Whitewash creates a thin film of plaster on surfaces.

How to Make Whitewash Paint for Interior Decorating

by Shelley Marie

Whitewashing furniture, walls or decorative items creates a unique, weathered look that adds cottage-style charm to your home's interior. You can use whitewash on many surfaces, such as wood, brick, stone, concrete or plaster. It costs less per gallon to make your own whitewash with raw materials than it does to purchase paint. You can even experiment and mix in pigments to tint the whitewash once it's blended. Since you'll be working with chemicals, keep kids and pets out of the area when mixing and applying the whitewash.

1. Whitewash for Woodwork

1 Mix 12 1/2 pounds of hydrated lime with 1 1/2 gallons of water in a 10-gallon bucket with a long-handled spoon until thoroughly blended.

2. Whitewash for Woodwork

2 Mix 3 3\4 pounds of salt with 1 gallon and 1 quart of water in a 5-gallon bucket. Stir until fully dissolved.

3. Whitewash for Woodwork

3 Pour the salt solution into the lime paste slowly and mix until it forms a smooth, milky consistency. Add more fresh water as needed to thin it out. Store covered with a lid and use within one week.

4. Whitewash for Masonry

1 Mix 6 1/4 pounds of hydrated lime and 6 1/4 pounds of Portland cement in a 5-gallon bucket with a long-handled spoon.

5. Whitewash for Masonry

2 Add 2 gallons of water and mix thoroughly.

6. Whitewash for Masonry

3 Squeeze about 1 teaspoon of white all-purpose glue into the mixture and stir until it forms a cream-like consistency. This formula doesn't store well so only make enough for use within a few hours.

7. Whitewash for Plaster

1 Mix 12 1/2 pounds of hydrated lime with 1 1/2 gallons of water in a 10-gallon bucket with a long-handled spoon until thoroughly blended.

8. Whitewash for Plaster

2 Dissolve 1 1\2 pounds of salt in 3 quarts of boiling water and allow to cool.

9. Whitewash for Plaster

3 Pour the saltwater solution into the lime and stir until thoroughly blended.

10. Whitewash for Plaster

4 Stir in 3/4 pounds of Portland cement and mix well.

Items you will need

  • Measuring scale
  • Hydrated lime
  • 10- and 5-gallon buckets
  • Long-handled spoons
  • Salt
  • Portland cement
  • White all-purpose glue


  • Roughen smooth surfaces with sandpaper before application.
  • Clean the surface with vinegar before applying the whitewash.


  • Wear rubber gloves and goggles when mixing and applying whitewash.

About the Author

Shelley Marie has been writing professionally since 2008 for online marketing and informational websites. Her areas of expertise include home, garden and health. She holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration and an associate degree in medical billing and insurance coding, both from Herzing University.

Photo Credits

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