Explore the realm of sustainable interior architecture and circular design with Chaline Church, Founding Partner, Interior Architect, and Circular Materials Specialist at 540 WORLD & FreeSpace Design UK.
Lime plaster is almost as old as time itself. Historical evidence has shown that it has been used across the centuries, having roots in both the ancient Egyptian and Roman eras. Lime plaster is so useful that it is still used in homes across the country today.
Just like any historical relic, lime-plastered walls must be treated the right way. You have to use the right paints that will complement them. For example, if you’re painting lime plaster, then you need to use breathable paint as the plaster is porous. Coating lime plaster with breathable paint will stop water from building up and causing damp.
By understanding lime plaster and lime paints, you’ll be able to paint walls that result in a healthier planet and healthier homes. You’ll be able to coat walls that have been plaster for hundreds of years and keep them resistant to damp, protecting the masonry underneath.
Here is everything you need to know about lime plastering, lime paint, and the benefits they offer.
What is lime plaster or render?
Lime plaster and lime render are very similar. They’re a traditional type of mortar that is used to coat walls and ceilings before you paint them. Lime plaster and lime render both contain a mixture of water, lime and sand. The difference between the two is lime render is used on external walls, whereas lime plaster is used on internal walls.
Lime render is the first coat that is applied to a wall. This is because lime render is porous. This means that it allows the coated wall to ‘breathe’. It lets moisture evaporate, which stops it from building on the surface of a wall and causing damp. More common types of plaster, like gypsum plaster, don’t offer this breathability.
Lime plaster offers the same benefits as lime render, stopping moisture from building in the interior of a home and causing damp. Combining lime plaster with lime paints or other breathable mineral paints, like clay paint, is the perfect solution to avoiding damp in your home or business.
What is lime based paint?
Lime paint is a type of wall paint made from slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) and is used to give walls a unique texture.
There are many benefits to lime paint and lime washes other than the soft texture they offer. First of all, lime paint is breathable. It allows moisture to evaporate, which prevents damp.
Lime-based paint is eco-friendly. This is because it isn’t made from synthetic chemicals or plastics, which harm the environment. These synthetic chemicals (known as VOC’s) can release harmful carbon into the atmosphere, damaging it. They also cause respiratory problems and ‘sick home syndrome’.
One of the magic things about lime-based paints is that when they cure, they turn back to limestone. Don’t worry, your walls will still look normal. The thing you can’t see is that it captures carbon in the curing process, so you are helping reduce the amount of carbon in our atmosphere just by painting your walls, how cool is that?
This is why natural wall paints, like lime paint and clay paint, are more beneficial than VOC-heavy ones.
What is lime wash?
Limewash is the same as lime paint, the difference is the thickness. Because limewash is the same as lime paint, it has identical benefits. Limewash is a breathable eco-friendly paint. This means that it prevents moisture from building up on walls and causing damp. It is eco-friendly because it is made from natural minerals, so there are no synthetic chemicals involved that harm the environment.
Limewashes are beneficial to homeowners as they are safer than synthetic paints. Synthetic paints contain harmful chemicals, also known as VOC’s. These VOC’s aren’t eco-friendly, and they can damage your health. VOC’s cause respiratory problems and ‘sick home syndrome’, which causes people who are exposed to them for a prolonged period to have headaches and difficulty breathing.
Breathable mineral paints
Breathable mineral paints are paints which are made from entirely natural substances, like lime, and are ‘breathable’. Breathable means that the paint lets water evaporate, so moisture doesn’t build on a wall’s surface, leading to damp. This is vital for older buildings, as damp can ruin the stonework underneath, compromising its structural integrity.
Alongside helping walls to breathe, breathable paints also help us to have cleaner lungs. Because Breathable paints are natural, they don’t contain any harmful chemicals. These harmful chemicals are often used to make synthetic paints, and, although they’re great for producing certain colours and textures, they can be harmful to your health.
Paints that contain harmful chemicals can cause headaches and respiratory problems for people who are exposed to them for too long. This is why breathable paints are a superior alternative. Lime’s high Ph level means that microorganisms can’t live on it, so it has anti-bacterial qualities as an added benefit.
Lime paint, just like lime plaster, is breathable. Lime is a mineral, so it comes under the category of mineral paints. There is also breathable clay paint, which offers the same benefits.
Mineral paints and breathable paints are becoming increasingly popular. This is because people are becoming conscious of their impact on the environment, and mineral paints are eco-friendly.
What eco paint can I use on my lime plaster?
Many people use lime plaster because of how eco-friendly it is. If you’re applying lime plaster for this reason, then you’ll want an eco-paint that is equally beneficial to the atmosphere.
There are many options available, but we recommend limewashing in combination with breathable paint lime plaster. Why? Because if you don’t use breathable paint, like limewash, then this will negatively impact the breathability of your lime plaster. You want a porous paint to go with your porous plaster. Otherwise, water will struggle to escape, which will lead to damp.
Lime paint is a type of natural mineral paint, so it’s just as eco-friendly as breathable paint lime plaster. It contains no synthetic chemicals that harm the environment, so it’s much better for the planet.
There are other eco-friendly emulsion paints you can use when lime plastering, like clay paint. It is more durable than limewash, but it doesn’t give the same textured finish.
Eco friendly lime-based paints with technology
We offer a full range of eco-friendly lime paints. We are using the latest technology to make our lime-based paints better. Graphene is mixed with our paints. It’s invisible but gives our lime-based paints strength and great coverage.
They’re entirely natural and contain no VOC’s. They also use ‘the lime cycle’, which means they absorb carbon from the atmosphere, protecting both the environment and your lungs.