All of our frequently asked questions about our brick limewash concerning neighbors’ opinions, trends, DIY-ability, and why we chose it over paint.
Total slacker status over here, y’all. So many of you have sent me sweet messages for a few weeks congratulating us, and we’ve been so busy that I haven’t even had a chance to share it with you guys…
Our house is in Country Living Magazine this month!
It’s a little bitty feature all about our limewashed brick that we completed last January with Romabio, and it made me remember how many frequently asked questions I get about it from some of you who are considering the limewashing route on your exteriors and brick fireplaces.
It’s been over a year since we limewashed our brick, and we are still totally smitten over it!
So I thought I’d round up all of the FAQs and spill the details, if you ever need help deciding. (This post isn’t sponsored by Romabio or anything like that. I’m just sharing in hopes that it will give y’all some insight.)
1. How do your neighbors feel about your limewashed house?
We’ve had nothing but GREAT responses to our new exterior’s look. We’ve been playing in our yard with the kiddos several times before when neighbors would drive by and roll down their windows to shout, “I love your brick!” So I guess that’s pretty good feedback. 😉
If any of them hate it, they’ve never said anything to us.
The thing is though we live in an old neighborhood where every house is different and there are several painted brick houses already.
Ours is the only one limewashed, but it’s definitely a neighborhood that embraces different styles. That’s something to consider. And absolutely check with your HOA before touching your brick in case their are rules against it.
2. What if I can’t decide whether to limewash or paint our brick?
If you can’t decide which route to take, I highly suggest picking up a quart of Romabio first (you can get it here) and testing it out on a section of your brick to see how you feel. If you don’t love it, there is a 5 day window before the limewash fully calcifies, so you can blast it with a power washer to remove it. Even after that, it can be removed with muriatic acid.
(Fair warning: The limewash can look pink at first before it dries and might need two coats, so consider that before deciding that you hate it.)
You can always limewash and paint your brick later, if your taste changes. But you can’t do it the other way around. Once brick is painted, that’s it. There’s no turning back.
3. Aren’t you afraid limewashing is a trend and it will end up dating your house when it’s no longer in vogue?
Limewash has been around in Europe for centuries. And Romabio manufactures it using authentic Dolomite lime from Italy, so it’s the real deal. It’s “in” right now, but it’s also classic.
Some of my favorite brick houses in some of my favorite upscale neighborhoods in uptown Charlotte have been limewashed for a couple of decades, and I remember even as a kid loving the look of them. (This love of houses I have deep in my heart has been there my entire life, apparently.)
4. Is limewashing DIYable or do you have to hire out?
On a small scale, it is totally DIYable! I managed to limewash both of our fireplaces on my own in an afternoon, and I absolutely love how both of them turned out! You can find video tutorials to follow here.
As for the exterior of your home, I think it all depends on the size of your house and how confident you feel in your artistic abilities.
We chose to hire Hans from Reflections of Italy to limewash our house for a lot of reasons, but mainly…
1. Safety. We have a nearly 3,000 square foot two story home, and the last thing we wanted to do was fall off of a tall ladder and severely hurt ourselves.
2. Time. With our young family having to juggle full-time jobs and babysitting for a little one, it just wasn’t feasible. Hans spent weeks perfecting this job.
3. Skill. I can distress furniture like there’s no tomorrow and am no stranger to painting many things myself, but there is major artistic skill involved with limewashing a brick exterior. Even hiring a professional painter might be risky because limewashing isn’t the same as painting brick.
Hans is an artisan trained in Italy, and he studied the architecture of our house to decide where the limewash would have weathered naturally with the elements. He told me he’s had to fix limewashing jobs done by professional painters before because they remove the limewash to look like a scantron bubble sheet and it looks too intentional and “polka-dot like”. So that’s something to think about too.
Robert and I are all about saving money where we can and doing DIY jobs to stay within a reasonable budget, but there are just some instances where you get what you pay for. And this is one of them.
I hope that helps some of you who have gone back and forth at the thought of limewashing your brick. We couldn’t be happier with ours.
I am absolutely amazed at all of the gorgeous limewash jobs I’ve seen pop up all over Instagram this past year and don’t think this style is going anywhere any time soon. There aren’t many “trends” that stay, but I think this is one of them because it has timeless roots.
If you think of any other questions, feel free to drop them in the comments!