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What are some techniques for whitewash painting?

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Whitewashing works on wood or brick. Using whitewash on pine brightens the wood's surface but still lets the grain pattern show through. The whitewash is applied with a brush and, after two to three minutes, worked into the wood with a rag. Excess should be wiped away, following the grain's direction.

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Pickling is a related technique that works well on oak. Once the whitewash is applied, it is wiped against the grain. Because oak has a different grain and pore structure than pine, wiping across the grain is the best way to work the stain into the wood.

Diluted latex paint can work as a whitewash. Diluting two parts paint with one part water creates a thin wash that can be applied carefully with a brush. If the effect is too subtle, further coats may be added.

Mixing skim milk with hydrated lime creates a base wash that can be altered with natural pigments. Alternatively, a mixture of enamel oil-based paint and gum turpentine creates a wash that works on wood and brick.

Whitewashed wood must be sealed with varnish, polyurethane or tung oil. An oil-based wash requires an oil-based topcoat, while water-based washes require water-based topcoats. Brick is best suited to an acrylic or polyurethane topcoat. The final coat may darken whitewashed brick slightly.

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