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White outdoor decking area with planters and boots.

Overview

Whitewashing a deck can introduce a unique look to your outdoor area, brightening the wood to allow the natural grain to shine through. It adds a touch of added coastal flair, while also remaining texturally interesting and contributing to the idea of a summer retreat. Best of all, it’s incredibly simple and easy to complete in just a few hours. 

The techniques required for whitewashing are very similar to painting, making it an accessible project for any keen D.I.Yers. All you’ll need is a paintbrush, sandpaper and timber stain finish to ensure your new deck lasts for years to come. 

Steps

1Gather your tools and materials

Below are all of the tools and materials you'll need to complete this project.
Brushes and brooms and paint.

2Prepare your deck

If your deck already has a stain or varnish on it, you will need to get it back to a clean slate before you whitewash. Remove all furniture so that you can easily access the entire surface. Lightly sand the timber to remove all existing varnish and help the new paint adhere to the surface. Sweep away all dust before whitewashing.
Person sanding a deck.

3Deck clean

Mix deck clean with water in a 1:4 ratio in a bucket. Once you have cleaned your deck with an applicator, leave it to dry for 24 hours.

Person brushing decking.

4Apply whitewash

Using a roller, work your mixture onto the surface of the wood, going with the grain. Repeat until the entire deck is complete and leave to dry.
Person applying whitewash.

5Style your space

When dry, add your furniture back onto the deck and enjoy your new coastal deck! 
Outdoor entertaining area with white decking, planter boxes and chair.

6Are you ready?

Prepare for your whitewashing project by exploring our range of latex paints.

Suggested products

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.