Limewash is an aged mixture of salt, hydrated (also called slaked) lime, mineral based pigments and water. It can be applied to a variety of porous surfaces like brick, stucco, and raw wood. Today, it is most commonly applied in a white shade to brick homes to create a distressed, old-world appearance.

Limewash is anti-microbial and anti-fungal and can be tinted any colors (though whites and off-whites are the most popular). While painted brick deteriorates over time since moisture trapped in the brick cannot escape, limewashed brick will be able to breathe and stay strong. Breathing is the natural process of moisture entering and escaping porous substances like brick

Limewash has also been developed into an interior paint for walls and ceilings called limewash paint or just lime paint. These paints are colored with natural pigments; from bold colors to earthy neutrals, each color has a lot of character. Lime paint has a suede finish with natural color variation to give your space depth and movement.

Unlike regular, latex-based paints, limewash and lime paints are completely VOC free. Limewash is often shipped in the form of a lime putty, which makes it easy to ship large quantities. Then you can dilute the putty to make your lime wash. Lime paint is typically shipped ready-to-use in cans just like latex paint.

In these images, you see limewash on the brick homes and lime paint in the interior shots.

If you want more information about lime paint, take a look at some of the questions below for quick answers or to be directed to our other articles!

How does limewash compare to whitewash?

Limewash is a finish designed for raw wood or unsealed masonry and has been around for centuries. While a simple limewash just consists of water, salt, and hydrated lime, a more complex version is an aged lime putty mixed with natural pigments that the user dilutes with water to create a usable wash. As it dries, it can be distressed by spraying on water to remove some of the finish.

Whitewash is a finishing technique for raw wood, masonry, and even previously painted surfaces. The user chooses a white or off-white paint color and dilutes it with water. Especially when used on brick, the user can remove excess paint with a rag to allow some of the natural brick to show through.

What is the difference between lime paint and lime wash?

Lime paint is typically designed for interior use and will come in a can just like any other interior latex paint. Lime wash is an exterior product that comes concentrated in a paste form.

While the formulation is similar, there are some differences that make each suitable for different applications.

Do you have a review of Romabio?
Yes! You can read about my experience with Romabio here.

I have a lot of questions about limewash paint.

Here are some FAQs. Click to be rerouted to our FAQ article!

I'm interested in buying lime paint for my house. Can I get information about colors and brands?

Our Guide to Lime Paint starts with a bit of history and goes into a discussion of colors and brand reviews! Here’s a excerpt for you:

Most lime paints are colored with mineral pigments. This gives the colors a lot of character. An airy blue feels like clouds. An olive green brings your space the same life rushing through forests. Earthy reds ground the space and bring an atmosphere of peace.

You’ll find at least one shade of lime paint for every color in the rainbow, plus paints in off-whites, browns, and greys. Lime paint manufacturers focus on creating a limited number of truly beautiful shades, each shade containing a symphony of color. I think this makes finding a paint color easier than if I went to a Home Depot to see thousands of color cards, one hardly distinguishable from another.

Before we begin, I want to specify that this article is about interior lime paint for walls and ceilings. If you’re looking for limewash for exterior masonry, you can read about my experience testing Romabio here. If you need a basic introduction to the differences between lime wash and lime paint, you can start here.

Now that we’re on the same page, let’s get started.

Kerry Pieri from Harper’s Bazaar

While a movement toward using clean, nontoxic products in everything from skincare to cleaning goods is consistently gaining momentum…the unique look of the paint technique is what initially drew…devotees in.

A brief history of lime paints

From Common Use to Little-Known Luxury

Currently, we can date the use of limewash back to the Roman empire in 100BC. Slaked lime was mixed with mineral pigments, water, and other additives that helped stabilize the paint and extend the working time. For a traditional lime paint, the additive would be salt, but sometimes milk caseins were added–the beginnings of milk paint, which would be popularized later.

Lime paint was valued for preserving the structures it was applied to. It allows porous surfaces like stucco and wood to breathe naturally, and it has antifungal properties. However, it’s porous nature means that it is almost impossible to clean: it will simply absorb any cleaner applied to it.

Fast forward to colonial America where the use of lead paint is widespread, and you see a change in the characteristics of paint. While a new coat of lime paint would be applied every several years to cover stains and refresh the color, lead paints would remain clean and vibrant for up to 20 years. There is a shift in popularity from lime and milk paints, which wear down over time, to stronger coatings.

When lead paints were shown to be the cause of Painter’s Disease–originally known as a strange set of symptoms that accosted and often killed otherwise healthy young painters, now known as lead poisoning–latex paints rose in popularity. This rise started in the 1950’s along with a wave of homeowners switching from contractor work to DIY projects.

