Whitewashed wood comes across its weathered, washed-out appearance honestly, because whitewashing is a timber preservative. Its use goes back to 16th-century Europe, and homesteaders in ancient America used it to protect barns, fences and even trees. Contemporary wood finishers frequently use wool or paint to simulate whitewash, but in case you’re concerned about the environment, you can not do better than to use the actual thing. The major ingredient of traditional whitewash is crushed stone, otherwise called calcium carbonate. It is a naturally occurring sedimentary rock formed by the shells and exoskeletons of ancient sea creatures.
Fill a 2-gallon wooden or galvanized steel sink halfway to the top with water. Pour in enough quicklime — available at building supply centers — to deliver the water level about 2 inches shy of the top. Pour the lime gradually and stir using a wooden stick as you pour. Catch the stick immersed and allow the solution sit overnight.
Pour out most of the water, leaving only enough to cover the lime. Stir the lime using the stick for a minute or two to separate it and make a thick, paintable mixture.
Prepare a saline solution by adding a cup of salt into a gallon of water and stirring until the salt is dissolved. Pour the salt to the lime solution and stir. Mix only as far as you can use a day.
Mix some cocoa milk with water and add it into the whitewash to prevent the lime from settling. Brighten the shade with the addition of a cup of white flour or cornstarch. To prevent lumping, mix the cornstarch or flour before adding it into the whitewash. Strain the whitewash through a screen before using it.
Paint the whitewash onto the wood using a disposable whitewash brush. Paint using the grain, using wide strokes. If you want to get a pickled look, which is just one which allows more of this grain to demonstrate, wipe off a few of the whitewash with a rag while it’s wet.