The lowdown on limewash paint: find out what this 'eco paint' is all about.

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Before we get into the details, a note to say that this is not an advert for Bauwerk Colour and I haven't been paid to write this. I received the following PR products, a paint brush, a tin of prep coat and a tin of limewash paint and in return I agreed to create some content for my instagram account documenting my honest opinions.

Box of Bauwerk limewash paint being unwrapped

Spoiler alert: I loved it and decided to share lots of info here on my Thornior page because I think you'll be interested in this brilliant, natural product.

I've always wanted to try limewash paint. Regular readers of my blog will know that I regularly paint (& repaint) my home, experimenting along the way with a plethora of colours, textures and paint effects, but somehow I'd never got round to using 'proper' limewash paint. If I'm honest, the price was probably a factor because it certainly wasn't a lack of shades or any downsides to the paint itself. In fact, when the time came for colour selection I was slightly overwhelmed (if that isn't too much of an oxymoron?!) by the huge selection of available colours and spent a long time perusing the beautiful, inspiring images on the Bauwerk website.

Limewash paint tester cards stuck to an interior wall

This year, I'm giving the downstairs of our house a complete overhaul, you can read more on that here... I've already updated our IKEA hack built-in shelves (read how I made them here) to become a DIY home office (read how I did that one here) and the next stage of the plan involved painting the whole area (three rooms in open plan layout) the same to make it flow better. I decided to that limewash would be ideal for this because it has texture and depth and wont be too plain or dull (the reason I ended up zoning the areas with paint previously was that a single shade throughout felt a bit boring).

I narrowed it down to five shades (Bone, Quiet, Whitewash, Mykonos, Intention) and spent some time testing them in various different spots and at differing times of the day as the changing light can make a huge difference to a paint colour.

I thought it might be useful to summarise some of the key points about limewash paint, as I received lots of questions on my insta stories from people who didn't really know what it was all about. See below for the answers and don't hesitate to message me if you think I've missed anything. I'll be sharing a proper ste-by-step soon.

Claire Douglas Pinterest Board minimalist home decor

What is Bauwerk limewash paint?

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Bauwerk limewash paint is a completely natural and organic product, unlike the typical tins of paint that I usually use. Bauwerk explains that they make use of "clay, minerals, and beautiful natural pigments," and that their limewash is essentially a thin layer of limestone that dries on your wall by absorbing carbon dioxide from the air.

Why should you stir Limewash paint?

Limewash paint separated in the tin


Don't be alarmed, by the layers of sediment when you open the tin this is completely normal and easily remedied by a quick stir. In fact, get used to stirring if you decide to use this paint as it is an essential part of the process and should really be done each time you plan to dip your brush. I used a long piece of plastic to ensure I got right to the bottom on the large tin, you could use a 'proper' paint stirrer if you have one, or even a whisk, as suggested by Bauwerk.

Why is limewash paint an 'eco-paint'?

Bauwerk limewash has zero solvents or VOCs (Volatile organic compounds) so is safe to breathe in, unlike lots of paints on the market. The limewash doesn't create a film-like layer over the wall in the same was as say emulsion would. The upside of this is that the wall can breath, and the paint won't peel, bubble or blister, the downside is that you can't use limewash to cover over imperfections as you might be able to with a few layers of emulsion. Limewash is fire proof, fade proof and mineral based (eg no animal products). Finally, Bauwerk advise that their paint is produced with 100% green power so is kinder to the environment. At this point I was desperate to try it.

Did you use a brush or a roller to apply limewash paint?

Limewash brush

You really need to use a brush to apply it because a roller won't be able to create the super gorgeous & cloud-like patterns and textures that is synonymous with limewash applications. I used the large brush supplied directly by Bauwerk and I actually found it a bit too large because I personally prefer the more intricate textured cloud effects. I tried using a smaller paint brush that I had and found that worked better for the detail I was going for. The Bauwerk paintbrush was much better quality and I'd definitely recommend using one of them, but go for a smaller size if you want detailed clouds.

Did you prep the walls?

Limewash prep coat


Yes, I followed the Bauwerk instructions and used their prep coat which was easy to apply and provided the perfect base to create beautiful clouds on to. I had previously skimmed some of the walls (visit the DIY skimming section of my blog here) so they needed a prep coat. Check your walls to determine what they are made of and whether they are solid, stud, painted, plastered etc then refer to the Bauwerk guide for instructions on the prep you should do.

Was using limewash messy?

Limewashed wall after one coat

When I first opened the tin, I was slightly alarmed at the thin consistency as I'm a very messy person and had visions of it spraying and slopping all over the place! But, the key to success is actually shaking most of the paint off the brush before a single bristle touches the wall, so this means that there's actually very little opportunity for dripping, splashing or spraying. I splashed some out the tin when I first stirred it as I went in way too enthusiastically, once I realised slow and steady was better I adopted a stirring technique that meant all the paint stayed in the tin going forward. I ended up getting so brave that I did a couple of walls without even putting dust sheets down (tbh, that probably tells you more about my impatient nature and appetite for risk-taking than the messiness of the paint but you get the idea).

Romantic limewash wall with rose floral display


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