Whitewash Wood Paneling: Products and Tips For a Great Look

August 1, 2022


Homeowners can create a wood paneling makeover in a short amount of time! Whitewashed wood panels create an up-to-date modern look that still has the rustic charm of real wood grain. Clean and bright, whitewashing wood paneling creates the perfect backdrop in a wide variety of spaces. The whitewash look is achieved by using a paintbrush to apply white paint to an inconspicuous area of unfinished wood, allowing the paint to absorb briefly and then wiping away the excess paint. White stains and treatments come in a variety of tones ranging from pure linen white to more subtle off whites, allowing for varying degrees of results and white tones.

There are many types of wood paneling to consider when tackling a home improvement project. White wood walls are a great way to add texture, depth and character to a room while not being too woody. Shiplap wood panels can be installed as an accent wall in the dining room, unique ceiling paneling in the living room or even an entire room.

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It’s also important for homeowners to consider the type and style of wood species used as the base material. Lighter woods like white oak and ash will end up being more pure white. Using a dark wood, such as walnut, will add contrast and allow the wood grain to show through the finish of the wood paneling. Texture is another important factor to consider. Whether it is smooth, brushed or a rustic grade product, the texture will have a pronounced impact on the overall look and feel of the whitewashed effect on the wood.

Close up of fireplace with whitewash wood panel surround.
Rows of chairs in a room that features a whitewash wood panel wall.

While whitewashed wood walls are commonly associated with shabby chic, they can actually be used quite successfully with many interior design styles from traditional and rustic to very contemporary and modern spaces. Whether used as a shiplap wall or ceiling accent, whitewashed wood paneling is bright and light, adding a clean and fresh look to any room.

Whitewashed Wood Paneling Styles

There are a lot of step-by-step tutorials on how to whitewash existing wood paneling, but this requires that the wood panels are unfinished to fully absorb the paint. And what do you do when you want the whitewash wood look, but don’t have existing wood walls? For homeowners that don’t have the time or the correct wood panels to DIY whitewash walls, purchasing a high-quality wood panel product for a remodel is a great option! Explore some of the new wood wall paneling products we carry and get started on planning your room makeover. 

White wash reclaimed antique oak wood paneling product.

White Wash Reclaimed Antique Oak

Reclaimed antique oak comes from old barn wood and rural structures that are no longer in use. The wood panels are sanded smooth and have great character additions including nail holes, saw marks and checks. Oak is a classic choice for whitewashing as it absorbs and takes on colors and stains well. The whitewashed antique oak product has a clean white surface that fits into any home decor setting, whether it’s in the living room or the dining room. Reclaimed oak wood panels are a durable and beautiful choice that will be an enduring remodel addition for years to come.

Sea salt reclaimed antique elm wood paneling product.

Fresh Powder Reclaimed Antique Elm

The long straight grain pattern found in reclaimed antique elm is enhanced with a consistent and bright white paint tone adding to the subtle character of the old wood paneling. Elm is naturally light in color and ranges from light tan to medium-reddish brown. These reddish undertones show through in the wood planks and create a soft, warmth to the real wood product. Creating a wood-paneled wall with these wood planks produces a bright and homey style ideal for a living room or family room, or wherever your heart desires!

Stockholm European white oak wood paneling product.

Stockholm European White Oak

Wide widths and long lengths add to the Scandinavian style whitewash and complement the live wood grain, knots and character found in European white oak. This whitewash wood product has cooler undertones than the above counterparts. The long lengths and wide widths make this product ideal for large, open spaces such as a vaulted ceiling, hallway or accent wall in a living room. The lightness of the wood paneling is ideal for bringing more light into your home decor setting. 

Cotton gin reclaimed heart pine wood paneling product.

Cotton Gin Reclaimed Heart Pine

Reclaimed heart pine is structurally brushed to create depth in the wood and is then enhanced with a white finish that accentuates the peaks and allows natural wood to show in the valleys. Heart pine is one of the most popular reclaimed wood products. Featuring a sapwood that is a creamier, pinkish-tan, this lighter wood species is ideal for whitewashing. Heart pine paneling is a commonly used wood in many interior designs and in the whitewashed state is ideal for bringing a rustic vibe into a modern farmhouse style kitchen or even more contemporary applications. 

Fresh powder rustic walnut wood paneling product.

Fresh Powder Rustic Walnut

Walnut is known for its darker tones and for a more formal feel, but whitewashed walnut paneling brings a more weathered wood look to these wood planks. Light whitewashing hangs up in the rustic character allowing the dark tones of the natural walnut to come through, creating a light dark contrast. This rustic-looking wood panel has a kind of barn wood aesthetic that can be used for paneling a bar front or wall in a game room. This paneling might also look great surrounding a fireplace or in a comfy alcove. 

Find the Right Whitewash Wood for Your Home

For homeowners that are interested in learning how to paint wood paneling, whitewash wood panel products are an easy way to upgrade an interior space. With many creative options and styles available, finding the right whitewashed wood paneling is easier than ever to achieve. There are many customizable elements to choose from, such as wood type, character, texture and even the tone of the wood finish available. There are almost limitless possibilities to choose from! Contact the experts at Elmwood Reclaimed Timber to find some whitewash wood paneling the fits with the interior design of your home of business.

You can order free wood paneling samples and also receive a free catalog for more details about Elmwood’s collection of wood paneling products.