I would refer you to Walter Pauls trees and his comment from another thread where he said "I do spray almost everything in late winter with diluted lime sulphur." Do you find his trees to look artifical?
Spraying with lime sulphur is a preventive measure, in reference to dormant season spraying.
I use Neem Oil in December and lime sulphur in February.
That's another good reason to use it, but I think the OP is referencing using it to bleach deadwood.
On some trees though, just spraying does lighten the bark color.
Wood ash can be used, but it rubs off easily. And because it's carbon structures in degradation, some organisms will thrive on it. Ink penetrates a bit deeper since it dissolves a lot better in water.
I used to hate whitewashed trees, until I started obtaining junipers, and large quantities of them too. Now I adjusted my taste (or it adjusted/evolved itself), because I wanted to know what makes it appealing and how to do that myself.
I still think some people over do it, the same goes with deadwood. I can put my own taste aside thankfully, and judge combined executions instead of just the individual elements. There are a lot of designs I would never want in my garden, but they are good designs nonetheless.
Same goes for almost every art form; I don't like some tribal tattoo styles, but I (and everyone else) can see if the artist has done a good job. If the lines are squiggly and the coloring fades all over the place, then it's poorly done. If it's tight lines, sharp edges and solid coloring, I still can judge it as a well executed piece of work even though I think it's ugly as hell.
The stark, bright white look of deadwood immediately after the lime sulfur is applied is temporary. After a few months, it becomes a much more muted and "natural" grey tone. I'll apply it to my junipers every few years.