Whitewash is an old technique used to protect exterior buildings along the Mediterranean coast. The process was a simple solution application of a lyme based mixture applied to the exterior masonry to help protect the surface from the harsh winds and salty air found along the coast. People later used the wash solution to protect exterior wood as well. Today we use whitewash technique to add a little color and depth to wood or masonry on the interior of our homes.
We were recently asked to whitewash the exterior of a home in Upper Arlington because the homeowner did not like the current color of their brick. We have found that manufactures do not make a specific exterior whitewash product and therefore anything applied will have to be protected with a masonry clearcoat to maintain the color. Another option would be to prime and paint the exterior with products designed for masonry surfaces. This process will change the color of the exterior however it will also add to future maintenance because the surface will discolor over time and there is always a chance that some areas could fail. It is our advice to leave brick its natural color and paint the trim, add shutters and add plants to change the look of a building.