Everything you need to know about limewashing

Updated: Feb 5

For the past two months we’ve been getting many requests for limewashing, and a lot of people have questions regarding what exactly limewash is and how it differs from the standard latex paint. In this blog we’ll talk about what limewash is and how it’s made, how limewash works, how limewash differs from latex paint, how limewash is applied, what’s the maintenance on limewash, and why paint should not be used when limewashing. This blog aims to educate you about limewashing, and to help you decide whether limewashing is a good option for your project!





What is limewash?


Limewash has been traditionally used for thousands of years in various places around the world before latex paints were created, and although only thought of as a decorative finish, limewash protects the exterior of brick just as well or even better than regular latex paints. Limewash is a mineral-based finish that is typically made from crushed limestone that is heated, crushed, and mixed with water to create a limestone putty material. Once the limestone putty is set, natural-colored pigments can be added to give the limewash color, and bonding agents that protect surfaces from organisms growing on them. Mineral-based products like limewash are absorbed into your brick, and peeling, cracking, and bubbling are not a concern like there is with regular latex paints.It’s important to note that limewash and whitewash are used interchangeably because they aresimilar and have differences only in application. In our blog “Whitewashing vs Limewashing,” we talk about the differences!










How limewash works


Upon application, limewash works by being absorbed into porous surfaces like brick, stone, stucco, and concrete. This means that instead of creating a sealed topcoat like regular latex paints, Limewash becomes part of the surfacethat’s being applied to. Because of this absorption, this also makes it so that no primer is needed, and it can be applied directly into your brick. Power washing is also not needed, but it’s recommended in areas that have mold, algae, and excessive dirt because this will affect the finish look of your project.


Is limewash better than paint?


We believe that everything has its place, and we strongly believe that porous surfaces like stone, brick, stucco, and concrete need to breathe because of all the changes going on during all four seasons, especially because all the surfaces mentioned above hold lots of moisture, and the constant changes do create problems if their sealed.


Therefore, we believe that mineral-based products are superior products in regard to bare porous surfaces that have not been previously painted.







Pros and cons of limewash?



How is limewash applied?


Limewashing is a very custom project that solely depends on what designyou’re trying to achieve, and how it fits into the surface that you have. There are many ways that limewash can be applied; you can brush it, roll it, spray it.It’s particularly important to wet your surface before you apply the limewash and that it stays wet as you apply it! Once limewash is applied, there is a certain amount of timethat’s specific to what productyou’re using, and then you can distress. The distressing of your limewash can be done with a regular hose, wire brush, regular brush, and with a rag. There really is no rule when it comes to how to distress your limewash you obtain the look thatyou’re looking for! The consistency, and coverage that you choose will dictate a lot of how the actual application will go.








What's the maintaince on limewash?


Limewash ages over time, which is what creates the vintage patina look, and limewash also calcifies over time, and this is what protects your surface from the elements. If you love the faded, patina look, you will enjoy the look of your limewash as time goes on and youdon’t have to do anything to the applied coatings! But if you do want to clean your surface, the best method of cleaning your limewash project is by doing a soft wash to not take away from the application.

It is recommended to recoat your surfaces every 7-8 years just to make sure that your applicationdoesn’t become too faded and eventually with time, it may become chalky, so recoating your application every 7-8 years is a good idea.









Best product to limewash

Romabio Classico Limewash is our go-to product when it comes to Limewashing. Unfortunately, this product is not readably available in Indianapolis and the surrounding areas, but we have managed to obtain a couple of vendors in Louisville, KY, and Chicago, IL.


The best thing about Romabio Classico Limewash is that it can be applied, and then it can be removed within the first 4-5 days after the initial application. This is important to us because we include a trial day in our process of working with you. The trial day serves as a chance for us to take your ideas, and inspirations and put them onto your brick so that you can see how the finish will look on your surfaces. On this day, we leave the samples up with the colors that you have chosen, along with the design and coverage that you have in mind. By doing this, we can bring your vision to life and see if the finished product will meet your expectations!


Romabio Limewash-Brochure
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Why regular paint should NOT be used for limewashing

Many painters and companies will use watered-down latex paint to create a whitewash, or limewash design.What’s the problem with this? Latex paint is not made to be absorbed into your brick and you will end up with peeling, cracking, chipping, and bubbling paint, especially in your mortar. In addition to this, as you water down paint, you take away from the additives that protect your house. This means that your exterior will not protect it and will get dirty sooner. Within 1-2 years, you will be able to see considerable dirt accumulation and instead of just being able to power wash it, you will not only remove dirt but also paint because again, the paint is not applied into your brick!




What colors can I choose from with Romabio?


Romabio Classico offers a variety of whites, beiges and grays for you to choose from for your project! Romabio also offer helpful information that may help you in choosing the right color for your project.


 

Overall, limewash offers a more environmentally friendly and unique option for you to get rid of that ugly brick around your house! The information provided in this blog has been gathered from Romabio, our experience with their products, and we hope that this information is helpful whether you decide to tackle a limewash project by yourself or if you need a professional with proven process and procedures like Priority Painting Services.






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