Lime Paints – How to use, when to use and why to use

Lime Paints – How to use, when to use and why to use2021-01-28T19:20:26+00:00

Lime PaintLEARN: LIME PAINTS & BUILDING WITH LIME

We have started to create a series of articles about the use of lime paint which hopefully will be of interest.

In a rush? Skip to our recommend lime paints.

How do you make lime paints?2021-01-28T17:00:26+00:00
How do you make lime paints?

Lime putty and water are taken in equal amounts by volume, to begin the process of Lime formation. The mixture obtained by adding these two will have a specific consistency which can be altered by adding more water. The end goal of this step should be to get a paint mixture which has a thin consistency and can be coated easily. As the natural colour of Limestone is white, this solution will have a creamy white colour. If you desire to make a coloured paints, natural pigments are used which can be added to create practically any desired colour. 

If you choose to make a coloured Lime paint, then mix the pigment with lukewarm water creating a paste. This paste should have all of the pigment and water mixed completely. Once this paste is ready, add it to the initial lime paint. A ratio of 10 to 1 is advised for lime paint and pigment paste. Pigment in greater concentration can alter the structure and change the lime mortar. 

Keep in mind that Lime paints are dark when applied and become lighter in appearance after drying. It will be the same if the lime paint is pigmented, so doing a quick test before applying multiple coats is important. 

How do I make and use quicklime?

If you want to make quick lime you must be careful. This reaction is highly exothermic, releasing a large amount of heat as quicklime is mixed with water.
The chemical reaction in this method is violent, therefore, use a suitable container. It is very important to take care of yourself by wearing a protective suit with goggles so that your entire skin is covered and there are no risks of spilling the paint on yourself.  
Making lime with putty is much safer as there are no chemical reactions that happen after, so there are less chances of spilling it. Contact with the lime paint itself is also harmful due to its alkalinity. Lime has the tendency of settling down at the button, therefore, it is important to keep mixing it while applying the coats. 

What is lime used for when building?(Opens in a new browser tab)

What is lime used for when building?2021-01-28T17:03:29+00:00

What is lime used for when building? This article should help the understanding of how lime has been used historically through the ages. For more information on lime, we have a whole section about lime here!

When was lime first used?

Lime has been in use for a very long time, for instance The Great Pyramid is an outstanding example of historical structures built using Lime, and lime has been used for over 4000 years. Eco friendly and traditional conservators, restorers and architects prefer the use of lime as it allows the building to breathe naturally as standard. 

Cement displaced lime in the twentieth century, this was the time when investment in the cement industry increased for defence, military and construction purposes. Lime was known for its properties before this time period, but the more developed material was still preferred by economies of scale and the traditionalist nature of the construction industry. Small provincial factories developed a wide range of limes, each offering different properties depending on its geology, along with other factors such as the kiln itself, the fuel used, even the ability of the lime burner, the typical lime kilns that were spread the length and breadth of the nation.

Why use lime in buildings?

Lime ages beautifully, and has so many amazing properties that can really add to a dwelling or structure. Lime helps avoid decay and dampness, and can provide gorgeous soft looking textures, and when used as limewash with colours added  can really create a beautiful looking surface. Lime is flexible, and old lime can be reused within a couple of days thus wasting less.

How does lime allow walls to breathe?

Lime allows the water vapours and added moisture to pass through the walls instead of trapping them. This means that lime buildings have more space to breathe without letting moisture trap inside leading to destruction of the paint and other surfaces. The recent adoption of traditional construction techniques have recently attracted more architects to use lime in construction due to lime stabilising the internal humidity of buildings as it can absorb moisture. Lime creates a cleaner environment by eliminating the chances of mould growing on the surface, due to the higher PH of lime over standard house paints (which will also create a detrimental plastic moisture barrier) Have a look at some natural lime paints here

Lime plasters are open textured and porous in nature which opens a huge market of architects researching breathable options. 

What are the different types of lime?

