How to Give a Whitewash Effect to a Wooden Door. Whitewashing a plain wooden door is a way to finish it inexpensively and attractively. Rather than simply painting it white, a whitewash effect allows the grain of the wood to show through, preserving the natural beauty while freshening up a plain wooden door.
Remove and Prepare the Door
Drive out the door's lower hinge pin by wedging a screwdriver underneath the pin and gently knocking the screwdriver handle with a hammer.
Have somebody support the door while you drive out the upper hinge pin using the same method as the lower one. This fully releases the door from its hinges.
Take down the door and position it flat on a sawhorse in a well-ventilated work area. If you don't have a sawhorse, lay the door flat on a covered surface. The whitewashing process is quite messy, so choose an area outdoors or in a workroom or garage.
Fill in any holes or nicks in the wood with latex wood patch. Use a putty knife to apply the product to the flaws and to rub it off, creating a smooth surface.
Sand the surface of the door with 150-grit sandpaper and wipe away leftover dust and woodchips with a dry cloth to prepare the door for the whitewash.
Apply the Whitewash
Purchase a water-based whitewash stain, or make your own by diluting white latex paint with 25 percent water.
Apply the whitewash stain with a brush to small areas of the wood door and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Work the stain into the wood with a dry rag, focusing on areas with heavy wood grain and knots.
Wipe away excess stain with the rag while it's still wet to achieve the whitewash look you want. Wipe with the grain rather than against it. Repeat the process, focusing on small sections at a time, until you whitewash the entire door.
Allow the whitewash stain to dry for 24 hours. Apply a clear, water-based finish to the whitewashed surface to protect the wood.
Protect any unpainted wood at the sides of the door with a clear wood sealer to prevent warping.