Creating perfect walls with White Cement
What is White Cement?
White cement is a variant of
White Portland Cement, which is commonly referred to as grey cement. It gets its distinct white color
due to the addition of Iron & Manganese during the production process.
Thus, white cement has all the qualities of grey cement along with multiple other benefits, in addition to
the white color. It is due to this that it is very often preferred for exterior surfaces as well.
While grey cement is great for normal bricklaying work, white cement is necessary for the surface of the wall.
It makes the walls resistant to external elements & acts as a smooth base for the paint.
The process is called a ‘wash’. The custom is to have your walls lime-washed, however, using
white cement concrete mix
will serve you multiple benefits.
The white cement wash offers a much better finish to start with, concealing hairline cracks with a durable,
matte finish. The second benefit is the effect on the paints, the white surface allows the paint to stand
out while also protecting it from moisture from the walls.
How do you use it?
Unlike grey cement,
white cement composition only needs water to be added to from the mix. The process is quite simple and
requires minimal effort.
The standard mix is a 2:1 proportion of water and white cement. The two need to be mixed well until there are
no lumps left. The consistency you are looking for is like the feel of paint, thick and semi-liquid.
Next comes the surface preparation. It needs to be cleaned by either scraping, scrubbing or brushing, this
process is vital to ensuring the cement’s adhesiveness is effective.
Once this is done, the walls need to be properly soaked with clean water. You will be able to tell the wall
is ready when the water begins running down it.
Normally, two coats of the
white cement wash are applied to the surface. This, however, will be done with a gap of one day. You
could take this a step further with a third layer for an ideal finish.
While using white cement, there are a few key factors you need to keep in mind.
- While preparing the
cement plaster mix, always add water to the cement and not the other way around. That means your proportion
of water to cement must always have a higher cement count.
- When preparing the mix, make sure you make only the required amount. The nature of cement is such that it
is quick to set and hence you will need to apply it as soon as possible.
- While white cement is ideal for a newly plastered wall, it will not work as well on walls finished with lime,
oil paints or varnishes. For these kinds of surfaces, you will need to clean and scrape/brush down the
wall to let the white cement take proper effect.
- Sunlight can be a problem as it will cause the cement to set faster and leave behind brush marks.
- One last important thing to note is that you must give the walls/surfaces a gap of 24 hours to set between
washes. This ensures that the cement has set effectively before the next layer is added.
Why use white cement wash instead of lime wash?
Traditionally, a lime wash is done to coat the walls after the cementing is complete, but with the arrival
of an economic and affordable source of white cement, these traditions are changing. And this is with good
reason as well, white cement offers the surfaces multiple benefits, the most important one being the durability.
White cement lasts about 2 to 3 years longer than a lime wash, which must be refreshed annually.
While a lime wash is cheaper than white cement, it offers you much less in terms of area coverage. In fact,
1 kg of a lime wash would offer you about 1.4 sq. Meters, while white cement gives you a coverage of almost
3 sq. Meters per kg. Almost double the area for a small gap in price.
A large part of India must endure heavy monsoons and a lime wash offers your walls almost no protection against
the rains and humidity while white cement possesses high water-resistant properties.
Lastly, the whiteness offered by a
white cement coating is ideal for paints. The difference in whiteness also reflects on the color of the
paints and paint designs on the surfaces.
At the end of it, the white cement base offers your walls and surfaces multiple benefits, giving you total
value and quality for money, it the ideal long-term investment for your home, office or construction project.