How To Recreate The Limewash Wall Trend For Less Than £10
Limewash walls is the new paint trend populating social media feeds, and for good reason. With its chalky texture, it softens standard paint colours, providing a finish which is considerably warmer and more natural. Mixing your own limewash using chalk-based paint and water is the super-effective and budget-friendly way to achieve the limewash look.
According to B&Q, limewash paint is surging in popularity, with more households looking for ways to add character to their walls.
What are limewash walls?
‘The traditional roman limewash effect is created using limestone that has been crushed, burned and mixed with water to create a chalky textured paint,’ says Susie Spence, Category Director, Surface and Décor at B&Q.
The crushed limestone was mixed with natural pigments to create the desired colour. Today, an earthy pink limewash is one of the most popular colour options, along with sage green – especially in bathrooms – and a warm putty. Real limewash paint becomes much lighter as it dries – it is considerably darker when wet, and will usually be totally unrecognisable compared to the finished product. It is also naturally antibacterial, mould-resistant and usually free of the type of solvents that can make some paints quite toxic.
Real limewash paint becomes much lighter as it dries – it is considerably darker when wet, and will usually be totally unrecognisable compared to the finished product. It is also naturally antibacterial, mould-resistant and usually free of the type of solvents that can make some paints quite toxic.
Where to use limewash in your home:
Limewash is pretty adaptable in the home. Unlike traditional paint that sits on top of your walls like a veneer, limewash will sink in, so it works well on porous surfaces like brick and plaster.
In design terms, those rooms that need a considerable amount of warming, like a bathroom or an overly-clinical kitchen would do well with limewash walls, or in large spaces that run the risk of looking quite sparse. It’s also a great choice for bedrooms because its chalky texture will soften underlying colour and create something quite cocooning.
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The downside to real limewash, however, is that it can become quite costly.
‘It can become quite expensive at £60+ per tin if bought pre-made,’ says Susie. ‘This DIY method is a more affordable way to create the effect at home for less. The effect can add a contemporary aspect to any room and can be a great way to elevate neutral decor.’
How to recreate limewash walls for less:
1. Pick the right paint
One of the massive benefits of the limewash DIY wall trend is that it doesn’t cost the earth. On TikTok, @chrystalspalace used Matt Emulsion paint tester pots from B&Q in the shade Tijuana — which is priced at just £2. You can either use just one colour or mix them together. Since water is added to the paint, you don’t have to fork out hundreds on high-end colours.
‘The trend consists of softly applying chalk-based paint to create a textured wall effect and is praised for its natural characteristics,’ say B&Q.
2. Create the mixture
Now it’s time to create the mixture. To do this, mix the paint with water to create a chalky effect. Make sure you follow the ratio of 70 per cent water to 30 per cent paint to form a watery consistency.
3. Apply to your walls
Limewash requires a little more effort than rolling on a can of paint. Using a lint-free cloth or old rag, start by applying the mixture to your wall in circular motions. Continue until the desired wall is evenly coated and leave to dry.
There’s so much more you can do with your walls than simply painting them a standard white finish, so why not give this trending effect a go?
Take a look at @chrystalspalace’s video below:
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Chalk paints to buy now
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (Capri Pink)
£27 at designerpaint.com
Credit: Annie Sloan
‘A versatile paint that works beautifully on furniture without priming or sanding. Easy to use and quick to dry.’
White chalk paint
Rust-Oleum Chalk Furniture Paint (White)
Now 10% Off
£13 at Argos
‘With a classic, smooth touch flat matt finish, it brings a new lease of life to tired, worn-out pieces. ‘
Funky Dora Lazy Range
Now 45% Off
£11 at frenchicpaint.co.uk
‘With a soft, low sheen, it works well on many surfaces including wood, laminate and metal. It has minimal VOC content and is certified UKCA and EN71-3 compliant, making it safe for use on children’s toys.’
