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Limewash paint is able to upgrade the visual appeal of any brick surface showing visible signs of aging. Although brick is considered a fairly durable material, it can lose its color over time and create the impression of a dated look for your house. Painting the brick could be a solution for a fresher aesthetic but you also need to take into account limewashing.
A special coating of lime is applied to the brick to transform it into a white-washed style. This is what limewash brick is in the world of home exterior and interior design. You can use this technique to rejuvenate the look of the brick from the fireplace or any other element of the home such as siding. Here’s all you need to know about limewash brick.
How is Limewash Made?
Limewash paint is based on limestone that needs to be transformed into lime putty. The process can be quite complicated because it involves crushing and burning as well as mixing the limestone with water. Once you obtain the lime putty, it takes some time for it to become usable for the limewashing process. The maturing of the putty can sometimes last months.
One of the most distinctive features of limewash is its color. The clean shade of white is a notable characteristic that’s given by the main ingredient. Pigmented limewash can be found if you’re interested in a different color but classic white usually offers the best look for renewing brick. Homeowners also appreciate limewash for its chalky and matte texture.
Limewash VS Whitewash
If you’ve heard about whitewashing brick, limewash can make you a bit confused. While there’s a close relation between the two, there are some differences. You can think of whitewash as a larger category that includes limewash. Basically, limewash can be used as a type of whitewashing when you’re changing the look of brick.
We’ve already seen how limewash is made but whitewashing typically refers to just combining paint and water. While limewash is based on limestone, whitewash is water-based. Another difference to remember between limewash and whitewash is that the first is also available in different colors but the latter is strictly white due to the paint used.
Advantages of Limewash
Many brick aesthetic revamps can be very difficult to handle unless you hire a professional. Limewashing is an exception because it’s defined by great DIY-friendliness. Most limewash brick projects are fairly accessible because the material is easy to apply. Imperfections are easy to cover compared to other brick remodeling solutions.
The cost of limewash paint is very small compared to alternatives. You don’t have to spend a lot even if you plan to cover the entire brick exterior of your home. Limewash is highly recommended for projects involving a large surface area.
3. Natural Properties
If you’re concerned about using potentially harmful chemicals, you’ll be pleased by limewash. This type of paint relies on natural limestone so it can be considered an environmentally-friendly choice compared to others.
4. Pest Resistance
Thanks to the natural alkaline properties of limewash, brick treated with it can become more resistant to insect pests or fungal infestations. This is a good reason to consider this type of brick makeover.
5. Easy Maintenance
Limewash offers decent long-term durability. It’s not particularly vulnerable to peeling as it soaks nicely into the brick. This durable wash can be maintained in top shape simply by adding another coating if it starts to wear off.
Another great advantage of limewash is the resistance to harsh weather conditions. The material protects the brick without having to rely on polyurethanes or similar solutions. Limewash is generally durable against weathering.
Drawbacks of Limewash
1. It Might Stain Your Clothes
If you accidentally rub off your clothes from a limewash brick surface, you can end up with a pretty tough stain to clean. While this is considered a disadvantage, it’s worth noting that other types of paints have similar problems.
2. Long Application
Limewash takes quite a while to dry so multiple coats will require plenty of time. A proper limewash application might even take several days, depending on how many layers are needed. If you don’t have the time, perhaps limewash isn’t the best brick upgrade solution for you.
3. Prone to Erosion
Given that limestone is susceptible to erosion, the same problem transfers to limewash. There are some methods available to increase resistance to erosion but it’s likely that you will need to add a fresh coating every couple of years.
4. Not Suitable for Painted Brick
Limewash can only be applied on brick surfaces that haven’t been painted before. That’s obviously a big drawback for some homeowners. The reason for this limitation is that limewash won’t be able to stick to painted brick.