Lime falls under two broad categories, Hydraulic lime and Non hydraulic lime.
Calcium oxide which is commonly referred to as quicklime is non hydraulic lime. Due to its chemical and physical properties, it is used in glass, fibreglass and steel industries. It has quick drying properties, best suited for projects which need to be completed in a short time. 
Limestone is the raw material used in the manufacturing of Hydraulic lime. Additional material such as Pozzolana is added in Hydraulic lime to increase their toughness and strength. Hydraulic lime is famous for its application in exposed areas such as chimneys outside the house exterior due to their cement like properties. 

How do you make lime paints?

Painting New Plaster – How to paint on new plaster and lime plaster

FAQ

For more information on lime, we have a whole section about lime here!

Is plaster breathable? Gypsum plaster vs natural lime plaster.2021-01-28T17:05:31+00:00

Is plaster breathable? Gypsum plaster vs natural lime plaster.

How does water vapour get into the walls through gypsum plaster?


We do a lot of things inside our homes that create moisture. Statistically speaking, an average household produces about 14 L of moisture a day. Things like taking a shower, cooking food, even just breathing lead to a lot of water getting into the air in the form of water vapours, and hanging around as condensation

These water vapours get absorbed by the walls. However, unlike a lime based breathable plaster, gypsum based plasters do not allow an exchange of air with the surroundings. This traps the moisture inside the walls, leading to the walls turning damp – one of the main reasons you can’t apply a gypsum based plaster to walls that are exposed to high levels of moisture, such as the outer surfaces of your house, or in a bathroom.

What’s wrong with gypsum plaster and why is it not breathable?


The dampening of walls promotes the growth of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that are detrimental to our health. Black mould is one of the most common occurrences in any household with traditional gypsum based plaster. This mould gets into the air and can get inhaled by us, which can lead to several health problems including allergic reactions, or lung disease. Black mould can also trigger asthmatic reactions. With over 30 million people suffering from asthma in Europe alone, black mould poses a serious health threat to households all around the globe, painters and decorators are in one of the highest risk groups of dangers of chemical exposure. Indoor air quality should be high on your priority list.
Therefore, a healthy exchange of air in and out of the walls ensures that this dampening of walls does not occur, thereby ensuring that our plaster does not only protect your walls but also helps in keeping you healthier. Bear in mind as well as breathable plaster, you will need breathable paint, or a lime wash.

How does lime based breathable plaster help insulation?


Breathable plaster (Such as Breathaplaster) is a highly innovative form of the natural lime based plasters that offers you far better ventilation for your walls compared to the traditional lime based plasters available in the market. However, better moisture transfer is not just the only helpful advantage here. Breathaplaster Lime based plaster is more eco friendly, offers better thermal insulation, and provides far greater comfort than its counterparts. The higher thermal insulation helps in regulating the temperature as well, thus allowing you to use energy more efficiently, and promoting environmental protection and conservation.

Can I get a smooth or textured finish using lime based breathable plaster?


The plaster is quick setting, and offers a great finish to any wall; from smooth or a textured wall, or a super-textured wall that is serving as one of the main feature walls in your home, breathable lime plaster can give it a smooth, sophisticated, natural lime finish that looks absolutely stunning. This ultra-breathable plaster does not require any special application and can be administered in the same way as any traditional plaster. 

Can I get a smooth or textured finish using lime based breathable plaster?


The plaster is quick setting, and offers a great finish to any wall; from smooth or a textured wall, or a super-textured wall that is serving as one of the main feature walls in your home, breathable lime plaster can give it a smooth, sophisticated, natural lime finish that looks absolutely stunning. This ultra-breathable plaster does not require any special application and can be administered in the same way as any traditional plaster. 

Is gypsum plaster breathable?

No, gypsum plaster is not breathable due to the materials used in manufacture. If you would like a breathable plaster, I suggest one of these breathable lime plasters, topped with a lime paint.

We have more FAQ on the use of lime based paints and plasters here.

Lime Paints – How to use, when to use and why to use

Breathaplasta Natural Wall Plaster – Eco Breathable Wall Plaster: by Adaptavate

 

What is limewash?2021-01-20T23:00:46+00:00

We have recently written a whole article on what lime wash is, when to use it and why it can be a great choice.
Please click here to view our article: What is limewash and where can I use it.

