Whitewashing with lime: tradition or life hack?


Why, in the age of progress, is such an old-fashioned surface treatment method used as whitewashing with lime?

In short, this is a very affordable eco-friendly antiseptic. And if you dig deeper…

Lime is calcium oxide CaO. This formula has lump (a product of roasting lime rocks) and quicklime (powder obtained by crushing lump).

When combined with water, a violent (and even more than) reaction occurs, in which the mixture «boils», releasing a large amount of energy. This process is called lime slaking.

As a result of a chemical reaction, calcium oxide Ca (OH) is formed2. This is slaked lime, which is sold on the shelves of building supermarkets as a white powder (fluff) or a pasty mass (lime paste).
If the lime is quicklime, this must be indicated on the packaging.
IMPORTANT: only freshly slaked lime has pronounced antiseptic properties.
Why use lime at all when there are so many modern materials around?
Lime is a breathable material, moreover, it is saturated with iodine, it is the most healthy coating for indoor surfaces.
Lime is a natural antiseptic — bacteria do not live on its surface, for this reason lime painting is recommended for medical institutions, children’s institutions, cellars, buildings for keeping animals.
Whitewashing the walls with lime hides minor surface imperfections (tightens microcracks), the surface is smooth and dense, hiding the previous color (good hiding power).
Whitewashed walls resist moisture, it can be used to paint the walls of the bathroom, pool, facade. At the same time, there is no guarantee that yellow spots will not appear on the surface — alas, this is one of the disadvantages of lime when in contact with water.
You can apply a new layer of lime on top of the old one, no pre-treatment (priming) is required, except to wash the walls with a brush dipped in water (moisten the previous layer).
Lime-stained surfaces can be easily cleaned to the ground if washed several times with a wet brush.

As for the whitewashing of trees, here lime is used not only as an antiseptic against pests, but also as a protective layer against spring burns.

Therefore, it is important to whiten not only in spring, but also in autumn, and wherever the hand reaches.

Moreover, a layer of lime on the bark of a tree serves as additional insulation.
When whitewashing, copper sulfate is added to the lime mortar, this is an additional protection for the trees.
Slaked lime will help deoxidize the soilif it is added to the soil (500 g per square meter of clay soil or 300 g per square meter of sandy loamy soil) simultaneously with deep digging.
Lime milk (30-50 g per 10 liters of water) is used for:
  • foliar feeding of trees,
  • spring spraying of grapes and fruit trees in order to delay the vegetation process and thereby protect against late frosts,
  • for the treatment of tomatoes and peppers from top rot,
  • for processing apples 15-30 days before harvest in order to extend the shelf life.

IMPORTANT: The bark of young trees is thin and fragile. A layer of lime will harm her rather than give protection. Therefore, a young garden is treated with special paint for trees. What’s what — see in this video.

And here it is shown how the tree paint behaved in the winter season and how the pre-winter care affected my lilacs.

The extinguishing process is accompanied by high temperature and splashing, therefore, it must take place with all precautions: it is necessary to protect the body, eyes (goggles), respiratory tract (respirator) and hands (latex gloves).
The room should be open or well ventilated.
One part of lime is poured into a stainless steel container (others may oxidize or melt during the process) and fill it with one part of cold water.
The contents of the container will boil for half an hour (the temperature will rise to +1000C), splash (because it is important to protect the whole body) and hiss (which is not so much dangerous as intimidating:)
As soon as the «violent» mixture «calms down», it can be mixed with a wooden stick until smooth. After a day (ripening time), you can start using it for its intended purpose.
If lump lime was quenched for whitewashing, then undissolved lumps are removed from it and left to ripen in a cold place for three weeks. The builders claim that after this whitewashing will turn out perfect.
Lime in its pure form is white, but if it seems to you that it is yellowish, then you can correct the situation by adding blue powder to the solution. Blue is pre-dissolved in a small amount of water.
In order to improve adhesion to the surface, PVA glue or soap rubbed and dissolved in water is added to the lime mortar.
Two more parts of water are added to the dough with slaked lime and stirred until a homogeneous solution is obtained.

If fluff lime was purchased (does not require quenching), then water is poured into a construction bucket with lime in a stream and simultaneously mixed with a mixer.

A layer of lime can be applied to raw bricks, wood, plaster, surfaces previously painted with lime, if it does not crumble.

What crumbles is pre-scraped off with a scraper.
Old walls previously painted with chalk should be cleaned of chalk by washing off with a brush dipped in water.
The surface to be painted must be non-greasy and moist. This is quite enough.
Windows, doors are curtained with a film, the same is done with the floor.

If you whitewash the walls with a brush (roller), then the entire surface is first painted over in one direction (horizontally).

When the first layer dries, the painting is repeated, but the brush is carried out perpendicular to the previous layer (vertically).
NUANCE. The thinner the application layer, the faster it dries. and you can apply a new one. Therefore, before whitewashing, the lime mortar is slightly diluted, the consistency is determined empirically.

When painting with a spray gun, the solution is pre-filtered and diluted so that the spray gun does not clog during operation.

The amount of water added is checked by the quality of the sprayer, if it comes in jerks, then more needs to be diluted.
The sprayer is held from the surface to be painted at a distance of 25-30 cm. The application pattern is arbitrary: stripes, circles — the main result.
Just as with brush painting, make at least two layers. After the first has dried, the second is applied, so the shortcomings of the primary painting will be blocked. If necessary, apply a third.


If, nevertheless, the lime has stained the floor and dried up, you can wash it like this: first, the main pollution is washed off with water.

In order to remove stains, a glass of oil is added to a bucket of warm water. Surfaces are washed with this solution, and then its remnants are washed off with ordinary detergent.

Instead of oil, you can pour 100 g of 9% vinegar into a bucket and rinse the surfaces in the same way.

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