What is Lime Paint or Limewash, and why is it becoming so popular?

Have you ever wondered what kind of paint they used on those beautiful historical buildings that seem to stand the test of time? Have you also noticed that a very similar finish seems to have found its way into modern décor, lending a subtle pattern and a rustic look to interiors and exteriors alike?

The product in question is called Limewash, and it has been around for a few hundred years now, its use being most apparent in the Mediterranean region and South America.  The use of paint goes back as far as the Roman Empire.

We must mention however, that based on the different surfaces, the wall preparation prior to the Limewash also differed according to type of the surface; most of the buildings were plastered before the application of any paint, to give it extra durability. Limewash was used to give the walls a nice colour, and an even nicer finish.

The proof being the impressive architecture, and the decorative coats on these buildings, which also inspired Impera Italia, as we aim to create and distribute products that have their Italian roots and heritage at their forefront.


Lime paint

Why is Limewash gaining such popularity?

Recently, as designers from Europe and the US alike have started to look for unique finishes that offer something different than standard emulsion paint and wallpaper, the interest in different decorative products has also risen.  In Europe, they have no trouble looking towards history as an inspiration.

As we have been in the industry of luxury wall finishes for some time, we can confirm that people are more and more interested in what Venetian plaster really is, but also in the versatile finishes our paints can offer, such as our version of the Limewash, called Lime Eco.

Limewash in particular, is getting more attention, as it’s an easy-to-use product that provides (when applied with a certain technique) a cloudy effect. This texture, as Augusta Hoffman of Augusta Hoffman Studios pointed out in an interview with Architectural Digest, can add a level of warmth to overly spacious rooms with high ceilings.

In the same article, bedrooms were also brought up as an example, as it can create a relaxing atmosphere. That also depends on the choice of colours obviously, but Limewash gives the flexibility to dilute according to the finish you want to achieve, so you play with the opacity of the colour!

Venice - pexels

What exactly is Limewash?

Limewash is created from crushed limestone, which is then exposed to very high temperatures to “burn”. The powder after is mixed with water, and pigments are added to it. The paint is usually strained to remove any lumps or impurities, and then it needs to sit for at least a day. The ready paint can still be diluted according to preference. Usually, for the application on the topcoats, the more diluted the paint, the better the cloudy effect will look.

Is Limewash practical? Where can I use it?

As far as the application, it is one of the most DIY products that we offer, all you need is a natural bristle brush. Make sure to apply it in thin layers, at least 2-3 coats, based on dilution and the desired effect. If you’d like to see our tutorial, click here.

For durability, the wall can be plastered before. As Limewash is a natural, mineral-based product, it won’t sit on top of the covered surface like most paints. Instead, it will seep into it, so it’s best applied on porous surfaces.

It can be used indoors, as well as outdoors. However, depending on the external factors it is exposed to, be it the creativity of little children or acidic rain, the durability can vary. Most of the time, the paint needs to be reapplied every 4-5 years.

It can be used on its own or on top of Venetian plasters, such as our Marmorino Classico, to create that rustic, cloudy look we all love! When used outside, it can be used on top of the rendering, in 4-5 coats as a sealer. As an exterior covering, it should always be used on top of lime plaster.

If you apply the paint in a high-traffic area, or where you think it needs protection, we recommend using our Decorfilm in a matt finish, which will help the paint last longer, and get rid of the chalky finish.

Limewash facade

What are the benefits of Limewash?

As it is a mineral-based, natural product that doesn’t contain artificial binders, it is a great option for those concerned about VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). It is also breathable, so it is ideal for problematic, mouldy areas. Because of its PH level, it is antibacterial, antifungal, and hypoallergenic!

If you suffer from any conditions or you simply want to avoid anything hazardous to your health (or your family’s), it is best to opt for organic products. Even when it comes to wall coverings!

If you want to read more about Eco Paints and their benefits, click here!


Is Limewash expensive?

Depending on where you are, ready-made limewash can be quite a budget-friendly option, but there are also some tutorials online on how to make your own from powder. This latter can be a bit more complicated though, and if you start from scratch, it can be dangerous as the chemical reactions of the powder can be very intense.

However, because it needs to be diluted, the coverage you get for 1L is larger than for regular emulsion paints. Therefore, even on two coats, it is going to come out at a better price than any paint or wallpaper. Of course, depending on where you purchase.

For a quality but still budget friendly option take a look at our Lime Eco.

All in all, it is a very cost-effective option for a versatile wall finish that can be done without hiring anyone to do it. And the best part is that, when it’s done right, it gives a beautiful slightly velvety look, that will seem a lot more expensive than what it cost!

Limewash paint

Where can I use it in my home?

As mentioned above, it can be used on interior and exterior surfaces, but for extra protection, you may need to use a protector, such as our Decorfilm.

Because it is breathable, it can be used in areas exposed to humidity, as long as it’s not in direct contact with water.

All in all, it’s best to avoid using it in areas where you think something might damage it (if you are in doubt, contact our Team), but it’s a very practical product that can be used almost everywhere in and outside of the house!


Feel inspired to have it in your home? Check out our lime-based products!

For anyone looking for a budget-friendly option for Limewash, look at our Impera Italia Lime Eco! It is a mineral-based product that has all the great qualities eco-paints have, meaning that it’s highly breathable and antibacterial/antifungal. The perfect product for health, and it gives a special touch to your interior or exterior surfaces!

If you want to give it a try, but you are not ready to commit yet, have a look at our sample pot (choose 0,25L at the size selection)! In case you made up your mind, go ahead and purchase the Lime Eco paint by clicking here.

For the Decorfilm protector, click here.

If you’d like to go for an even more contemporary look, check out our concrete paint! It is still a lime-based paint, but with a heavier texture, used for interior decorating.

For more details and a sample pot, click here!

For any questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Our London Showroom is open Monday-Friday between 8 AM and 5 PM. Alternatively, contact us at 03330124396 or [email protected]!