Painting New Plaster – How to paint on new plaster and lime plaster2021-01-25T10:17:39+00:00

Painting New Plaster – How do I paint on new plaster? If you’ve just had a room plastered and you’re itching to start painting, then read on. This handy guide to painting new plaster will help you avoid the pitfalls and get the immaculate finish you want.

First off, let’s deal with a myth. Many people believe that applying a layer of diluted PVA glue to seal the ‘plaster’ is a must, but professional plasterers and decorators agree that this is a waste of time. It can even lead to a poor paint finish if there are any lumps or inconsistencies in the PVA. We follow the professionals in recommending that you apply our paints directly to the plaster wall. Many conventional and most breathable paints and natural and / or  organic paints need to have a first special first layer applied called a ‘mist coat,’ made up of paint diluted with water. This helps the top coat to bind with the plaster, but it’s time consuming and messy.

How do I paint on new plaster?

For most normal painting jobs, where you just need a quality easy to use house paint, that works as well as a modern acrylic, we have a few options for you – but by far the easiest (and top selling) is to use this natural paint here. Available in great colours, tough and washable. Once the plaster has properly dried (usually about 4 weeks) then water thin the paint with around 20% water, and use this as the ‘mist coat’ – this will enable good absorption and adherence to the plaster. After 2-4hours, then you can paint the first of your 2 coats of top coat. Again, just use the same paint – this natural paint Graphenstone Premium would be a great choice.

How do I paint on lime plaster?

When choosing a paint for lime plaster breathability is the key. Just one square yard of 5mm-thick lime plaster can contain up to half a litre of water. It can take over six months for the plaster to fully dry, but, if your paint is porous and breathable such as Graphenstone Ecosphere then you can paint much earlier, as the water vapour isn’t sealed in. Have a look at our natural lime paint range for more options. You can still use the Graphenstone Premium over lime, and have access to brighter colours. With all our paints, water thin by 20% to act as the mist coat onto bare plaster.

If you’re painting lime plaster, it’s once again the best choice, as it is both fully breathable and emission-free, meaning there’s no risk of a reaction between the chemicals in the paint and the drying plaster. Once you’ve chosen your paint, make sure you pick the right tools for the job. Since new plaster is a smooth, low-friction surface, a cheap or dilapidated roller can slip and cause an uneven finish. As you’re applying the first coat, you may notice slight blemishes or bumps which weren’t apparent on the raw plaster. If you do find any unsightly ridges or lumps, don’t panic. These can be sanded down with fine sandpaper (make sure you wrap the sandpaper round a plane surface to ensure you get a flush finish), and immediately painted over. If you find any gaps or recesses, these can be filled with wall filler, sanded, then touched up with paint.

Do I need a primer on bare plaster?

No, just water thin the top coat, such as Graphenstone grafclean by 20% – and use this as the mist coat. Once this has dried, then you can use the top emulsion coat as normal.

Do I need a primer on bare lime plaster?

As above, no, just water thin the top coat, such as Graphenstone grafclean by 20% – and use this as the mist coat. Once this has dried, then you can use the top emulsion coat as normal.

How do I choose the best paint for lime plaster?

Ideally we suggest using a lime paint over a lime plaster, but to be honest the Graphenstone Grafclean (mineral based) is also very good.

So there you have it: If you’re planning on painting over new plaster, don’t PVA, make sure you save yourself time and effort by using a paint which doesn’t need this solution, and make sure you have the right tools for the job.

Which lime paints would you recommend I can buy right now? VIEW suggested lime paints.

Does lime paint look different to normal paint?

Modern paints lack the depth that Lime paints provide with their natural matt finish. These paints have a darker appearance when mixed with water and tend to shine like crystals when in direct sunlight. Lime paint has the texture like none other which gets more exquisite each year instead of fading out. Lime paints are made using limestone, it is this limestone that gives Lime paint its natural white colour. Natural pigments are then added to produce a variety of colours, each with its own importance and aesthetic.