Earles Traditional Limewash


Find out more about the benefits of using Earles Traditional Limewash. Did you know that some limewash now contains acrylic? If this is something you would like to avoid, do check the ingredients. Our Traditional Limewash recipe is centuries old, so you can be assured that it’s acrylic free, highly breathable and perfectly pure. With a natural luminosity, and unique patina, Traditional Limewash can be used both internally and externally to achieve the most stunning of natural finishes.

Containing only filtered slaked lime and salt, Traditional Limewash offers exceptional breathability when applied to lime render, lime plaster, earth walls, timber and more. It is naturally bacteria resistant and effective at preventing mould growth, making it ideal for both internal and external surfaces prone to dampness.


  • Highly breathable
  • For use on internal and external surfaces
  • Easy to apply
  • Naturally mould and bacteria resistant
  • Improves interior air quality
  • Compatible with period properties
  • No harmful fumes
  • Plastic, solvent and VOC free


Traditional Limewash is compatible with porous substrates such as lime render, lime plaster, earth walls, soft stone and timber. It works extremely well on older properties built of solid wall construction due to its ability to allow moisture to escape.


COLOUR RANGE: As per colour card

PAINT FINISH: Heritage finish with a natural patina

STORAGE AND SHELF LIFE: Store in a dry location in original containers between 5°C and 25°C.
Indefinite shelf life in unopened containers.

DRYING TIME: 4 hours at 20°C, dependent on airflow and humidity.


THEORETICAL SPREAD RATE: 9m2 per litre per coat.
(based on dilution rates and application guidelines)

COATS: Recommended 3 coat system. (Please read application guidelines)

PACK SIZE: 5 Litre and 10 Litre


APPLICATION METHOD: Brush (2 knot brush or good masonry brush)

CLEANING: Clean all equipment with fresh water immediately after use


Before full application apply a test patch to ensure product compatibility and colour satisfaction. Limewash colours will lighten significantly once fully dry.

Plan the wash in advance, NEVER coat in full sun as this will result in an accelerated drying time and lead to a poor finish.

Limewashing should only be carried out when conditions are above 5°c and rising. If temperature is expected to drop below 5°c within 24 hours after planned application it is strongly recommended to postpone until there are desired conditions. Continuing application when temperatures drop below 5°c could cause serious issues with the substrate due to the additional water being added, freezing, expanding and causing cracking.

It is also important to check conditions ahead of planned external applications for chances of rain, if a lime washed wall is hit with heavy rain within 72 hours of application lime spotting or lime flooding can occur. This is where lime is washed to the surface and white spots can appear. While the substrate remains protected, the white spots may be aesthetically displeasing and it is therefore important to give greatest consideration to this problem on the final coat.

Strong winds will also affect the drying process, so these conditions should be avoided too.

The most common surfaces to be limewashed are new lime plaster/render, new cementitious based plaster/render, a mixture of both or previously limewashed surfaces. Newly rendered surfaces must be given sufficient time for the render to have fully dried and cured. Failure to give new render sufficient drying time can result in lime washed walls appearing to fade in colour due to lime migration. This is where the wall is yet to fully cure and lime is still migrating to the surface and carbonating over the top of the limewash. Check with the render manufacturer for accurate full drying times.

Extreme care should also be taken with surfaces that have been spot repaired. The use of silicone or polymer based fillers is not recommended, sealers or water proofers are generally impervious to water and very often lead to limewash failing to adhere. If the surface has been repaired using breathable materials, there may be some initial patchiness due to varying absorption rates.

All loose materials should be removed from the surface to be coated. The substrate must be free from dirt, grease, organic growth and any other contaminants likely to impair adhesion or absorption.

It is essential to dampen down the substrate prior to limewash being applied, including between coats. Damping down can be achieved by spraying sections of the wall with a fine light mist using a spray bottle or the mist setting on a hose. The area to be limewashed should be damp to the touch. Allow the substrate to absorb water and for any excess to run off before beginning application.

Earles Traditional Limewash is a thick dilutable material and unless specifically instructed otherwise the material should always be diluted with fresh clean water and mixed thoroughly immediately prior to application. This is to enable the limewash to penetrate the substrate or previous coat of limewash. Dilution levels will vary depending upon which coat is being applied. Failure to follow these dilution levels may cause the limewash to be applied too thickly and result in cracking, poor adhesion or visible brush lines.

We recommend using a minimum of 3 coats of Limewash. This will build a protective barrier which allows moisture to escape while preventing water ingress.

(e.g. 5 litres limewash to 5 litres water)

(e.g. 10 litres limewash to 5 litres of water)

Brushing is the only recommended method of application. Work the limewash into the surface well using circular, horizontal, diagonal and vertical motions. Each coat must be applied thinly and evenly.

Feathering when finishing and beginning new areas helps to avoid banding. To feather out an edge, stop loading the brush and work remaining limewash in all directions, similarly when feathering in lightly load the brush and work the material into feathered parts and continue application.

Stir regularly during application to prevent settlement.

Allow a minimum of 24 hours between coats. Remembering to dampen down each time.

Note: it can take several days for the limewash to fully dry out, only then will the final colour be achieved. Until then, differing moisture levels and atmospheric conditions can give variations in the tone of the limewash.

Although every batch of material is weighed to within 0.1g and tight specification and quality control guidelines are always observed, slight variations in colour may occur between batches. We recommend where possible to paint from the same batch for the complete application.

Earles Traditional Limewash is water based and therefore should always be protected from frost. Store upright between 5°·C & 25°C. Always replace the lid after use & use within 12 months of opening.

Browse our range of timeless colours. Available in 5 Litre and 10 Litre sizes. Traditional Limewash is made to order and we are unable to offer samples of individual colours. Samples of white are available should you wish to test the nature and quality of the product.
Colour Creation: If required our skilled paintmakers are able to mix Traditional Limewash to your own colour specifications. Our paints are not coloured using a paint mixing machine, rather the colour matching process is purely by eye using traditional methods and natural pigments and oxides. Please phone us to discuss your colour requirements and timescales for delivery of bespoke colour options. There is a minimum order of 5 Litres for this service.

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To ensure a seamless painting process and complete satisfaction in the end result, we kindly request that customers read the data sheets provided prior to the mixing and application of Traditional Limewash.


Download the Earles traditional limewash technical datasheet here.


Download the Earles traditional limewash material safety datasheet here.


Download the Earles traditional limewash application guidelines.