Latex paints are a blend of water, a resin, a solvent (to keep the resin dissolved in the water), pigments, and other additives to improve the qualities of the paint. They are easy for an inexperienced homeowner to apply, durable enough to last, but not so durable that repainting in a new color every so often seems unreasonable.

Unfortunately, latex paints contain VOCs, which, according to EcoHome, “are added by manufacturers partly to slow drying times, but predominantly to prevent paint from freezing during transportation.” They add, “We grew to accept VOCs in our paints and not a lot of thought was put into why, or if they were actually necessary.”

VOCs added to the paint during the manufacturing process will dissipate into the atmosphere in a process called off-gassing. While you may think off-gassing only occurs during the first few days after the paint has dried, Green Seal estimates that “less than 50% of the VOCs in latex paint (applied to a surface) are emitted in the first year.”

So for multiple years after painting, you’ll be breathing in those VOCs. Even paints labeled low VOC or no VOCs are suspect. A low VOC paint can have as little as 25% fewer VOCs than a regular paint, and a no VOC paint can still have dangerous compounds that, while not labeled VOCs, behave in the same way. Check out the full article by EcoHome for a more in-depth discussion: Choosing non-toxic paint – Ecohome

With a growing consciousness of the products we use, their effect on our health, and their effect on the environment (coupled with design trends “decidedly softer and more naturalistic” than the “years of…leaning toward the super sleek” described by Harper’s Bazaar), limewash paint interior are reentering the design scene. Most lime paint interior companies craft completely natural paints that are eco-friendly and truly VOC free. The suede texture and subtle color variation in lime paint is well suited to the shift towards soft and welcoming spaces.

Picking a Color and Perfecting Application

Most lime paints are colored with mineral pigments. This gives the colors a lot of character. An airy blue feels like clouds. An olive green brings your space the same life rushing through forests. Earthy reds ground the space and bring an atmosphere of peace.

You’ll find at least one shade of lime paint for every color in the rainbow, plus paints in off-whites, browns, and greys. Lime paint manufacturers focus on creating a limited number of truly beautiful shades, each shade containing a symphony of color. I think this makes finding a paint color easier than if I went to a Home Depot to see thousands of color cards, one hardly distinguishable from another.

Lime paint colors can also be layered to create unique looks. Bauwerk recommends starting with a couple coats of a dark color before using one coat of a white shade. This creates a white look with lots of texture and depth!

All lime paints have essentially two pigments: one mineral pigment and the lime itself, which is white when it dries. These two different types of pigments are what create the natural color variation and movement in the finished patina. Because of this two-pigment formulation, lime paint needs to be applied differently than a latex paint.

Lime paint also needs to be brush-applied with a large block brush. It cannot be rolled or sprayed on. I’ve included some videos here so you can watch the application process, but there are just three basic parts to the technique:

  1. Paint with X brushstrokes. This creates natural movement and clouds of color. Paint in straight lines, and that’s how the pigmentation will show up: linear. It will look like you painted with badly mixed paint.
  2. Don’t go back over an area you’ve already painted. Once you’ve put the paint down, just let it be. Lime paints are thinner than latex paints; as soon as the paint hits the wall, it begins to absorb and dry. Going back over it can result in smudging and ruining the natural dispersion of the pigmentation.
  3. Don’t let the free edge of the paint dry. Work rapidly to cover the whole wall before the edges of your paint dry out. This can cause harsh lines to show in the final patina. If the wall you’re working  on is too large to paint entirely without letting an edge dry, feather the edge out.

Before we close the application section, there is one other common issue that needs to be addressed: primer. Most surfaces will need to be prepped with a mineral-based primer before applying the lime paint. This is especially true for previously painted surfaces. Since lime paint isn’t resin-based like chalk, acrylic, latex, and other types of paint, it only adheres well to specific surfaces.

Most lime paint brands sell a primer specifically designed for their lime paint formulation. You cannot substitute a traditional primer.  If you’ve been reading up on lime paint, you’ve probably seen this blog post, which describes a bad experience with lime paint. The primer is what ensures you won’t have the same issues.

Lime Paint Brands and How to Choose One

When I first started looking into lime based wall paints, I thought there were only a couple brands to choose from. With a little more in-depth research, I was able to find a ton of different brands with unique color selections, selling points, and service locations.

I think it’s important to note, however, that all of these brands sell quality products. I haven’t seen any negative stories about a specific brand. While I haven’t used all of these brands myself, all my research indicates that you can’t really go wrong when choosing a supplier for your lime paint.

