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Whitewash Recipe

Whitewash Recipes

Here are several whitewash recipes I have come across. The common thread in all of them is that they are very basic with respect to the ingredients. The one I used was indeed the easiest.

The recipe the architect provided to me was: 50 lbs of Ivory Hydrated Lime and 10 lbs. of Morten's table salt. Mix with clean water to a paste consistency. Apply with a stiff brush. Wet the masonry first. After partial drying rinse some off to achieve blotchy appearance.

Here is a recipe that I found on the Internet for Historic Whitewash Formula.

  1. Salt
  2. Alum - Common Potash Aluminum
  3. Molasses - Unsulfured, light brown/clear
  4. Water
  5. Hydrated Lime
  6. Optional: Portland Cement Type I or Type II

Part A: Mix 12 pounds salt, 6 ounces of alum and 1 quart molasses dissolved in 1.5 gallons of water.

Part B: Mix 50 pounds of the hydrated lime with 5 gallons of hot water. Let this stand for 12 hours. After 12 hours mix Parts A and B together to a brushable consistency.

You can add white Portland cement for more durability. But substitute only up to 10 percent of the lime you use. In this recipe you would use 5 pounds of white cement and 45 pounds of lime.

Here is a recipe that was emailed to me from a reader in Cincinnati, Ohio. His unedited note is as follows:

Dear Tim,

I enjoyed your column on "Whitewash Protects Brick" and thought you might be interested in the following paragraph copied from "The Ohio Valley Farmer" publication, dated June, 1860.

"WHITEWASH, as used on the President's house, in Washington, is made as follows: Slack half a bushel of unslacked lime with boiling water; cover it during the process. Strain it, and add a peck of salt dissolved in warm water, three pounds ground rice, boiled to a thin paste, put in boiling hot, half a pound Spanish white, and one pound clear glue, dissolved in warm water. Mix and let the whole stand a few days. Keep in a kettle, and put on hot with a brush."

Interesting isn't it? This was in an article titled "USEFUL AND DOMESTIC RECIPES."


Gil Gandenberger
Cincinnati, OH


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