Are you planning to limewash your concrete patio pavers, and do you want to know how to do it right? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.
Here is a summary of what you need to do to limewash your concrete patio pavers:
- Clean your pavers.
- Apply a primer coat.
- Apply the limewash.
- Seal the limewash.
Learn about the complete steps in the succeeding sections. Also, we have important information about limewash in the sections below that you will likely find interesting.
What is limewash?
Modern limewash is an aged solution that is made from powdered and burned limestone with natural pigments mixed in water. There are no chemical solvents in limewash, just water. This type of paint dates all the way back to the time of the Roman Empire.
Limewash provides a texture to the finished surface. It has a chalky, matte, and uneven look to it when dry. This gives it an old-world feel and a romantic vibe.
Is whitewash the same as limewash?
Some people use limewash and whitewash interchangeably. The two are not the same.
Whitewash is a watered-down version of white paint. A limewash, on the other hand, is a solution of powdered lime and water.
A whitewash will sit on top of your concrete pavers, while a limewash will be absorbed by the pores of the concrete.
What are the advantages of limewash?
Limewash is eco-friendly because it uses water as a solvent. It also uses natural pigments to provide color. This also makes it an inexpensive solution.
The natural caustic property of limewash will make your pavers naturally resistant to bacteria and fungus growth. It also prevents damage from insects like ants.
It is easy to fix any damage on a limewash finish. Just apply a few strokes of limewash over the damage, and it will easily blend with the rest of the pavers.
Limewash can also help protect buildings from water damage. It doesn’t flake and chip like paint does.
What are the disadvantages of limewash?
Limewash is best for porous surfaces. The solution should be able to sink into the material to have the best results. Because it needs to sink below the surface, you will need multiple coats to achieve your desired tone.
If your concrete pavers have a smooth finish, they might not be able to absorb the limewash. This could result in a powdery finish that can easily be washed off.
Limewash can easily settle to the bottom of the container while you’re painting. This means that you have to stir a lot while working with it.
Moreover, continually re-stirring means that limewash can lead to uneven shades. This makes it hard to get the exact same color from two or more batches of limewash. Additionally, it has a limited range of available colors.
How to limewash concrete patio pavers?
The process of giving your concrete patio pavers a limewash finish is different from providing a layer of limewash to exterior or interior walls. Walls are not exposed to foot traffic, making limewash on walls less prone to damage and wear.
So, we will include steps on how to protect your limewash after applying it to concrete pavers.
Another important factor to consider is the porousness of your concrete pavers. Limewash works better on porous surfaces like brick. Some concrete finishes can make the surface water resistant.
Check your concrete pavers. If they are resistant to water or have a sealant that makes them water resistant, then limewash will not last long on its surface.
Since applying a paver sealant is a common final step in the installation of concrete pavers, your contractor should know whether there is a sealant layer on your pavers or none.
Preparing Your Concrete Pavers
- Mix a mild dishwashing soap and a bucket of clean water.
- Dip a soft cleaning brush into the bucket and use it to scrub your concrete pavers clean. Focus on removing fungus growth or any dirt that can prevent your pavers from absorbing water.
- Remove any grass or fungus that is growing between your pavers.
- Rinse well with water and let it dry for a few hours.
- Inspect your concrete patio pavers for damage.
- Replace any damaged pavers. Unlike regular paint, limewash might make any damage on your pavers more noticeable.
Applying The Primer Coat
- Before you proceed, wear protective gear like gloves, eye protection, and a mask. It is also a good idea to wear long sleeves while working with limewash. Limewash is a caustic solution. Thus, it is best to keep it away from your skin, eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Apply a layer of mineral-based primer over your concrete pavers.
- Let the primer layer dry naturally.
- Apply two more layers of primer, letting each layer dry completely before applying the next coat. The layers of primer will allow the limewash to bond better with your concrete pavers.
Pro Grade paint brushes are available on Amazon through this link.
Applying The Limewash
- Prepare a stirring stick that is long enough to reach the bottom of the limewash can. Remember to stir the can's contents at least every other application. Limewash is made from crushed limestone. It is natural for it to settle at the bottom of your container as you apply limewash to your pavers. Alternatively, you can use a shallow flat container for your limewash. This makes it easy for your brush to reach the bottom of the container, where most of the lime settles over time. You can use the brush to stir the limewash as you dip it for another coat.
- Apply a layer of limewash on your pavers, making sure that you apply an even layer. Work on a few pavers in a group, then move to another batch of pavers. Keep in mind that it is better to apply several thin coats of limewash over pavers than try to apply a thick coat. Applying a thin coat gives the pavers time to absorb the limewash before you apply another coat.
- Do the same on the other pavers until you’ve covered the entire patio with limewash.
- Let the first layer of limewash dry completely.
- Apply another layer of limewash. The second layer should get rid of any visible brush strokes from the first wash. Work in the same pattern. Apply the second layer on a few pavers at a time until you’ve applied it to all the concrete pavers on your patio.
- Let the second layer dry thoroughly. At this point, you can decide if the color tone is enough for you or not. If you think that the color tone is not yet enough, you can apply a few more coats of limewash, letting it dry completely between coats. Once you decide that you have enough coats of limewash, proceed to the next step.
Sealing The Limewash
- Use a clean cloth to wipe off any powdery residue on your pavers after the final coat dries completely. You can also use a vacuum to remove any excess powdery residue. A vacuum will also remove any dust or debris that might have gotten to your pavers while your limewash was drying.
- Use a roller to apply a layer of water-based polyacrylic topcoat. This will protect the limewash from foot traffic.
- Let the polyacrylic coat dry for three to four hours.
- Apply another coat and let it dry completely.
A clear polyacrylic water-based protective finish.
Minwax is available on Amazon through this link.
How to make your own limewash?
Limewash is not always available locally. Fortunately, you can make your own limewash using ingredients that are easy to find and inexpensive.
Follow the steps below to mix your own limewash at home.
- Wear safety equipment. Never work with limewash without the proper safety equipment. Wear rubber gloves, eye protection, a facemask, and a shirt with long sleeves.
- Dissolve one part alum salt in as little boiling water as possible. Let it cool a little.
- Place one part of the pigment into the mixing container.
- Add the alum salt into the container.
- Add 20 parts of water. Mix the solution well.
- Add 10 parts of hydrated lime powder. Add the lime powder slowly to avoid too much powder from getting into the air.
- Mix well. You can use a drill with a mixing bit to make it easier to mix the solution.
It is important to identify if your concrete pavers are porous enough for the limewash. Applying limewash to concrete patio pavers that cannot properly absorb the limewash will not produce a long-lasting color.
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