What Is Limewashing And Why It May Happen In Your Home

Limewashing is the process of adding crushed mineral lime to paint to then be applied to a wall with the goal of creating texture.

By Trista Sobeck | Updated


Looking for more luxe in your life? Try limewashing your walls. No, this doesn’t mean you paint everything green; it means you use a concoction made of the mineral lime in which to colorize your walls.

If you’re super into cottagecore or like the texture look of suede, this is probably for you. And you don’t have to use chemical-infused paint like the ones from Sherwin-Williams. You’ll have purified air and interesting walls. Let’s chat about it.

According to Apartment Therapy, we’re all spending much more time in our homes these days (Thanks, COVID!). Therefore, we’re a little tired of staring at the same flat walls, whether they are white or blue. We’re done with boring. And we want a bit of luxury. What’s more, limewashing is used in high-end celebrity homes and is popular throughout Europe. Ooooh, aren’t you fancy?

Well, yes, you darn well are fancy, and you deserve limewashing on your walls! Don’t let anyone talk you out of it. If you want to do it, you can. And you can even make your own. This does sound a bit daunting, but if you’re a true DIYer, you’ll dig it.

First of all, you probably won’t find limewash at your local hardware store, Home Depot, or Lowes. Because limewashing is more popular throughout Europe, you’ll have to order it online through retailers that are based in Europe but have North American arms. A simple Google search will help you out here. 

Limewash has a fascinating origin story. It is an ancient technique dating back to Roman times. The mineral lime is crushed, burned, and aged and gets mixed with water to make a sort of putty. And that is what goes on your walls to create a textured backdrop. There are sometimes pigments added to it for color, but typically it is seen in white, marble, off-white, and eggshell. This is the traditional limewashing color.

You can use limewashing on any wall inside or outside your home. It does quite well on porous surfaces. If you have a lovely pool, it may be complementary to limewash an ordinary brick wall that surrounds it. That will add a bit of sophistication and ambiance to your backyard oasis. 

Interestingly, the term limewashing is up 79 percent in search. People want that lived-in yet high-end feel. However, be aware if you don’t do it correctly, it could just look like dirt got dropped in your paint. So educate yourself!

Limewashing brings a purifying environment to your home. Lime is hypoallergenic as it has high pH levels. This means microorganisms cannot live in it. Wait, microorganisms are living on my walls? Let’s get to limewashing, stat! It is also free of solvents that most modern paints have and has environmentally friendly attributes. 

When you start limewashing your walls, you’ll want to use a masonry paintbrush so you can apply the putty to your walls in a feathered manner. Do not use a roller or a regular paintbrush. If you attempt to make your limewash, watch some YouTube videos and bring your patience. You’ll take dehydrated lime and mix it with water. Stir it until it’s a putty, and apply. (Yeah, it’s a bit tougher than that.)

So, go for it. What do you have to lose? Nothing. You have everything to gain, including gorgeous walls which will be on par with those who live glamorous lives. And you’ll feel nice and cozy. So, when you lie down at night on your bamboo mattress, you can say you’re living in a lovely limewashed dream.