The Southern Architect

Architecture, Remodel

Let The Character Shine Through: Our Whitewash Recipe, Revealed.

In architecture, technology has changed nearly everything. The way we draw houses, the efficiency with which they are built, the manner in which they are lived in and enjoyed – all have been immeasurably changed and improved by technology. As sure as the sun rises, new technologies hit the market every day giving promise of something better.

But there remains a handful of elements in architecture that technology simply cannot improve. People have tried for decades to recreate the look and feel of old New Orleans soft red bricks. They simply cannot.

Every manner of stain, seal and treatment has been used to mimic the old-world feel of true antique heart pine. We can get close, but we never quite manage to get it just right.

And then there’s the simple matter of a good old fashioned whitewash.

Why whitewash?

  • Unique finish
  • Provides character
  • Allows the brick to bleed through
  • Can use less expensive/new brick
  • Durable – lasts forever.
  • Easy maintenance – can be patched with ease.

On one hand, the look of whitewash is so white, it is stark. And yet, it is somehow equally warm. There is an unmistakably natural, organic feel to whitewash that grounds the home to its surroundings and its past. New homes suddenly feel stable and secure as if they’ve been there for a century. With whitewash, the brick can breath, its outlines show and imperfections are celebrated.

To put it simply – a whitewash allows a home to show its character, rather than cover it in thick coats of paint. We’re big on character around here.

Our (once secret) Recipe For A Perfect Whitewash:


  1. 4 parts snow white portland cement
  2. 2 parts hydrated lime
  3. Add water until the mixture resembles a thin pancake batter

To Apply:

  1. Ensure brick is thoroughly wet before applying (start with small areas first, constantly wetting with a spray hose)
  2. Use a heavy, wide bristle brush – preferably an old and coarse one.
  3. Apply thick, even coats and let dry. Perfection here is not the goal. It’s OK to show the marks of the brush, in fact it’s encouraged.

Return to Post Archive