Find a brand that services your area with colors you love. It can also be good to consider whether the brand sells the applicator tools you’ll need and any other products the brand sells.

Bauwerk Colour

Bauwerk Colour was founded in Australia in 2000 and now ships their products worldwide. Their range of products includes interior and exterior lime paintprimersgarden pot paintbrushes, and a concrete sealer.

With worldwide shipping and a huge selection of color choices, this is the brand to shop with if you’re looking for a specific shade. Two decades of manufacturing and customers in all sorts of climates and you know this company is creating a quality product!

J.H. Wall Paints

This is a newer brand to the lime paint scene. It has a limited color selection, but all of the colors are gorgeous! I love shopping with brands like this; it makes it easier to pick a color when you have a small number of beautifully mixed colors to choose from.

All their paints are manufactured in the U.S. and tinted in small batches. They manufacture lime paint, two primers (an interior and an interior/exterior), mineral staina matte sealer, and a specialty brush. They also sell a slurry, which can be used to add more texture to the paint.

They offer free shipping to the U.S., and while they do ship to other countries, it may get more expensive.

Pure & Original

Pure & Original is an incredibly versatile brand. They sell a lot of different finishes from a floor paint to a specialty paint that creates a Tadelakt or concrete appearance. They also sell lime wall paint (of course), chalk paintmatte washable paint, a traditional lacquer, and a range of sealers, primers, and tools.

From beiges to deep reds and olive greens, this company has a wide range of colors to choose from. They have a U.S. store and a Canadian store so you can shop from either country.

Portola Paints and Glazes

This company was founded in 1998 by two artists. The colors they offer are simply gorgeous! Similar to J.H. Wall Paints, the color selection is limited, but each color is carefully crafted and guaranteed to be beautiful.

Portola Paints and Glazes offers a traditional line of coatings with an acrylic series, an enamel series, and an exterior series and a specialty line with limewash paint and a plaster. The specialty line also includes decorative finishes (satin, wrought iron, and copper), and they sell primers and sealers. Portola ships to Canada and the U.S.

Color Atelier

Color Atelier is a San Francisco based brand selling lime paints and plasters. They also offer supplementary products like toolsprimers, and sealers. They ship their products all over the U.S. and sell on Amazon.
Their color palette is limited but contains a lot of beautiful blues and neutrals. This is the brand I’d recommend purchasing from if you want to buy on Amazon.


Vasari sells lime paints and plasters as well as the primers, sealers, and tools needed to apply them. Vasari was founded in 2003, and is manufactured in California, and ships worldwide.

This company has a small selection of colors, but many customers choose to have custom shades made. You can also purchase their product through Amazon.


Final Thoughts

To summarize, lime paint is valued for it’s unique suede finish with subtle movement and natural color variation and it’s natural formulation, good for both the environment and your health.

You can find lime paints both in vivid hues and earthy neutrals, but, unlike latex paints where you’ll have to choose between hundreds of greys, scores of lavenders, and rows of olives, lime paint colors are more limited in selection. Each color is carefully crafted to be the best it can be so you know the color you pick will be gorgeous and have lots of character.

Lime paint needs to be applied with a large masonry brush in an X or crows-foot pattern to evenly disperse the natural pigments and hydrated lime.

Limewash paint is an incredible finish that’s been around for centuries. In a culture that values affordability and efficiency more than sustainability, quality, and beauty, limewash has fallen out of the spotlight. 

If you run down to your local hardware store and ask for an interior wall paint, you’ll be given a wide selection of latex-based paints, but you may never be given the option of a lime-based paint. I’m here to answer your questions and give you all the information you need to decide if a lime-based paint is right for your home.

Limewash paint is an incredible finish that’s been around for centuries. In a culture that values affordability and efficiency more than sustainability, quality, and beauty, limewash has fallen out of the spotlight.

If you run down to your local hardware store and ask for an interior wall paint, you’ll be given a wide selection of latex-based paints, but you may never be given the option of a lime-based paint. I’m here to answer your questions and give you all the information you need to decide if a lime-based paint is right for your home.

What is limewash paint?

Lime paint is hydrated lime (also known as slaked lime) mixed with water, natural pigments, and sometimes other ingredients like salt. That mixture is then aged and thinned to the perfect painting consistency. It is sold in cans much like a typical latex paint.

Limewash paint is naturally VOC free, and it’s eco friendly. It’s antimicrobial and antifungal, which makes it suitable for interior and exterior use. It is brush-applied and has subtle color variations that give the paint subtle movement and natural color variation. It typically has a suede finish.

What surfaces can you use it on?

