You don’t have to use German-smeared mortar or hydrated lime to create the whitewashed brick look that you want. And you don’t have to use an acrylic paint that is not Organic or natural and gives you too much shine in the end result.
There is a different way to get the antique look of whitewashed brick. You can use our authentic, slaked-lime paint that is sourced from Northern Italy, similar to what was used historically throughout Europe. And you can even do it yourself in one afternoon!
We specially formulated Classico Limewash paint to be a slow-set application so you can easily create the antique limewash or whitewashed look you want for your brick fireplace or for the exterior of your home. Here’s a video to see how easy it is for interior application and step-by-step instructions below.
Here is what you will need to get started:
- 1 QT./1L of Classico Limewash paint. It covers 125 – 150 sq. ft. Most typical-sized fireplaces will only need one.
- Small Masonry Brush
- Spray bottle filled with water.
- Plastic or drop clothes for the floor, even old sheets or a tarp.
- Mixing bucket. Any type of plastic bucket that can hold 3-5 liters to mix the paint and water.
- Stir stick – spatula, paddle drill, a small stick of wood, or even the paint brush if it is long enough.
- Towels or rags. Medium-sized cotton towels or old dish rags could work well.
Step 1. Clean the brick
Before painting, you need to make sure the brick is clean. Use the old rags moistened with water and wipe down the bricks and remove any cobwebs or soot.
Step 2. Dampen with water
Use the spray bottle, and lightly dampen the brick with water, just enough to make the surface is more permeable, but not so much that water runs down the wall.
Step 3. Dilute the paint with water
Classico Limewash paint needs to be diluted with clean water 50-100%. This means for 1 QT of paint product, you will need to mix it with 1/2 QT up to 1 QT of water. Start with less first. Pour the paint into the mixing bucket, then add the water and thoroughly mix them together. It should only take 5-10 minutes or until there is uniform consistency with no standing water.
Step 4. Apply with a brush
Starting in the top left corner of the fireplace, apply Classico Limewash across an entire surface area of a section, making sure you get an even coat all the way around. You can see below how we did the left column side first and then did the bottom section.
Step 5: Watching paint dry
The next stage is actually the most crucial. This is when you get to create the antique look you want. Depending on the air temperature, the drying process could take anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple of hours. Let it get to a point where it is almost dry, still damp, but not dripping.
Step 6: Spray with water
This is the fun part. Once you think the paint is starting to dry, use the water bottle and rags to spray off and wipe as much or as little of the paint as you want. The limewash paint will come off and expose the brick, and you get to decide how much or little you take off depending on the look you want to create!
Step 7: Enjoy your new look
That’s it! Touch up any areas that you want to be more painted and if for some reason you are not happy with an area, you can easily remove the paint with household vinegar.
Just spray the area and remove it with old rags and reapply as desired. After about two to three days the paint should calcify and won’t be able to be easily removed.
Once you’ve created the wash-off look you want, let the paint fully dry. Don’t use the fireplace that day and stay off of it until it fully dries overnight. To protect it and prevent chalking, especially on stoops or areas you sit on, we recommend adding a top coat of our Mineral Shield. After that, it is ready to go and you can enjoy your new look!
Classico Limewash also works on the exterior so if you love this look, you can use the same process but with a garden hose instead of a spray bottle. Here’s a video showing you exterior application, and it’s an easy process to give you a gorgeous look that is found in historic European buildings.