Lime wash issues

Cat is back for the weekend and is straight back onto lime washing the walls in Zanna’s bedroom. The walls are looking very patchy, more patchy than they should we think. Lime wash isn’t a flat paint finish like modern paints, yet we are not sure we have quite got the technique right. The paler colour is certainly less patchy, but you can still see all the brush strokes.

Cat has read all the technical data sheets for Farrow & Ball’s lime wash paint, has spoken to someone at Farrow & Ball about it and watched numerous videos showing the best painting techniques for lime washing but they all differ in their advice and techniques…

Do we spray the walls down with water? Do we not? Do we water down the lime wash paint? If so then by how much? Do we paint it on in cross strokes? Or in just one direction? Or both? How many coats? 3 or 5 or more? It’s a bit of a mine field, but all we can do is carry on, there is so much to paint and only one Cat, only at the weekends…

Cat working on the first coat of the pale grey, Farrow & Ball Blackened, on the front wall.

Our super strong cousins very kindly moved all the heavy cast iron radiators into their respective rooms, all bar the ones for the attic as getting them up ladders is going to be more than a two man job and may involve some kind of pulley system from the beams above…

The two radiators for the attic. These are also two of the larger ones we have so are the heaviest, of course.

The radiators for the sitting room. I can’t stress how heavy these are, we can barely move them let alone lift them.

Some bad news is that the top layer of lime mortar on the new garden wall has been caught by the frost and blown! It’s quite spectacular, the mortar has almost turned to dust.

The mortar obviously hadn’t gone off/dried before the frost got it, so the water within it froze, expanded and has blown it to pieces!

This will not make Tom happy at all. There will be much swearing. Thankfully it is only the top of the garden wall, so not the structural part of it. I think we may have to wait until the frosts have gone before this gets redone.

Cat adding a second coat of the pale grey. You can see just how much darker it is when it first goes on, in fact we chose this as it is very similar to the grey lime wash that we found on all the original lime plaster in the house.

All our archaeological finds from the back garden have been bagged up and archived, waiting for us to decide what to do with them.


  1. Is the lime mortar on the house ok, despite the freeze, I hope?

    As far as something to do with the sherds, etc, I’ve seen some great examples of mosaics made with potsherds, and you’ve definitely got some colourful ones!

    1. Thanks Sally! We think we have found the right technique finally, a combination of watering down the paint, painting it on quickly in a cross hatch pattern and 3/4 coats for paler colours, 5+ for darker… It’s gonna take a long time!!! xx

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