How To Recycle Timber and Whitewash

  • 2 hours
  • 1
  • unique to project

Products You'll Need

  • Salvaged Timber
  • White Pain

Tools You'll Need

  • Hammer
  • Hole Punch
  • Thicknesser
  • Paint Stirrer
  • Bucket
  • Cloth
  • Personal Protective Equipment

Watch our video to see how you can salvage old timber from the job site and turn it into something beautiful. We run some old hardwood floorboards through a thicknesser and whitewash it to give create a coastal vibe. This is a great way to achieve a consistent look when mixing different timber species, and provides a beautiful timber to reuse in so many ways.

It literally makes me so happy knowing that this beautiful old timber has been given a new lease on life!

Read the steps below to work your way through this process.  We bought our thicknesser years ago from our local hardware and it’s been a good investment, but hiring is also a great option.


Step 1 : De-Nail the Timber

It’s important to remove all the nails before we get started, and the easiest way to do that is to straighten the nails out with a hammer.  Hit each one as hard as you can, then turn the timber over and remove.  Every now and then you’ll come across a split nail; for these you’ll need to hammer them through with a hold punch.

Step 2 : Run Through Thicknesser

This timber is 20mm thick, so I’ve set the thicknesser to 19mm.  The trick is not to take too much off at a time, which means you might have to run it through a few times to get your desired look.

Step 3 : Mix Paint

There’s really no right or wrong when mixing your paint – I roughly work off a 50/50 rule.  Tip some paint into a bucket, add the same amount of water, mix and away you go!



Step 4 : Whitewash

Paint a layer of your mixed paint onto the board, then use a damp cloth to wipe – use long strokes to achieve a smooth, whitewash finish.



Step 5 : Allow to Dry

Once you’ve wiped the paint off, let the boards sit and the paint soak in and dry before doing another layer.



Step 6 : Add Layers

Repeat the process of painting, wiping and allowing to dry until you reach the desired level of whitewash.  The beauty is, that if you do go too far and feel the timber is too white, you can always sand it back!

Step 7 : Re-Use!

I love that we’ve turned this timber that looked like old trash into something beautiful that can literally be used for anything around the home.

Tip from Kara

Ensure you've removed ALL nails before running timber through the thicknesser otherwise you'll blunt the blade

Tip from Kara

Start with a thin paint mix and use layers, rather than going too thick to begin with