Limewash is a style of paint with a centuries-old history that has made a modern comeback — and for good reason! Limewash can do everything from inviting Mediterranean-inspired kitchens to cozy contemporary bedrooms. While its distinctive look may make you doubt your DIY abilities, limewash is a beautiful, accessible material that can transform your home.
What Is Limewash?
Limewash is a mixture of slaked mineral lime, water, and pigments. That means it is a natural material, unlike most plastic-based paints. Limewash can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome and is considered one of the earliest examples of exterior paint!
In modern times, though, limewash isn’t just for exteriors and can be found in every room of the home worldwide. It has a textured appearance that can add depth and visual interest to the walls and surfaces it’s used on. Additionally, limewash bonds with the surface it is applied to, offering a breathable barrier that can help prevent moisture and mold buildup.
Can you DIY limewash paint?
Limewash’s trademark texture can make it intimidating for the average person, but it’s relatively forgiving. It’s best to apply limewash on top of an acrylic primer for interior uses. Step away from the paint roller, though – you’ll want a long-bristled brush for this project or even an old t-shirt for smaller objects!
You can manipulate the texture to fit the look you’re going for: horizontal strokes, vertical strokes, or even rounded clouds! Be confident with your brush strokes, and remember that you’ll likely need several coats to achieve your desired texture.
Of course, if you’re still unsure about tackling this project, consulting a professional is always a good idea!
Limewash vs whitewash: what’s the difference?
Some use “limewash” and “whitewash” interchangeably, but they’re different materials altogether. Where authentic limewash is a natural substance that soaks into whatever is being painted, whitewash is an actual paint that sits on the surface.
Since limewash is made with natural materials, it has a much lower odor than traditional paint and is considered more environmentally friendly. Limewash’s natural properties can be mold-resistant and allow the surface beneath to breathe, which helps reduce moisture in the walls.
Remember that these are the properties of authentic limewash, and many modern products may be more similar to a standard interior paint. Those types of limewash will vary by manufacturer and may have their pros and cons.
How to Use Limewash in Your Home
1. Brighten up (or tone down!) your bedroom.
Limewash your bedroom walls to achieve a stunning, modern-meets-old-world look. The textured feel of limewash can help create a cozy atmosphere for your bedroom without going overboard. And if you’re feeling bold, test your painting skills by utilizing a rounded, cloudy texture for your limewash walls. You’ll be floating off to dreamland in seconds!
If you keep with traditional neutral limewash, pair it with classic, muted furniture such as a Scandi-style wooden bed frame or accent chairs. Limewash with a more yellow or orange tint can bring in the Old World Mediterranean feel, which works well with mahogany-like colors on a dresser and chest of drawers. Or utilize grays and muted blues for a relaxing coastal vibe with a light-colored bedroom set and ocean-inspired wall decor!
2. Upcycle your old furniture.
Limewash isn’t just for walls! You can use it to spruce up old furniture and give it a new look. You can revive tables, chairs, and TV stands with a unique style through limewash. Research the type of limewash you’ll use beforehand, as some modern brands offer types that won’t leave a chalky residue on your hands or clothes if touched. Limewash typically works best on wood surfaces, but other options are available for a similar look on different materials.
3. Refine your dining room’s atmosphere.
Give your dining room a classic look with limewashed walls and traditional furniture. Pair your cozy limewashed walls with a large, dark wood dining room set to create a welcoming atmosphere for your guests.
Or, if you’re looking to make more of a statement, consider brightly pigmented walls like dark teal and sleek, modern tables and decorative mirrors. A beautiful sideboard can offer even more opportunities for decorating. The possibilities are endless! Your home’s color scheme can set the mood for your guests, so choose carefully.
4. Bring out the farmhouse feel with a limewash brick fireplace.
Not looking to tackle an entire room? Limewash works great on brick, such as on a fireplace. A classic white limewashed fireplace gives a rustic touch to a modern farmhouse style. Many modern limewashes will patina with time, giving them an extra touch of authenticity. You can choose from stark whites to lighter grays depending on the color of your brick and the room’s look. Don’t forget a cozy rug for snuggling up on a chilly evening!
5. Make your exterior shine with limewash brick.
One of the most common uses of limewash is on exterior brick – and for good reason! Limewash can give your home’s exterior a bright, modern look without being a “perfect” solid white. Limewash doesn’t chip like paint, so though it does wear and patina with time, it will have a more even look than a fully painted brick home. And since authentic limewash allows the brick to breathe, it likely won’t trap moisture behind it like paint is prone to do.
While you might want to leave limewashing your home’s exterior to the pros, you can pick the decor! Straightforward, comfortable patio furniture in dark colors like black or gray looks excellent with a limewashed exterior. Metal and glass will give it a more modern vibe, or you can embrace pops of color for a personal touch!
Timeless Furniture to Pair with Your Fresh New Look
Whether embracing a rustic farmhouse look, giving your home relaxing coastal vibes, or adding texture to a neutral Scandi design, limewash can add subtle depth and visual interest to your home. And while it’s currently all the rage on the internet, evidence of this technique dates back to ancient Greece – meaning it’s one of the most timeless styles of paint still in use today!
So, no matter what look you’re trying to achieve with your limewash project, you need timeless furniture to complement it; that’s where CORT Furniture Outlet comes in. While we can’t help you limewash every room of your home, we can help you furnish it with classic styles that’ll stand the test of time.
CORT Outlet features gently used furniture for almost every room of your home, all carefully cleaned and inspected by our team of professionals. Select items are even eligible for same-day pickup, so shop CORT Furniture Outlet in-store or online today!