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Differences Between Limewashing and Whitewashing Brick

Differences Between Limewashing and Whitewashing Brick

Exposed indoor brick has been a huge trend in homes as of late. It creates a certain coziness and rustic vibe that other building materials cannot match. Unfortunately, a lot of exposed brick that was built years ago can begin to look dated. The same can be said for exterior brick. Instead of tearing the brick out or replacing it with another material, many homeowners turn to a cheaper option: painting it! There are two main ways to paint brick that can be used indoors or outdoors: limewashing and whitewashing. Read on as we discuss the differences between the two methods and looks.

What is Limewashing?

Limewashing, as the name implies, is a painting technique used for brick that involves a paint that is literally made with lime. The lime allows the paint to penetrate the brick and to go deeper into it. The technique has been around for quite some time and allows you to go for an “old world European look.” When done correctly, it can look quite fabulous and fresh.

What is Whitewashing?

Technically, whitewashing is not actually the same as painting. In order to achieve the look, watered-down paint is used. This allows for most of the brick to be covered, while still allowing some of the old color to fade through. This gives the brick a lived-in, more farmhouse feel. Whitewashing allows you to control how much of the old color you want by adjusting the thickness of the paint.


Though similar in many ways, there are some major differences between limewashing and whitewashing brick that may help you decide between the two for your next job:


As mentioned previously, the materials needed for whitewashing differ from limewashing. In whitewashing, you need water and paint. In limewashing, you need a specific type of paint that has been made with lime to do the penetration that the technique requires.


Whitewashing will last a long time, likely around 20+ years with no maintenance. Limewashing, on the other hand, lasts for more like 5-7 years and does require touch ups.


As you might expect, whitewashing is much cheaper than limewashing. This is due to the fact limewashing requires the special type of paint mixed with lime and whitewashing, well, just mixed with water.

Desired Look

Probably the most important factor is the desired look. Whitewashing will get you a more “old”, distressed look that is similar to a farmhouse look. Limewashing, on the other hand, is more solid and crisp in nature due to the fact it sinks into the pores of the bricks.

Wet Paint LLC Can Help

If you are considering either whitewashing or limewashing your space and would like some help, allow Wet Paint to help. With several years of experience, our team creates exceptional customer experiences through lasting relationships with our clients. Our team of professionals is honest and prides itself on creating exceptional quality work. We support many types of painting jobs, from exterior to interior to epoxy installations. No job is too small or too big for us!

Call Us Today

If you are wanting some professional support on your next paint job, then give us a call today at (480) 386-6308. We’d love to speak with you regarding your job and hope to have the opportunity to earn your business.

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