Whitewash Wood Table – An Heirloom Makeover

Posted in Furniture Makeover
How To Whitewash A Wood Table Top
Whitewash Wood Table - An Heirloom Makeover

Hello creative friend! Thanks for stopping in for another DIY furniture makeover. Sigh… it’s about all I can do as I sit here and write about my experience with this makeover. Firstly, this makeover is a family heirloom. No pressure! Secondly, it belonged to my hubby’s dearly loved, “Granny Kewpie.” Yes, she was even more precious than her name. I’ve mentioned my Grandmother in many of my posts because what I do all started with her influence and a paintbrush and his Grandmother… no doubt left a huge imprint on our hearts as well. This table was special to her and still is to my hubby. Not to mention it’s mahogany… one of the most expensive woods used on furniture. I’ll go into the details as we go, but the plans were to create a farmhouse whitewash wood table.

To say I was scared to death to mess it up is an understatement. Yeah, I said it. The fearless Do Dodson was scared… scared of failure. My biggest custom job to this date. Painting for a stranger is easy. Family… not so much. So much weighed on me during this makeover, but I was determined to make it work in my farmhouse dining room and preserve her memory at the same time.

This post contains a few affiliate links to help you find the products I use. You are not charged extra to use any of the links, but any income I make will be used for more fun projects! To see my full disclaimer, click here.

Stripping The Wood Table Top

This table was in impeccable condition and was only used for family dinners, and I knew the factory finish was going to be tough to remove. So I chose to use a chemical stripper to remove the heavy varnish finish.

You won't believe how a whitewash wood finish changed this table top. Now it has a new farmhouse vibe that's amazing. I'm so happy how it turned out!

* Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area ( or outdoors) when using these types of chemical strippers with protective equipment.

First, pour the chemical stripper into a disposable plastic container and apply it liberally to the varnish you want to remove… and wait. Pretty quickly, you will notice it working. Use a paint scraper tool to scrape it off. You’re gonna use a lot of paper towels! Once the varnish is removed, you will notice some leftover remover on the wood. Use fine steel wool and mineral spirits to clean it up because you will want a clean surface before applying the whitewash wood stain on the table. The freshly stripped wood will need to dry overnight before the next step.

Before whitewashing a wood table, you'll need a chemical stripper to reveal the beautiful raw wood of the table top.

Sanding The Wood Table Before Applying The Pickling Stain

Next, sand the wood table to remove any leftover varnish. I used my sander with padded sandpaper that’s great for getting into the detailed wood trim and carvings. Clean the wood after sanding it with a 50/50 mixture of denatured alcohol and water. Mix the denatured alcohol and water in a spray bottle and mist over the wood, and wipe it off with paper towels or a cotton cloth. This will remove all the leftover dust from sanding and if there is anything else left on the wood. No worries about the alcohol, it evaporates quickly, and you’ll be ready for the next step of the whitewash wood table makeover.

Next, sand the wood to remove any leftover varnish. I use a sander that has padded sandpaper that's great for getting into the detailed wood trim and carvings. Clean the wood after sanding with a 50/50 mixture of denatured alcohol and water. The whitewash I'm using on the table top will look amazing!

Whitewash Wood Pickling Stain

Now the easy part! Apply the whitewash pickling stain over the raw, clean wood table with a staining pad, and wipe back any remaining stain with a soft cloth on the tabletop.

Now the easy part! Apply the whitewash pickling stain over the raw clean wood with a staining pad and wipe back any remaining stain with a soft cloth. The whitewash wood on this table top is going to look amazing!

You will immediately notice a background of softness on the wood. All wood grains will be more pronounced while revealing a beautiful whitewash wood that is stunning. If you love a farmhouse-style dining room table with a whitewash wood finish, you’re in the right place.

This whitewash wood table makeover was shockingly easy. I would have never known it was the same table. Definitely a happy addition to my farmhouse style dining room.

Buffing With Steel Wool

Next, use a ball of super-fine steel wool to buff the whitewashed wood table. I use it like super-fine sandpaper, and it gives it one last buffing before the protective topcoat. Lastly, apply 2 coats of Gator Hide to protect your beautiful masterpiece.

After applying the whitewash wood stain to the table, I used a ball of super-fine steel wool to buff the whitewashed wood. I use it like super-fine sandpaper and it gives it one last buffing before the protective topcoat. The look is stunning in my farmhouse dining room.

Chalk Mineral Paint For The Table Legs

If you’re painting the legs of your table to compliment the whitewash wood finish, be sure to use a stain blocker first before painting. Apply 2 coats of  BOSS (stain blocker) in clear and allow to dry. Next chose your favorite color (for this project, I used Fluff Chalk Mineral Paint) and applied 2-3 coats depending on the coverage needed. Darker woods will require 3 coats when using a lighter paint color. Seal with Gator Hide topcoat.

