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Over a year ago when I fell down the rabbit hole of white brick exteriors on Pinterest, I started dreaming up what my own house would look like white. I have nothing against traditional brick, but a good white exterior just makes my heart flutter!
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Here are some of the amazing images that inspired me.
After doing some research, I knew I wanted to work with Romabio Classico Limewash (I used Avorio White). Romabio’s limewash is hydrated limestone from Italy and binds with the brick while still allowing it to breathe, so it won’t flake or peel off like paint would (though it will slowly wear and “patina” over time).
Did you know that limewash is actually an ancient method of treating brick? We’re talking Pharaohs in Egypt ancient. It has antibacterial, insecticide, and fireproofing properties, so it actually protects the brick from deteriorating! Plus its chemical free, so it’s safe for the environment.
Here are all the materials you’re going to need to tackle this yourself (because you totally can)!
- Romabio Classico Limewash
- The amount of limewash you’ll need is dependent on your house size. I used just a little more than 4 gallons undiluted).
- A massive brush (budget option vs. brand option)
- Garden hose
- Spray nozzle
- Mortar mixing panel
- Extra bucket
- Power washer
The very first thing you need to do is pressure wash your brick. Get all that nasty dirt that you didn’t even realize was hiding on there off so that it is ready for the limewash to adhere to.
The Romabio limewash is sold in concentrated form, so you need to dilute it. You can dilute it at a 100% (1 part limewash, 1 part water) or 50% (2 parts limewash, 1 part water) or anywhere in between, so test out a few different dilutions to get the look you want and the consistency that you prefer to work with. Attach the mixing paddle to the drill and mix your limewash in a bucket.
Since the limewash needs to kind of seep into the brick to adhere properly, the brick needs to be wet when you apply it, so spray it down with your hose. You don’t want it to be dripping wet, but it does need to be damp.
Now dip your brush in and paint the limewash on. Since it dries to an ultra matte finish, you don’t need to worry about brush strokes showing through once it’s dry.
I found that turning the brush sideways and painting the vertical grout lines first before turning the brush horizontal and continuing on worked best for my brick. Work in small sections so that your brick doesn’t dry out. It also helps to work on overcast days where it’s not too hot because the brick doesn’t dry out as fast.
You’ll freak out a little about how transluscent is seems, but it dries much more opaque. It does shadow when it rains, meaning that it does get a little “darker” when it gets wet just like untreated brick does.
I did two coats because I want a solid, opaque look (check out the one coat vs. two in the pictures below). While the product boasts one coat coverage, I would probably plan to do two coats even if I was distressing. But (1) my brick could also be more absorbent than your average brick and (2) you could probably dilute it a little less than I did to get better coverage on the first pass!
I chose not to add any distressing, but if you want to this is where you would do that. To get any splatters off your driveway, wait for the limewash to dry for a couple of hours and then spray them with either your power sprayer or the high pressure setting on the hose nozzle. No need to worry about splatters in your lawn because it is basically just rock powder at it’s core, so it won’t harm your plants. And just to mention, as long as your limewash has 2-3 hours to dry rain won’t bother it.
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