Limewash vs. Whitewash vs. Paint: Brick Fireplace

Limewash vs. Whitewash vs. Paint: Brick Fireplace

Guide to Limewash vs. Whitewash vs. Paint

Is it Better to Paint or Limewash Brick?

Is it Better to Paint or Whitewash a Fireplace?

Is it Better to Whitewash or Limewash Brick?

Is your old brick fireplace looking old and dated? A simple and inexpensive way to update it is to refinish it with limewash, whitewash, or paint. But which should you choose? Is it better to paint or limewash brick? Or is it better to whitewash the fireplace?

Each option has its pros and cons. You’ll need to think about the look you want and how much work you are willing to do. Let’s take a look at each so you can make the best decision to freshen up your brick fireplace.

Whitewash Basics

Whitewash is water-based paint mixed with water that is great for porous surfaces like bricks. Due to the mixture, only a thin layer of paint ends up on the bricks, allowing some of the original color to stay visible.

Whitewashing is a cheap option that can be quickly applied to the surface. It dries fast yet lasts up to 20-30 years with no maintenance required.

Drying fast can also be a downside. You don’t have a grace period to change the look if you do not like it, unlike limewash which we will discuss next.

In addition, you may need to apply several coats to get the look and coverage that you wish. However, you can use less for an “old world” look.

Limewash Basics

Limewash is a type of whitewash. Instead of latex paint, you use a mixture of limestone, tint, and water. As with whitewash, limewash is perfect for porous surfaces. It also helps protect the bricks from the elements.

Limewash paint offers the added benefit of being able to remove the paint within five days. This gives you some flexibility if you decide you don’t like the results.

limewash brick fireplace can also be a great way to give your home a rustic look too.

Paint Basics

Painting a brick fireplace can be a fantastic way to bring new life to your room or your outdoor living environment. This choice will give you a more opaque, full coverage look. It’s great for a modern look.

However, painting a brick fireplace does have its advantages and disadvantages.

First, let’s look at the advantages. Paint can undoubtedly transform the total look. It can hide damage in older bricks and make the surface smoother by bringing out its beauty.

Second, and on the downside, the proper preparation and application are critical.

A primer is highly recommended as well as the need to use a paint that is specially formulated for brick to prevent water or mold from being trapped. This is essential as cracks can form behind the layers of paint due to moisture build-up. These cracks often go unnoticed, or you will see the paint start to bubble.

Over time painted bricks may need to be repainted. Because bricks are porous, allowing minerals to seep in, therefore, harboring moisture, discoloration, fading and peeling can happen. In addition, white paint can turn yellow and red paint can turn pinkish.

If you consider removing the paint to get a fresh new look in the future, this is not an easy task.

So, is this a DIY project or not? You can do it if you are up to the task, whereas a professional painting contractor can make sure it’s done right. You may be putting out the expense initially, but in the long term, you can find it well worth the investment.

Limewash vs. Whitewash vs. Paint

If you’re wondering, is it better to whitewash or limewash brick? you may not find a definitive answer.

Whitewash and limewash have many similarities. Because of this, either one is a good choice if you are looking to update your fireplace, yet don’t want to have a lot of maintenance to keep up with.

The choice between paint and limewash is very similar to the question between is it better to paint or whitewash a fireplace? Limewash and whitewash both give a rustic look that is very easy to maintain. 

Paint will give a more finished look that is more difficult to maintain. You should consider what kind of look you want for your brick fireplace and how much work you are willing to put in.

Which Finish Will You Choose?

Limewash, whitewash, and paint are all great ways to update your brick fireplace. If you ask is it better to paint or limewash brick? the answer is not quite clear-cut because of the benefits and downside to each option. Think about what you want out of refinishing your fireplace.

If you are looking to give your brick fireplace a new look, contact Carolina Blue Painting. We are the professionals who can assure you that when we are done, your brick fireplace will look as amazing as ever.