A Limewashed Facelift for my Exterior

Apr 28, 2014

I have researched the web high and low to find the best solutions for altering my exterior brick. My husband for the last 28 years has loved the brick and finally is letting me change it. I debated between a slurried brick finish (mortar troweled or brushed a top of the brick), a painted brick or a lime washed surface. I finally decided to go with the lime wash.


Lime washing can be done many different ways. It can be applied to give full coverage over the brick or you can let some of the brick show through. It can also be used as a transparent wash where the brick is toned to a different color but you still see an even variation in the bricks tones rather than chips of the true color to show through like above! It is important to decide this up front before you begin, rather than test all different options on your home like I did!!!!

The first true paint was made from lime and protected ancient monuments, and it still protects European cathedrals and museums. As lime paints age, they develop unique patterns and shadings that bring out color in the embedded lime. Time also leaches out white lime, lending a sun-bleached look.

Lime wash covers bricks with a coating that absorbs into the masonry without trapping moisture. It’s made of natural, nontoxic ingredients and it even has a fungicidal effect. The crystals that form on the exterior cling to the bricks and concrete for a protective finish that is porous to vapors, but resists stains. Owners of historic buildings apply lime wash to bricks for a natural, aged appearance.

The aesthetic changes in the lime wash come from ongoing carbonation as lime reacts with atmospheric carbon dioxide and starts to become limestone again. Crystals within lime adhere tightly to the surface, creating lasting coverage, but they also refract light for a unique depth of color. With patience and care, you can paint like the ancients — and enjoy the same enduring results.

The beginning of my home’s transformation!  We bought our lime wash though Roma, a company in Atlanta.  They will tint it for you with all natural ingredients, which is a wonderful option.  We had some un-tinted stock and had a gap in our schedule so we tinted it ourselves. If you go in this direction make sure there is enough mixed for the entire job to insure the colors are the same.

It is very important to clean the surface well before you start—we power washed the brick. It’s best to apply in temperatures from 46-86 degrees. I have to hurry temps are rising here!!!

We thinned the product by 50% and have tried many different application methods, a few include brushing and using a no nap small roller. Both lent different outcomes. In all my internet research I also happened across a recommendation to apply in a crosshatch pattern, I will try that today! The instructions for the cross hatch say to first brush the paint vertically then horizontally and then vertically again. Use an even stroke and apply steady pressure.

I have found that when using a light color lime wash you have the perfect variation in tones when you are doing the application, but hours later the surface becomes much whiter and the overall variation changes, giving you a more solid look.  We are attempting to power wash off some of the surface since it is fresh  to get back some of the variation.

I did read that you could add extra color depth,  by applying a small amount of darker paint as a shadow around the edges of the wall and paint in lighter areas elsewhere.

I will let you know how it turns out!  I do think I like the lime washes tinted a bit darker, my husband likes bright white so we compromised on a soft white. Keep your fingers crossed for me! Whoever said doing your own home is easy?

Lots of new art and jewelry at the Segreto Showroom! Come by and pickup all your Mother’s Day and graduation gifts! 




  • designchic
    Posted at 10:41h, 29 April Reply

    It's going to be amazing, Leslie and can't wait to see it finished. I am such a fan of a lime wash – think it adds such character to a home!

  • Elizabeth Stephens
    Posted at 16:02h, 29 April Reply

    Leslie, this is so exciting to watch this process! My grandmother's house has brick and I would love to do this 🙂 Can not wait to see it finished!!

  • Lee
    Posted at 23:13h, 29 April Reply

    I have a brick house that has been concrete bagged over the top, It is a coating of cement that covers the bricks but you can still see their shape beneath the concrete. The previous owners had this done. Personally, a limewash over the bricks would have been perfect but we had no choice but to paint over them as the concrete had already covered the bricks. I have used a pale grey without any blue tone although for some odd reason, whenever I take photos outside it seems to look a little blue.

    I love your limewash on your bricks, it looks wonderful and I think the perfect choice, I can't wait to see the complete makeover. I would love to whitewash my reddish, timber floors but my husband will not even contemplate the idea…I am slowly working on him.

    Lee 🙂

  • Brad
    Posted at 18:58h, 03 September Reply

    How did the finished product turn out? We're looking to do this to our home in Raleigh!!!

