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How to Whitewash a Basement

Grace Restivo

Basements are often looked upon as the dark and dreary portion of a house to do laundry, store children’s bikes, collect cobwebs and set up a workbench. Whitewashing is a low-cost do-it-yourself project that can brighten the gloomy look and add to the beauty and cozy ambiance.

Whitewashing not only enhances the area, but also reduces odors, maximizes absorption of the heat and makes the room appear larger.

  1. Prepare a 7-quart solution, using 1 part bleach to 3 parts water, in a bucket. Add 1-cup trisodium phosphate to the solution.

  2. Wash the basement walls with the cleaning solution and rags to remove any mold and mildew. Wear rubber gloves for protection. Let dry for a few days before whitewashing.

  3. Prepare the whitewash by combining hydraulic lime, water, casein powder, sodium borate and salt.

  4. Apply the whitewash to the walls, using vertical and horizontal strokes. Additional coats may be applied if needed. Allow to dry thoroughly between coats.

  5. Warning

    Paint dealers can offer an alternative to trisodium phosphate if it is not available in your area.