Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bleached Wood

Bleached wood walls...  
such a light and bright way to finish the room,

as seen in this Cape Cod guest house.

There are various ways to achieve this look. However, you must first determine if the wood can even be bleached. The best woods for this process are oak, beech, ash and gum. Bleach can be used; there are 3 bleach methods to choose from: laundry bleach, oxalic acid and a two-part bleach system. All are rather toxic and require careful protection (safety goggles, gloves and excellent ventilation). This article here explains the process well.

Personally, I would choose a less caustic method, such as whitewashing, to achieve a similar look.
For more information on the limed wood finish, see my post here.

My living room oak floors had never been used without carpeting when I moved in! The floors had no finish on them, but did have various stains. I first sanded them, then rubbed on an artist Japan color in white, followed by immediately rubbing it off so that the white lightened the wood and remained only in crevices. After that dried, the floor was finished with polyurethane. Fifteen years later, they still have a lovely light look to them.  

Beautiful doors, aren't they?

Do you have any whitewashed or bleached wood?



  1. Hello Annie,

    I have whitewashed wood before but with white paint thinned with water, I didn't know about the bleached wood method, sounds interesting.
    Have a great day!
    XXX Ido

  2. This is incredible timing for me--just bought a dark stained antique bookcase this afternoon, and wanted to lime the wood, or at least give it the appearance of a Swedish cherished piece. Found you just a couple minutes ago via "Greige," and you're after my heart with your informative limed wood post. Your floors are divine, so lovely! XO

  3. Hi Anne

    It's Perfect..

    Can I stay there? hehe.. Hope you are well and have a lovely week.. ciao xxx Julie

  4. Thanks for stopping in, Margaret!
    Have you decided how to tackle your bookcase?

    Hi Ido! Hey Julie!

  5. Love bleached wood! Preferably natural bleached floor boards.
    You are so right, Ann, a bleached or lime washed piece of furniture in oak, or paneling will brighten up every room.

  6. Some of these outlandish looks are even accessible in wood overlay flooring. In strong planking, extraordinary woods can cost twice as much as similar local species, in spite of the fact that built woods stay nearer to the residential hardwoods.
    flooring in Edinburgh



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