Faux Finish: Lime Washing

Lime washing is a technique where you end up with a white chalky look to the walls rather than an accent color (that you get with colour washing technique). 

Tools and Materials:

  • Paint for the base coat 
  • Paint roller
  • Sandpaper and drywall compound 
  • Putty knife 
  • Drop cloths 
  • Painter\’s tape 
  • White flat paint for the cover coat 
  • Mixing container 
  • Water based varnish 
  • Color washing paintbrush (3″ to 4″ bristle brush) 


  1. Prep your walls and room as per usual and apply your base coat to the newly prepared walls using your paint roller. Allow to dry overnight.
  2. Mix off white flat latex paint and some water. The more water you add, the more diluted the surface coat will be, allowing more of the base coat to show through. 
  3. Apply a light coat of the lime wash mixture with the color washing brush. Brush the lime wash on in overlapping “X\’s” sparingly, as you are just adding extra colour, not painting the walls. Work in 4\’ by 4\’ sections and use cheesecloth to blot the paint and smooth away any brush marks.
  4. Continue to work your way around the room.
  5. Next, apply two coats of a low luster water based varnish.