How to Paint Wood Floors Distressed White: With Different Methods

People usually distress their wood floors to get rustic and vintage looks of their indoor rooms. Distressing wooden floors with monochromatic-colored paints, such as the solid white color, can improve the rustic and vintage feel that some people often desire.

As a result, questions like, “How to paint wood floors distressed white?” often pop up in people’s minds. Before answering the question, let us look at the difficulty levels of distressing wood floors.

How challenging is it to paint wood floors in distressed white?

Relates to the difficulty in realizing the distressed white colors, the distressed white theme is one of the most challenging color themes for wooden floors, even though some architects have successfully made the designs more flexible.

For instance, an architect should preserve the beauty of the distressed white color by diffusing the room’s lights and playing with the lights’ intensity.

Nonetheless, the challenges of painting the floors in distressed white don’t stop in the lighting plays. Cleaning the floors after the painting is yet another aspect that makes these floors challenging.

The floors are sensitive to almost all liquids; we should treat the spots more carefully than in other colors, no-wax cleaners can’t work, and more.

Still, people like to think about painting wood floors distressed white despite knowing the challenges in these floors’ colors. After all, the colors are beautiful. So, we need to consider several things before painting the wood floors distressed white.

What are things we should consider before painting our wood floors distressed white?

Considering these things before painting our wood floors with distressed white can save us from various hassles related to wooden floors:

  • Other furniture’s colors: Distressed white wooden floors blend in with white marble walls. Plus, there should be at least two furniture types with solid black colors.
  • Cleaning difficulty: Wood floors in distressed white colors tend to be difficult to clean. Spots, stains, spatters, and more tend to be more obvious on these wood floors than on others.
  • The upkeep methods: These wooden floors typically need special primers, such as satin, instead of oil-based polyurethane finishes. We should also make sure the tints match the wood’s finishing touches.
  • Paying attention to the “big-nos”: Any oil-based substances (including oil-based polyurethane and matte), sanding processes, abrasive solvents, and more.

Pros and cons of painting the woods in distressed white

The pros and cons of painting the woods in distressed white are other things you should consider, apart from the four points we’ve shown you above. Here are the pros and cons:


  • The distressed white colors are versatile for just about any theme: Vintage, Scandinavian, Industrial, Shabby Chic – you name it.
  • These colored wood floors emit the most intense light. So, it helps us to save on electricity bills.
  • The distressed white colors of the floors can also make a room look bigger, no matter how big it is.


  • The cleaning investments are costly because these colored wooden floors are the floor types that need frequent cleaning. Plus, we can’t choose just any methods and tools for cleaning.
  • The lighting reflections can be so intense that they can hurt our eyes, particularly when we pair them with unsuitable lamps.
  • Some finishes, such as all water-based finishes, won’t work on these floors.

What are the best floor painting methods for painting wood floors in distressed white?

By choosing any of these best floor painting methods for painting floors in distressed white colors, you can get a more vivid picture of painting wood floors in distressed white:

  • Full-covered floors in white: This painting method is one of the least complicated due to its solid white colors. People tend to use this style for refined looks.
  • White-washing: This painting method is becoming one of the most popular ways to make white wood flooring look old. The whitewashing process is the best for creating rustic and farmhouse-like feels.
  • Sealing or staining: These methods emphasize the wooden bases’ grains to give modernized touches to the distressed wood. People usually seal or stain their wood floors while whitewashing their wooden floors.

How do we paint wood floors in distressed white?

Follow the instructions below for an easy method to whitewash a wooden floor:

  1. Lightly sand the wooden surface with around 80 to 160-grit sandpaper to smooth any imperfections.
  2. Vacuum the wooden floors thoroughly before applying white paint. Applying oil or water-based paints is okay if the coatings are thick enough to cover the wooden surfaces. Let the coatings sit for a couple of minutes.
  3. Repeat Step 1 with around 80-grit sandpaper and Step 2 until you’ve covered the entire wood floors.
  4. Wipe the stains according to the woods’ grains’ directions.
  5. Finally, use acrylics or lacquer waxes to seal the wooden surfaces.

Distress the wood floor white depends on the type of wood

Some kinds of wood have things that are not nice for whitewashing. Oak and teak are two well-known types of this wood.

There are a lot of tannic acids in oak. This dye will break down when exposed to water-based substances, leaving yellow stains (bleeding wood). Because of this, it is better to treat oak wood with lime wax.

After all, lime wax doesn’t contain any water.

Oak wood is also easier to treat with lime wax because the pores are bigger and more open.

Other tropical wood types, such as teak, Merbau, and mahogany, can also change color. If the wood has a lot of knots or a busy pattern, you may want to make it a little less clear.

Is it possible to paint hardwood floors white without sanding?

If you don’t want to sand down the wooden floor, there are other things you can do to make sure the new paint stays on the floor for a longer time.

This can be done, for example, by preparing the wood surface with a special primer or a suitable varnish.

You must apply this agent to the whole surface and allow it to dry thoroughly before painting over it.

Specialty stores sell paints for wood that don’t require you to sand the surface for a long time before you can use them.

These colors usually don’t leave a thick layer of paint on the wood like other types of paint. The paint can even be applied on wood that hasn’t been treated.

Distress the wood floor white with chalk paint

A quick and easy way to whitewash is to use chalk paint that has been diluted. You can do this with either Pure White or Old White chalk paint.

The good thing about chalk paint wash is that you can change how much it covers by making the paint more or less watery, giving it more or less time to soak in, or putting on more than one layer of paint.

Pretreat the substrate

Wax or oil must be taken off. You might be able to use a chalk paint wash over an old coat of paint if it has been well-cleaned and sanded down to a dull finish. Bleeding wood is not a good choice for a chalk paint wash.

Chalk Paint Wash formula

1 to 2 parts water for every 1 part chalk paint (paint: water). The effect will be more clear if the mixture is less thick.

If you write down this mixing ratio, you won’t have to mix the whole can simultaneously. Instead, you can mix a small amount at a time. So, none of the paint will go to waste.

How do you apply a whitewash?

The wash is generously applied with a wide brush, and the excessive wash is then wiped off again in the direction of the wood grain with a lint-free cloth.

Do not use too little to avoid getting contact points! The wash is harder to remove the longer you let the mixture sit, the more porous the surface. You should test it first. Work on smaller pieces at a time, like one board.

Whitewash with wax glaze

Wax Glaze is a water-based product that works like varnish but looks like traditional wax. It comes in different colors, but we use the white wax glaze to make it look like it was washed.

Wax stains give all kinds of wood colors and protect it. It’s a durable, waterproof, stain-resistant, heat-resistant makeover.

Before putting a wax glaze on a surface, clean it and remove any old varnish or wax.

How do you apply wax glaze?

Wax stains are put on with a brush or cleaver brush and wiped off with a cloth along the wood grain.

If you want to avoid starting marks, you don’t have to use it too sparingly, just like the chalk paint wash. It’s also best to treat smaller areas or one board at a time.


Stairs, floors, and other heavy-duty surfaces should have more protection. This can be done with varnish.