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The Difference between Lime Paint and Lime Wash

The main difference between lime paint and lime wash is the level of viscosity or thickness of the paint. 

JH lime paint is used with aged slaked lime.  This is the ingredient used in lime plaster.  JH ages our authentic slaked lime for at least 3 years.  This is important because lime is the main ingredient to create the mottled texture and dimension on the surfaces.  If the lime is of lower quality the mottling may not be as apparent and the surfaces may not have the distinct glow and luminescence that is found in a high quality mineral lime paint.  


To tint lime paint you can either use acrylic based universal tints or mineral earth pigments.  JH uses earth mineral pigments for an all mineral based lime paint.  The quality of colorant impacts the quality of the lime painted finish on the surface.

Now let’s discuss viscosity.  Lime wash is a watered down lime paint that is used only in one application.  It is a white wash or lime wash and is usually runny and may be difficult to use if it is too watered down too much causing water streaks.   A lime wash can be used as the final coats of a lime washed wall or on heavily porous surfaces where you want the lime wash to really absorb into the substrate.  Lime paint is a full bodied paint that is extremely versatile.  Lime paint by JH is full bodied and creamy and can be troweled on, rolled on, brushed on or sprayed on.  It can be further watered down to create a lime wash.  Due to the viscosity being thick you get more coverage per gallon since water is not added.  You are able to dilute the lime paint to the level of wash you desire.  It puts you in control of the finish you want to create.  Many clients put the first coat on full strength and then add some layers of lime wash by diluting 1:1/2 (one part paint to 1/2 part water) or 1:1 (one part paint to 1 part water).  Lime paint created into a lime wash over brick, wood, stone and plaster are all applied without primer and look beautiful.   


We hope this was helpful to review the three most important factors in a quality lime paint.  Viscosity, quality of lime and colorants make a huge impact on the final lime wash painted finish!