Embracing the Timeless Elegance of Lime Wash Paint

In the realm of paint colors, where the palette tells stories of aesthetics and design, there’s a revival echoing through the walls — the resurgence of lime wash paint. In this blog, we delve into the luxurious, albeit slightly costly, world of a paint technique that once adorned the walls of Italian villas, bringing a touch of timeless elegance to modern spaces.

My personal journey with lime wash paint began during a photoshoot at the Heights House boutique hotel in Raleigh, where the newly remodeled interiors showcased the enchanting application of this age-old technique. The transformative effect it had on the atmosphere, creating a light and airy feel, left an indelible impression. Inspired and intrigued, I set out on a quest to incorporate lime wash paint in my next painting project.

Navigating the world of lime wash paint wasn’t without its trials and errors, but each misstep was a lesson in the pursuit of perfection. Before delving into my own experiences, let’s take a moment to revisit what lime wash paint truly is.

Lime wash paint is a traditional type of paint that is made from natural lime, water, and pigments. It has been used for centuries and is known for its unique, chalky appearance and matte finish. Here are some key characteristics and considerations regarding lime wash paint:

Natural Ingredients

Lime wash paint is composed of slaked lime (calcium hydroxide), water, and natural pigments.

It is an eco-friendly and breathable paint option, making it suitable for historic buildings and lime-based surfaces.


It is an eco-friendly and breathable paint option, making it suitable for historic buildings and lime-based surfaces.

Color Options

Lime wash is available in a range of colors, and its translucent nature allows for a subtle blending of hues.

The color may evolve over time as the lime reacts with carbon dioxide in the air, creating a patina effect.

Aesthetic Appeal

Lime wash paint is often chosen for its ability to impart a rustic or Mediterranean look to a space.

It is favored for its ability to create a soft, atmospheric feel in both contemporary and traditional settings.

In the pursuit of transforming my staircase and hallway, I embarked on a colorful journey, seeking a shade that resonates between the vibrancy of green and the warmth of yellow. The initial canvas, adorned with a light off-white and yellow Valspar from several years ago, served as the starting point for my project.

After meticulous consideration, I opted for the allure of an Italian brand, Vassari, available at Lowe’s, captivated by the promise of the Provence color. Envisioning a hue reminiscent of young celery stalks or sunlit grass, I eagerly dove into my painting endeavor. However, my excitement was met with disappointment as the final result leaned more towards yellow than the desired green, failing to distinguish itself significantly from the existing palette. Despite the investment of around $80, the color and depth fell short of my expectations.

Undeterred, I resumed my quest for the perfect hue. This time, my focus shifted to brands offering a spectrum of saturated colors, particularly those I term “happy and bright.” The market was brimming with options, but my attention narrowed to Sydney Harbour Paint and JH Wall Paint. Ultimately, my choice swung towards JH Wall Paint due to its slightly more affordable price tag, totaling around $118.26 with taxes and fees. However, I came to slightly regret my choice.

Why did I regret my choice?

Firstly, I overlooked the fact that they don’t offer samples, leading me to purchase a full bucket based on the online swatch #134, hoping for a lighter, yet still vibrant green.

Secondly, the resulting color turned out to be a bit too green for my taste, especially given the confined space of a narrow 1947 stairwell and hall. To compound matters, I fell short by just a bit, hindering the completion of the project. Unfortunately, JH Wall Paint doesn’t provide samples, even for customers like me who previously bought from them and only need a smaller quantity to finish the project. 

As a solution, I’ve contacted Sydney Harbor Paint to inquire about the possibility of creating a custom sample in pint or quart size. I’m awaiting their response.

Despite the challenges, the rich green of the walls became a stunning backdrop for my most recent photoshoot. I appreciate the matte and textured feel of the old walls, particularly in the morning light.

JH Wall Paint #134. Shot by Mariya Wai

Lime Wash Brands I had Worked with

Hallway WIP stage

Lime Wash Brands to Consider

Portola Paints

James Alexander Paint


Lime wash can be easily maintained by applying additional coats as needed.

It is a forgiving paint, and touch-ups or reapplications can be done without a noticeable difference.

Before using lime wash paint, it’s advisable to test it on a small, inconspicuous area to understand how the color develops and whether it meets your aesthetic preferences. 

Additionally, following proper application techniques and guidelines is crucial to achieving the desired effect.

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