How Do You Whitewash a Fence?


Quick Answer

To whitewash a fence, first create a heater mixture of crushed limestone and water. Once this mixture has cooled and cured, it is then applied to the fence to create a durable exterior coating. Whitewash mixtures are very adhesive and become both hard and dense once they have cooled. Adding corn starch, wheat flour and other substances to the mixture is a common way to achieve the desired color. Whitewash is typically used as a cost-effective alternative to paints.

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Full Answer

Create the whitewash mixture in a durable container such as a wooden or galvanized-steel bucket. Fill the bucket halfway with water before adding lime and stirring the mixture with a wooden rod or paint stirrer. The mixture should sit overnight before removing any excess water and stirring the remaining mixture. Salt is then added at a ratio of approximately one cup per gallon of water used and the mixture is again stirred until it achieves a thicker consistency. Create only enough mixture as needed, and add powdered milk or paperhanger’s wheat paste to keep the lime from resettling to the bottom. Apply the mixture to the fence with a disposable whitewash brush.

Whitewash cures through a chemical reaction with the carbon dioxide found in the atmosphere to form calcium carbonate. Whitewash mixtures are suitable for a wide range of exterior surfaces and are especially effective on adobe-like materials.

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