Limewash paints can be used on a variety of surfaces. Each formulation is a little different so be sure to check with your paint’s manufacturer.

As a general rule, lime paints can be used on any porous masonry or concrete. They can be used over previously painted surfaces as long as you use a primer first. You can also use limewash paint for small crafts though you will probably need a primer.

Limewash paints were designed hundreds of years ago before the advent of latex paints and plastics. They are made for use on raw wood and unsealed masonry. Specialty primers have been developed since then that allow the paint to adhere to latex paint, plastic, etc.

For exterior use, many companies only recommend to use their paints on exterior masonry. Materials like siding are not made in a way that the paint can adhere to well.

How do you use limewash paint?

Depending on the surface you’re applying to, you may need to start with a specialty lime paint primer. If not, just be sure the area is clean and dry.

Apply lime paint with a natural bristle block brush. This allows you to cover large surfaces quickly and gives the paint its characteristic movement and suede finish. You will probably need two to three coats.

When applying the paint, you use a crows-foot pattern to give the paint natural movement when it dries. If you’re painting a large surface, be sure to feather out the edges so that you don’t get a harsh line where the paint has dried.

If you’ve bought a limewash paint for brick, you can distress it before it is fully dry. Again, look to your manufacturer for specific instructions, but usually you can spray on water, which removes some of the limewash.

Is it easy to work with?

The painting process is very easy, but it is different from the process we use for acrylic, latex, and chalk paints. This means there is a bit of a learning curve.However, once you’ve gotten a rhythm, the process is really easy and moves quickly.

How long does limewash paint last?

In the can, limewash paint has the same lifespan as a latex paint. It separates, so if it’s been sitting around for a while, you may need to take it to a store to have it spun.

Once you’ve applied it, limewash is designed to last for years and years. Unlike latex paint, it won’t chip or peel over time. It does, however, begin to take on a more worn look. The aging process just adds more life to your lime wash walls.

Is it easy to clean?

Lime wash paint is not easy to clean. Unlike latex paints which can be scrubbed with soap and other cleaners, lime paint has a more absorbent patina, which means liquid stains are absorbed, and the finish can be damaged by scrubbing.

However, since lime pain is antimicrobial, it is ok to leave uncleaned. Once the stains or dirt really start to look bad, you can paint over them with another coat of the lime wash.

Can you paint over limewash paint with latex?

Most paint brands require the use of a specific primer in this case. The primer allows the limewash paint to adhere to the walls.

What are the best limewash paint brands?

You can buy limewash paint online from a variety of sellers. The most important thing to do will be to find a company that ships to your area and has a paint color you love!

I recommend starting your search with Color AtelierJ.H. Wall Paints, and Portola Paints and Glazes.

Why should you use limewash paint?

I highly recommend you consider lime paint for your next painting project. These paints are environmentally friendly and add depth to your space. They truly transform the spaces you use them in.

From limewashed brick to walls, these beautiful paints will give character to your space. If you have questions or have an experience with limewash paints you want to share, leave me a comment below!

Whether you are painting a nursery, refinishing a piece of furniture, or in need of finger-paints for young children, it’s important to consider the safety of the paints you buy. Though babies’ weakened immune systems make finding baby-safe paint especially important, buying safe, eco-friendly paint is important for your health and for the environment.

Interior Wall Paint

VOC-free wall paints fall into essentially three categories: small, medium, and large brands. I’d recommend starting with the medium brands. These brands have a pleasant online shopping experience as well as plenty of reviews.

I highly recommend ECOS and Clare. These are medium-sized brands selling high-quality, eco-friendly paints that are, of course, VOC free.

With a broad color selection and reasonable pricing, you’ll be able to use these paints all throughout your home.

You can also purchase zero VOC paints from smaller bands like Green Planet Paints and Green Building Supply. While smaller brands may have limited colors or provide a less up-to-date online shopping experience, they often have quality products and a helpful customer service team.

While big-name brands like Benjamin MooreSherwin Williams, and Valspar are a logical first choice when paint shopping, they are my last resort. Newer brands that originated specifically to offer eco-friendly paints typically develop formulas from the ground up using high-quality pigments, environmentally conscious processing methods, and clean ingredients.

In contrast, brands that were previously selling VOC laden paints will generally just make a couple of adjustments to their original formulation. This results in an inferior product often containing compounds that, while not labeled VOCs, are similar in the way they off-gas into your home.

While we’re discussing interior paints, I want to mention ProSolutions Fiberlock ChildGaurd lead-blocking primer. If you’ve purchased an older home where lead paint was used, it is essential to remove the lead paint or seal it in. While the Fiberlock paint isn’t VOC free, it is safer, easier, and cheaper than trying to remove lead paint, and lead is far more dangerous than VOCs.

