How To Lime Wash Walls

lime wash completed on a wall in the living room. the living room has a sofa that you can barely see, a basket with blankets, a coffee table, two chairs, and a checkered rug.

f you haven't seen my Fall 2022 One Room Challenge debacle, I recommend you catch up. I don't think I've ever had a more pitiful showing for a project. Nevertheless, I am much closer to finishing the room (with mostly decor pieces left). I'm in a much better position to show you the room, and I am ready to explain how I lime washed the space. Get excited. The lime wash was pretty easy using the method I used. There is another lime wash I've seen that looked less straightforward.

Here is my pitiful showing of a one-room challenge reveal. As you can see, we’ve come a long way. 

lime wash completed on a wall in the living room. the living room has a sofa that you can barely see, a basket with blankets, a coffee table, two chairs, and a checkered rug.

Why Lime Wash

Look, I wanted gorgeous, flowy movement on my walls; I wanted texture and visual interest. I know I’m likely to change my mind in a few years, and I didn’t want to have to sand the wall AGAIN. If you didn’t know, I redid it once – I had done the modern board and batten a few years ago, and, well, it didn’t fit the vibe, so it got decommissioned. The redo included a patch job and a sand job that was undoubtedly terrible for my lungs, and I’d never do it again. NEVER.

No doubt this was factored in when I was deciding on what wall treatment to go with. Initially, roman clay was my number one option. It hit all my prerequisites above but after I sanded the wall smooth, it suddenly felt incredibly unappealing knowing my mind would change eventually. Enter lime wash for the win.

lime wash can of paint and brush

How to Lime Wash the Easy Way

The simplest way to lime wash is to buy lime wash paint. I used Color Atelier paint which contains hydrated aged lime in the paint – this is what creates the movement when painting and makes your process a little simpler.

Then you need a block brush to paint the limewash – I bought the brush from Color Atelier because their brushes are designed to work well with the thinner lime wash paint.

Then is the fun part – painting. It is so easy to paint with lime wash. All you do is take your brush and go to town. Warning: do not pre-cut in on the walls. You’ll end up with a stark line you don’t want to have. Cut in as you go so you can blend it in a little bit more and create the movement. Your brush strokes should be random and in varying directions keep going until the wall is covered – but keep rocking those multi-directional strokes.

I did 4 coats on this wall (a wet coat 2 pictured below)- but I recently read you’re supposed to let each coat dry overnight. I did not do that – if I did, perhaps I would have done fewer coats. I did let the third coat try completely and then did the fourth coat – it made the finish feel more fluid. So there is certainly something to be said for the dry time.

You can choose to seal it/top coat it. My family room won’t see enough wear and tear, so I didn’t put a sealing coat on.


Lime wash brush
lime wash brush strokes
progress of lime wash going onto a wall

Another Option for Lime Wash

Another way I’ve seen this done, without purchasing actual lime wash paint is by using two colours (same colour, lighted to 50% and 75%, respectively) or something similar. I think you can use a regular paintbrush with this technique, but you’d still want to do the back-and-forth, random brush strokes and cutting in as you go. 

Given I didn’t do this method, I would go on the hunt for someone who has to see if they have any tips or tricks for you. 

Either way, TIME TO LIME WASH!!!