You need to have a glowing space after applying the right paint that meets your demands. You can use either limewash or whitewash to achieve this. But which is the best between the two, and what makes each stand out?

The main difference between limewash and whitewash is the ingredients used and how well they penetrate the bricks. Whitewash involves toning down the bricks to give them a natural look. It involves using a thin layer of paint. Limewash also involves applying a thin layer of paint on the bricks, but you can easily remove it if you don’t like it.

Let’s compare the two further and see what each entails. Read on!

What is Limewash?

Limewash comprises crushed, burnt limestone (lime minerals) mixed with water to give a putty. After that, you need to provide the putty time to undergo the aging process. Then it’s mixed with water to get paint. The paint usually has a chalky texture but a matte and mottled look.

Limewash comes in several colors like white, gray, taupe, or brown. Limewash, unlike whitewash, soaks onto the brick. You should apply limewash using a masonry paintbrush which helps get feathered strokes. Also, apply several thin layers (three layers) to get the best results.

Features That Make Lime a Great Pick

  • It’s eco-friendly, making it safe for the environment and humans.
  • It doesn’t need regular maintenance. You can recoat your surface after 5 or 7 years
  • It has a high Ph level, which prevents it from triggering allergic reactions
  • Allows you to remove it within five days of application
  • Works best on porous surfaces like brick and stones
  • It’s durable and doesn’t peel, crack or chip
  • It’s a good odor, insects, and moisture repellant
  • It suits both indoor and outdoor applications
  • It can be used on drywall, but after applying mineral-based primer


  • It’s easy to apply
  • It removable
  • Allows you to be creative, like to create texture on the surfaces


  • It takes time to dry off
  • It doesn’t suit painted brick as it soaks into surfaces
  • It can be challenging to mix water and lime, especially when using hands
  • It’s more expensive than the whitewash

What is Whitewash?

Whitewash is a water-based paint that you’ve got to mix with water before application. You can apply whitewash on a brick to tone its natural color. Whitewash is easy to use and blend, and anyone can do this, even a first-timer DIY.

However, you need to note that whitewashing requires a delicate paintbrush to apply a thin layer to get an attractive look. Also, whitewash doesn’t soak on the brick but rather sits on top of it.

Features That Make Whitewash Stand Out?

  • It can be applied on interior and exterior surfaces
  • It takes less time to dry
  • Does seal rough and smooth surfaces faster
  • It works well on raw or old wood. However, you need to sand and clean before applying the whitewash
  • It can last for up to 30 years as its durable, so you don’t have to do regular maintenance
  • Gives smooth finishing
  • Color varies depending on the paint you’re using
  • It can be used on painted bricks
  • It works best after adding water-based matte sealant, which helps make it durable


  • It’s cheaper
  • It’s easy to apply
  • Requires less time for application
  • Creating a whitewash effect is easy if you’ve got paint at home


  • If you mix water and the paint, the mixture becomes inconsistent. So, you need to keep mixing the mixture to prevent your whitewash from being light
  • Requires you to do several coats to have a perfect looking whitewash
  • It’s permanent and irreversible

Which One Works Best Limewash Or Whitewash?

If you want an ideal paint in various colors, go for limewash. It also repels odor, moisture, and bugs making it stand the test of time. Limewash is also eco-friendly and is removable, allowing you to change to a desirable color or paint whenever you wish. However, you need to know that limewash requires several coats to look better and requires regular maintenance.

You can also opt for whitewash, which makes your surfaces look smoother and brighter. The best thing about whitewashing is that you can apply it on painted surfaces. It also dries faster than limewash and sticks on raw and old wood. Whitewash is permanent and requires you to add water-based sealant to make it durable.

But you need to note that limewash and whitewash share some similarities. For example, both are easy to use and maintain. All of them also work on interior and exterior surfaces and are durable.

Does Limewash Damage Bricks?

No. limewash will not spoil bricks but instead make it look better. You should settle for limewash for your bricks in a damp area as it helps repel moisture, odor, and bugs. Limewash is removable, so you can change it if you are bored with a certain color.

Additionally, limewash works best on porous surfaces like bricks and takes time before chipping or peeling off. Limewash will also help you retain the texture of your bricks and give them enough breathing space.

Is It Cheaper to Limewash or Paint Brick?

Limewash and paint brick are methods you can use to color red brick to white. It’s much cheaper to use limewash than paint brick. To make limewash for an average house, you can use hydrated lime and mix it with water to get limewash. This can cost you about $50.

However, the paint will be about ten times this amount. You will also have a lot of work when doing paint on brick. So, if you hire a professional, the labor cost will be higher. But this isn’t the case with limewash, as it covers the bricks well without showing through.

Additionally, you’ll have to dig deeper into your pockets when preparing the paint. You first need to cover the windows and doors with tape which requires money. You also need to get a perfect finish when painting brick. All these don’t happen when applying limewash, making it a cheaper choice.


Choosing between limewash and whitewash can be easier only after understanding each of their properties. You also need to identify features that make one of them the best choice, especially on different surfaces. Limewash is eco-friendly, durable, and removable, but it’s expensive. It also helps make surfaces odor and moisture-resistant.

On the other hand, whitewash dries faster, is cheaper, and is easy to apply. So, for you to decide on one paint, pick the one which meets your demands and makes your surfaces attractive.