While there are lots of new VOC-free wall paints in the market, my absolute favorite has been around for centuries. Lime paint is naturally VOC-free and non-toxic.

Beyond being extraordinarily good for the environment, lime paints are colored with pigments from the earth, leading to colors with lots of character. Please check out some of our other articles for more information on lime paint and brand recommendations.

Furniture Paint

If you’re searching for baby-safe paint for a crib, a pet-safe paint for your doghouse or cat tower, or an eco-friendly and safe paint for any furniture in your home, you have lots of high-quality choices! While each of the products below are VOC-free furniture paints, they all have unique properties that are best suited to unique applications.

Fusion Mineral Paint is a satin finish, all in one, multipurpose paint. It is completely VOC free and doesn’t need to be primed or sealed! This is super important since some VOC-free paints need to be primed or sealed with VOC laden products.

Fusion’s mineral paint is super simple to use. The brand sells all the tools you’ll need to use with the paint making them an easy one-stop-shop.

With a large selection of gorgeous colors in a rich satiny-matte finish, this paint is perfect for a wide variety of projects. I especially like to use it on intricate projects with a lot of surface area since I don’t have to go back over it with a sealer.

Dixie Belle’s chalk paint line is a beautiful and high-quality selection of chalky-matte paints. Like Fusion, Dixie Belle’s paints do not need to be sealed. However, they sell a huge assortment of finishes, some for additional protection and some for style.

My favorite thing about Dixie Belle is their passionate team of retail sellers. There is so much information about each of the Dixie Belle products, both on the Dixie Belle website and from their retailers. You’ll find tons of videos and tutorials and a ton of passionate people to help answer your questions.

Dixie Belle is another one stop shop, selling brushes, finishes, and all the tools you’ll need to complete a piece start to finish.

Milk paint, like lime paint, has been around for ages. In fact, milk and lime paint are very similar. On a basic level, milk paint is lime paint plus milk caseins.

If you haven’t worked with it before, milk paint is sold powdered since, once mixed, it doesn’t last very long. When you’re ready to paint, you mix the powder with water and shake to emulsify. Milk paint has a lot of unique properties and is unlike mineral and chalk paints. Check out this article for a little more information on the differences plus a review of a pre-mixed milk paint product.

To be clear, most milk paint brands are VOC free. Milk paints are known for being nontoxic and eco friendly. However, the Real Milk Paint Co. is a great place to start your milk paint shopping.

This company has a large color selection and sells a wide variety of finishes to choose from since you do need to seal milk paint.

Craft and Finger Paint

While lots of brands create non-toxic acrylic paints for crafts, some people recommend avoiding these paints for babies and young toddlers. Acrylic paints are not designed for prolonged contact with the skin and they off-gas toxic chemicals.

I highly recommend starting with this article by Learn Play Imagine. It is a great resource with links to all sorts of DIY paint recipes from sidewalk chalk to watercolors.

If you want to make edible finger paint for young children who will put their fingers in their mouths, you have essentially two options. Some parents make tasty finger paints that are fun to play with and eat. Check out this recipe for a finger paint made with yogurt.

However, other parents prefer to use an unflavored paint. It’s safe if the baby sticks a couple fingers in their mouth, and it helps build the habit of not eating paint. These two recipes (12) use cornstarch, and this recipe uses flour.

If you prefer to buy paint, you can get these powdered paints on Amazon. They are safe to eat and just need to be mixed with water. is also a great spot to get non-toxic craft supplies if you’re not into DIY.

Slaked lime has been used for centuries to create paints and washes for brick, stone, wood, and other porous materials. In today’s market you’ll find a variety of lime products. Let’s look at what each is and what they’re designed for.

Lime Wash Paste

Lime wash pastes were designed as an efficient way to distribute large amounts of limewash to a buyer. The pastes have a traditional formulation with slaked lime and natural pigments and are aged to give them their characteristic finish.

When you’re ready, you mix the paste with water to your desired consistency and apply. These lime wash pastes are typically designed for use on natural brick or stone. The lime wash will calcify to the masonry while allowing the masonry to breathe.

“Breathing” in this sense means that the moisture all masonry naturally absorbs will evaporate. Other finishes like latex paint do not allow water to evaporate, which will weaken the masonry and destroy the paint.

Romabio is the number one seller of lime wash pastes. The product is manufactured in Italy and gives a beautiful, old-world finish to brick and stone, and you can choose between multiple neutral colors.

