How to Limewash Brick Exterior-A Complete Makeover

May 20, 2021

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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Every house that I drive by now I think, That house would look AMAZING with limewash brick!! What a super easy way to update the exterior of your home!

After 5+ years of orange, brown and cream, I was ready for a change. Who wouldn’t be with those colors!? Crazy that I LOVED the look of the exterior of our home back when I chose those colors. But I did! And now I don’t. How our tastes change!before shot of house with brick and craftsman colors

So, at the beginning of spring 2019, I started dreaming of an exterior home makeover. A somewhat EXTREME exterior home makeover. One that involved painting our brick. Well, not actually painting it, but doing a limewash treatment on it.

I’ve been eyeing limewashed brick exteriors for a while now on Pinterest. I finally gained confidence in trying my hand at it when I learned that it can be washed off within five days of applying it. I decided upon Romabio Classico Limewash Avorio White. There are many colors to choose from, but knowing I wanted a more true white, I went with the Avorio White. Ordering it online through Amazon allowed me to order it in a smaller size rather than the 4-gallon containers they sell at the Home Depot. I probably could have gotten away with one 0.67 gallon container, but ordered two just in case. The total square footage of brick that I was limewashing was 523 sq. feet. A 0.67 gallon of Romabio Limewash covers 450 square feet. The coverage that you get from it is really dependent upon how thick or thin you mix your paint.  (Affiliate Links)

two limewash containers

Following the instructions on the packaging, I measured out the water and slowly started adding it to my limewash mixture, stirring as I went. I ended up using about 6 cups of water. I stopped adding water when my mixture was thicker than paint, but thinner than glue. A happy medium between the two. It’s really a trial and error, getting it to the consistency you want. Just remember, you can always add more water but can NOT remove water. So err on the side of less water.

limewash and measuring cup of water

I found that it was easiest to pour my mixture in a large 5-gallon bucket to work from. This also allowed me plenty of room to dip my huge Masonry Brush into….which I highly recommend! This brush is the beast–covering a lot of surface and really working it’s way into crevices. It makes the job easier and faster. (Sorry for the dirty brush picture, but my friend is currently using it and this was the shot she sent me)…(Amazon Affiliate Link Included)Romabio Mortar Brush

I chose to start my project on a smaller wall, knowing I could wash it all off if I needed to….

ladder with a brick wall

I have to admit, I was a nervous wreck taking that first swipe of paint. But the entire wall was covered in no time and I was all in. After waiting about 20 minutes, I used a hose on the “Jet” setting to wash some of the limewash off….

limewash brick wall

I wasn’t wild about all of that exposed brick in the picture above, so, I went over it with more limewash. That’s the beauty of this technique, you can’t really mess it up. You can always add more or take some away (or all of it, if you absolutely don’t like it). After adding more limewash…

girl adding limewash to brick

I decided to let it sit for a lot longer (about 45 minutes) and then instead of using my hose to remove it, I used a large sponge and just worked at the areas where I wanted the distressing to be. I found this method to be SO much easier. A little more time consuming, but it gave me the results I was looking for. I worked my way to the other end of the house…

brick limewashed and distressed


Exterior Brick Limewash Materials Needed: 

Romabio Limewash       (affiliate link)

Large Masonry Brush     (affiliate link)

Garden Hose

5-gallon bucket

Large sponge     (affiliate link)

Exterior Brick Limewash Technique Step-by-Step:

  1. Using a hose, wet the brick down.
  2. Keep the brick that you’re painting wet, and paint a large section at a time.
  3. Let it dry for about 45 minutes–working on other sections while it’s drying.
  4. And then “randomly” distress each section.

The whole process took me about 7 hours….all in a day’s work. 🙂

Our house was a bit of a hot mess for a few days….

house with limewash and original paint colors

I’m sure we were the talk of the street…wondering what the heck we were doing. Until the painters came and my vision started to take shape….

house painted and brick limewashed

I am so loving the paint colors we chose. (Colors listed in this blogpost) They go perfect with the limewashed brick….

I’m amazed at how much our landscaping pops now…

house with new paint colors and brick limewash

This faux window has always stumped me. I love the look of it, but could never figure out how to make it pop, until my sister suggested adding some hardware to it! I LOVE IT!! And have even had people ask me if the faux-window has always been there. 🙂 (Here’s the link for the Carriage Handles I bought)    Affiliate link

faux window with hardware

Decorating my front porch was so much fun with the new look….

Girl standing on front porch with a hot drink and a fern behind her

Thought I would make that faux window pop a little more. You can find the flower box plans here! So easy to make and super inexpensive too!!

faux window with flower box

My favorite month to decorate the flower box is Fall….

flower box with 3 mums and gourds, pumpkins, indian corn, cabbage

And every home looks great with an American Flag!!   Affiliate link

front porch with mums, ferns, white pumpkins and American Flag

I couldn’t be happier with how this all came together. I feel like I’m driving up to a completely different house… (I’ve had a lot of people ask me about our new door so I’m including the link here)…

full view of house with limewash completed

If you are on the fence about limewashing your brick, I can’t recommend it enough!! Driving around town now, I’m constantly seeing past people’s natural brick and envisioning how amazing it would look limewashed! One of my best friends loved it so much, she bought the materials and started on hers the next week….

house freshly painted

One more look at our BEFORE….

before shot of house with brick and craftsman colors


full view of house with limewash completed

As always, please comment below with any questions you may have. You can always DM me on Instagram too, if that’s easier. I love helping people step out of their comfort zone and realize just how easy this stuff is!!


Until next time,

Happy Building, Friend!!

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Other great outdoor posts:

Craftsman Garage Doors-Get the Look Without All the Costs

How to Build Board and Batten Craftsman Shutters

New Front Door and What to Consider



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