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Limewash vs Whitewash

Exposed brick in a home is beautiful. It adds warmth, dimension, and texture to a space. Some of my favorite things. Although I love exposed brick, sometimes it needs a little freshening up. The wrong color brick or the wrong color mortar can definitely make a room dark and outdated.

I have had brick like this in a couple of our houses, and in both houses they needed some updated to freshen up the room. In one home, we used a paint based whitewash to update the brick. In our current home, I used a Limewash to update the brick. Both did the job and helped totally transform our space, but I definitely have a favorite. I am going to give you guys a comparison of the two and reveal my favorite way to update brick.

First let’s start with the difference between the two. Whitewash is taking a watered down version of paint and applying it directly to the brick. The whitewash sits on top of the brick. Limewash is a mix of lime, minerals, and water that is applied directly to the brick. Limewash soaks into the brick instead of sitting directly on top of it.


Whitewash in an easy way to lighten up brick and give your brick a fresh modern look! We did this in our previous house with a brick fireplace.

What I Love About Whitewash:

  • It is very cheap.

  • You can use existing paint in your house to create a whitewash effect.

  • It is a project that can be done in an afternoon depending on how big your space is.

  • It is easy.

What I don’t love about Whitewash:

  • When you mix paint and water, the paint has a tendency to sink to the bottom. You have to make sure to mix the paint, or the white wash coverage will be come lighter.

  • It can be difficult to get the right coverage, and you might have to whitewash several times.

  • It’s permanent. Once you start going, There is no turning back!

Want to see how this turned out in our living room? Here is the brick fireplace before we whitewashed it. The room was great, but the fireplace was dark and outdated with the rest of the light accents in the room.

Here is what the room looked like after we whitewashed it.

Pretty amazing right?? This gave our living room a much needed facelift!


Now onto limewash. Limewash can be used in both interior and exterior brick. It comes in a variety of white shades to match whatever style you are going for.

What I Love About Limewash:

  • It has great dimension when applied to brick

  • It is very easy to apply and can be applied in one coat

  • You can remove and wipe off parts of it to create a textured and dimensional look

What I Don’t Love About Limewash:

  • It is hard to mix the limewash with water if you are doing it by hand

  • It is more expensive than paint

We just limewashed the brick we had in our sunroom. That brick was making that room dark and not as sunny as we would like, so it needed a facelift. Here is what the room looked like before the limewash.

Here is what the room looked like after limewash.

So much better, right? It completely changed our space so that it became the bright sunroom we always wanted it to be. And look at that brick dimension! So great. My favorite limewash can be found at Home Depot. I love the texture and the way it looks when it is finished.

So what do you think my favorite is??

Whitewash or limewash?

I have to say my favorite is definitely the limewash! It creates a richer and more dimensional coverage, it is easier than whitewash, and it is so much more flexible. Although it is a little more expensive, I think it is worth it.

Have you ever done any of these in your home? What is your favorite?


1 Comment

They both turned out great! We have a full brick wall fireplace that I've been wanting to do for a couple years, but I just haven't been brave enough to do it!

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