Lime Paint

Lime paint is typically designed for interior use and will come in a can just like any other interior latex paint. However, lime paint and latex paints are completely different.

Perhaps the most important difference is that lime paints are formulated with natural pigments and ingredients. Lime paints are completely VOC free, making them a popular choice for nurseries and children’s playrooms.

Lime paint is typically designed for interior use and will come in a can just like any other interior latex paint. However, lime paint and latex paints are completely different.

Perhaps the most important difference is that lime paints are formulated with natural pigments and ingredients. Lime paints are completely VOC free, making them a popular choice for nurseries and children’s playrooms.

Lime paints come in a variety of beautiful colors, and can be used on a variety of surfaces including exterior and interior masonry, interior walls, and other surfaces. Each paint manufacturer will have slightly more specific lists of what the paint should be used for.

The surface this paint is applied to will breathe, preserving the strength of the wood or masonry. Plus, the paint only looks better as it ages.

Another important difference between lime paint and other wall paints is the finish. While a latex paint is uniform in color and will come in a variety of sheens (e.g. matte, eggshell, satin, etc.), lime paint has subtle color movements and a velvety finish.

The velvety finish gives a space a soft and welcoming ambiance and the natural color variation is really unique and beautiful. You have some control over the strength of the color variation based on the application technique you use.

You can purchase lime paint from a couple manufacturers like Color Atelier and Vasari.

Lime paints and pastes are relatively similar in formulation. However, there are small differences making each more suitable for their individual applications. To cover the exterior of a home, a lime paste will be more suitable. It comes in a concentrated form, and you can choose the dilution of the paste to find the perfect finish.

In the interior of your home, a lime paint will be more suitable. You’ll have more colors to choose from, and it will come premixed to the perfect consistency for painting.

Hydrated Lime

Hydrated lime is a slaked lime powder. Typically, it’s mixed with salt and water to form a basic lime wash. This can be colored with various natural pigments as well.

Simple lime wash made with slaked lime can be used on any unfinished porous surface like brick, stone, or wood. The lime wash will finish the surface without sealing it, which allows the surface to breathe.

Lime wash made this way has no VOCs so it’s safe for pets and people. Lime wash is also antimicrobial, antifungal, and an insecticide. This makes it a popular choice for chicken coops, treehouses, and other raw wood, outdoor applications.

While you may be able to find small amounts of hydrated lime at local stores, it will be much cheaper to buy in bulk online.

The key differences between this product and lime paints and putties is (1) price and (2) the aging and lack thereof. Buying hydrated lime in bulk is incredibly affordable. It’s often used in industrial applications.

Lime wash made with hydrated lime usually isn’t aged like lime paints and pastes so it won’t give the same finish. Again, this makes it more suitable for industrial applications especially in the farming and agricultural industries. However, lime wash from hydrated lime does have its place in residential and private use.

Liming Wax

Liming wax is in a category all on it’s own. While there are a variety of formulations, it is essentially slaked lime mixed with a waxy substance or substances. It’s used to give a weathered, beachy finish to furniture.

The liming wax is designed to sit in the wood grain but not on top of it. It dries white and really helps the grain of the wood to stand out. It gives a bleached effect without harsh chemicals.

Final Thoughts

While lime products are all somewhat similar, they each have an individual purpose they’re most suited for.

If you have any questions or have an experience with lime products you’d like to share, leave us a comment! If you found this article helpful, consider signing up for our email list where you’ll be notified of new content and given access to special promotions.

The natural patina that develops on old metal has become a popular finish for everything from wooden dressers to metal candlesticks. A lot of the home decor items we purchase today will not patina naturally, and, even if they did, would take a long time to do so. That’s where faux patina finishes come in.

You can create a beautiful authentic-looking patina using lots of techniques. From specialty products to DIY solutions, this article covers the best options for a furniture makeover with patina.

Dixie Belle Patina Paint

Dixie Belle’s patina paint system is by far the most popular way to patina furniture and home decor items. Dixie Belle offers a quality line of products that are easy to use and give a variety of beautiful results.


  1. Paint your piece with one coat of any Dixie Belle chalk paint (a dark brown color is a good place to start). Let dry.
  2. Paint your piece with one coat of the iron, copper, or bronze patina paint using a stippling motion instead of smooth strokes. Let dry.
  3. Paint your piece with another coat of the patina paint again using a stippling motion. While the paint is wet, spray with either the blue or green patina aging solution.
  4. Note that the iron will only be activated with the green spray not the blue. In addition, if you’re painting a metal surface, you must use Prime Start instead of the Dixie Belle chalk paint to prevent the spray from degrading the metal. If you like, you can seal the whole piece with Gator Hide top coat.

