Homeowners love the look and feel of brick
Brick is made to last, durable, and low maintenance. That said, limewash is a great way to update your home’s exterior as it’s been around for years, but is now becoming more and more popular and rightfully so. It’s an accessible way to add interest to your house, and it doesn’t damage the brick or masonry surface. What’s not to love?
1: Why limewash?
Authentic limewash contains mainly lime, which is easily accessible in many regions of the world. Therefore, it’s a sustainable resource commonly used now and dates back to as far as the Greco- Roman period, being used in ancient architecture to protect brick, adobe, and terra cotta.
2: How is limewash made?
Romabio has perfected the look with their Classico Limewash. It is made in Northern Italy from Dolomite lime. It is slacked, aged for one year, and specially formulated to create a stable mixture for your home’s surface, that may be applied to porous masonry. That means it’s safe for your brick, allowing it to breathe and safe for the environment .
3: What colors should I use for limewash?
Traditionally limewash comes in browns, grays, and whites; however, Romabio offers seven stock colors, but also creates color matches upon request. Their independent suppliers do the same. So many factors go into the color selection. Because limewash is nearly 10x darker when it is wet, it’s important to test the color and let it completely dry. The color also changes depending on the number of coats applied and the porosity of the surface being painted. That said, Romabio’s Classico Limewash is a one-coat finish that looks breathtaking!
4: Does the color change if I add more water to the limewash mixture?
No, the color of the limewash won’t change by adding more water to your mixture. The consistency will change, but the color pigments don’t dissolve in the water. That said, when the mixture has applied the color of the paint remains the same, and the water evaporates.
5: Is limewash truly reversible if you change your mind?
Kind of! One beauty of limewash is it’s removable, within a few days, if you change your mind. Every time limewash is applied it’s going to look different depending on who is applying and how it is washed off to create the antique effect. Romabio Classico Limewash can be removed with the use of a pressure washer within a few days of application. This means, if you change your mind or want to test a different color, it’s possible to do it!
6: How long does limewash last?
Limewash calcifies to the brick, and the product will patina or age over time. Areas like chimneys and exposed walls will wear down more quickly, but areas undercover, such as soffits, etc. remain as you painted them for many years.
7: What if it rains?
Rain is not a problem. After applying the mixture to your home’s surface, allow it to dry for 3-4 hours. During this time, your limewash is hardening to cover the surface. Of course, if you’re in a more humid environment this may take a bit longer.
8: Why is it considered low maintenance?
When paint gets worn by environmental elements it clearly needs a new paint job. When a limewash is originally distressed, any further aging by the elements adds to its overall look. Some of the most beautiful homes are those that show the greatest age. It’s all a matter of perspective.
9: Should I hire a contractor?
A good contractor/ company, that’s familiar with how to apply limewash, is the difference between a potential disaster or loving your house when the process is over. Whomever you choose to hire should have their own portfolio of work that stands for itself. It’s not as simple as painting, so it’s really important to find someone that is experienced with using limewash. Although the trend is growing, we have found very few applicators with a compelling portfolio. This application is for those with experience. They need to be familiar with the product and have an artistic mind. Here at The Nashville Painting Company, we have an extensive portfolio of before and after photos.
10: Is exterior limewash a DIY project?
No, but a fireplace or interior wall can be. In my experience, it is NOT a DIY project. However, there are plenty of sites that offer guidance and personal experiences if you’re choosing to do the project yourself. I’ve seen some handy DIYers limewash interior brick surfaces with a spray bottle and masonry brush. This seems like a great way to get your feet wet if you’re wanting to try this project yourself.
11: How many coats of limewash do I need?
You can apply a one-coat finish for a more antique distressed look; however, you can also apply two coats for a heavier, opaque, solid finish. It’s truly customizable depending on the look you’re going for.
12: Will it cover my ugly brick color?
Yes. Another great thing about limewash is the coverage is truly customizable. If you want to create a distressed look, that’s possible when hosing off the finish, as more brick color will show through. If you’re not crazy about your brick color, then opt for a more opaque finish to cover more thoroughly. In my opinion, if you’re going with the antiqued look, it’s nice if your brick has a variety of colors… such as red, orange, gray, and black. That creates a stunning backdrop for a lighter covering.
13: Are there other things I need to know?
Limewash is very durable, has a high UV resistance, won’t chip or peel if applied correctly, and is safe to use on porous brick and other masonry surfaces. Also, because of its high PH quality, limewash is a natural fungicide that will deter critters.
14: How is limewash different from paint?
Unlike paint, limewash soaks into the surface applied; therefore it won’t chip or peel. It takes on the properties of the brick itself. This makes it excellent for masonry surfaces like stone, brick, and concrete. Paint, on the other hand, sits on top of the surface applied.