How to Lime Wash Floorboards

Lime washing or whitewashing floorboards creates an effect of weathered, bleached wood. This design is especially popular in rustic decors where professional remodelers will even utilize stencils to create a decorative border around the edges of the floor. Lime washing should only be attempted on old wood floors that have been in place for at least 20 years. Otherwise, the paint could easily warp the wood, ruining the entire floor.

Lime washing floorboards will give them a white, translucent color instead of their original look.

Step 1

Sand down the wood floor to the raw, paint and stain-free state with a power circular rotating sander. Use a 90 grit sand disc. Always wear safety glasses, gloves and a mask when sanding to avoid coming into contact with irritants such as sawdust, mold and enamel particulates.

Step 2

Dilute a can of oil-based white paint with paint thinner until it is cloudy, almost translucent.

Step 3

Apply the diluted paint to the wood boards using a paint roller. Apply the paint in small intervals and leave to set for 15 minutes.

Step 4

Buff away any residual paint after 15 minutes with cloth diapers. Continue buffing the wood until you do not see any paint on the diapers. Let the wood dry for 24 hours.

Step 5

Apply a layer of clear polyurethane finish to the wood and leave to dry for the recommended time, typically 6 hours.

Step 6

Buff the floor with the rotating sander and a buffing disc.