Unlike some of the techniques below that require layering of multiple paint colors to create a faux finish, Dixie Belle’s system is easy to use and creates a true patina! The paints contain real metal and the activation spray speeds up the oxidation process that would usually happen over time.

While the Dixie Belle system is easy to use, it also has room for a lot of variety. You can use both the green and blue patina sprays and use multiple paint colors to create a really unique look!

DIY Patina Finish with Regular Paint

While the Dixie Belle system is easy to work with, there are other ways to get a lovely patina finish that will involve more of your creative skills! There is a basic painting technique to a DIY patina, but there are lots of variations and ways to make it your own.

Basic Technique:

  1. Paint your piece with the color(s) of the patina you want (e.g. if you want a rust patina, paint with a rust-colored paint).
  2. Paint your piece with the color(s) you want the finished piece to be.
  3. Sand/distress some of the second color to reveal the patina color underneath.
  4. Touchup using all the colors you chose and a detail color like black.

You can adjust this basic technique using all sorts of tricks. You can use textured spray paint to create patina. This is especially helpful when you want to paint metal. If you’re using patina spray paint, you can also use chunky salt to create an authentic rusted look; check out this tutorial from Hot Rod.

Distressing isn’t the only way to create patina. Another way is to paint the patina onto a previously painted piece. Take a look at these awesome tutorials from Rosco Spectrum and Jennifer Maker

DIY Patina Finish with Science

If you’re working on a metal piece, instead of using a patina paint for metal, you can actually create a real patina by speeding up the aging process. This can include using acid and other household ingredients along with scrubbing with wire brushes.

Creating a natural patina this way will give you a really unique look since you don’t quite know how the metal will react with the ingredients you’re using. Check out these two articles (1 and 2) for more information about creating natural patina at home.

Other Options

I’m going to finish this article by mentioning a couple other faux patina paint brands. Dixie Belle is by far the most popular, but it isn’t the only brand selling products to help create a faux finish at home.

In this article, you can read about Salvaged Patina and see some absolutely GORGEOUS pieces the blogger created with their blue-green patina paints. Or check out Modern Masters oxidizing copper patina paint which, like Dixie Belle, has real metal pieces in the paint.

Final Thoughts

From faux copper finishes to paint with real flecks of copper to using household ingredients to create lovely patinas, the world of patina paint is wide! Use your creative skills, and be sure to let us know below what projects you take on.

Mineral Paint Chalk Paint
Ideal for Furniture, fabric, crafts, home decor Furniture, fabric, crafts, home decor
Prep work Always: clean and sand 

Some surfaces: ultra grip primer

Most companies claim no prep, but most users clean and sand
Strength when cured Most brands are incredibly strong and need no top coat Incredibly week; needs a topcoat even for minor scratch resistance
Water resistance Fully water resistant Not water resistant without top coat
Formulation One highest-quality acrylic resin, solvent, water, mineral pigments Varies, see note below
UV resistance Mineral pigments have natural UV resistance and won’t fade Varies; some brands have good UV resistance in the paint other brands require a topcoat for UV resistance
Finish Described as a modern matte finish; smooth (not chalky) Chalky matte finish; often described as country matte finish

Note on the Formulation of Chalk Paint

While mineral paint manufacturers are open about what is in their product, chalk paint manufacturers are generally not as open. I looked at all the most popular chalk paint brands and was unable to find basic formulation information like which resins, pigments, solvents, and chalk were used.

A basic chalk paint recipe is a latex paint (usually made from a variety of acrylic resins, artificial pigments, and a water-based solvent) and a chalk product (usually plaster of paris or pure calcium carbonate). While most manufacturers claim to have improved on this DIY recipe in some way, they do not specify how.


Q: Is Fusion Mineral Paint the best mineral paint brand?

A: Fusion Paint, originally a milk paint brand, seems to be the “Annie Sloan” of mineral paint, being the first brand to launch a comprehensive collection with colors, brushes, finishes, and lots of videos and tips for how to use their products. This brand is also more open than any other about what goes into the paint and how it’s made.

While there are other brands selling quality mineral paint, Fusion has set themselves apart with a strong selection of colors, a large selection of complementary products and instructional videos, and transparency through the manufacturing process. This is definitely the brand I would recommend.

Q: Are chalk mineral paint and mineral paint different?

A: Chalk paint and mineral paint are different products. However, some brands call their chalk paint “chalk mineral paint”. This product is still just chalk paint; however, it is likely to be pigmented with mineral pigments instead of synthetic pigments.

For example, Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint is the original Dixie Belle paint line. They’ve included the word mineral in the name, but it isn’t mineral paint; it’s chalk paint.

