This post is sponsored by Romabio Paints.
A 3 step tutorial to learn how to clean and maintain limewashed brick exteriors using Romabio Classico Limewash + answers to frequently asked questions to decide if it’s right for you.
I do love the look of a natural red brick house, but in the case of our colonial home, I wasn’t at all sad to wave goodbye to our retro 1960s orange exterior as we traded it for an antique style.
After living with it for half a decade, we still love the timeless look of its weathered white patina.
But since our home’s exterior has gone through foundation repairs since our initial application of Romabio Classico Limewash in Bianco White, it definitely needed some cleaning.
If you have this brick finish yourself or have ever wondered about its durability over time, I thought it would help to share the process of limewashed brick maintenance.
What is Limewash?
The practice of using slaked lime paint on stone and brick dates back centuries all the way to ancient Egypt to protect structures from weather.
Romabio Classico Limewash is crafted in Italy using natural limestone from the Dolomite mountains. It’s easily confused with German Smear and whitewashing, but it’s a completely different base product where the lime is slaked and then aged making the perfect formulation that allows you to create patina instantly.
You can customize the look of a partially exposed brick style by pressure washing it off as little or as much as you’d like for an antique effect with subtle movement. Lime wash is a natural, breathable paint that calcifies to the surface allowing moisture to evaporate from masonry.
Its chalk-like finish does a great job of hiding imperfections in old brick and the hard, protective layer of lime based paint can prevent further damage.
Limewash Cleaning and Maintenance Supplies
How to Spot Clean Limewashed Brick
Authentic lime wash is naturally mold-resistant, high UV / fade-resistant, environmentally friendly, needs no primer, and can be applied in one coat. But it can get dirty if it’s not properly protected with Romabio Mineral Shield.
Romabio Mineral Shield technology wasn’t available when we first changed our brick in 2017, but we definitely took the time to protect it after this cleaning.
For any areas that need spot cleaning, you can use a soft brush and mild soap. Then, rinse on a low pressure setting with a garden hose.
Step 1 – How to Use Romabio Algae and Moss Cleaner
On areas around our foundation where we had messy repairs done a couple of years ago, we needed a much bigger cleaning job than a simple spot clean.
Most noticeably, red clay soiled the front of the white surface around our front flower beds, and moss constantly grew on our front steps. A few areas of algae build-up started to form around our eaves and chimney too.
All of the areas where it set turned bright orange as it lifted away the algae, moss, and dirt. We even saved some to clean up our dirty wooden deck! It works well for cleaning already painted surfaces too. The formula is totally eco-friendly so we didn’t have to worry about it causing any harm to our kids or dog.
Step 2 – How to Touch Up Limewash
After the 48 hour wait time, our contractor washed all of it away with a hose to reveal a clean surface. We did have them touch up and blend a few areas with more Romabio Limewash in Bianco White using a small masonry brush so that we could have a fresh new coat for the protection step.
Related: See how to limewash a fireplace in an afternoon here.
Step 3 – How to Protect Limewash
Once cleaned with Romabio Algae & Moss Cleaner and touched up with Romabio Classico Limewash, our contractor waited a week and then applied a coat of Romabio Mineral Shield as an invisible top coat. It repels water, reduces weathering, and extends the life of lime paint to reduce staining from grass, clay, and dirt.
You can apply it on stairs, risers, interior fireplaces, downspouts, and any horizontal exterior surfaces as they get worn away the fastest. Just apply one coat with a brush or sprayer, and you’re all set.
Our Cleaned Limewash Exterior 5 Years Later
I love our brick even more now that it’s all cleaned up from our foundation repair drama.
It gives us peace of mind knowing its protected for years down the road so that we don’t have to go through the maintenance process again for a very long time.
Frequently Asked Questions About Brick Limewash
How long does limewash last on brick?
A limewashed brick exterior can last twenty to thirty years in mild climates. Romabio Mineral Shield can extend the life of limewashed surfaces in regions that experience harsh rain and snow.
Does limewash turn brick pink?
Nope! It is completely opaque and dries to a flat, calcified finish.
It will look milky when first applied, but once the limewash has dried, it will turn solid white, so you can use it on any color brick, stone or masonry surface. Limewash and whitewash are often easily confused; whitewash can turn brick pink but limewash does not.
Can I use limewash over painted brick?
Sadly, no. Limewash only works on unpainted natural types of brick and other porous surfaces like stone. But you can use Romabio Masonry Paint for a solid, opaque finish that lasts 20 years.
Can I hire a painter to apply limewash?
Limewashing generally requires more training than house painting. We used Hans from Reflections of Italy who is an artisan trained extensively in Italy, and he did a phenomenal job. You can hire a Romabio Preferred Pro to eliminate the guesswork of finding the right contractor.
Got any other questions? Let me know in the comments. All these years later, we are still totally in love with it.