If you’ve read our About Page, then you know we live on 4 acres. We moved here in 2016, and it was and still is a dream come true. You know how sometimes you have this vision that encompasses a dream of yours and refuses to go away. My vision popped up when I was about 7. I wanted horses in my backyard one day. I could see myself drinking my morning coffee admiring horses in my backyard. Then you grow up and realize things cost money, so my vision became a goal that was closer to a dream. One day I’ll have horses in my backyard, probably around retirement age. My husband knew this dream from the very beginning. When he found his own love of horses, it quickly became one of his dreams too. And so, in 2016, we said why not. Why not try to find a property where we can live our dream. We were so blessed to find a rare gem right outside of the city lines. Its owners had once held our same dream of horses in their backyard and had fulfilled it almost 50 years prior. Although it’d been many years since horses had lived here, the family’s matriarch whose home it was had passed away, and her children reluctantly had to sell the property. I knew we could be stewards of this little 4 acres and carry on its simple yet endearing ways. We walked out of the first showing, looked at each other in awe and said, “These people are us.” Long intro, but it’s important because we came in like tornadoes ready to update the house and adapt the land to fit our homestead needs all while having to be mindful of the integrity and history of the property.
This is the before. A cute little brick house with a gorgeous garden. (Aren’t those Camillas stunning?) It may not look like much to some people, but we loved it right away. We had lived in a wood siding house so brick was like an added bonus to the property. Just not so much this brick… It was dark and a maroon color. I was going for a light and airy country house style so this brick as is wasn’t going to cut it. We had painted our old house too and knew how expensive it’d be to paint. When you’re gutting and renovating a whole house, you want to save money where you can. That’s when I looked into whitewashing. I loved how whitewashed brick looked. The chippier the better. I googled and googled until I found someone who had used lime to whitewash their brick. They however said never to roll it on. We didn’t have time for hand brushing a whole house so we…
yup, rolled it on. I wish I could tell you I took lots of pictures, but I whitewashed this house so fast there was no time. The whole house literally took one bag of lime that was $3-$5, I cant remember exactly. I recommend pressure washing the house and letting it dry for at least a day before you start. I also suggest doing this project in nice temperatures to allow it to stick and dry properly- between 60-80 degrees. We mixed about 1/4 of the bag of lime with water at a time. We hand stirred it with a large piece of wood, rolled it on, then mixed the next fourth portion of lime. Husband cut out around the doors and windows with a brush. I rolled rolled rolled. You don’t want to get lime on your hands. Besides any chemical effects it might have, it dries them out something fierce, and definitely wear eye protection. At first, it looks like you’re just wasting your time and only rolling water on your walls, but when it starts drying, it’ll start to turn white. It was such a quick transformation and so much fun. I slapped the roller hard against the wall in places where I wanted it more splotchy and textured. Husband accidentally got it on a couple window frames, but we plan on replacing the windows one day so we didn’t worry about that too much.
I painted the screen door, eave and columns black to give the house a nice, stark contrast. You can see the whitewash’s imperfections which is my favorite part. It looks so old and rustic.
It’s been a little less than two years. The lime whitewash has held up beautifully! I guess others suggested not to roll it so that you didn’t have, well, paint roller streaks, but if you overlap them and get creative with your rolling direction, you won’t. The whole house took one hour to whitewash. The whole project took about $10 (lime, paint roller, 5 gallon bucket and water) and was so easy to do. Obviously the bigger the house the more lime and more time it will take. I envy English country houses and their charm so I tried to bring some of that character to our own home, and we absolutely love it.