Limewashed Brick Exterior Makeover Reveal
A huge thank you to Romabio for supporting our home makeover project with Classico Limewash paint in Bianco White and helping make our limewashed brick dreams come true. As always, opinions are 100% my own.
Oh my gracious alive, the limewash brick makeover, y’all! We made it!
The brick is limewashed, the trim is painted, the shutters have been replaced, the house is looking super fly, and it was worth every single day of this 2 month wait to share it.
Brick Exterior Before
Remember how the outside of our house looked back in October? Ever since we moved in earlier this year, I’ve always envisioned white brick with dark shutters.
There was nothing “bad” about it to begin with, but it just didn’t quite feel like “us”.
I have nothing against natural brick. I think it’s beautiful. But I am a sucker for that European limewashed brick.
Limewash Brick After
There is this one neighborhood near uptown Charlotte I love driving through because there are several limewashed brick colonials that I have been drawn to for so long. (Do you stalk old high-end neighborhoods in your city? Did I just admit I’m a little stalkerish when it comes to pretty houses?)
Robert and I just couldn’t get that style out of our heads. So now, it has a whole new look!
Gawgeous dahling! I just wanna pet that pretty brick and whisper sweet nothings to it. (And maybe I have…)
I can’t wait to take pictures of it again in the summer when the grass is lush and green and the trees are full of leaves again.
Our landscaping still needs work, but I am so excited about how fresh and pretty our brick and trim looks now.
UPDATE: See how the limewashed brick with its improved landscaping looks now!
Back in the fall, I told you guys how Romabio provided limewash to makeover our brick. Honestly, we planned to fork out the bucks to do this job ourselves, so we felt absolutely honored they were willing to work with us on this.
What is Limewash?
Limewash isn’t a paint. It’s real aged slaked lime that is applied as one coat with a large masonry brush or sprayer and can be instantly washed off to give you a weathered, exposed brick look you want.
Different than acrylic paint or German smear technique that uses mortar, Classico Limewash paint calcifies to a rock solid finish so it won’t peel, chip, or flake off. It lasts 15-25 years with very little maintenance.
Choosing a Limewash Brick Artisan vs a Brick Painter
For an entire month, Hans from Reflections of Italy came out to take on the job, since we knew this was something we definitely wanted to hire a professional for.
Hans is an artisan, trained in Italy, and I learned so much just watching him work his magic. This was definitely not a rush job as he took his time to get every detail of the weathering process just right.
While some painting contractors could attempt a limewash application and do a decent job, it often takes an artisan who thoroughly understands how limewash is supposed to naturally weather to achieve the right look.
Here is a video tutorial for How to Limewash Brick that can help.
How to Limewash Brick
- Pressure Washer
- Garden Hose
- 5 Gallon Bucket
- Romabio Limewash (1 Liter size covers 80-100 SQ/FT, 2.5 Liter size covers 200-250 SQ/FT, 15 Liter size covers 1200-1500 SQ/FT)
- Drill with Paint Mixing Bit
- Paint Sprayer (optional but very helpful – it may be worth it to rent a professional grade paint sprayer)
- Masonry Brush
- White Vinegar
- Plastic Dropcloths
- Painters Tape
How to Apply Limewash
- Remove shutters and gutters from your home, if possible.
- Cover any areas not intended for limewash with plastic dropcloths and secure with painters tape.
- Dilute the slaked lime with water at a 1:1 ratio and thoroughly mix.
- Dampen the brick. Hans and his crew pressure washed all of our brick in sections as they worked, as it must be dampened prior to application.
- Spray or brush on the Classico Limewash paint, again focusing on one section of your house at a time.
Limewash Brick Weathering Process
6. Begin removing small portions of the freshly painted limewash surface with a pressure washer.
Hans weathered it using a pressure washer to expose the brick underneath and touched up with more of the Classico Limewash paint to customize the look we wanted.
You can show a little brick or a lot of brick, depending on your style.
And if you are not happy with the look at first, you can remove it within the first 5 days, which makes for a stress-free process to give you the look that you want.
7. Concentrate on removing limewash from the brick where it would naturally weather from rain water over the years.
Hans removed limewash from the brick around the shutters, window sills, and edges of the house. He studied our house to imagine where rain would naturally flow for the removal process.
