Limewash floors are made by painting or treating the surface of any porous material with lime paint. This gives the material a lighter material and gives it a lot of additional benefits. The paint is made from slaked lime putty, derived from grinding and processing the crystal.
Lime washing has been practised since the early Roman era. In fact, ruins in Southern Italy where Pompeii used to stand are treated with limestone paint. From the Middle Ages until the Dark Ages, the slaked lime paint was used in masonry.
How is it done?
The lime paint is made out of calcium hydroxide, also known as slaked lime. The material is ground and mixed with water to produce the wash. The crystal itself is very refractive. Once applied, makes the surface very glossy.
How does it work?
The lime wash is applied in a very thin layer onto surfaces. Unlike other paints, the solution is not very opaque. It only adds a slight tint to the initial application. The surface is then cured to ensure that it soaks into the material. The curing process makes the tint more opaque. To get full opacity, the surface is cured multiple times.
Lime wash functions differently than other paints. Most colours sit directly on top of the material as it dries. However, lime paint completely soaks into the material. This is why floors and walls treated with lime paint need to be damp to prevent it from completely soaking in. Otherwise, the surface will be too sandy.
What are the benefits?
Using this type of paint has a lot of benefits. Because they don’t sit at the top off floors or walls, they allow the material to breathe. This is especially important for wood, as the paint prevents moisture from being trapped inside.
Lime paint also has natural anti-bacterial and pesticide properties. This is because of the liquid’s natural alkalinity. It is also believed to give protection from fire hazards. During 1212, after the great fire of Thames, this type of whitewashing was used as a prevention method.