How to Limewash Bricks

Written by jonra springs
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How to Limewash Bricks
The appearance of an older brick wall is often restored with limewash. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Brick walls become dull and discoloured over time. Homeowners often use paint for a colourful brick finish, but there is a preferable alternative. Limewash 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 vapours, but resists stains. Owners of historic buildings apply limewash to bricks for a natural aged appearance.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Hydrated lime powder
  • Bucket
  • Whisk
  • Paint strainers
  • Hose and sprayer
  • Large brushes

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  1. 1

    Pour a handful of lime powder into a bucket. Add water and stir with a whisk until the solution is thin and milky to make a brick finish. Cover and let stand for two to three days.

  2. 2

    Whisk the solution and add enough water to make it thin and milky again. Strain the mixture through paint strainers to remove all lumps. The solution is ready to be applied to bricks.

  3. 3

    Moisten the brick wall to be finished with a mist from a hose and sprayer. Work on a wall that is not in direct sunlight.

  4. 4

    Dip a large paintbrush into the solution and spread it onto the wall evenly. Make sure the limewash covers bricks evenly for the first coat. Allow the coat to dry for two or three days before adding a second coat. Cover the wall with at least four coats with the same curing time for each coat. Apply limewash to bricks with more or less of the solution in some spots on the third and fourth coats to give the finish an aged appearance.

Tips and warnings

  • Mix food colouring, saffron or berry juices into the limewash solution to add colour to the finish.
  • Do not apply limewash to bricks in temperatures below 5 degrees Celsius. Work on days when the wind is minimal.

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