After watching him work his magic and seeing how detailed he was, even up on the 2nd story of the house and the chimney, I was really glad Robert and I didn’t attempt this one ourselves.
He is an artist and really created the look we wanted, but there are a lot of ways to get this beautiful limewashed look. You can check out Romabio’s how-to video to see another applicator paint and wash it off easily.
Limewash Paint Colors
For the colors, we chose the brightest white possible, Romabio Classico Limewash Paint in Bianco White (you can see all of the Romabio colors here), Behr Cracked Pepper for the shutters, gutters, and spouts, and Behr Ultra Pure White for the trim since we wanted a modern take on a classic look.
Ideal Weather Conditions for Limewash Paint Application
One tip Hans told me: You want to make sure you apply the limewash on a warm, sunny day (between 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit) because the sun bakes it to be a calcified bright white finish.
If your brick is still wet from rain, that is totally okay. As long as no more rain is in the forecast, you are fine to go ahead and limewash your brick since your brick needs to be damp for application anyway.
The Final Limewashed Brick Look
I still can’t believe this before and after…
And of course, Robert immediately put up our American flag when the job was officially finished. Love that patriotic veteran of mine.
Like I said, our landscaping still needs some love. We had leaves stuck to the wet ground by the time I was able to take photos of it all finished, but I’m sure we’ll perk up our yard in the spring/summer when the weather is more cooperative.
UPDATE: The porch and landscaping got a little extra love later!
I’m so in love with how much texture and character our house has now, and I’m so glad we didn’t choose a solid paint so that some of the natural bricks could still peek through.
Eventually, I’ll be having more fun with the porch decor too.
One of these days, I would love to rip out the cracking concrete walkway from the front stoop and create a brick paver walkway from the door to the street and driveway instead. Then, maybe line it with flowers. I’m getting way ahead of myself here.
Limewash Brick Maintenance
UPDATE: It has been over 4 years since our limewash brick makeover, and we are still so incredibly happy with our decision. It’s required very little maintenance with only the occasional need for a light scrubbing using mild soap and water around our flower beds where mud splashed onto our house during some foundation repairs last spring.
Here’s how it looks today!
One thing’s for sure, we’ll never get rid of our magnolia tree in our front yard. Sign of a Southerner right there.
Limewash Brick Before and After
On the garage side of the house, we perked it up too by painting it with more of the Behr Cracked Pepper color to create some contrast.
Even though it’s just a basic garage door, it looks a little more fancy now. Maybe one day we’ll replace it or add some hardware to it, but just the paint change alone did so much.
The backyard is still my favorite spot though. Here’s what it looked like the week we closed on it.
I can’t wait to see it when our crepe myrtle trees burst with pink blooms in the summer.
Last summer, we decided to start a little bit on our back porch makeover and then we pumped the brakes on the idea until we could make the limewash happen.
This is what it looked like before we moved in.
We painted the ceiling with Benjamin Moore Paladian Blue and swapped out the ceiling fans.
But those Behr Cracked Pepper doors with the Romabio Classico Limewash make it pop. Ahh!
I still envision so much more for this space, and I can’t wait to get out here to add furniture, clean up that wood decking, and maybe add a faux fireplace where that TV and mini fridge are.
The outside now finally matches the inside and is so much more a reflection of our style.
This is only the beginning of a whole lot of outdoor projects that we’ll be ready to tackle soon!
You can check out Romabio’s Instagram for more limewash ideas and see their other paints (they have amazing masonry paints and healthy interior paints too) or see all kinds of beautiful weathering techniques on Reflections of Italy’s Instagram.
Limewashed Brick Fireplace
And if you have a fireplace that needs jazzing up right now, you can use the same method on fireplaces. I knocked it out on my own in an afternoon on our living room and playroom fireplaces.
If y’all need me, I’ll be outside freezing my tail off just staring at our house like a goober. 😉
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Paint will have the tendency to peel over time and require more maintenance as it sits on top of the brick’s surface. Limewash, however, penetrates the brick allowing the porous material to “breathe”. Because it is designed to achieve a natural aging process, it requires less maintenance and lasts longer.
Authentic limewash made from real slaked lime will dry to a fully opaque flat finish. The limewash will not change color or alter the brick’s color.
Just one coat is all you need. That’s another perk of using limewash instead of paint since paint often requires 2 or more coats on brick.
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