Limewash is a decorating product generally used on traditional properties. Limewashing provides a breathable paint finish with a unique, matt appearance.
Limewashing helps consolidate and improve the surface of both old and new plaster both physically and visually. Because limewash is a porous paint, it shades in depth of colour to reflect the dampness of the background material.
Generally limewash should be applied thinly and be allowed to dry out slowly.
Our limewash is prepared from the finest quality lime putty slaked from quicklime. It will develop a fine finish over several coats; we recommend a minimum of 3-4 coats on new render and plaster.
Mike Wye Limewash has a small quantity of linseed oil added to reduce “dusting” and improve external water shedding. Historically, many ingredients were added to limewash to modify their performance. These include common salt, casein, tallow and linseed oil.
Application on New Lime Render, Lime Plaster or Existing Limewashed Surfaces
To prepare the surface for limewashing, brush and wash free of any loose particles, dirt, lichen etc. If there is mould growth, the surface should be treated with a fungicide ( e.g. ACS Mould Wash Concentrate or Everbuild Fungicidal Wash) and rinsed off before limewashing.
Damp down the area with clean water before applying each coat. Controlling the suction in this way minimises the likelihood of dusting and cracking.
Whisk the limewash thoroughly before use.
Brush apply limewash with a large emulsion or masonry brush. Don’t allow it to build up too thickly as it can craze on drying out. Remember it’s a wash and will look transparent on application but will dry opaque.
Coloured limewash dries to a much lighter shade than the wet colour.
Ideally leave each coat to cure for 24 hours. For each further coat, follow the same procedure as the first coat.
Protect external limewash from the weather if necessary. A thin coat curing slowly in the presence of moisture will form a more crystalline, hard-wearing surface compared to a chalky finish if a thick coat dries out too quickly.
- 4 coats on new external lime render.
- 3 coats on new internal lime plaster.
- 2 or 3 on existing limewashed surfaces.
Limewash is a water-based paint. Therefore do not apply in temperatures less than 5 ºC – particularly if there’s a risk of frost.
1 litre of limewash covers 3 – 6 m² per coat (depending on the texture and porosity of the surface being decorated).
Limewash is caustic. Always wear eye protection and protective gloves and clothing and follow the safety instructions on the labels.
Advice and information is given in good faith. It’s important that users satisfy themselves that they’ve chosen an appropriate product and have a suitably skilled workforce.
Avoiding Poor Bonding and Failure of Limewash
- Do not apply limewash too thickly. Mike Wye Limewash is already relatively thick and easy to apply and must be applied thinly.
- Control suction by damping down surfaces prior to application.
- Leave sufficient time between coats for the limewash to soak in and cure before application of subsequent coats.
- Protect the decorated surface from exposure to the sun, heat and wind externally by covering (hessian is ideal).
- Do not apply in low temperatures – particularly when there’s a risk of frost.
- Apply limewash to suitably porous substrates and backgrounds.