Adding a dash of old world charm to a basic builder home…


Anyone who has ever bought a brand new home knows it can be a challenge to add character to a blank, architecturally bland space. Most new homes these days lack the character that older and/or custom homes have, so it’s something we add ourselves.

The design and architectural details in a new home are not added due to costs, time and mass production. If you have a space that just doesn’t speak to you or you feel is missing that particular something (as the french say “je ne sais quoi”), most likely it is the details that you are missing. Elements like Crown moldings, paneled walls, medallions and other decorative details instantly add appeal and mood, be it modern or traditional.

Sometimes adding these things may cost more than you want to spend, or perhaps you lack the DIY ability. Yet adding something as simple and inexpensive as crown mouldings will pay off for you in not only having something that will enhance your space but also when it comes to resale value or getting your home reassessed.

The latest of projects that we’ve worked on in our home is the addition of a Lime wash fresco accent wall in my office/tv room. For years I’ve been staring at the huge 9′ high 12′ long wall and kept adding things like photos and peg rails only to take them down later because it just wasn’t working for me. I debated just giving the wall an accent colour with paint, which works wonders in any space, but this time I wanted something different. I’ve always admired those old European cottages and manors with their wonderful textured walls. I could have replicated the look with a faux finish (for a lot less $) but the texture and subtle changes in the way the lighting hits its would not have been there. So I googled, scrolled endlessly on Pinterest and drooled over Instagram accounts from Europe and found this small miracle called Lime Wash Fresco Paint.

Disclaimer: This is not a paid Advertisement or collaboration. All opinions are my own.

In North America Lime paint is practically unheard of. In all my years of Design I’ve not once seen it used or even in an existing space. In areas that have been settled in since the dawn of time however, Lime Paint is “old news” so to speak.

Limewash is one of the oldest paints known to man. The Pharaohs used it in ancient Egypt and it is still widely used throughout the world today. … It was argued that the limewash was absorbed into stone, hardened it and filled crevices, which would otherwise allow water to penetrate and attack the stone.

Mike Wye

Characteristics:

  • Water based
  • Coloured with natural and organic pigments
  • Chalk matte effect
  • Colour nuances
  • Very environmentally friendly
  • 100% recyclable
  • High coverage
  • Water vapour permeable
  • VOC free
  • Solvent free
  • Tension free
  • No synthetic binders
  • Bacteria and mold repellent
  • Non-flammable
  • Little to no odour

Now that I’d discovered this wonderful, environmentally conscious product the next step was to find a company that made it and where I could buy it in Canada. That proved to be a challenge, but I do love me a challenge. I managed to find two vendors who carried Pure and Original paint (both locations were two hours away). The first thing I did was order a sample book online. I kept the book open on my desk for a month before narrowing it down to three colours. The next step was to pay a visit to the store where we ended up going with a much, much darker colour than the one I originally choose!


Pure and Original Paint

Colour: Earth Stone


The process for covering a wall in Lime Paint was very similar to any paint- Prep your wall with a good primer and allow to dry. Next apply your first coat of paint and apply second if needed. BUT the difference ends there…

First step: Primer or Wall Prim

It is highly recommended that you use a proper lime wash primer (aka Wall Prim) so as to make your wall ready to receive the lime wash. If you skip this step you will not get the look you want and all your time and money spent will be wasted.

First coat of Lime Wash

The first coat, for me, is when the fun started. After the OH finished his perfect primer coat I got to destroy it…*insert evil laugh here* I had watched several tutorials online regarding the application and decided on using a criss-cross application vs. the up and down stroke. This was entirely personal preference. Once the first coat has been applied WALK AWAY AND DO NOT LOOK BACK! I am not kidding, it is at this point that you will be wondering what you have done and you may even start biting your nails with anxiety. In fact, leave the house for several hours!

Second coat of Lime wash

I gave the first coat 6 hours to dry ( we went Christmas shopping ) and then started with the second coat. It is important to note that once you start painting with the Lime wash – do NOT stop. It is imperative that the edges stay wet so that the strokes can blend. If your wall is too large for you to apply in one shot you should get a second pair of hands to help and ensure you are both using the same technique. Not going to lie, my hands and arms were a little tired and let’s not even talk about DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

I am so pleased with the end result and even the OH likes it! I would love to do another room soon as I am in love with the character it adds to a space.

The final result!

In addition to the Lime paint we raised the cabinets off the floor, added floor to ceiling – wall to wall sheers and rearranged the furniture. It is a brand new room. What’s next I wonder?