Limewash is a traditional, breathable finish for lime plasters and renders, which can be used both inside and outside. It is very soft and under the microscope has a crystalline structure which means it glows in the sunlight. It is sterile and because of this was traditionally harnessed on farms and in dairies as it helps to kill moulds, prevent them growing and keep the air clean. Limewash can only be applied to porous surfaces such as lime render, lime plaster and some masonry.
Limewash produces a dynamic finish, alive with brushstrokes and giving a real sense of depth to the wall. It changes colour as it absorbs the rain outside or as the light plays on it indoors. It is available in a range of colours and doesn't contain any chemicals or synthetic materials, so is ideal for people with asthma and other breathing difficulties. However, it can dust off on clothes so is not always desirable for high traffic areas or if you have small children.
Most new lime renders are limewashed as it protects from the elements such as rain and frost. How long it lasts depends on how exposed the elevation of the building is. For instance, a sheltered country cottage may not need to be re-limewashed for around ten years, while a three story property with a west facing gable on the top of the Mendips may need to be re-done every couple of years. However, natural additives such as casein and tallow can be added to limewash to increase their adhesion and durability.
Lime Repair limewashes internal and external walls, or we are happy to recommend suppliers if you would prefer to do this yourself.