How to Lime Wash Walls

Updated February 21, 2017

Lime wash is a decorative painting technique that gives the walls an old-world, antique look. Lime wash is commonly used on brick, stucco and other masonry surfaces. You can also apply lime wash to regular drywall if you apply a coat of base paint first. The base paint allows you to alter the look of the lime wash by selecting a colour that the wash will accentuate.

Lay the dust sheets on the floors. Apply painter's tape around any electrical sockets, along the ceiling, and along the floorboards.

Pour a water-based paint or a flat, oil-based interior paint into a paint tray. Dip the roller into the paint tray and move it back and forth until it is coated.

Paint the wall surfaces with the base paint. Apply the paint by pressing the roller into the wall and moving in even, up and down strokes until you have covered all of the walls. Remove the painter's tape. Let the paint dry overnight. Rinse out the roller and the paint tray and leave them to drip-dry.

Dip a paintbrush into the lime wash. Press the paintbrush onto a wall and move it in a "v" shape. Repeat the "v" motion in a 2-foot-by-2-foot area of the wall until the paintbrush has no more lime wash on it.

Dip the paintbrush in the lime wash again and move to the next 2-foot-by-2-foot area on the wall. Repeat the "v" motions in that small area. Continue lime washing small sections until you cover all walls. Let the lime wash dry overnight. Remove the dust sheets.


If you do not like brush strokes, lightly brush the lime wash with a piece of cheesecloth while it is still wet. This will smooth out the strokes.

Things You'll Need

  • Dust sheets
  • Painter's tape
  • Paint tray
  • Water-based or flat, oil-based interior paint
  • Paint roller
  • Paintbrush
  • Lime wash
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About the Author

Based in Richmond, Va., Dawn Gibbs writes about topics such as history, fashion, literature, crafts, alternative medicine and healthy living. Her work has appeared on and several style websites. Gibbs holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Virginia Commonwealth University.