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Diary of a Mad Renovator: Wacky For Whitewash

Written by Jaqui Lividini

My fascination with whitewash began innocently with one armoire. 

The armoire in question is large and beautiful and I've kept it in storage for years.  I bought it many years ago at an antique store for my first New York bachelorette pad, and have lived in six different apartments since then, so it's been in and out of rotation. It occurred to me recently that it might work perfectly in the downstairs guest bedroom of the beach cottage.

Bedroom armoire after first coat and sanding and finished piece ​

The armoire is unfinished, natural wood—German pine, I think—and while gorgeous as is, it didn't quite work in the room.  It was a little too yellow for all the blues, so my friend, designer, and partner in crime, Charles, suggested that I whitewash it. I knew I could pay someone to do this, but that would cost a fortune, so I decided to DIY.  I remembered that I had some milk paint that I bought in Maine in the 90s—I miraculously found it and set to work. The milk paint is chalky which creates a nice texture.

The Milk paint from Michael’s that I use for whitewashing 

I applied one coat and then sanded it down. It wasn't quite white enough, but after a few coats, it worked wonderfully and I was hooked.

The finished armoire

Thus, I started to whitewash everything in the house. So far I've whitewashed the kitchen table, the dresser in the foyer, the dresser upstairs in the bedroom, the mirror upstairs, and the iron bed. I

Upstairs bedroom dresser and iron bed​

admit, I've gone a little whitewash crazy. But it looks so good, so why stop now?

Kitchen cabinet before and after 


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