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.

Whitewash for Woodwork

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.

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

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.

Whitewash for Masonry

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.

Add 2 gallons of water and mix thoroughly.

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.

Whitewash for Plaster

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.

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

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

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

Tips

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

Warning

  • 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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