How to Create a Bleached and Weathered Wood Finish (Without Bleach!)

Have you ever wondered how to create a bleached and weathered wood finish without bleach? It's so easy and these dollar store plastic chargers were totally transformed by this technique! I'm sharing the video tutorial with you today so you can achieve this easy faux look yourself!
bleached wood finish on charger

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Raw, natural wood is currently a hot topic in the home decor world! Everyone is bleaching their furniture and finding ways to make new wood look rustic and weathered and removing the paint to reveal the natural, raw wood beneath. The technique I'm sharing today is perfect for those who don't/can't deal with real bleach fumes but want a similar effect.

I was in the market for some wood chargers, but the ones I liked weren't in my budget. So when I spotted these faux wood plastic chargers at Dollar Tree, I grabbed them, knowing I could figure out a way to create a bleached and weathered look.

They were quite a gaudy goldish color, and looked very plastic-y, but what can you expect for $1? The thing I liked about them was the faux wood grain. I knew the texture would be great for this technique. Check the supplies list at the end of this post for the products I used.

Here's how the chargers looked before their makeover.

charger before

And here is how they looked after I weathered and bleached them with this super easy technique!

charger after

So much better, right? Now, I know I always say that my tutorials are easy, but this one really is! It took very little time to create a bleached, weathered look on these plastic chargers and I'm going to show you exactly how I did it!

How to create a bleached and weathered wood look

You saw the before and after above, and I created a video tutorial to show you just exactly how to achieve a weathered, bleached look. This is the same technique that I used on my weathered dressers in our Master, just with a different color of paint for a lighter, bleached finish. 

So I know it will work with furniture too! But as always when you're tackling a large furniture piece, make sure to do a test area first to be sure you're happy with the finish (on a dresser, I would test the technique on a drawer). Click here to see all my furniture transformations.

Watch this short video to see how I achieved this bleached wood look

I've always been amazed at the power of paint to completely change the look and feel of almost anything, but this tutorial shows how wax is also pretty powerful too!

brush on white chalk paint

By simply rubbing wax into a white painted charger, I can manipulate the finished look!

before, during, after

I really like how these bleached chargers turned out! Like I mentioned in the video above, my dark table needs something lighter to provide that contrast that I love and you can see how the chargers show up so nicely on my table.

bleached chargers on dining table

These faux bleached chargers add another layer of texture and contrast to my dining table.
close up

neutral table decor

My fall tablescape changed a little wee bit this week after I brought in some real magnolia leaves. I took some of the brighter colors off the table to soften it a little.

Do you constantly change your decor too?

white ironstone on bleached wood charger

neutral table setting

I love how these weathered chargers look with my collected white ironstone, it's a dreamy combination! 

Supplies List:

Go ahead and PIN THIS IMAGE for later

bleached wood chargers

Let me know what you use this bleached and weathered wood finish technique on!

And have a great week ❤

bringing beauty to the ordinary, 


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  1. These look great! i'm sure i've walked right by these charger plates at the dollar store many times! thanks for the idea and the method!

  2. Hi Cindy. What a cool project, thanks! I wonder…do you think this could be done on bathroom cabinets? Mine are tired cherry wood (I believe?!) and I’d like to lighten them up and have a more “coastal” look.
    What do you think?
    Thank you,


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