Faux-Limewashing: The DIY Technique Taking Over TikTok

By Ellie Smith

2 weeks ago

Recreate the limewashed look with this simple hack

Limewash walls are all over social media right now, renowned for their chalky texture and characterful look. However, this specific type of paint is pricey and hard to come by, usually available in limited colours – hence why savvy TikTokers have come up with a way to recreate the aesthetic for less. Hashtags for #DIYlimewashpaint have surpassed 27.9 million views on TikTok and #limewashpainttutorial has had over 23.9 million views. Keen to dip your toe into the trend? Paint expert Michael Rolland, Managing Director at The Paint Shed, shares some top tips.

Faux-Limewashing Is TikTok’s Latest Interiors Trend

What Is Limewashing?

‘Limewash paint is made from crushed limestone, water, and other natural additives like pigments or fibres,’ explains Rolland. ‘It has been used throughout history to paint, decorate and protect the surfaces of buildings. It’s sought after for the breathable, matte, chalky finish it creates that allows the underlying texture of the surface to show through.’

Is Faux-Limewashing A Good Alternative?

‘Along with being able to create a really gorgeous finish, limewashing is breathable, natural and solvent-free,’ Rolland says. However, it isn’t easy to get right. ‘A lot of care is needed, and it can’t be a rushed job. Limewash won’t cover up any imperfections that haven’t been treated previously and can demand multiple undercoats to create the desired finish.

‘Limewash is easy to get wrong, and without the right expertise, DIYers can be left with extremely uneven and patchy walls. Lime paint is also unpredictable! It usually lightens much more than it originally shows, so the finished project might not always be what you were expecting.’

Enter lime-washing, where you can get the same effect with much less skill (and money). ‘Faux-limewashing is a great choice for those with less experience who want to create this marbled effect themselves,’ says Rolland. ‘There’s much less chance of faux-limewashing going wrong, and if it does, it’s far easier to fix.’

How To Faux-Limewash

To make a DIY limewash paint, you need to thin paint by mixing it with water (around one part paint to three parts water). Use an old washing up bowl, and put the water in first to stop your paint sticking to the bowl. Then, apply the paint to the wall in circular motions (it’s worth practising on a piece of cardboard first). Traditional limewashing results in an off-white colour, so stick to neutrals. Rolland recommends:


‘To begin with, it’s crucial to always prepare your surface – that means cleaning any dust or dirt from the walls, filling or repairing any cracks and holes and taping off any areas that you don’t want to paint to ensure a clean, tidy finish. Then apply your primer or undercoat.’

Chalk emulsion

‘Using a chalk wash paint over a chalky emulsion can be a great way to achieve the desired rustic, marble effect of limewash.’

Chalk wash paint

‘For the chalk wash, use a wide, synthetic brush, starting at the top corner in a cross-hatching, randomised, ensuring good coverage. Once the coat is complete, take a clean sponge or muslin rag and press lightly and quickly onto the surface to create a soft, dappled effect. Only use one layer of the wash paint to ensure that textured, translucent finish.’

Faux Lime-Washing Inspiration

@brookerayyy_ I am so completely obsessed with how this turned out! It looks so elevated and it was SO EASY! Inspired by @Hailey Devine ‘s video of her daughter’s nursery! 🤍✨🪩 #diy #limewashwall #fauxlimewash #home #project #painting #homeimprovement #limewashpainting #diylimewash ♬ Aquarium/terrarium warm and fantastic(1313927) – ChillStars

@casacrank FAUX LIMEWASH WALL… Subtle but so effective! Would you add texture to your walls? #fauxlimewash #texturedwall #painttechnique #interiordecor #homeaccountuk #diyidea #diyinteriors #HomeDecorideas #HomeDIYIdeas ♬ original sound – Beyinternet

@taytru_ DIY FAUX PINK LIMEWASH for my daughters nursery. It came out so much better than expected!!!! #DIY #diylimewasheffect #diylimewashwall #diynursery #girlnurseryroom #girlnurseryinspo #fyp #interiordesign ♬ Storytelling – Adriel