If you’re planning to redecorate your room with a fresh coat of paint on the walls, why not try something different? Lime paint is a centuries old wall covering that not only looks great and gives your walls an interesting, textured finish, it’s also super healthy and non-toxic. Whether you’re a professional decorator, interior designer, homemaker or a DIY enthusiast, you can bring an exotic touch to your design with this option.
What Is Lime Paint?
If you’re not quite familiar with this product, here’s some useful information about lime paint. Known by several different names such as whitewash, whiting, calcimine, calsomine or kalsomine, it is a compound made from calcium hydroxide (slaked lime) or calcium carbonate (chalk). Various minerals and additives are used by manufacturers to give different effects and textures. Some of the commonly used additives include cement, glue, salt or soap. Throughout history, users have experimented with additives such as egg-white, milk, alum or even fresh soil. Sandstone aggregate is added to provide a chalky veneer.
Lime paint provides an amazing matte finish, with earthy tones, a subtly rough texture, soft shine and an all-natural effect. The calcite crystals when blended in water provide a gentle luminescence that increases as the paint ages on the walls.
It has a long and well-established history that dates back thousands of years, to the Egyptians and Romans who used it extensively both inside and outside buildings. If you’ve traveled to South America or Europe, you may have noticed the charming glaze on exterior and interior walls that comes from lime paint.
Apart from buildings, lime paint has been used to coat the bottom of fruit trees. This prevents heat and frost damage, and controls blooming and fruiting. Barns, fences and stables were also coated with lime paint to give a neat look and keep out fungus and pest attacks.
Though the standard colors are brilliant white, gray, pale blue or pale yellow, lime paint is available in a variety of shades.
Benefits Of Lime Paint
There are several benefits of using San Marco Antica Calce Elite which is a popular lime paint choice among builders and property owners.
- One of the most striking benefits of using lime paint on your walls is that it gives them a unique, earthy, natural appearance. Unlike the slightly “manufactured” look of commercially available wall paints, the tiny imperfections, bumps and pits that appear with a lime coating are what set your walls apart.
- You can get different effects by varying the method of applying the paint. The usual cross-hatch brush technique gives the standard effect, but you can bring out different textures with vertical or horizontal application, or you could use a roller for the first coat and then brush the second coat on top. A base coat in a darker shade and a top coat in a lighter one gives depth effects.
- Getting away from appearances, lime paint has other important benefits. This paint is completely odorless, natural and non-toxic, and a great choice for persons with allergies. It is a safe option for homes with children and pets. It is odorless and dries fast, and completely free from solvents.
- Lime paint is super easy to apply. Modern manufacturing technology has ensured that today’s lime paint available in your hardware store is completely modernized. Authentic, old-style lime paint contains just two basic ingredients: lime and water. The paint is available as pre-mixed wet lime putty. You can also mix it yourself, using a mixture of hydrated dry lime and water in prescribed proportions.
- Traditionally, lime paint could be used only on brick and mortar, stucco, plaster or wood. Today you can safely use it on any surface, without having to worry about a drywall base.
- Application is simple, and all you need to do is to apply at least three coats of primer and follow with two or three coats of lime paint. Without the primer you can get a more textured, natural look but not as even or smooth.
- Lime paint tends to age very well. It gives high and low lights as it gets older on your wall, giving interesting effects as the lime components permeate and rise to the surface.
- If you want a neutral backdrop, there’s nothing like a wall washed in lime paint. It offers a variety of earth tones, off-white, cream, ocher and other chromatics that work well with any color scheme of furnishing and drapery. Lime paint works best with rustic themes, but it syncs with many other styles as well, including chic and contemporary.
- Lime paint is probably the most eco-friendly, environmentally safe wall treatment you can have. It is completely natural, water-based and isn’t resource intensive to manufacture or use.
- This paint is durable, and can last for decades with basic cleaning. However, if you have kids who like to crayon on walls, this may not be the best wall paint because it doesn’t wash well.
- Studies have shown that lime paint is an excellent fire retardant and is itself fire resistant. Since it has no chemicals, this paint protects against fires. Calcium hydroxide (slaked lime) does not have an identified flash point, and it decomposes before reaching boiling point. This makes it an excellent fire-proof product.
- Health-wise, lime paint is anti-fungal and an effective antiseptic. It is a bug repellent and can prevent mosquitoes from entering the premises. The high pH levels make it bacteria and mold resistant.
- It lets your walls breathe and remain dry.
- Lime paint seeps into the base material, giving that textured, chalky and matte finish. You may need one or two coats for better coverage, and when the paint gets fully absorbed into the underlying brick or wood, you can get exactly the effect you want. It can be used on lime renders or plaster on brick-built structures, porous cement surfaces, stone and terracotta. It doesn’t render well on glass, polished wood, hard plasters or other smooth surfaces.
- It is versatile enough to be used almost anywhere in a home, other than kids’ rooms or in wet areas such as bathrooms and near the kitchen sink. Lime paint is not easy to wash or clean, but you can easily paint over the blemishes with a fresh wash of lime paint.
- This paint is affordable compared to commercial wall paints. You can also purchase bags of slaked lime off the shelf and mix your own paint, making it one of the cheapest wall treatments. DIY enthusiasts can try their hand at painting, or if you prefer to get a pro for the job, make sure that they are experienced in this work.
Lime paint is a centuries old wall treatment product that is still a popular choice for both interiors and exteriors. It is environmentally safe, non-toxic and fire-resistant. If you’re looking for a unique, affordable, easy to apply, durable, functional and gorgeous wall paint, lime paint is the ideal choice.