Old wood paneling used to be quite the design element in basements and family rooms across America….Who didn’t love The Brady Bunch house?

Before tearing down this old wood paneling, try this easy whitewashing painting technique. It is a simple job that can add a lot of character while brightening up a room.

Whitewashing can be done in many different colors. The great thing about this painting technique is that anyone can do it.

Ready to take your wall from being dark and outdated to a focal point that lightens the room and adds character age Barnwood or a beachy Oceanfront Cottage?

Supplies Needed:

Drop cloths

Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) spray or De-Glosser (Like Klean Strip)


Old cotton rags (torn up old t-shirts or old sheets work great- you will need lots of them)


Pole Sander


White Paint of your choice

Small bucket for mixing the paint and water


Painters tape

Remove any furniture, wall outlet covers, or wall decor before you start.

Cover the floors with drop cloths to protect your flooring.

Cover wall outlets with painters tape.

The Process:

Start by washing down the walls with the TSP or the deglosser.  Using a sponge and the TSP or deglosser- wipe down the walls from top to bottom. You will be shocked by what dirt comes off of them!

After letting the clean walls dry, use the pole sander to sand any remaining gloss off of the walls.  You do not need to sand down to bare wood.  Your goal here is to remove the shiny surface.

Wipe the walls down with cheesecloth or a damp clean rag.

Now comes the fun part!  Put on your gloves, get your cotton cloths, bucket, and paint!

Mix one part paint to two parts water.  This is not an exact science.  Your mixture will vary depending on the type of pain that you use and how transparent you want the whitewashing to be.  You might need to experiment a little with this.  I highly recommend testing out your solution in an inconspicuous spot to make sure you are getting the look you want.

Mix the paint water solution.

Using a paint brush, cover small sections of the paneling with the whitewash. Then whip off the excess paint with a rag.

Continue to paint small sections and wiping.  Everytime you finish a section, step back and see if you are getting a consistent look.  To get the best results you want to keep your paint/water solution the same and use the same amount of pressure on the rag as you wipe it off.

Go back and fix any inconsistencies.

Allow the room to dry and take a look!  You will have achieved a bright new look that is sure to make a HUGE impact on your room.

Here is the Facebook Live where I demonstrate for you the technique.