After an unforgettable trip to the Barefoot Kitchen in Cornwall, England this October, I fell in love with the family & the paint they used all over their gorgeous abode on the cliffs. A chalk paint with wonderful colors - with a beautiful milky matte finish. Annie Sloan makes the most marvelous paints, no priming or sanding needed. Buy the paint here if you live in America (Patty is very lovely & helpful if you have questions, ships next day!) and see below for my white washing instructions.
I've always loved white washed floors, and our dark wood floors were hiding all my beautiful walnut furniture. One weekend, I decided it had to happen, I would figure it out. We live in a small Brooklyn apt with 2 large rooms - a doable task solo, although company always makes it better, while you watch paint dry, stuck in the corner.
1. Take a quart of the Old White Annie Sloan and make two quarts - 1/2 paint, 1/2 water. (1 can = about 300 sq.ft.)
2. Roll one coat of paint on, let dry for 2-3 hours and roll on another coat. Make sure the white wash consistency seems even all over. Paint should be diluted enough so you can see crack and some grain. Yup, no sanding needed!
3. After the 2 coats dry, take steel wool and sand down a few distressed areas, so floors appears worn & old.
4. Sweep up paint dust, then roll on 2 coats of Annie Sloan Floor Lacquer (or clear satin finish polyurethane if you forgot to buy the lacquer)
5. Let lacquer dry for overnight (at least 12 hours).