Whitewashing And Color Washing – Purpose & Application Process


In building construction, whitewashing and color washing are used on wood and masonry surfaces. Color washing is used to minimize the absorption of heat.

While the whitewash is used to reduce bad smells or odors in dairy barns, stables, poultry houses, kennels; and it also provides more sanitary conditions in these areas.

What Is Whitewash?

Whitewash is a type of paint that is made from chalk calcium carbonate (CaCO3) or slaked lime (calcium hydroxide, Ca(OH)2), commonly known as “whiting.” Sometimes Various other additives are used.

Whitewash can be in any form, such as calcimine, kalsomine, kalsomine, or lime paint. Generally, whitewashing must be done on the ceiling before the walls. 


Source: maxwellbuilder.com

Why Is Whitewash Done?

1. Insect Repellent

One of the main purposes is that whitewash acts as an insect repellent, protecting your house, building, or barn from different kinds of insects.

Generally, whitewash is done in barns to prevent animals from getting infected with flies and mites. Moreover, whitewash can prevent creating homes by bees and wasps in your attic. 

2. Restricts Growth Of Mold

Another significant advantage of whitewash is that it prevents mold growth in houses, buildings, barns, and furniture. Whitewash consists of lime which acts as a drying agent that prevents moisture from seeping into the walls and other surfaces.

As we know, moisture can encourage mold growth, and a small moist area can be a breeding area for mold, fungus, and bacteria. A thick layer or a coat of whitewash is applied to the exposed surface to prevent moisture. 

3. Antibacterial

The main advantage to consider whitewashing is that it is antibacterial. Since whitewash consists of lime that has antibacterial properties, this antibacterial property helps prevent moisture and mold growth on the surface of walls, ceilings, and floors.

Usually, Houses and barns are whitewashed to protect them from bacteria. And whitewash also make the surface more hygienic and sanitary.

What Is Colour Washing?

Color washing is a process of applying to building materials prepared by adding coloring pigment to the screened whitewash.

Generally, yellow earth, red ocher, and blue vitriol are widely used pigments. Before mixing these color pigments, they must be crushed and made into powder. 

Source: irwinpainting.net

Application of Color Wash

The application of color wash is similar to the whitewashing procedure. After successfully preparing the surface for color-washing on new works, the first primary coat shall be of whitewash, and the subsequent coats (minimum two) shall be of color-wash. The entire surface shall be applied with a smooth and uniform finish. 

At first, the prepared surface shall be color-washed with the first coat of whitewash and with subsequent coats of color-wash solution in a total number of coats, and the shade obtained must be examined before the entire work of color-washing is taken up in hand.

We should remember that small areas of color-wash will appear lighter in the shade than when the same shades are applied to large surfaces. 

Protective Measures 

Before applying any of these coatings, one must be aware of the possibilities of bad outcomes; according to that, certain protective measures must be taken, such as Surfaces of doors, windows, floors, articles of furniture, etc.

Such other parts of the building not to be whitewashed or color-washed shall be protected from being splashed upon. If there is any splashed surface, make sure you clean of those whitewash or color-wash splashes, if any. 

Materials Used For Whitewashing And Color Washing

  • Lime – Lime used for whitewashing shall be freshly burnt class C lime (fat lime ) and white. 
  • Water- Water must be clear and free from all organic and suspended impurities. Potable water is most suitable for this purpose. 
  • Yellow and Red-Ochre- The solid lump shall be crushed to powder.        
  • Blue Vitriol – Fresh crystals of hydrous copper sulfate (blue vitriol ) shall be grounded to a fine powder. 
  • Gum or Glue 
  • Sodium Chloride 
  • Ultramarine Blue or Indigo  
  • Pigments 

Tips on Colour Washing

1. First, make sure you try it on a piece of board before directly applying it to the material.

2. Ensure that sure you have the proper mix ratio of paint. Try adding varying ratios of paint to attain consistency in the paint mix.

3. While applying through the brush, make sure not to overlap the layers; it might result in bad appearances.

3. Try using a sponge to soften the harsh brushstrokes or rich color.

4. Be careful while applying on walls and ceilings because paint may drip on furniture. To avoid this, make sure you cover them or keep them aside from that area.

5. Make sure you leave the basecoat to dry for a few hours before a wash if you want to attain a distressed look.

When the applied basecoat hasn’t been given adequate time to set, layering on watered-down paint and wiping with a rag will distress the paint.

Also Read

Types Of Paints Used In Building Construction

How To Remove Paint From Concrete Surface

How To Calculate Paint Quantity For Building

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