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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was asked to white wash these beams for a former colleague in a client’s house that I had worked in years ago. It was one of those, please help me out here I’m in a bind, requests.

Anyway, the beams are red oak, fabricated by the contractor. They should’ve been white oak, as they just don’t go with anything in the room. So I did a little reading and decided not to use any oil products, I’m just gonna wing it with what I already have on hand.I did a sample, got approved and here is a picture of the before and after.

As for the process, I started by using some tube acrylic, Golden brand in burnt umber mixed with a little water. It’s about the consistency of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup before you add the water. I brushed it on the beam with a 4 inch chip brush and wiped it off just as quickly with a slightly damp rag.By the time I got to the end of the beam it was already dry.
Next step was to mix a 50-50 ratio of water and paint. I used Sherwin-Williams latex in ‘Lotus Pod’. It took two passes to get this result. Again I just brushed it on and immediately wiped it off. I kept damp rags on hand to really wipe down any weird areas.
I didn’t worry too much about lap lines on the first coat, the second two coats sort of took care of it. Although I didn’t purposely leave many overlaps. Anyway, client loved it, designer loved it.

Afterwords the designer decided to call it weathered, not white washed. He also confessed that it was he that messed up in the red oak.
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Looks very sophisticated. Was this on Bare wood? For those of us who don't do a lot of faux finishing. (Aka me). May I ask. What is tube acrylic? Is that from an art store? Also, why did you have 2 different formula's of application. Is it a layering effect? Lastly, you don't add any glaze to your mix or clear coat after? I imagine there is a lot of different recipes for White washing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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Looks very sophisticated. Was this on Bare wood? For those of us who don't do a lot of faux finishing. (Aka me). May I ask. What is tube acrylic? Is that from an art store? Also, why did you have 2 different formula's of application. Is it a layering effect? Lastly, you don't add any glaze to your mix or clear coat after? I imagine there is a lot of different recipes for White washing?
Yes, it’s on bare wood. Thanks to Paint Talk, I knew to be sure to sand first because of the dreaded mill glaze.
I took a picture of what I used. Yeah, it’s art store stuff. I had a couple of half used tubes and then bought one more to be sure I had enough.
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I did the first layer, the ‘ make it brown’ layer because I knew putting off white paint over red oak would probably look pink. The designer really didn’t tell me all the info I needed before I priced it, sight unseen. Womp, womp. My fault.
I needed something that would dry fast. I also just didn’t want it too watery because it’d be flying everywhere!

The 50/50 paint/water mix was just to make it a little thicker, if you will, so it’d show up better. Still ended up doing two passes of that mix. Oh well.
 

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Why not use oil? ever use woca wood bleach?
I was also thinking of something along the lines of Woca antique lye followed by white oil or a white liming paste. The white oil or wax would soften the lye treatment, adding a dimension of complexity, also providing more of weathered and/or cerused look. The Woca lye can however result in a patchwork of different colors from board to board, particularly w/red oak.

Diluted RMC fumed w/white RMC oil would provide a similar look, yet also renders a patchwork of different colors from board to board, particularly w/red oak. I’ve even used Woca grey lye on top of RMC fumed to create an interesting effect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Why not use oil? ever use woca wood bleach?
I would usually use oil, but they didn’t want oil in the house and I was on a super tight time schedule. I ‘stained’ and whitewashed those in one fell swoop. Practically zero wait time.
I’m uneducated about the Woca product.

edit to reply to Redux- interesting. For me there are limited options of products readily available. Plus, I’m really not up on the woodworking side of things. I really wish I was. Maybe I will be someday.:unsure:
 

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I was also thinking of something along the lines of Woca antique lye followed by white oil or a white liming paste. The white oil or wax would soften the lye treatment, adding a dimension of complexity, also providing more of weathered and/or cerused look. The Woca lye can however result in a patchwork of different colors from board to board, particularly w/red oak.

Diluted RMC fumed w/white RMC oil would provide a similar look, yet also renders a patchwork of different colors from board to board, particularly w/red oak. I’ve even used Woca grey lye on top of RMC fumed to create an interesting effect.
We do a lot of fir beams, generally I reach for diluted iron acetate first being several orders of magnitude less expensive than RMC fumed. Yes you get more patch work but that just lends its self to the beams being real wood and not faux veneer. For a glaze we usually use impervo mixed into benite.
I carry a lime 'paint' product from vasari. Maybe I'll thin some out and make some oak samples if I have some free time.
 
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