Johnstone’s chalk paint
Chalk paint (Duck Egg Blue)
£10 at therange.co.uk
Credit: The Range
‘Johnstone’s Chalky Furniture Paint is perfect for creating shabby-chic looks or transforming your old furniture into trendy statement pieces.’
Black chalk paint
Vintro Paint Jet Black Chalk Paint
£28 at Amazon
‘Vintro Chalk Paint is a water-based, eco-friendly furniture paint with a high pigment content. It has a matte, tactile, chalky feel finish but without any residue.’
Hemway chalk paint
Hemway Chalk Based Furniture Paint
£25 at ebay.co.uk
‘Hemway Chalk Based paint is a decorative paint that can be used on walls and furniture. It can revitalise old furniture, walls, ceilings and floors with ease.’
Rust-Oleum Garden Furniture Paint Chalk White – 750ml
£20 at Homebase
‘With an ultra durable, scrubbable, soft touch matt finish, it brings a new lease of life and colour to garden furniture.’
Chalk paint B&Q
GoodHome Chalky Effect Furniture Paint (North pole, Brilliant white)
£11 at B&Q
‘GoodHome furniture finishing paint will create a chalky, shabby chic finish ideal for highlighting the finer details of your furniture or interior mouldings.’
Chalk paint Wilko
Wilko Quick Dry Chalky Furniture Paint (Slate Grey)
£10 at Wilko
‘Wilko Quick Dry Chalky Furniture Paint has been specially developed to give a classic, yet durable matt finish to interior wood, melamine and mdf furniture all around the home.’
Chalk spray paint
Rust-Oleum Garden Furniture Spray Paint (Clotted Cream)
Now 10% Off
£12 at Amazon
‘Renovate and transform garden furniture with Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Garden Furniture Paint. The paint can be directly applied to wood (bare or painted), brick, stone, plaster or any suitably primed rigid surface (metal, plastic etc).’
Annie Sloan chalk paint
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (Aubusson Blue)
£6 at designerpaint.com
Credit: Christopher Drake
‘A versatile paint that works beautifully on furniture without priming or sanding. Easy to use and quick to dry.’
Rust-Oleum chalk paint
Rust-Oleum Dusky Pink Chalky Matt Furniture Paint
£11 at B&Q
‘No priming or sanding necessary, works great over old paint and varnish.’
Rust-Oleum chalk paint
Rust-Oleum Gold Metallic Finish Furniture Paint
£30 at designerpaint.com
‘This opulent paint finish is suitable for all types of furniture.’
Frenchic chalk paint
Green with Envy Wall Paint
£43 at frenchicpaint.co.uk
‘Applied in only 1-2 coats, it is breathable and durable yet still maintains all the beautiful and unique qualities you would expect from Frenchic. ‘
Outdoor chalk paint
Rust-Oleum Garden Furniture Paint (Bramwell)
£19 at Amazon
‘An ultra durable, scrubbable, soft touch, matt finish, it will transform your outdoor furniture. The paint is both mould and algae resistant and gives water resistant protection.’
Chalk paint floors
Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Floor Paint (Chalk White)
£35 at Homebase
‘The paint can be used directly onto wood (bare or painted), brick, stone, plaster or any suitably primed rigid surface (metal, plastic etc.).’
Chalk spray paint
Rust-Oleum Furniture Spray Paint (Winter Grey)
Now 24% Off
£9 at Amazon
‘With a quick coat of Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint you can now achieve the classic, smooth touch, flat matt finish from a spray.’
Last Dance Wall Paint
£10 at frenchicpaint.co.uk
‘Luxurious and practical, Frenchic Chalk Wall Paint is a washable, ultra matte chalk wall paint with very little odour. ‘
Annie Sloan Napoleonic Blue Chalk Paint 1 Litre Pot
£50 at Trouva
‘Napoleonic Blue takes inspiration from Ultramarine and Cobalt Blue pigments used for decorative work in neoclassical interiors.’
