Fabulous Whitewash – DIY Basics
If you see sparkling white buildings on a Greek island, they have most likely been “painted” with whitewash. It has been used throughout the world, indoors and out, on plaster, concrete, masonry, and stone.
Whitewash is made of mason’s hydrated lime and water. It is sometimes called limewash.
The fabulous part of whitewash? It is a natural antiseptic and deters insects. It is also fire resistant, a zero-voc (volatile organic compound), and a zero-synthethic biocide paint.
1 gallon of whitewash covers:
* 225 square feet of wood
* 180 square feet of brick
* 270 square feet of plaster
* 250 square feet of concrete (and other masonry materials)
Simple Outdoor Whitewash Formula
The salt adds antiseptic qualities to this whitewash.
7 1/2 pounds salt dissolved in 2 1/2 gallons hot distilled water
25 pounds mason’s hydrated lime mixed with 3 gallons distilled water
Natural earth pigment (optional).
Dampen the surface with water before applying the whitewash. Dampen before every new coat.
In separate tubs, prepare the salt and lime mixtures. Combine, stirring to reove all lups; add more distilled water if the paint is too thick. Add pigment if desired.
Makes 6 gallons
Shelf Life: A few days
If you want a cooler white, add 1 teaspoon laundry bluing per gallon.
Alternatives: A simpler version involves simply dissolving 25 pounds mason’s hydrated lime in 3 gallons of distilled water. A more complex version, used on lighthouses, includes lime, water, salt, rice flour, titanium dioxide, and white glue. (Let me know if you are interested in the Lighthouse Whitewash and I will publish that.)
–Adapted from Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), by Annie B. Bond.