How to make and use Whitewash

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Whitewash is made up of lime, salt and water. Other ingredients can be added (e.g. powdered alum or animal gum) to make it longer lasting. Hydrated lime normally comes in 25Kg bags and costs under ten pounds(£10) a bag. It is best to buy it from a builders supplier. Lime is also sold in smaller amounts in fancy bags as Garden lime at a greatly increased price.


whitewashed cottage
How to make Whitewash
Basic whitewash consists of hydrated lime, salt and water. Measure a medium sized saucepan of lime into a large bucket/container, adding about a pound of salt and two gallons of water.


Don't add the water all at once.


Add small amounts mixing equal parts of the salt and lime into a paste at first, then gradually adding the water and more lime.


You can let the mixture stand for a day but there should be no problem using it almost straight away. The white wash should be very thin as it is just a wash. Stir occasionally as you use it.

How to apply the whitewash
To use the white wash, just get a large long-haired brush and slop it on. Don't worry about getting it on your clothes, it washes out very easily.
It may seem like it's not covering very well as you paint it on, especially on new wood and fences, but it will whiten up considerably when it's completely dry.

General points about whitewash:
Hydrated lime is caustic so it is advisable to wear rubber gloves and a dust mask when mixing up. It does not damage clothes and washes out easily.
It will wash off over time if exposed to rain.
Whitewash is not paint and is not permanent: rubs off and sometimes flakes off over time.
If you lean against a white washed wall you will end up with white on your clothes.

It is not recommended for interior Home & Domestic use. In older houses you may find that whitewash has been used inside especially on ceilings. It is safe to use inside barns and is not harmful to small animals. Farm animals will often lick whitewashed walls.