I’m really excited to share my guest post with you today. I get a lot of questions about how to do German Smeared Mortar and Lime wash. I asked Romabio if they’d write up a tutorial on how to use their product and they even came through with a video. This definitely is a very easy way to get the look, check the video at the end of the post:
You don’t have to use mortar and hydrated lime to create the whitewash brick look that you want. And you don’t have to use an acrylic paint that is not organic or natural and gives you too much shine in the end result.
There is a different way to get the antique look of whitewashed brick. You can use authentic, slaked-lime paint that is sourced from Northern Italy, similar to what was used historically throughout Europe. And you can even do it yourself in one afternoon!
ROMABIO specially formulated BioCalce Classico limewash paint to be a slow-set application so you can easily create the antique limewash or whitewashed look you want for your brick fireplace or for the exterior of your home.
Here is what you will need to get started:
- One liter of BioCalce Classico limewash paint. It can cover 125 – 150 sq. ft. Most typical sized fireplaces will only need one liter.
- Paint Brush. A large, soft brush is the best choice.
- Spray bottle filled with water.
- Plastic or drop clothes for the floor. You could even use old sheets or a tarp.
- Mixing bucket. Any type of plastic bucket that can hold 3-5 liters to mix the paint and water.
- Stir stick. A spatula, paddle drill, small stick of wood, or even the paint brush if it is long enough.
- Towels or rags. Medium sized cotton towels or old dish rags could work well.
Step 1. Clean the brick
Before painting, you need to make sure the brick is clean. Use the old rags moistened with water and wipe down the bricks and remove any cobwebs or soot.
Step 2. Dampen with water
Use the spray bottle, and lightly dampen the brick with water, just enough to make the surface is more permeable, but not so much that water runs down the wall.
Step 3. Dilute the paint with water
BioCalce Classico limewash paint needs to be diluted with clean water at a ratio of 1:1 (or 100%). This means for 1 liter of paint product; you will need to mix with 1 liter of water. Pour the paint into the mixing bucket, then add the water and thoroughly mix them together. It should only take 2-4 minutes or until there is uniform consistency with no standing water.
Step 4. Apply with a brush
Starting in the top left corner of the fireplace, apply BioCalce Classico across an entire surface area of a section, making sure you get an even coat all the way around. You can see below how we did the left column side first and then did the bottom section.
Step 5: Watching paint dry
The next stage is actually the most crucial. This is when you get to create the antique look you want. Depending on the air temperature, the drying process could take anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple of hours. Let it get to a point where it is almost dry, still damp, but not dripping.
Step 6: Spray with water
This is the fun part. Once you think the paint is starting to dry, use the water bottle and rags to spray off and wipe as much or as little of the paint you want. The limewash paint will come off and expose the brick, and you get decide how much or little you take off depending on the look you want to create!
Step 7: Enjoy your new look
That is it! Touch up any areas that you want to be more painted and if for some reason you are not happy with an area, you can easily remove the paint with household vinegar.
Just spray the area and remove with old rags and reapply as desired. After about five to seven days the paint should calcify and won’t be able to be removed easily.
Once you’ve created the wash off look you want, let the paint fully dry. Don’t use the fireplace that day and stay off of it until it fully dries overnight, but after that it is ready to go and you can enjoy your new look!
BioCalce Classico also works on the exterior so if you love this look, you can use the same process with a garden hose instead of a spray bottle. Here’s a video on How to Limewash brick with gives a similar look to German Smeared Mortar explaining more about that, but the big advantage is it will last 15-25 years and continue to give you a gorgeous look that is found in historic European buildings.