Renovating an old house means knowing some traditional techniques. Making a whitewash is a very old method which allows to sanitize a room, to decorate it in an ecological way or to hide the faults of a wall. If it finds its place in renovation, it can also be used in new constructions. However, the support must be porous: it can be a lime plaster, a wooden panel, plaster or hemp bricks.
Step 1 - I gather the materials I need
To make my milk of lime, I will need air lime, talc, pigments, a wetting agent, water. Concerning the material, I will need a container to contain the preparation, a measuring glass, a whisk, and fine sandpaper.
Step 2 - I add the wetting agent
I put a few drops of wetting agent in the water, it will serve to disperse my pigments evenly. It can be dishwashing liquid or Tipol soap. You will also find powdered wetting agents in drugstores. The density required per liter is approximately 330 grams.
Step 3 - I mix the water and the lime
I measure my ingredients according to the paint surface I have to achieve. I take a volume of air lime for a volume of water. For 10 m² to cover I need 1.3 kg of lime paste or 0.6 kg of lime powder. Using a whisk, I dilute the lime in the water.
Step 4 - I incorporate talc and pigments
Talc gives creaminess to whitewash. I put 5 to 10% of the weight of lime. The pigments are from Puisaye lands, but there are many other pigments, natural or not. They are more or less expensive depending on the color and the origin. For natural earths I put a maximum of 25% of the weight of lime depending on the more or less intense color that I want to obtain. But in all cases, the color will be clear since the binder (lime) is white.
Step 5 - I get a milk-like whitewash
After mixing for a long time in order to obtain a perfect dispersion of the pigments, my milk of lime is ready. I prepare a brush large enough to apply it. But first, I will have to let it sit for a few hours.
Step 6 - I protect the floor
Using old newspapers or plastic, I protect the floor. The whitewash that I am going to put on is very liquid, it will be difficult not to drop it on the ground.
Step 7 - I prepare my support
During the resting time of the whitewash, I can prepare the support. I sand it if it has already been painted, or I clean it perfectly if it is a raw material.
Step 8 - I apply the whitewash
After the rest time, I mix again and - if necessary - I add water to have the desired consistency. I sieve in order to have a whitewash without lumps. Finally, I wet my support using a large sponge or a brush soaked in water. Immediately after this operation, I apply the whitewash by making vertical lines with the brush from bottom to top, without lifting the brush before the end of the line - if possible.
Step 9 - I pass a second layer
I allow to dry at least 24 hours in order to apply the second coat. Previously, I sand slightly, I moisten again. I apply this layer in horizontal strips so as to cross the different layers.
Step 10 - I see the rendering
In the photo, the whitewash passed over a first whitewash which had been damaged by repairs to the wall. It hides the unevenness of the wall. I can apply a third layer - or a colored wax - to complete the work.