Whitewashing: How to Create a Weathered Look with DIY Whitewash

calander Jan 27 , 2023 user-icon Nash Painting

Introduction: Whitewashing is a fantastic technique for achieving an aged and weathered aesthetic in any room of your home. Not only is it a straightforward DIY painting project, but it also delivers satisfying results. To ensure you create the perfect whitewash mixture, it's essential to understand the right balance of water and paint. In this guide, we'll take you through the process step by step, ensuring your whitewashing project is visually appealing and well-executed.

Table of Contents:

  1. What is Whitewash?
  2. How to Make Whitewash?
  3. How Much Water to Add to Paint to Make Whitewash?
  4. Finishing Touches on Your DIY Whitewashing Project
  5. FAQs in Relation to How Much Water to Add to Paint to Make Whitewash
  6. Conclusion

What is Whitewash, and What Are Its Uses? Whitewash, a traditional paint or coating mixture of lime, water, and chalk, has been employed for centuries. Thanks to its high alkalinity, it serves as a cost-effective way to safeguard surfaces from the elements and prevent mold growth on porous materials like brick and stone. Today, whitewashing is gaining popularity among homeowners seeking a blend of modern aesthetics and weather-resistant protection. Additionally, it adds visual depth by introducing subtle tonal variations depending on the number of coats applied and their thickness.

How to Make Whitewash Creating your whitewash is a straightforward and economical process. Here's a detailed guide:

Materials Needed for Making Whitewash:

  • White paint
  • Water
  • Lime or calcium carbonate powder (whiting)
  • Salt (optional for a more weathered appearance)

Step by Step Guide to Making Whitewash:

  1. Mix one part of white paint with two parts of water in a suitable container.
  2. Gradually stir in the whiting until you achieve the desired consistency, typically around 3-4 tablespoons per gallon of liquid.
  3. Add one teaspoon of salt per gallon of liquid for extra weathering effects. Ensure thorough mixing for a well-blended whitewashing mixture.

Note: Several factors, such as temperature, humidity, and resting time before application, can affect your homemade whitewash mix's outcome. Warm water and letting the mixture sit overnight before use can produce better results.

How Much Water to Add to Paint to Make Whitewash? The ideal ratio of paint to water depends on your chosen paint type and the desired finish. Start with a 1:2 paint-to-water ratio as a baseline for your whitewash mixture. Precise measurement and thorough stirring are crucial to achieving an even consistency.

Finishing Touches on Your DIY Whitewashing Project For a successful DIY whitewashing project, you need to apply your mixture using the right tools and techniques:

  • Use a paintbrush, roller, or sponge, depending on your project's size.
  • Wear protective gear, including gloves and goggles.
  • Ensure proper ventilation to disperse fumes.
  • Troubleshoot common issues, such as uneven coating, by using painter's tape, preparing surfaces adequately, and cleaning up thoroughly after completion.


  1. How much water does it take to whitewash? Generally, a 1:3 paint-to-water ratio is a good starting point, but you can adjust for a more translucent or opaque finish.
  2. What is the paint-to-water ratio for whitewashing brick? The ratio varies depending on your desired effect. A 1:1 ratio offers a lighter wash with the brick's natural color still visible, while a 2:1 ratio provides a more opaque look.
  3. Is whitewash watered down paint? No, whitewash is distinct from watered-down paint. A mixture of lime, water, and other ingredients creates a milky white coating.
  4. What are the two main ingredients in whitewash? The primary ingredients in whitewash are lime and water, with additional components like chalk or salt for specific effects.

Conclusion: Creating a beautiful whitewash effect is easy and cost-effective with the right materials and some know-how. Whether tackling a DIY project or considering professional help, whitewashing can bring unique character to any space. If you're in Nashville and need expert painting services, don't hesitate to contact Nash Painting for high-quality craftsmanship and lasting results.