4 Things People Never Tell You About Decorating With Limewash

Here are a few things people never tell you about decorating with limewash that'll help if you're figuring out how to bring this paint into your own home

Limewashed bedroom with bed
(Image credit: Design: @shed.studio, Photography: @studioperiphery / Instagram)

You have the can of paint and the right brushes, but there are a few things people never tell you about decorating with limewash that are worth knowing before you pry open the lid. 

Don't panic — none of these factors will sway you to avoid limewash altogether. In actuality, these expert-backed nuggets of wisdom will only expand your knowledge about where you can slather on a few coats of this special paint that has its roots in limestone and what it can do for a room as opposed to another stain or lacquer.

The natural components that make up this paint allow it to cover a multitude of surfaces and give these said surfaces a particular texture and subtle milky finish. It's unlike the satin or high gloss options out there and fits exceedingly well into homes that embrace organic, earthy, beachy, or European aesthetics. If you've been considering this paint idea for walls in different rooms around your home, read on for the best tips and worthwhile details. 

1. Limewash Isn't Limited to One Surface

Limewashed dining room with wire chair

(Image credit: @mike_and_kate / Instagram)

Limewash paint has been a wall trend as of late, but Joy Aumann, a realtor, interior designer, and co-founder of La Jolla Life notes that you're not limited to just the four walls in a room. The nature of limewash can upgrade a variety of materials and areas. 'Limewashing is perfect for transforming trim, ceiling beams, furniture — you name it,' she says. 'I once whitewashed a client's oak buffet and it gave the piece a breath of fresh life.' Other options include bookshelves, dining tables, and coffee tables. Get creative, there are few things that can be painted but can't handle limewash.

2. Imperfection Is Perfection With Limewash

Limewashed bedroom with bed

(Image credit: Design: @shed.studio, Photography: @studioperiphery / Instagram)

You certainly won't notice any 'mistakes' just by looking at the natural, rugged texture of a limewash wall whether it's in a bedroom or on living room walls. Painting it on yourself, however, and you might feel overly worried about lines, brushstrokes, and the overall finish.

'Imperfection is part of the beauty of limewash,' says Aumann. 'The result is never perfect or precise, and that's what gives it its rustic charm.' Limewash is meant to be this way and wouldn't have the same characteristics if it was as clean as a regular coat of paint. Preparation is key for the best possible result. She says to 'remove any existing finishes completely so the limewash can penetrate,' and, as with any new color, do a patch test.

3. Limewash Equates to Instant Depth and Texture

Limewashed dining area with buffet

(Image credit: The Design Chaser)

Without resorting to wallpaper or textured paints, limewash is the perfect way to get extra dimension on your walls. 'Using a lime wash brush specifically developed for lime paint application is essential for achieving the nuanced variations characteristic of traditional lime wash, resulting in a beautiful finish that enhances depth and texture,' says Michelle Halford, interior stylist and founder of The Design Chaser.

If you're looking for where to buy limewash paint, she specifically uses Porter's Paints Interno Lime Wash and 'opts for a darker shade' as it lightens once it's applied.

4. Limewash Can Be Used Outdoors

White and bright patio area

(Image credit: Vlad Bucur / Unsplash)

If you assumed you could only implement the glowing wonders of limewash outdoors, you'll be pleased to hear it can elevate your outdoor spaces too. Limewash is a great choice for exterior wood and brick surfaces. 'It's quick and easy to apply, and will help to protect the materials from weathering,' says Rafi Friedman, president of Coastal Luxury Outdoors. 'Oil-based limewash works best for outdoor applications. It's a great, classic look, especially with white homes.' Whether you have dividing wall made of brick or wooden flooring, limewash is perfectly suitable and instantly evokes colors and textures ideal for abodes with coastal themes.

Limewash Paints for Enlivening Any Space

Melissa Epifano Varley

Melissa Epifano Varley is a freelance writer and editor who has covered interiors for a variety of publications. Most recently, she served as the global editor-in-chief for Real Homes. She has also contributed to Forbes, Apartment Therapy, The Spruce, People, InStyle, and more. When it comes to design, she covers trends, advice, house tours, and how-tos. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in journalism and spends her free time writing, reading, and traveling.