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How To Paint Limewash/Distemper Walls

Our 4-step guide will show you how to prepare, prime and decorate interior limewash and distemper walls (usually found in traditional, heritage buildings) in more than 350 colours using Zinsser products.

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Zinsser Paint Limewash/Distemper Products

The Benefits

Step 1. Surface Preparation

Step 2. Patch Priming & Bring Forward

Step 3. Priming

Step 4. Decoration

More Information

Further Reading


Zinsser Paint Limewash/Distemper Products

Zinsser Mould Killer & Remover

Zinsser Grade 1

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The Benefits

Limewash and distemper are often found in traditional heritage buildings, being vapour permeable and allowing a building to “breathe”. These highly porous substrates create a host of painting challenges, which our guide below will show you how to overcome on interior projects with Zinsser products.

Zinsser listens to contactors and develops new products – or adds features to existing products – to meet their changing needs, delivering world class products that meet “real world” challenges, providing tried and tested solutions to painting problems, such as painting limewash and distemper.

Step 1. Surface Preparation

Limewash and distemper surfaces must be clean and dry, free from anything that will interfere or affect with the adhesion and application of Zinsser products and materials to be applied.

Scrape and brush the surface to a sound edge using a stiff-bristled brush, removing all loose and failing material.

Prior to painting, the moisture content should not exceed 18%.

Remove all visible signs of organic growth and treat the areas with Zinsser Mould Killer & Remover in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, allowing the surface to dry.

Fill any cracks and small surface defects using a suitable filler, as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, allow it to dry and then rub down with a fine grade abrasive paper and remove all dust.

Step 2. Patch Priming & Bring Forward

Use one coat of Zinsser Grade 1 to patch prime all bare and filled areas (in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions), allowing a minimum drying time of 2 hours in normal drying conditions, and then bring forward the patch primed areas with another coat of Zinsser Grade 1.

Allow to dry.

Step 3. Priming

Once dry, prime all limewash and distemper areas to be decorated with one full coat of Zinsser Grade 1.

Allow a minimum drying time of 2 hours in normal drying conditions before decorating.

Step 4. Decoration

Decorate the surface with one or two coats of Zinsser Grade 1 in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

A high-performance paint for the interior decoration of walls and ceilings in traditional and historic buildings, including churches, castles and period properties, Zinsser Grade 1 has a matt finish and is available in more than 60 colours from RAL and BS shades.

More Information

If you require more advice on painting limewash and distemper, give our technical team a call on 0113 2455450 (option 2) or send a message to [email protected].

Further Reading

How To Paint Ceramic Tiles

How To Paint Friable Exterior Walls

Treating Rising Damp

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