The farmhouse dining room table is coming along nicely. The last step of this whitewash wood table makeover is painting the legs with chalk mineral paint..

Look At All That Wood!

I decorated my whitewash wood table with some of my favorite farmhouse decor. It's exactly how I wanted my farmhouse dining room table to look.
Every time I walk by my whitewashed wood table I smile. It was worth the elbow grease. Best farmhouse table makeover ever!
Using a whitewash pickling stain was just the look I wanted for my whitewash wood table. My farmhouse dining room is complete and I couldn't be happier.
My dining room feels light and airy now. Whitewashing this table was the right decision for my farmhouse dining room.
This DIY farmhouse whitewash wood table makeover was just what my dining room need to complete the look I was wanting. It couldn't have turned out any better.
Now, I have the room I needed for those cozy family dinners. This Whitewash wood table makeover was worth all the elbow grease.

I did it! And I’m happy to report that no one died, AND hubby is happy with the results. He doesn’t say much about my furniture makeovers, but this table was special, and now it’s not only functional for our family dinners, but it also adds beauty to our farmhouse dining room. Now, every time I walk by our whitewashed wood table, I smile. It was worth all the nail-biting, hair-pulling, worrying, self-doubting, and back pain (this sucker is heavy) it took to accomplish this look. *In loving memory of our Granny Kewpie.

I’d love to hear any feedback or share your experiences with your family heirloom makeovers. Please drop me a comment below or say hello. It’s always good to hear from you. But before you go… there was a BEFORE this table. CLICK HERE to see what was in this same space in my dining room.

Until the next project… xo, Do



  1. I don’t have a family piece yet, but my sister is giving me a large piece from my Mama to make over. This is a fabulous job you did and I love it. I think I’m going to try it on Mom’s piece. The cabinet is a large half round shape and is already nice but too dark for me. Thanks so much for showing your great work.

  2. Absolutely STUNNING!!!! I love all of your work. You should never worry. You are a gifted artist โคโคโค

  3. Hi Do! The table looks 110% better! I love the whitewashed look. It is a magnificent piece. You are so brave!

  4. Simply lovely!. What (if anything) did you do to the drawer front? It looks different than the tabletop. Or is it the lighting?

  5. Hello Do,
    I want to do this to my dining table but my husband is very skeptical about me doing it. So to ease his mind I am first trying it on a coffee table that he found on the side of the road. Iโ€™ve just finished removing all the stain and boy itโ€™s really a pretty little table. Now letโ€™s see if I can make the magic happen as well as you did. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful pieces with us.
    Rhonda ?

    1. That’s a great idea, Rhonda! And it’s good practice before you tackle the big project. Hopefully, the table will put his mind at ease when he sees the beautiful coffee table. That’s kinda the way I went about it too. Great minds! ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck my friend. xo, Do

  6. Hello! I love your work. I was trying to look through one of your posts on pinterest, the one about tissue paper decoupage and I couldnโ€™t manage to do it without all the videos and ads pop up?. Is there any other location you may have it that is a little easier to read. I would love to see what you did!

    1. Hi Jessica, The info you’re reading is on my website. Yes, it can be annoying… I do understand that. All the information I give is free to you but the ads are what pays me to give you the free content. Furniture, products. photography and websites cost money and that is how I am able to do what I love. As a blogger, we are at the mercy of ads. Your grace is appreciated. “)

  7. Hi there, love the whitewash. I bought a bottle of mineral paint in casement color and have a lot left. Do you think I could thin it out and use that since I have it on hand? I am redoing an antique table of my Dad’s. Or do you think a stain is better? Thank you so much, love your posts!!!

    1. Hi LeeAnn! I would test it first in a spot underneath to be sure but I don’t see why not. Thank you so much for joining me here. Good luck with your project. It sounds like a beautiful project. Send pics. ๐Ÿ™‚ xo

  8. I just love your table! I have an old farmhouse table that Iโ€™m dying to refurb! Just wondering what you used to apply the Gator Hide?
    Thank you so much
    Love from Ireland
    Emily xox

    1. Thank you, Emily. We love it so much more now.

      I used a high quality synthetic paintbrush. Brushes make all the difference. I applied three thin coats with a light sanding (fine sand paper) between each coat. The final coat should not be sanded. Sanding between coats helps to remove any tiny imperfections and makes it extra smooth. I hope this helps and best of luck to you with your project. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค๏ธ

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