Q: Does Dixie Belle sell mineral paint?

A: Yes! This Dixie Belle mineral paint line is called Silk All-In-One Mineral Paint. It has a limited range of colours, all inspired by the sea. Dixie Belle’s chalk paint is still far more popular than their Silk line.

Q: What makes mineral paint colors different from other paint colors?

A: It’s all in the name! Mineral paint is colored with natural mineral pigments while most paints today are made with synthetic pigments. There is nothing inherently wrong with synthetic pigments, but mineral pigments have properties that the synthetic ones don’t.

Mineral pigments are naturally UV resistant and will not fade over time. This makes them perfect for outdoor application like a picket fence or piece of furniture for a patio.

These pigments are also full of character and bound to make a statement. Colors like midnight blue contain the richness and depth of deep space; cathedral taupe anchors a space with earthy tones; raw silk is creamy and luxurious. While some paint made with synthetic pigments are shallow and bland, this will never be true of paint made with mineral pigments.

Q: Can I use mineral paint for furniture?

A: Absolutely! It is perfect for furniture, especially statement pieces. It’s especially nice to use on large pieces of furniture since it has a built-in topcoat! This will save you lots of time on bigger pieces.

However, since the paint is affordable and high quality you can use it to enrich any piece with a pop of colour. Maybe you need some homestead blue on the edge of a picture frame; maybe you want an edge of black on your colorful tabletop. From cabinets to dressers to fabric, this paint is perfect for any application.

Final Thoughts

While mineral paint and chalk paint are used for similar applications, they are very different in formulation and features. These days, I only reach for chalk paint if I specifically want a chalky finish. Otherwise, the quality and ease of use that mineral paint provides is exactly what I need!

I’ve chosen a wide selection of best-selling coffee tables that will fit beautifully into farmhouse-style spaces. I’ve also shopped around for similar pieces to be sure you’re getting each design at the best price! Click on any of the images in the collage below to be rerouted to its product page or scroll down for a quick review of each table.

If you have a natural brick fireplace making your living room feel a bit drab, you’ve probably considered a variety of techniques to brighten it up: painting the fireplace a solid color or using a method that allows some of the natural brick to show through like limewash, whitewash, or German schmear. The results can be so similar that choosing between them becomes difficult. This article breaks down the differences and which is the best for your space.

The basic method for painting glass is simple and consistent. Whether you’re wondering how to paint glass jars, glass bottles, or even lightbulbs, the same technique applies.

This article walks you through how to paint glass vases, dishes, panes or any other glass you may want to work with. You’ll also learn when and how to seal paint on glass and the best paint to use on glass.

Step #1: Clean

As with all painting projects, cleaning is the first and most essential step to glass painting. Use a lint-free cloth and a grease-removing cleaner of your choice. Be sure to remove all cleaner residue from the surface of the glass before painting.

If you don’t have a go-to cleaner, rubbing alcohol is a good choice.

If you’re trying to figure out how to keep paint from peeling off glass, there are two factors to keep in mind: cleaning and the paint you choose (which we’ll discuss in the next section). Cleaning prevents dirt and the oil from your skin from coming between the paint and the glass.

That thin layer of grime between the glass and the paint is what causes the paint to peel. This means that it’s important not to touch the glass after you’ve cleaned it.

Step #2: Choose Your Paint

While there are several paints to choose from, you can’t paint on glass with just any paint. Not all paints are designed to stick to such smooth surfaces and will peel off when they dry. Here are the top three types of paint I recommend for using on glass:

Chalk paint: matte finish, needs to be sealed with a topcoat, especially good for farmhouse decor items like milk bottles and mason jars, not suitable for dishes or drinking glasses

Enamel paint: glossy, slightly translucent finish, especially good for artwork with intricate details on glasswork or glass panes, can be used for a stained glass look, generally suitable for dishes and drinking glasses

Acrylic paint: satin finish, especially good for painting romantic artwork, generally suitable for dishes and drinking glasses

If you’re painting glasses or dishes that will be used, it’s essential to buy a food safe paint.

Step #3: Paint

Using the paint and brushes of your choice, start painting!

Step #4: Cure and/or Seal

If you’re painting dishes or glasses, you must cure the paint in the oven on low heat. Most paint brands will have a recommended time and temperature required for this curing. Be sure to wash the dishes with plenty of soapy water before you use them.

If you’re painting a wine bottle, vase, or other non-dish item with acrylic enamel paint, the piece does not need to be cured in the oven. It will cure on it’s own with just time.

If you’re working with chalk paint, you must seal it when it is dry.

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