It would be nice if you could call up Tom Sawyer and have him whitewash your wood fence for you, but sadly, that's not a possibility. It is possible, however, to whitewash your own solid wooden fence in the span of a single day—you don't even have to get your friends to help like Tom did! Here's how:
Step 1: Power wash your fence.
If there are any debris on your wooden fence, they will get stuck in the whitewash and make the job look messy. Power washing is the fastest way to ensure you get rid of all the dust, dirt, and bugs. Start at the top of the fence and work your way down. Make sure you use a moderate pressure setting. The stream should be strong enough to loosen anything stuck on the fence, but not so strong that it loosens your fence boards.
Step 2: Make your whitewash.
You can purchase premade whitewash at most home improvement stores, but making your own is just as easy. Take a gallon of white latex paint and dump it into a large bucket. Fill the gallon paint bucket up with water and add that to the larger bucket. Stir well. This amount of whitewash should cover about a 30-foot section of a standard, 4- to 5-foot wooden fence. You may need to make more whitewash later on if you have more fence to paint.
Step 3: Whitewash away.
There's no need to wait until the fence dries—there's water in your whitewash, anyway. The fastest way to apply the whitewash is not with a paintbrush (Tom Sawyer made this mistake), but with a paint roller. Look for one with rather long fibers and plenty of texture, as it will be better at getting your paint into the little nooks and crannies in the wood. Start at the top, cover a 3- to 4-foot-wide section, and work your way down. When you've painted to the ground, start a new section. You may wish to paint the fence posts with a paint brush, since they're narrower and hard to navigate with a paint roller.
Step 4: Step back and admire your work.
Whitewash is not meant to be opaque; if you wanted an opaque look, you could use straight paint instead of whitewash. When you're done putting a coat on your fence, it should have a slightly see-through white covering. There's no need to give the fence a second coat, as this would take away from the see-through appeal of traditional whitewash.
For more tips on taking care of your wooden fencing, contact a representative of a company like Buyrningwood Farm Inc.