Sometimes called white cement, this is a variation of the classic Portland cement which is normally gray in color.
This version is white because magnesium and iron have been added when the cement was created.
And yes, you can paint with it if you do not want to add paint over the top.
Many people apply white Portland cement to surfaces before they start painting.
This type of cement is preferable thanks to the pleasing look of the finish. You’ll often find gray Portland cement used for bricklaying.
Why Choose White Portland Cement?
There are good reasons why white cement is applied to surfaces before they are painted.
The most common reason is that the cement provides a stickier surface which lets the paint attach easier without the need of a primer.
The better adhesion (and strength) it provides to the walls is generally due to the iron and magnesium content.
But there are other reasons as well.
- Resists Stains
- Provides Exceptional Finish
- Absorption Rate is Low
- Primes the Walls and Offers Base for Paint Color
- White looks much better than regular Portland grey cement
Whitewashing is also durable and will last longer using white Portland cement compared to lime cement.
It is thick enough to fill in any small gaps, but thin enough to be easily applied.
Plus, you can use white Portland cement with virtually all types of paint.
Now that you know why it should be used, the next step is applying the white Portland cement.
How to Mix and Use White Portland Cement?
It is relatively easy to apply and paint with white Portland cement.
Often called a “White Wash” or simply a “Wash”, you only need to add water and follow the directions on the packaging to properly cover a surface with this cement.
Below are the few steps you will need to follow…
Step 1- Prepare the surface
Before you begin, clean the walls thoroughly to remove any stains, dirt, or grime so the cement will properly stick.
The walls will need to be free of any lime or oil paint as well, so that will have to be scraped away.
Step 2- Prepare the cement
Mix two parts water with one-part white cement.
When mixing the water and cement, be sure to mix it thoroughly enough to remove any lumps.
The consistency needs to be smooth before you can apply it to the walls.
You will need two coats for maximum effectiveness, so be sure you have enough cement for the job.
Step 3- Whitewash the Walls
Now that the walls are ready, start by applying the cement as you would primer or paint.
Be sure that the room you are in is well ventilated.
While white Portland cement is non-toxic, the ventilation is needed to ensure that it dries properly.
Apply in even layers using the proper brushes, rollers, or tools.
Two coats are recommended, although if you manage to apply a thick enough single coat and the paint will match, then you may be able to get away with one coat of white Portland cement.
The goal is not only to cover the walls, but fill in any gaps, cracks, or other small imperfections that otherwise might be seen if the walls were only painted.
The cement will harden quickly and provide a smooth surface for any paint you use.
And now that you have whitewashed the wall, let the cement dry and you are ready to apply the first coat of paint of your color choice.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
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