How Long Limewash Lasts & How Often it Should Be Reapplied


Limewash is a natural paint that creates a unique, matt finish on brick, plaster and other masonry surfaces. If you’re considering limewashing your walls and ceilings, one of the questions you might be asking is how long the limewash will last. So how often will you need to reapply limewash to maintain its appearance?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the quality of the limewash, the condition of the surface it’s applied to, and the climate in your area. In general, you can expect limewash to last anywhere from 3 to 15 years before it needs to be reapplied. In areas exposed to more harsh weather, limewash will wear down quicker. However, when painted on interior walls, it can last decades!

This is just a rough estimate, and your experience may vary. Some homeowners find that their limewash lasts longer, while others need to touch up their limewash every few years.

What is Limewash?

If you’re considering using limewash for your home, it’s important to understand what it is and how it works. Limewash is a mineral-based paint made from lime putty (also known as calcium hydroxide) and natural pigments. It has been used for centuries as a decorative and protective coating for interior and exterior surfaces.

One of the benefits of limewash is that it is a breathable paint, allowing moisture to escape from the surface. This is important because it helps prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to mould and mildew growth. Additionally, because limewash is made from natural materials, it is an eco-friendly and sustainable option for painting your home.

When applied correctly, limewash can last for several years. However, the lifespan of limewash depends on several factors, including the quality of the materials used, the condition of the surface being painted, and the level of exposure to the elements. In general, it is recommended that you reapply limewash every three to seven years to maintain its appearance and protective properties.

Overall, limewash is a versatile and durable option for painting your home. Whether you’re looking to create a rustic, weathered look or a smooth, modern finish, limewash can help you achieve the look you want while also protecting your home from moisture and other environmental factors.

Related article: What is Limewash? An Overview of This Traditional Paint


How Long Does Limewash Last?

If you’re considering using limewash as a finish for your brick or masonry, you may wonder how long it will last and when you’ll need to reapply it. The answer to this question depends on several factors.

Generally, you can expect limewash to last anywhere from 2-15+ years. This depends on many different factors, including weather conditions, quality of workmanship when the limewash was applied and the surface it’s applied to. Let’s take a closer look at some of the factors that affect the longevity of limewash.

Factors Affecting Limewash Longevity


One of the biggest factors affecting the longevity of limewash is weathering. Exposure to rain and wind can cause the limewash to erode over time. This means that areas of wall exposed to the elements may need to be touched up more frequently than sheltered areas.


The texture of the plaster, brick or masonry can also affect how long the limewash lasts. Rough or porous surfaces may absorb the limewash better, which can lead to a stronger bond that will last longer. Smooth surfaces may not be suitable for limewash. If you’re in doubt, always do a small test area. This way, you can test to see if the limewash adheres well and isn’t easily washed or brushed off.

Natural Colour Variation

Limewash is a natural product; as such, it can vary in colour from batch to batch. If you need to touch up an area of plaster, brick or masonry, you may need to blend the new limewash with the existing finish to achieve a consistent look.


If you need to touch up an area of plaster, brick or masonry, it’s important to do so carefully. Applying too much limewash can lead to a buildup of material, affecting the finish’s texture and appearance. Applying too little limewash may not provide adequate protection to the brick or masonry. If in doubt, apply thin coats and wait for them to cure. You can always add more coats.

In general, it’s a good idea to inspect your limewashed plaster, render, brick or masonry every year to assess the condition of the finish. If you notice any areas of erosion, mould, or dirt buildup, it may be time to touch up the finish. With proper care and maintenance, limewash can provide a beautiful, chalky finish for many years to come.

How Often Should You Reapply Limewash?

If you have limewashed your walls, you may wonder how often you should reapply it to maintain its appearance. While limewash is a durable finish that can last many years, it will eventually erode over time and require a renewal coating. So, how often should you reapply limewash?

Generally, you will need to reapply limewash every 2-7 years if it’s outside and exposed to the weather. Interior limewash can last far longer as it isn’t exposed to the same harsh conditions. While 2-7 years is quite a wide range, it really does depend on weather conditions, substrate type, limewash quality and how well it was applied.

There are some signs that you should look out for to determine if it’s time to reapply limewash.

Signs That Limewash Needs Reapplication

  1. Patchy Appearance: If you notice that your limewashed surfaces have started to look patchy or uneven, it may be time to reapply the coating. This can happen due to weathering, moisture, or dust accumulation.
  2. Fading Colour: Over time, the limewash can fade due to exposure to harsh weather conditions. If you notice that the colour of your limewash has become lighter or less vibrant, it’s a sign that it’s time to reapply.
  3. Erosion: Limewash can erode over time, especially if it’s exposed to harsh weather conditions or high levels of moisture. If your limewash has started to wear away in certain areas, it’s time to reapply.

By keeping an eye out for these signs, you can ensure that your limewashed surfaces always look their best.

Related article: Best Number of Coats for Limewash: Expert Recommendations

FAQs About Limewash

If you are considering using limewash for your DIY project, you may have questions about this natural, budget-friendly paint. Here are some frequently asked questions about limewash:

How long will limewash last?

Limewash is known for its durability and longevity. It can last up to 15 years or more when applied correctly. However, the lifespan of limewash depends on several factors, such as the quality of the paint, the surface it is applied to, and the weather conditions in your area. It is recommended to reapply limewash every three to seven years to maintain its appearance and protect the surface.

Do I need to wear gloves and eye protection when working with limewash?

Wearing gloves and eye protection is essential when working with limewash. Limewash is a highly alkaline substance that can cause skin irritation and eye damage. You should always wear protective gear to avoid any accidents.

Can I use natural pigments to add colour to my limewash?

You can use natural pigments to tint your limewash. Natural pigments such as iron oxide, ochre, and sienna can be added to limewash to create different shades and colours. However, it is best to test the pigments on a small area before applying them to the entire surface. Additionally, you can get limewash already coloured, such as this limewash from Limebase.

Red limewashed house.

What colour is limewash?

Limewash is naturally an off-white or white paint that gives surfaces a rustic, antique look. However, it can be tinted with natural pigments to create different shades and colours.

How much does limewash cost?

Limewash costs depend on the brand, quantity, and shipping fees. However, limewash is generally a budget-friendly option compared to other types of paints.


In summary, limewash is a durable finish that can last many years with proper care. However, it will eventually erode over time and require renewal coating every three to seven years. The longevity of the limewash will depend heavily on the surface and the area’s climate conditions.

It is best to reapply limewash every three to five years to maintain the original look. When applying limewash, it’s important to do so on temperate days to keep it from drying too quickly. After applying limewash, allowing it to dry completely before touching or rubbing it is recommended.

In conclusion, limewash is a beautiful, long-lasting surface finish that can be easily maintained with proper care and periodic renewal.