  • Mila
    Posted at 17:29h, 23 July Reply


    I’m trying to do limewash to my house but don’t know where to start. What exactly do I need to do that type of wash to my brick house. If you can please email me I would really appreciate it.

    • Leslie
      Posted at 07:29h, 25 July Reply

      Hi Mila!! Did you read my blog on lime washing. Just go to front and search. It says what I did and where I bought the products. I love mine!! email me with any questions!!
      Best of luck! Leslie

      • Mila
        Posted at 11:19h, 17 August Reply

        Hi Leslie,

        Figured out why I didn’t see all of the blog. My phone didn’t load everything. I will definitely email you if I have any more question.

        Thank you so much!

        • Leslie
          Posted at 14:27h, 17 August Reply

          Hi Mila! We are working to make the blog mobile ready! I am so sorry it wasn’t in the past! I so hope it gets better! Thanks for hanging in there!!!

      • Tracy Lutz
        Posted at 09:28h, 29 July Reply

        Leslie. Am I missing this as well? I read the article but dont see where it says what products and all you used. :/ Can you help with the link or email me?

        This looks amazing, btw. Was it super hard?

        • Leslie Sinclair
          Posted at 12:10h, 01 August Reply

          We used Roma for the lime-wash product. They are out of Atlanta!! Hope this helps!!!

  • Kathy
    Posted at 15:46h, 12 September Reply

    I’m thinking of limewashing our house, which has brick that looks like your BEFORE picture. Your blog is so helpful! Can you comment now about how it looks a couple of years later? Has it held up well? Do you still love it? Would you do it again?

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 15:59h, 12 September Reply

      HI Kathy!! I do still love it! It has been about two years!! It has held up well except on my front wall that just gets no sunlight. We have algae growing on that wall. I also can’t remember if we powder washed that originally to clean it well enough. I would definitely do it again, as the transformation was amazing. Let me know what you decide!

  • Dawna
    Posted at 10:00h, 31 March Reply

    Can you do a limewash with a sprayer

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 14:25h, 01 April Reply

      Hi Dawna! I haven’t tried that. I know we do use a hand held sprayer to keep the brush applied lime wet. Let me know if you try it!!!

      • Sunni
        Posted at 11:15h, 26 April Reply


        Love this post! What type of hand held sprayer did you use? We are planning to lime wash our 1970’s brick home soon.

        • Leslie Sinclair
          Posted at 06:33h, 28 April Reply

          Hi Sunni. We used a sprayer just to keep the wall wet. Not sure the type probably from Home depot. We applied the lime wash with a brush. How exciting. I have loved ours, I am sure yours will turn out great!!

  • Val
    Posted at 04:51h, 05 April Reply

    How has your limewash held up 5 years out? I’m building new house and want brick but want the “white” effect without having to paint because of future maintenance. Actual white brick has to come from Texas and is super expensive for me in Alabama. I love the look of the limewash but would like to know it’s longevity.

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 06:11h, 10 April Reply

      Hi Val!! I think it has held up great. Nothing is free from maintenance. I do need to re-coat some areas but that is easy to do!! I am still happy with the choice! Good luck with your project. I know it will be beautiful!

  • Trina Blubaugh
    Posted at 09:09h, 15 May Reply

    Hi Leslie. Your house looks beautiful. You say that you added your own pigment. Could you provide any information on the color and brand? Thanks!

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 06:11h, 26 May Reply

      Hi Trina, I am so sorry we actually did that about 7 years ago. I still love it but unfortunately we are always changing things and I can’t remember then. You might call your lime wash manufacturer and have them recommend tints for their product. Have a great week and thanks for reading!

  • Ana
    Posted at 11:52h, 19 May Reply

    Hi there! Would you be able to share the color you tinted your Romabio limewash? I love the sheerness of the application and the variation that shows through. So far we have tested the Riposo Beige color and it is reading more yellow than we would like. I’d greatly appreciate your color recommendation! Thank you!! Ana

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 06:08h, 26 May Reply

      Hi Ana, Hope you had a nice Memorial Day weekend!! We tinted in ourselves, so I am so sorry I don’t have a formula. With all of our lime wash projects, we put up samples and mix pigments in them until we get the right shade considering the underlying brick. One trick is to go by your trim color if you are wanting it to blend and get that color matched at 200 %. Hope this helps!

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