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Limewashed brick. This white coating promises to refresh worn-down brick exteriors and protect them from the elements. Think your home could use an update? Consider the pros, DIY treatment, and follow the easy steps outlined here.
Limewash is made from powdered limestone that has been treated with heat and water to change its chemical composition, resulting in a stable product that provides a durable coating when applied to porous brick. The terms “lime wash” and “whitewash” are often used synonymously, but while limewash is a specific type of whitewash, other types of whitewash do not use lime as an ingredient.
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it was used centuries ago to protect structures from the weather. Both coatings add a thin layer to the outside of the structure, which helps protect the bricks and mortar from the elements. Buildings that were coated every few years developed a durable layer of protection against rain, wind, and harsh sun rays.
In most regions of the world, limestone deposits are plentiful. Therefore, because true limewash contains just lime and water, its use was very accessible and commonly used in the protection of ancient vernacular architecture. Its ability to protect brick, block, and other types of porous material (including adobe, clay, and terracotta) made it invaluable for coating structures dating as far back as ancient Egypt, where it was used it to coat temples and monuments.
Today, limewashing is a staple in the historical restoration industry as well as being a cherished method for updating the look of exterior (even interior) brick on homes. You can find it on commercial buildings and residential houses in all price ranges throughout Europe and the United States, and it’s just as at home on a castle as it is on a cottage.