Skip to Content

Can You Paint Over the Limewash? (Answered)

People who want to style their home a bit old style are choosing limewash for the walls. Limewash adds depth to the walls, flaunts the walls’ patterns, and gives the boundaries a chalky appearance. 

Thus you get to live in an ‘Instagram kinda home’ that’s eye-soothing and natural-looking.

However, since the coat of limewash looks chalky you may not want to continue with the finishing at some point. Or the coating after some time may look too old and dull, so you may want to know if you can paint over limewash as usual.

To guide you, here we’ve answered the question covering more things you may need to learn about limewash. 

Can you paint over limewash?

You can paint over limewash but only after the surface is covered with some neutralizing product. Or else direct application of paint over limewash will not let the paint stick to it. So you have to use a sealer or primer over limewash coating to paint it over. So that the paint stays.   

Limewash is a thin coating of lime, mineral, and water. It’s a popular alternative to traditional paint and can be used over brick, plaster, cement, etc. surfaces. 

Limewash stands out because of its ability to flaunt the texture of the surface. Limewash can soak into brick, stone, or any masonry surface, that’s how it adds depth and texture to the wall it’s applied over. 

Limewash over any surface looks chalky. However, not everyone likes the matte look of limewash. So they may want to paint over it but drop the idea thinking lime-washed walls can’t be painted over. 

Well, lime-washed walls can be painted after using a neutralizing product. Limewash has high alkaline which can eat the paint up if applied without any neutralizer in between. 

Similarly, you can paint over lime-washed brick after sealing it with a primer or sealer. Since the brick will eat the limewash the paint won’t sit without a medium. Thus brick walls can be painted over the limelight. 

Let’s now see whether you can paint over these limewash:

Romabio limewash: 

Romabio limewash is a famous limewash containing genuine lime to use on any masonry surface.  Any wall, brick, or stone containing Romabio limewash can be painted over after some decent coats of neutralizer. 

So before you paint over Romabio limewash make sure to seal it.

Exterior limewash: 

Limewash can be done outside. It’s long-lasting and weatherproof so is suitable to apply external surfaces. But if you want to paint over the exterior limewash, that can’t be done without using a neutralizing sealer.

Can you whitewash over limewash?

Limewash is a type of coating made of slack lime, water, and tint. It’s much thinner than usual paints and soaks into the material when used.

Whitewash on the other hand is made of masonry lime and water to apply over brick or plaster surface. It creates a light white layer over the bare surface while toning the color down. Whitewash in simple words is like a paint that’s been watered down.

If you want to whitewash over a lime-washed wall, it’s possible. But you will need to scrub off the layer of limewash. Because limewash soaks in the surface whereas whitewash sits on it. If the lime coating is not removed, the whitewash might not stay.

So by removing or priming the lime coat, you can whitewash.

Can you paint over limewash with emulsion?

Limewash can be painted over with emulsion. But you must prepare the surface before making the paint stay on it for a longer period.

An emulsion is water-based paint. It offers various types of finishing including matte, shiny, velvet, glossy, etc. It’s usually applied on a surface after it’s been prepared with some sealer or coating. This way emulsion paint lasts longer and looks good. 

Limewash is a thin paint-like coating. It’s made of natural ingredients and used to give walls an old-house look. Limewash surfaces can be painted with any paint including emulsion paint. But the surface and the emulsion must have a coating or sealer in between to hold the paint. 

A sealer or primer prevents the lime from eating up the paint. It also enhances the color. So using a neutralizer you can paint over limewash with emulsion.

Three reasons why you can paint over limewash

If you’ve lime-washed your walls, you’ve probably seen how it looks so natural. It’s because limewash has a habit of penetrating through the surface. And that’s why painting over limewash doesn’t seem easy or even possible to many people as it can eat the paint up. 

But you can still paint over limewash. Because:

Limewash coatings can be sealed: 

Limewash is a thin coating that soaks the brick or plaster surface. Since the lime completely fills up the pores of the surface, paints don’t adhere to it.

But using neutralizing products that cover the limewash coating can solve this. If you apply a coat or two of sealants such as mineral primer over the lime-washed area, it will make the surface sticky for the paint to sit. 

Limewash can be removed: 

Though limewash penetrates through the masonry veneer it can be removed. If you don’t want the lime coating anymore you can remove the limewash simply.

You can paint over limewash by removing the coating with a bucket of water, pressure water, or even by hand.

Chalk paint can sit over limewash: 

If you think limewash can’t be painted over because it doesn’t let the paint sit, you have likely missed an option. Chalk paint that’s of the same finish as limewash can be applied over limewash without priming the surface. 

Since both chalk and limewash contain the same ingredients and features, chalk paint can be used over limewash.

How to paint over limewash?

You can limewash your walls to have a matte and chalky Instagram-like background, but if you want the walls to be more fun and interesting putting paint over them is the easiest solution.

Now since limewash is not like a regular whitewash, you may find it difficult to paint over it. That’s why we’re here guided you with five simple steps to paint over limewash correctly:

Gather the tools: 

Even if you’re doing it in a DIY manner, you’ll need some tools to make the work easier. So the first step is to collect a few essential tools such as sandpaper, paint primer, rag, paint, paintbrushes, wire brush, etc.

Scrub the lime coating: 

Using the wire brush scrub part of the limewash coating so that there is no debris, dust, or layer of lime getting in the way of paint.

Grind the surface: 

Rub the surface lightly with 180-grit sandpaper first, then with a 220-grit one to give it an even finishing. Sanding over the surface will smoothen the rough areas and bumps and make it prepared for priming. 

Prime the surface: 

Priming helps the surface to hold paint as it seals every pore. Also, it lets any paint stick over limewash.

Prime the entire sanded area with a neutralizing product for example mineral-based primer.  Apply one coat evenly and wait before applying the second one. 

Paint over primer: 

Apply your desired paint over the surface. There are a few paints like chalk paint and mineral paint that can be used without primer too. 

Since you have used primer any type of paint. Experts suggest using latex paint as it lasts long and doesn’t discolor with temperature. Apply two coats of latex paint and let it dry. 

What paint to use over limewash?

Limewash undoubtedly creates an aesthetic vibe by enhancing the texture, and patterns and changing the mood of the house. But even living in the palace seems boring at some point. 

So if you’re bored with the lime-washed structures around or looking for something vibrant and new, we’d say paint it all.

Many people think lime-washed walls can’t be painted. But that’s not right. There are a number of paints suitable for applying over your lime-washed walls with and without sealing. 

Let’s know about a few points you can use over limewash:

  • Chalk paint
  • Water-based paint
  • Mineral paint
  • Emulsion paint
  • Acrylic paint
  • Latex paint
  • Milk paint

Final Thoughts

Limewash can be painted over if you prime the lime coat or remove the lime. Limewash penetrates the surface material so it doesn’t let any other layers stick to the veneer. A mineral-based primer when applied over a porous surface makes the paint adhere to it, then you can paint over it.