Our long, white wall is a big feature of our property. Literally, and figuratively. And it’s old. If you look carefully you can see layers of wall that have increased its height over the years. I’m guessing the bottom part is as old as the house – that’s about 150 years. If you whitewashed the wall every year, that would be 150 layers of whitewash that would annually have brightened it, and then faded, and peeled off years later in crumbling strips. Last week we decided it was time to freshen things up again:
If you have never whitewashed before, but have experience painting, you might be tempted to treat whitewash like paint. Its not. It behaves very differently. The mixture of lime and water is very thin, and a special round brush is used to hold as much of the liquid as possible as you attempt to place it on the wall. And you do “place” it…you don’t paint it on. It takes a slow light touch of the brush to the wall, with minimal flicking and spreading. It can take a long time to whitewash rugged textures like stone walls. Even if you are slow and careful, you always come away sprayed with the stuff. And, as it goes on translucent and dries to a white colour, it can be hard to spot your mistakes until it is too late.