Weekly Blooms: A Whitewashed Wall in the Nursery

For this edition of weekly blooms, I thought I would give you a sneak peek into our nursery! It is far from done, but at least it is started right? I know everyone says how different things are with baby #3, but wow! Especially with adding our move in there, I am so behind in every aspect of getting ready for baby. My only question at my OB checkups is “How far along am I?” Mom of the year right here.

Prior to last Saturday, the nursery was a room with a crib and changing table (recycled from our previous two). But we finally made some progress over the weekend, and we can see our vision coming to life! I have to be honest, I was really stumped with this room. I wanted this nursery to be a really special place that could grow with baby. Natural, boho, and timeless were the thoughts that came to mind when I started putting this room together.

My goal is to keep everything really neutral and then offset it with green florals, wood finishes, and a few pops of color. We finally settled on doing wallpaper on the small wall behind the crib, and a whitewashed wall feature on the large wall that the changing table sits against. I can not wait to receive the wallpaper! I have been wanting to add wallpaper in the new house, and I think this is just the place to try it out!

Saturday at naps we tackled the first DIY for the room, the whitewash wall feature! We chose the largest wall in the room to do this on to really make an impact. We bought our wood at our local lumber store and had them cut all 22 boards to the exact width we needed (which made this project fly). When we got to the lumbar store and saw the tongue and groove pine boards we knew they would be absolutely perfect for this project. Each pine board has lots of knots and texture which we knew was essential to achieving the whitewash look we were after. We also chose tongue and groove because we wanted the whole wall to have a really seamless look. The wall came out even better than we could have imagined and it’s solely because of the wood chosen!

This is such an easy project and made a large impact in our nursery! What I loved about doing this wall feature, was there was no wrong way (amen!). We were going for a rustic, natural, and imperfect feel so I really had fun with this one. When it was time to paint, I played around with color combinations then chose the look I preferred!

DIY Whitewash Wall

Materials for Wall:
Nail gun and nails – we used 2 inch nails
Stud finder
Tongue and Groove Pine Boards – you can choose to have these cut to the exact length of your walls like we did, or if you want more lines you can cut each board to different lengths.
Materials for Whitewashing:
White Paint – we used SW Super Paint velvet in Alabaster
Paint Brush
Container to mix in – We did 5 cups Alabaster: 1 cup water
Spray bottle with water
Dry Cloth
Drop Cloth

Installing your boards:

  1. Nail your boards to the wall – Using our stud finder we found the studs in the wall, and drew a line down each stud to show us where to nail. We chose not to use liquid nails for this project, so this was an important step. Starting at the very top of your wall use your level to make sure the very first board is perfectly straight. This board is the most important of them all, as it will set your line for your wall! Once your board is level using your nail gun, nail your boards into the studs. Because all of our boards were cut to the length of the wall we simply followed this method for the entire wall until we reached the outlets. We then measured out our outlets, and used the jigsaw to cut around these. And that was it! Our nails were so small that we didn’t even need to patch and caulk, especially because we were going for a rustic, natural feel. This was a HUGE time saver!
  2. Add trim – We chose to trim out the wall feature, but it definitely isn’t a must. We simply measured the height of our wall, cut the trim down, and nailed it right in. Easy, easy! And done, we had our wall feature. Now it was time to whitewash!

DIY Whitewash:
A few notes before we get started. Installing the tongue and groove boards to the wall was definitely the easier half of this project. The whitewashing is not difficult, but it is time-consuming and takes a bit of playing around with to get it exactly how you want. Don’t be discouraged, but I don’t want to pretend that it was the fastest moving, mindless thing either! And remember, like I said before there is no perfect way to do this. Play around with it, and get it exactly how YOU love it!