Chalk paint lacquer
Rust-Oleum Clear Furniture Lacquer Matt Finish
£17 at Wilko
‘This highly durable quick-drying finish protects, enhances and seals paint work, protecting it from knocks and scratches.’
Chalk paint wax
Annie Sloan Black Chalk Paint Wax
£12 at designerpaint.com
‘The wax emphasises depth of colour and gives a beautiful mellow finish, or can be buffed to a high sheen.’
I tried TikTok’s DIY limewash paint hack and love the result
Limewash walls have been all over my Instagram feed this year, and for good reason. The mottled paint finish produces a beautifully rustic look while somehow still looking fresh and modern so I’ve been keen to test out the trend myself for some time.
That was, until I found out about how this paint idea is applied. This ancient painting method uses a century-old technique that involves larger strokes and a wide, long-haired brush to achieve that distinctive textured and cloud-like effect. The paint, traditionally made of crushed limestone and water to form a paste, is also more difficult to come by than your regular emulsion, with limited colors on offer and a higher price tag. As a firm fan of the roller and lacking self-confidence in my artisanal brush stroke abilities, I was put off trying limewash walls in my own home, admiring them from afar instead.
So, you can understand my delight when I came across a TikTok tutorial for DIY limewash effect walls that used regular water-based paint and claimed to cost less than $15! With my new bout of optimism, I decided to take to my bedroom walls to try out the trend. This is what I learned in the process.
Lilith is an expert at following news and trends across the world of interior design. She’s committed to helping readers make the best choices in their homes through sharing practical tips and guides that make home renovation simple. For this piece, she shares her experience of trying out TikTok’s DIY limewash paint hack for authentic looking walls.
How to achieve DIY limewash effect walls
(Image credit: Margaret de Lange c/o Pure & Original)
Real limewash paint is known for its characteristic, chalky appearance. It penetrates the surface of your wall, creating a mottled matte appearance with variegated colors (resembling the look of a plastered wall). This DIY version has the same effect, but involves thinning paint by mixing it with water, then applying it to the wall in circular motions using a cloth instead of a brush.
As with any paint job, you should start by preparing your walls. While this step isn’t as vital as it would be if you were going for a smooth application with a matte, satin or eggshell paint finish, you should still sand your walls and apply a primer before you try this limewash paint hack. This will allow you to have a blank canvas to emphasize the mottled color effect. It’s a good idea to do this even if you have white walls as it will help your paint job to last longer.
Buying your paint
(Image credit: Pure & Original )
The next step to achieving the look is buying your paint. Since traditional limewashing results in an off-white in color, even modern versions that have pigment added tend to stick to more neutral earthy tones since these are the best way to bring out the nuanced shades that add depth to your wall.
The TikTok tutorial by @chrystalspalace mixes five or six different shades to create a more complex color. Now I know what you’re thinking, buying six tins of paint won’t come cheap! Well, this is where tester pots become your best friend. I went down to my local hardware store and purchased five paint samples for a few dollars each (I went for a selection of warm taupe tones).
The perfect paint consistency
(Image credit: Kristian van der Beek. Furniture design: Tim Neve)
Now, you’ll need to mix your paint with water. You could use a paint mixing tray, like this one from Amazon, or an old washing up bowl will do the trick if you have one (I used the latter!). I found that it’s best to put the water in first to stop your paint from sticking to the bowl.
I used around one part paint to three parts water. The measurements don’t have to be exact as you can add more water or paint as needed, plus the consistency of the paint brand you’re using will factor into this. About 30% paint to 70% water is a good ratio to aim for – you’re looking for a thin, watery consistency. After adding the water, I slowly tipped small amounts of the sample paint in, stirring as I went.
Applying the paint
(Image credit: Pure & Original)
Finally, apply the watered-down paint to your wall using a lint-free cloth or an old rag. I found that these tack cloths from Amazon worked really well, since they’re designed for professional woodwork and painting.
