Lime Wash & Clay Paints

Lime plaster, new or old, should be limewashed or painted only with breathable paints. The use of modern synthetic paints will form an impermeable barrier which stops lime, and the wall to which it has been applied, from breathing. It is also possible that the use of such paint will trap moisture, creating an avoidable damp problem.

Lime and clay paints are natural, their manufacture is low energy and low carbon, waste is minimal. Today's modern paints are a potent cocktail of chemicals, and contain VOC's. They are entirely unsuitable for use on lime renders or plasters.

Lime WashTudor wall restoration

The lime wash process can be closely aligned to the layers of lime plaster or lime render it is to cover. It is not simply a paint, but is in fact the final layer of lime to be applied, and will take a number of coats to achieve the desired effect. Limewash does not dry in the way that paint does, it has to carbonate to cure. As is the case when lime plastering or rendering, it is necessary to thoroughly wet down the wall before application. This wetting assists in the carbonation process, and also acts to prevent the layers beneath absorbing the water, which may make the lime carbonate too quickly. Limewash applied without regular wetting down will rub off.

Clay Paints

The alternative to natural limewash is clay paint. This paint is mineral based, and complements newly plastered lime. It will also cover old lime plastered walls, modern plaster and other paintwork. As it is much thicker than limewash it is especially useful when applied to older lime plasters, where the finish may have deteriorated due to age. In contrast to other eco-emulsions, clay paints absorb moisture and even out humidity, thus reducing condensation. This makes them particularly suited to kitchens and bathrooms.

RJM Plastering Specialists are happy to use either of the above types of paint, which are available in over 100 different tints or colours.

 Lime wash on lime render

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