrel of a rifle with its rich depth and shine…


(I wish the finish showed up more, but you’ll see it better in the final reveal.)
I then primed and spraypainted the wood shelves in a pebbly/mushroom color from Krylon made for outdoor use.  I chose this color based on the cap since it had no color name on the can.  I knew I wanted a muted khaki-type color, and the outdoor line offered the closest color to what I was picturing:


Then came the experimental part.¬† My heart actually started to beat faster as I entered new territory.¬† Isn’t that funny? ūüôā

I mixed up a whitewash solution based on a 50/50 recipe.  I used a quart of white I already had, poured it into a little plastic cup (about 1/4 cup worth) and then added about as much water until I had a pretty loose consistency.  I then used a Purdy paint brush to apply the whitewash in sections, wiping off with a white cloth as I went.  I wish I had better pictures of this process, but I was so nervous to try this new technique I was afraid to stop and shoot pictures in case my paint dried too quickly. This is a shot of what this whitewash technique produced:

When I first saw the whitewash streaks against the pebbly/mushroom color, I almost danced with joy.¬† I LOVED it!¬† It was exactly the look I was going for, and I couldn’t wait to do the top portion of the table.

However, I then faced a dilemma.  Was the whitewash a bit too cool for my house?  Did I want to tone it down a bit, warm it up?

After hauling the wood pieces upstairs and laying them out where I wanted the table, I decided that although I loved the whitewash, I knew I needed to warm it up a bit by applying (yikes!) a walnut stain over the whitewash.

I must admit to you here and now that I have never done three layers of paint/stain before.¬† I was entering new territory, but oh my, was my adrenaline pumping ūüôā

Using a foam brush, I began to liberally “paint” on the Minwax Walnut Stain and then wipe off with my large supply of white cloths.¬† Here, I did pause to snap a couple of pictures so you could see how the stain began to warm up the whitewash:

What I liked about the staining process was that it quickly changed the color of the paint beneath, so I didn’t need to leave it on very long at all.¬† Unlike glaze, it didn’t leave me as much “working” time, but I was fine with that and I was loving the effect it had.
I must admit, the top shelf was a bit more challenging to work with because of all the grooves and detail.¬† However, I worked all the grooves first and then went back and covered the flat places.¬† It worked well, but definitely kept me hopping for fear I’d leave it on too long and see obvious overlap spots.
The truth is, though, you really can’t make too many mistakes here that can’t be fixed.¬† I just kinda dove in and hoped for the best, fully appreciating I may need to get out my fine sanding block if I wasn’t loving the result.
Are you ready to see the finished product??
Let me show you another quick before picture of my thrift store console table:

And now, here it is with its new whitewash/stained and bronze finish:


What do you think?

Isn’t that an amazing transformation?

Here’s a close-up of the whitewash/stained top:

What a very fun accomplishment over the weekend ūüôā

In addition, I’ve tackled a new painting technique that¬†has boosted my confidence and¬†will open up new possibilities for my furniture refinishing.¬† That’s very exciting to me.

You will notice I have placed this console table in my hallway.¬† The painting is oh so close to being done in this space.¬† I have hung some artwork on the walls…now I just need some meaningful accessories on the table and some cute runners for the floors….and the hallway will be finished.


I am heading to the big city this week to shop for a few of these very things.¬† I’m already praying I’ll find exactly what I’m looking for at very amazing prices.

Blessings on your week ūüôā


Reader Interactions


  1. You have no idea how much you have inspired me with this piece! I got that desk and chair from Goodwill for $20 and Justin and I finally moved the desk outside for sanding yesterday. As soon as I saw the pretty wood under the finish I knew I wanted to do a special treatment on this one. My first thought was a dark wood finish on the top, paint on the bottom (very Miss Mustard Seed) – only now you may have me sold on the whitewashing instead.

    By the way, can I just say how envious I am of your night alone? Someday… ūüôā

  2. Thank you for posting! I just built my first farm table and whitewashed it. It is pretty but too bright for my taste and I've been wanting to put a walnut color over it. I am going to try this tonight!! Your pieces turned out beautiful!

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