Dip the cloth into the thinned paint solution and rub it onto your wall in circular motions, blending outwards to achieve the marbled look. Although I’m usually a perfectionist, I really embraced the imperfect appearance of this limewash effect. Don’t worry if you make a ‘mistake’, simply work around it, blend it into the rest of the wall and trust the process!
Make sure you distribute the paint evenly to ensure the color remains consistent, though. I found the best technique was to keep moving across the wall until the cloth had no paint left on it. This results in the perfect modern rustic look.
If the color looks too light or thin for your liking, don’t worry. It’s a good idea to do at least two or three coats to achieve a more dimensional look (just make sure you use the paint sparingly so that you don’t end up with a block color wall). It’s certainly a time-consuming process that demands patience, but the results are so worth it.
All in all, the limewash accent wall in my bedroom took around two hours and cost about $15, making it the perfect weekend project for you to try. Not only is it a far cheaper alternative to genuine limewash, but it’s less commitment, too; when you’re tired of it, you can simply paint over it. I’ll certainly be carrying this paint hack with me across every home I own!
♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim
Lime paint for exterior and interior use
- Lime paint preparation
- Enamel paints
- Dry paints
Lime paint coatings for facades are a loose layer with high air permeability, but still quite resistant to extremes and effects of temperature and to increased humidity. Lime paints are widely used due to their relative cheapness. If, during the application of paint to the ceiling or wall, salt or drying oil is not introduced into its composition in advance, then such a surface will always stain clothes and hands. Consider how to prepare lime paint.
Preparing lime-based paint
To prepare 10 kg of lime paint with your own hands, you need:
- 0.1 kg of combined drying oil;
- 0.1 kg table salt;
- 1.5 kg lime
Pour 8.5 liters of water into a bucket with a measured amount of lime, stir thoroughly, then add drying oil or salt.
Salt is introduced into the mixture separately, in the form of a saline solution prepared in advance. When it is necessary to give whiteness to this mixture, it is necessary to add a small amount of blue to it and stir. The lime composition is filtered after mixing.
We must not forget that the shade of the composition made and the tone of the painted walls will vary greatly.
After pouring blue, stir the mixture again and strain through a fine mesh sieve.
One of the varieties of lime paint for outdoor use – compositions on an adhesive basis. To prepare any of them, it is necessary to dilute the chalk in water to the consistency of a paste and leave the solution to settle for a day.
Then stir and check the consistency of the formulation using one of the following methods.
Method one. Dip the stick in a bucket of solution. In a situation where the solution flows from it in a continuous and viscous stream, the composition can be used.
Second method. On a vertically installed glass, it is necessary to apply a drop of the solution made. If it has the required consistency, then the length of the trace of a drop that flows down the glass will be no more than 3 cm.
In order to accurately determine the viscosity, a simple device called a viscometer is used. This is a vessel with a capacity of 100 ml, with a narrow and long spout, the diameter of which is 0.4 cm, through which the solution flows, which is tested for viscosity. But do not try to make a viscometer at home: in order to get the right results, it is necessary to observe the jewelry surface grinding of the device and the mathematical accuracy of dimensions.
If desired, it is possible to obtain colored lime facade paints. To do this, prepared dyes are added to the whitewash in advance.
Pigments that are added to the mixture must be filtered, diluted first to a milky consistency.
Please also note that the pigmented whitewash becomes lighter in the process of drying, therefore, when choosing a color, it is necessary to make a test coloring.
For this purpose, the dissolved paint is applied to the glass in a thin layer and allowed to dry.
Important! It is not recommended to mix the entire solution at once.
If you want the ceiling not to chalk and crumble over time, ten percent bone glue must be added to the lime mortar. Pouring glue, carefully check the level of whitewash fixation. This is done in the same proven old way – applying smears of the solution to the glass.
The industry for ceilings produces semi-finished products of paints and whitewash on an adhesive basis. Instructions for using each are on the packaging.
