Whitewash Hardwood Floors Without Sanding

Whitewashing is one of the best ways to make hardwood floors look new again. It can protect your floors from moisture, mold, and mildew. Traditionally, a mixture of lime and water was used, but most people these days use white latex paint. Fun fact: you can actually whitewash hardwood floors without sanding.

In general, you have to sand your hardwood floors before you whitewash them. However, sanding is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and can not be done on wood floors that are too thin. That is why many people want to find a way around sanding. Read this post by WFC to learn how to whitewash hardwood floors without sanding.

What is Whitewashing?

Whitewashing is the procedure of painting something with a mixture of lime and water. The term these days also refers to using white latex paint. By whitewashing your hardwood floors, you can give them a whitish, new look. It brings a beachy, chic vibe. Whitewashing is more suitable for Scandinavian or Nordic interior styles.

Whitewashing is applicable to most types of surfaces and furniture. Besides lightening your hardwood floors, whitewashing hides imperfections in the floors.

Why is Whitewashing Popular?

Due to the arrival of new products offering more effective ways to preserve wood, whitewashing lost its popularity to some extent. Traditional whitewashing was not very long-lasting and required quite a frequent reapplication.

In recent years, whitewash has regained its popularity again. Here is the reason. For a long time, it was a necessity for homeowners. And when it ceased to be a necessity, it became a fashion. It offers a classic look and evokes nostalgia.

Furthermore, whitewashing is now easier, thanks to new processes. Once you have whitewashed your wood floors, you can apply some polyurethane as a protective shell. It increases the durability of the whitewash. As a result, your floors no longer require frequent maintenance.

Does It Work on All Types of Wood Floors

You want to whitewash hardwood floors without sanding. But is whitewashing the best option for the type of floors you have?

Before you get started, you have to know your wood floor type, because whitewashing may not be suitable for all types of wood floors. And it does not look the same on all types of wood flooring.

Whitewashing works pretty well on maple, ash, and other light-colored woods. Pinewood is also suited to whitewashing.

It does not work well on mahogany, cherry, and other darker woods. Rather than adding lightness, whitewashing can make these woods look grey or brown.

How to Whitewash Hardwood Floors Without Sanding (4 Simple Steps)

Whitewashing hardwood floors is not as hard as you might think. You can take it as a DIY project. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Prepare the floor

Preparing the floor is the first step of the process. First, empty the floor by removing all furniture. Then you have to remove the varnish so that the whitewash can stick to the floor.

Sanding is not the only way to remove varnish from wood. We recommend using a paint stripper. Apply the stripper and scuff the old finish gently. Then vacuum the floor and make sure no dust or dirt is left.

Step 2: Prepare Your whitewash solution

There are many readymade products that can be used to whitewash floors. However, we recommend using white latex paint. The solution can be made by mixing white latex paint with water.

The ideal ratio of paint to water is 2:1. You can make a thinner or thicker whitewash by changing the ratio.

You can prepare the solution in a bucket. Stir the mixture thoroughly so that the paint does not settle at the bottom of the bucket.

It is very easy to produce a whitewash solution. Therefore, we do not recommend producing a lot of it. Rather, produce more when you need it.

Step 3:  Apply the whitewash

Before you whitewash hardwood floors without sanding, consider doing a patch test. This is a safe way to see the effectiveness of the whitewash. Apply it to a small spot. And when the solution dries, notice the color. If you want a lighter or darker white, alter the mixture.

And when you have found the exact ratio, apply the solution as quickly as possible. If you leave the solution unused for several hours, it will lose its quality to some extent. To apply the solution, use a standard paintbrush.

Do not try to cover a large area at once, because whitewash dries pretty quickly. Apply the solution in long strokes across the floor. For the best results, make sure the pressure is even across the surface. Once you have whitewashed the entire floor, let it dry.

Step 4: Clean the floor and add more layers

When the floor is completely dry, clean the surface. For this, use a piece of clean cloth and rub the floor the way you mop it. The goal is to make the whitewash stick to the floor before you apply another layer. Then apply another layer, repeating the same steps. You are almost done. This is how you whitewash hardwood floors without sanding.

Step 5: Apply a finishing coat

Now add a finishing coat to the already whitewashed floor. In terms of protection, the paint itself is not enough. Some polyurethane can give an extra layer of protection. It will make your wood floors fully sealed.

An oil-based sealant is not as effective as a water-based one. The former can change the paint color to some extent. A polyurethane sealant has some other advantages: it is odorless, less toxic, and dries faster.

Stir the polyurethane rather than shaking the can before application. If you shake it, bubbles will form, which will lead to an imperfect finish. Once you have applied the polyurethane, wait for at least 24 hours while the solution dries.

And do not move the furniture back just after the polyurethane has dried. Ideally, you should wait for a couple of days.

Final Thoughts

Whitewashed hardwood floors look stunning. Whitewashing can make smaller rooms look larger and dingy ones airier. Whitewashing is also cost-effective, less labor-intensive, and less time-consuming. We hope now you know how to whitewash hardwood floors without sanding, and will take the right steps.