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 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

  • Claire Douglas

Limewash vs. Whitewash: What you need to know...

Limewash vs. Whitewash: What's the Difference?

limewashed wall

Why limewash vs whitewash? Limewash and whitewash have a number of uses for both interior and exterior painting tasks. When it comes to giving brick homes a fresh, timeless appeal, limewash and whitewash are two popular choices. Both methods involve applying a thin layer of water-based paint to brick surfaces, but they have key differences that might make one a better choice for your project, more on that in a minute. And, when it comes to interior paint jobs, limewash and whitewash both come into their own in very different ways. Limewash is great for providing a subtle, beautiful, textured appearance to walls, and whitewashing can make furniture and accessories look beautiful and in keeping with shabby-chic or coastal aesthetics. 

Limewash paint: A natural, traditional choice

limewash paint tin opened and needing stirring

Limewash paint, also known as lime paint, is a type of whitewash made from quick lime (calcium hydroxide) mixed with water. Hopefully, you'll have seen my detailed and honest review of Bauwerk limewash paint for interior projects. I tried this eco-paint a couple of years ago and loved it. You can read about the pros and cons and go on more of a deep dive about what limewash actually is in that blog post. 

For exterior painting projects, this traditional paint is a great way to achieve a natural look on porous surfaces like brick and stone. One of the main ingredients of limewash is lime plaster, which reacts with carbon dioxide in the air to form a durable, protective layer. This reaction provides a soft matte finish that allows the texture and original color of the brick to show through.

Applying limewash involves a specific painting method using a limewash/masonry paintbrush. It is best to apply it in thin coats for the best results. Limewash is known for its ability to create a timeless look in a chemical-free way. It's a good choice for both exterior walls and interior surfaces like living rooms and kitchens.

Whitewash paint: Simple and solid coverage

whitewash chair
Credit: Sweetpea & Willow

Whitewash paint, often a mixture of white paint and water, provides a solid white colour and smoother finish compared to limewash. It's a type of paint that offers full coverage and is a good option if you want to completely cover the original brick colours. Whitewashing is ideal for creating a clean, solid look on exterior brick and interior walls, like those in a great room or breakfast nook. 

The application process for whitewash is straightforward and can be done using a regular paintbrush or a power washer for exterior use. This method is also suitable for small sections or large areas, providing versatility depending on your desired effect.

Limewash vs whitewash: Key Differences and Considerations

limewash paint

One main difference between limewash and whitewash is their composition and resulting finish. Limewash provides a porous, breathable layer that is more eco-friendly, with no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It's a good idea for maintaining the natural look of your home while offering a protective layer. On the other hand, whitewash gives a more uniform, solid colour with a smoother finish, making it a great choice if you prefer a more modern look.

For exterior painting projects, limewash is excellent for those seeking a natural, traditional aesthetic with a soft matte finish, while whitewash is better for achieving full coverage and a brighter white colour.

For interior painting projects, limewash will create cloud-like patterns of gorgeous texture and depth to a wall whereas, whitewash will take the dark colour or stain away from wood or furniture - a great tool for your upcycling projects.

Limewash vs whitewash a final note...

limewash testers stuck on a wall

Whether you choose limewash or whitewash, both are effective ways to give new life to brickwork or walls and furniture in homes. Limewash is perfect for a breathable, natural look with traditional appeal, while whitewash offers solid coverage and a clean, modern finish.

Consider the look of your home, the type of brick, and your desired effect when deciding which painting method to use. Either way, you're sure to enhance the beauty and durability of your home.

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1 comentário

Soniya Singhania
Soniya Singhania
05 de jul.

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