Lime-based paint is particularly popular due to its low cost. In addition, coatings made of this material have a number of other absolute advantages:
- Temperature resistance.
- High humidity resistance.
- Excellent air permeability.
Most likely, everyone has come across walls painted with lime paints for interior work. If you accidentally touch this wall with a sleeve, there will be traces on it. The whole point is that earlier salt or drying oil was not added to paints on lime plaster, namely, by using them, the painted surface does not stain clothes.
We have already mentioned adhesive paints, which are a type of lime-based paint. To prepare them, it is necessary to dilute the chalk to such a density that a paste comes out, after which the resulting solution is left for a day to settle. After this period, a stick is dipped into the container of the solution and they watch how the liquid drains: a continuous viscous stream indicates that the solution is ready.
Consider whether it is possible to mix water-based paint with lime mortar. Enamel paints are paint compositions prepared from a mixture of pigments and varnishes by grinding in paint grinders. For enamel, the pigment is diluted on oil varnishes.
The shelf life of enamel paints is from six months to a year. Their compositions may thicken over time, therefore it is advised to dilute the paint with some kind of solvent before starting work. Various solvents are suitable for various enamel paints, and only white spirit (universal solvent) is suitable for all types of enamel.
White spirit is a refined solvent for thinning oil and alkyd paints.
Dry pigments are powders ground so finely that pigment particles can pass through the small sieve when sieved. The quality of dry paints is related to how finely ground they are.
Dry pigments are divided into metallic, inorganic (natural), organic and inorganic (synthetic). To make paint, pigments are mixed with binders. Natural pigments are obtained by heat treatment, grinding, enrichment of minerals and rocks. Synthetic (sometimes they are also called artificial) pigments are obtained as a result of chemical reactions, and metallic dyes are thin powders of various alloys or individual metals.
The most popular metallic pigments are aluminum metallic silver powder and bronze golden powder.
To distinguish inorganic pigments from organic, they must be calcined, for this a little powder is poured into a test tube or onto a steel sheet and heated. Organic pigments, due to the carbon that is part of their composition, quickly turn black.
Be aware of toxicity and health hazards when working with various paints and varnishes. Poisonous are pigments that contain compounds of arsenic, lead, zinc and copper. When pigments contain these substances, it is better to paint the walls with a brush: then the danger of poisoning can be avoided. But when using different spraying devices (spray gun and spray gun), toxic effects will appear.
Be that as it may, it is necessary to adhere to strict safety rules and use a protective mask or respirator when working with varnishes and paints in order not to get poisoned.
In this way, you can make your own lime paints and use them to paint walls and ceilings.
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Lime paint: use in wall painting
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A French fresco artist will show you how to work with lime paint and what decorative effects can be achieved. Photo report.
Until recently, adhesive-based lime paint was used for industrial painting of building facades, as well as internal partitions, beams and ceilings. This is a tribute to decorative
aspects of this paint, its economy, as well as the exceptional protective characteristics, in particular adobe (clay straw)
Decor for funny money
This paint has always been used because of the bactericidal and disinfectant properties of the lime included in its composition. Ceilings and beams were treated with this composition, primarily in order to combat parasites.
The recipe is simple: two or five parts of water to one part of powdered lime – the result is “milk” more or less transparent, it is colored with natural dyes or sand.
Even highly diluted paint on lime has an undoubted advantage – having “taken” and dried, it levels the surface, even the one on which cosmetic repairs or puttying work have been carried out several times. It can be both a substrate and a final coating.
Traditionally, adhesive-based lime paint is made from lime diluted with water to a homogeneous creamy liquid. To this composition is added (in the event that the paint is intended for outdoor use) potassium and aluminum sulfate or aluminum sulfate in its pure form, and sometimes chlorinated sodium, which act as fixatives.
