Whitewashing was used in the 17th century to protect exterior wood from the elements. Most people think whitewash is paint, but it is actually a very thin plaster. The plaster is made by mixing water with lime, also called calcium hydroxide. This is then combined with salt water, which gives the mixture consistency similar to pancake batter.
Before whitewashing a fence, clean the wood surface to remove any marks or grease, as the whitewash will not cover these very well. Wet the fence before applying the whitewash. This will help the mixture spread and make for an even finish. Next, apply a thick coat of whitewash with a wide paintbrush. Do not bend the brush as you would with paint. Whitewash does not smooth as easily as paint, so use the tips of the bristles. While you are applying the whitewash, it may appear blotchy, but after sitting for a day the mixture will dry to a brilliant white color.
For more information on maintaining a fence, please contact the Dallas fencing experts of Viking Fence by calling 1-800-252-8117.