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 Natural Limewash

 

General

Traditionally limewash was the principal finish applied externally and internally to historic buildings, quite often applied directly to the masonry or brickwork and more commonly to pre-applied lime coatings (i.e., harling, plaster, render etc.,). Although often thought of as a decorative coating, the limewash was first of all a protective layer to the lime coatings and masonry substrate. On new lime renders and plasters it unifies and protects the surface particularly while strength is developing within the new plaster.

Cottage

As with all lime coatings, limewash is a breathable coating allowing evaporation of moisture and water vapour. Limewash is also a repairing material, being used to fill small shrinkage cracks on the lime coverings.

Limewash can also be used in conjunction with various aggregates to make shelter coats for friable masonry and will act as a sacrificial protective coat.

Plain Limewash

Plain un-coloured limewash will take on the colour of the lime used; this can range from pure white through to grey or buff coloured.

Coloured Limewash

Generally earth pigments were used to colour the limewashes, most commonly ochre’s, but also sienna’s and umbers, which produced a range of yellows, reds and oranges. Broadly speaking these produced pastel shades, although deeper colours are not uncommon. Coal dust, ash, blood and ground stone dust have all been found as additives in historic limewashes to achieve the desired colour...