For interior work, these compounds are sometimes replaced with adhesives or gelatin. All compositions can be tinted with clay, ocher, oven black… but not with metal-based dyes, which will be attacked by lime molecules. For the same reason, light shades cannot be obtained from such paint.
You will need
Tray, trowel, sieve, spray gun, sponge, casein and/or Sikalatex, buckets, brush, lime, palette knife, trowel, spatula, cutter. There are two pigments on the table: natural earth oxides (in
in this case yellow ocher and burnt sienna).
Stucco ingredients: lime with glue, chalk (marble dust, Spanish chalk), water and Sikalatex fixative.
Frenchman Jean-Claude Missé, fresco artist by nature and vocation, regularly organizes schools of ancient painting techniques and decorative painting panels in his workshop. He has produced a large number of educational cassettes on the subject. His works showcase a lime paint technique that is thousands of years old but still young.
Stucco is a chalk-filled lime colorant. In addition to dyes and glue, marble dust (the famous imitations of polished blocks), chalk, calcium carbonate, or pigment alone are added. In the latter case, the dye cannot be more than 25% of the total composition (meaning blue or green oxides, sienna, yellow or red cadmium …), in case of exceeding the dose, the composition will not be fixed.
A strong composition is obtained by mixing one part lime to one part filler. Or one part lime to 1/2 pigment and 1/2 filler. The amount of liquid varies depending on the surface on which the paint is applied. Old oil-based paints, cement- and need to increase the fixative content (normal content is one part Sikalatex to three parts water).
It’s a good idea to add a little liquid soap to everything cooked to make the job easier.
Cheaper than wallpaper!
Whatever the substrate, it must be wetted before applying the first coat of dye. When the first layer has set and dried, it is moistened and a decorative layer is applied directly, which already determines the main effects: marble, clouds, stencil friezes, figure painting . ..
Apart from marble, which requires special preparations and efforts, other effects are subject to everyone – you can sometimes come to amazing results. But nothing is as good as stucco, and our report testifies to this.
- Diluted lime: 1.5 to 2 kg.
- Filler: marble dust 300-400g (chalk 500-600g).
- Water: 10l.
You can improve the composition by adding a fixative immediately. These can be standard traditional fixatives
– casein, but there are also modern fixatives that give the best results
|The paint is applied as the first coat. No dye added. Aligned, it dries, and then re-wetted with a sprayer or sponge before applying the pigmented dye.|
|The amount of compound varies depending on the surface. On average, a kilogram of the mixture (1 part of water, 2 pigments, 3 lime and 10% fixative) is enough to cover 2m 2 .|
|To achieve color saturation, pigment is added, and the composition of the mixture and the amount of fixative are also modified. The amount of water is optional… Add a few drops of liquid soap.|
|The entire composition is rubbed on a marble or glass surface until the required plasticity is achieved. The ideal case would be to prepare the mixture the day before so that it “breathes”.|
|The substrate, which is pre-wetted, is “passed” from top to bottom for the first time. Composition – a pure dye or a composition of different pigmentation divided into two or three parts. These three different shades are mixed under the spatula, they will give the paint a special charm…|
|All colors of the substrate and different shades are based on the addition of white, which will remain light or be covered with pigmented paint and give a transparent effect, enhancing the softness of the decor.|
|At this stage of work, we are already dealing with an almost completed work, but you can bring to mind the finish by processing the surface. Despite the fact that the stucco paint itself is already spectacular…|
|Among the possible finishes is surface treatment with a palette knife. Regularly immersed in soapy water, which was added to stucco, it will enhance the transitions of colors from one to another …|
|You can treat the surface with a slightly damp sandpaper – this allows you to work out the texture and find special solutions for the surface and decor in general.|
|Of course, there are many more techniques to achieve painterly effects, such as natural wax blotches to add gloss.|
|Stucco is best framed with glue-based paint, but to which much more water is added. Despite such a lightweight composition, a paint with high opacity will even out numerous defects in the previous paint. Scroll Up|