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Limewash a garden table

This rustic garden table sits on top of an old sewing machine stand. The top of the table is limewashed, producing a characteristic chalky-white effect that enhances the natural grain of wood.


Limewash or liming is an excellent technique for any wood with a good natural grain that can be opened with a wire brush. Traditional liming wax has been replaced with water-based liming paste that can be sealed with varnish.


4 paintbrushes and a varnish brush
Paint stripper
Woodoc 30 exterior sealer
Wire brush
Clean cloths
Water-based liming paste
Woodoc steelwool
3 varnish brushes
Woodoc antique wax






Work on a small section at a time. Use a paintbrush to brush water over the surface of the wood to dampen it. To open the grain, work a wire brush over the surface, always following the direction of the grain. Some pressure is needed.

Wipe away the dust. Wear protective gloves for this part of the procedure. Apply the liming paste with a paintbrush. To ensure you fill all the open pores of the wood, apply the past with the grain and then across the grain. Let the liming paste dry complete.

Rub steelwool over the surface in the direction of the grain to remove excess liming paste. Do not use too much pressure.

Use a varnish brush to apply Woodoc antique wax. Finish off with two coats of satin polyurethane varnish, letting each coat dry before applying the next.