A Makeover Story: Exterior Brick

This all started when we decided decided to put on an addition, which start with wanting to dig out our half basement crawl space. Things spiral like that, you know how it is. Anyhow, we will be putting siding on the addition and needed a way to blend it with the current exterior which is part brick and part stone. The stone part is tanish gray (pretty neutral) but the brick was a tanish yellow and taupe color. It wasn’t my favorite; let’s go with that.

However, I enjoy having a brick house. It’s very insulating and solid and I didn’t want to make a big investment because, well, the addition. So, I decided to look into painting brick which, it turns out, is bad for the brick. Lime wash, though, is an organic material (limestone) based product that is okay for bricks because it ‘let’s them breathe.’ After a bit of research, I came across a product called Romabio lime wash paint. If you DIY the lime wash, you have to perfectly portion a number of materials (water, pigment, limestone, etc.); with this product, the guess work is done for you. We chose nube gray to pair with our front stone. In hindsight, we might have picked a different shade, but I’m still happy with it as I love gray.

Also, often times, people will spray away some of the lime wash before it dries (or with a high powered sprayer) to give it a weathered, aged look. After testing that look (right) as well as a solid, non sprayed-off look (left), I decided to go for a solid finish as I was ultimately trying to hide the original color.


Oh, and it’s super easy to do. Here’s how.


  • Romabio lime wash in a color of your choosing
  • Bucket to mix paint
  • Paint stirrer (or drill with stirrer attached)
  • Paint brush
  • Ladder
  • Painters tape
  • Hose
  • Measuring cup (depending how much you want to mix)


  1. Mix up your lime wash – the product I used needs 100% dilution, which means for as much lime wash as you put in your bucket, put equal parts water; we mixed a bit at a time (no inherent value in this), but if you have a lot to do you could mix it all up. Use your stirrer or drill for this.
  2. Tape off any areas, like doors, windows or by your roof line.
  3. Spray water on an area of your brick with your hose; you will need to work section by section for this part because you don’t want the brick to dry before you can apply the lime wash.
  4. Then, just like painting, apply the lime wash/water mixture (it will be thin). Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies of the brick, especially the grout. Be careful about splatter on your sidewalks or driveway. It doesn’t matter quite as much in grass because it can be removed when you next mow your lawn.
  5. You will need to let it dry for 5 days before you hose down your house (or front planters – be careful). It’s okay if it rains – you shouldn’t have any problems with it running unless it’s freshly painted.







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