Whitewash paint has been used for thousands of years to ensure clean, comfortable, and insect-free homes.
In Southern Europe, traditional houses are still whitewashed once a year, inside and out.
This whitewash recipe contains linseed oil, which produces a slightly satiny finish.
Chalk powder* makes the mix opaque, but the paint remains translucent and can be used to obtain decorative effects unique to whitewash.
If you greatly reduce the proportion of milk, you will obtain a creamy, velvety plaster.
To one liter of skim milk, add 250 g (½ lb) of slaked lime**, 800 to 900 g (1¾ to 2 lb) of chalk powder and 1/2 liter (about 2½ cups) of linseed oil.
Mix using a whisk or a hand mixer until you get to the ribbon stage. Dilute 50 g (1¾ oz) of natural pigments in a small amount of water.
Add it to the mix; your paint is ready to use!
Prepare the walls for painting by scraping off loose and flaky paint and washing the walls with washing soda to remove grease and dirt.
Fill in cracks and holes if needed. You may also need to degloss old glossy finishes by sanding.
Then, using a wide, straight-edged (wall) brush, apply three coats of your whitewash paint, waiting at least six hours between two coats.
The quantities in this recipe are sufficient to cover an average-sized wall (10 sq. m / 100 sq. feet).
If you need to use your paint over several days, be sure to cover it tightly and then thin it with a little milk if necessary.
Your whitewashed wall will need a fresh coat of paint only about every ten years.
* Chalk Powder: Finely ground natural chalk. It can be found in the cement section of home improvement
or pool supply retailers in 3 or 10 lb packages. Also used to clean marble or silver. Price: approx. $1/lb.
** Slaked Lime : Natural Hydraulic Lime (NHL 3.5-Z). It can be found in the building materials section
of home improvement retailers in 5 to 35 kg (10 to 70 lb) bags.