  1. Choose your paint – I love SW Alabaster so it was a no brainer that I would go with this color for the walls. I chose their Super Paint because it is not as thick (or expensive) as their top of the line paints, and I was going to be watering it down anyways.
  2. Mix up your paint – This is the most important part! I started with 2 cups Alabaster to 1 cup water, and mixed it really well. Wow that makes a lot of paint! I would recommend using smaller amounts while you are coming up with your mixture…lesson learned! The second I applied it to the pine boards, we knew it was way way lighter than we were after. I simply added another 1 cup of paint to my mixture, so now I was at 3 cups Alabaster to 1 cup water. I applied it to another spot on my pine boards, and knew I was getting closer but still not as dark as we wanted. Finally, I ended up with 5 cups Alabaster to 1 cup water. And we LOVED it. It was exactly as we envisioned. It dries quite a bit differently than it goes on, so I would recommend testing out different mixtures, letting them dry and then picking your favorite. Again go with what you love! Every type of wood will take the paint differently, so play around with it and choose what most fits your taste.
    **In the picture below, the very top is the raw pine boards, below that is 5 cups Alabaster: 1 cup water, and below that is 3 cups Alabaster: 1 cup water**
  3. Apply your mixture – Before applying your paint, lay down a drop cloth. Because your paint is watered down, I highly recommend this step! Next, using your paint brush, apply the paint with the grain. This will allow the texture of the boards to really show through. I had planned on rubbing off the paint with a dry cloth in sections, but as I went along brushing with the grain I loved the look of it! So I ended up only rubbing off when I felt the paint was going on too thick. I also had a small spray bottle of water that I would squirt onto the wall when I needed the paint to thin out a bit. This really helped me achieve an even coat across all the boards.
  4. Stand back and admire – Let your first coat dry, and see if it is the look you want. I had planned on putting on a second coat, but after letting it dry it was exactly the look we were going for (woo, because mama was tired!). You also could go back and use a dry brush technique (dip your paint brush in paint then wipe most of it off) to add more texture to your wall. We love that the knots and natural veins of the pine boards show through and didn’t want to take away from that! So we stopped at one coat!

    Above picture was taken while it was still wet, and below is after it is all dry!

And before the weekend was over, we had our first big project complete in the nursery! While I was whitewashing the wall, my husband painted the rest of the room (except where the wallpaper will go), Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray. The whitewash wall with the soothing gray color looks so tranquil. I can not wait to get some decor up on this whitewash wall, but this is such a great starting point!

I found the rug before we moved in and hauled it from our old house to the new house, hoping it would work. So far I am loving it here! It is so cozy and adds a pop of pink without being overdone. We had this beautiful chandelier installed right when we moved in, and I think it is just made for whitewashed walls! I had been eyeing that chandelier for years and finally had a GIRL’S nursery to put it in! The dresser has been around for all three babes now! I love it here against the whitewashed wall. I changed out the hardware when Baby #2 came and love the pop of color. When I saw that lamb lamp I was so giddy! It was just what I had in mind. I added some natural elements with these seagrass stools and basket. And of course my favorite pillow! I ordered it within hours after finding out we were having a baby girl!

This whitewash wall is everything I hoped it would be and more! Now this room is such a soothing, relaxing sanctuary. I love the rustic tone it sets for the rest of the room. I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into the nursery and I can’t wait to share more as I get it together (hopefully before baby comes)! Let me know if you have any questions on this DIY whitewash technique. Have a wonderful weekend!

Exact Sources Here:
Catalina Dresser// Pottery barn kids
Little Unicorn changing pad cover// Amazon
Bunny Doll/ PB Kids discontinued
Lamb lamp// Antique Farmhouse
Knobs// Hobby Lobby
Basket// World Market
My Girl Pillow Cover// PCB Home
Seagrass Stools// IKEA (Amazon here)
White Throw// HomeGoods
Rug// World Market
Chandelier// Amazon
Wall Color// SW Edgecomb Gray

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Hi, I'm Jess. Soon to be mom of three and lover of all things decor and design. Follow along as we renovate our newly bought farmhouse one room at at time, and welcome baby #3. So happy you are here!


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