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Adobe and Rammed Earth

Clay, Rammed Earth, Mud Bricks + Adobe Surface Guide

How to limewash raw earth surfaces

Limewash paints have been used for centuries on raw earth materials, allowing moisture to freely escape so walls will keep ‘breathing’. If your earth walls have already been painted, view external or internal for preparation instructions.

This is the right guide for you if you want to learn how to:

  • limewash internal raw earth walls
  • limewash external raw earth walls
  • prepare your surface before limewashing
  • apply limewash paint

Bauwerk Colour Limewash Paint on Clay, Rammed Earth or Mud Bricks + Adobe
Bauwerk Colour Limewash Paint on Clay, Rammed Earth or Mud Bricks + Adobe
Supply Checklist
For this surface you may need...
Whisk or Electric Mixer
4 x 14 Limewash Brush
Limewash Paint
Planning + Preparation

During construction or renovation, it is advisable to schedule Bauwerk painting as the final trade to prevent damage to the final finish caused by other trades or building equipment.

The coverage of Limewash Paint on raw absorbent earth (like clay, rammed earth, mud bricks, and adobe) is 7-10 m² per litre, per coat, with 2-3 coats required for full coverage.

Note: Recommendations for coverage are to be used as a guide only, variation in the quantity needed will depend on the porosity of the surface to be painted. We always recommend the use of sample pots for an accurate colour representation and consumption for your particular surface and light conditions.

Modern Lime Wash Paint | Bauwerk Colour
Surface Preparation

Surfaces should be free from any dirt, dust and loose material.

  • Brush down the wall.
  • Dampen walls with clean water using a brush or a light mist spray to ensure easy application of limewash paint.

Previously Painted Earth Surfaces

Previously painted internal and external earth walls can be limewashed, but some extra preparation steps are required to ensure effective limewash absorption.

Assembly of limewash brush clip
Prepare Limewash
  • Thoroughly stir limewash paint and decant into a suitable container or bucket. Ensure no pigment remains in the original container.
  • Continue to stir the paint regularly throughout the painting process.
  • Select the right limewash paintbrush for your surface. Deeper recesses are easier to paint with shorter, stiffer bristles. Flat or moderately undulating surfaces are best painted with our 4x14 limewash block brush.
A Bauwerk Colour Limewash Paint Brush full with paint
Limewash Paint Application

Apply 2 coats of Bauwerk Limewash Paint

  • Dip your Bauwerk natural bristle brush into the paint. Remove excess paint with a flick of the wrist. The brush can hold a lot of paint, but should not be dripping.
  • Start in a corner of the wall–holding the brush at a right angle to the wall. It may be best to hold the brush on the brush body, rather than the handle for more control.
  • Using loose, free strokes stretch the paint as far as possible, varying the direction of strokes constantly. Let the bristles do the work. There is no need to apply too much pressure. To reach deeper recesses make smaller movements, either back and forth or in small circular motions.
Painting Bauwerk Colour Limewash Paint on Bricks
  • Brush out the paint evenly in a thin coat, preventing runs or drips, while covering every part of the surface in the first coat. Maintain a wet edge at all times to prevent lines in your finished surface*. Finish each coat in one continuous application. Do not try and patch walls once the coat is finished, as missed areas can be covered in the next coat. With large expanses, it helps to work to a natural break in the wall, such as mortar joints.
  • When wet, the colour will appear darker and transparent. Do not compensate for this by applying more paint. As the paint dries, the colour will lighten to the chosen colour and become more opaque.
  • Allow a minimum of 1-2 hours between coats. Apply a second coat (no need to dampen again). Paint the second coat faster, wet-in-wet and a lot looser. Missing spots is okay, as the first coat should have covered everything. Allow the paint to dry.
*White Limewash Paint

If you're painting with our 'whites', maintaining a wet edge is not required. These colours patch easily and are great for spot touchups.

Bauwerk Colour Limewash Paint on external Clay, Rammed Earth, Mud Bricks & Adobe
Cleanup + Maintenance
  • There is no need for a sealer or additional top coat over the limewash. A third coat of limewash can be applied, based on your colour and coverage preferences.
  • All brushes, tools, and containers wash out quickly with minimal water and without harm to groundwater.
  • Following these steps ensures a natural, dust-free surface with a fantastic texture, making it easy to repaint and maintain.
How to wash and dry a Bauwerk Colour Natural Bristle Brush
Clay, Rammed Earth, Mud Bricks, Adobe + Limewash Paint FAQs
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