Plaster vs. Limewash Wall Finishes
Plaster vs Limewash: What’s the Difference?
“Plaster” is an all-encompassing term that means several different things, but in general refers to layers of cement, sand, lime, and water mixed together to create a substance that is applied to a frame to create a wall surface. If you’re thinking of the walls of your grandparents’ home, likely you’re recalling slaked lime plaster, which is composed of several layers over a wood lath and finished with a fine skim coat. Gypsum and Ventetian plaster are also common. Gypsum has a matte finish and is singe-hued, while Venetian plaster requires many layers to create depth and nuanced shades of color. Long before the invention of drywall, plaster walls were widely used in interiors and even used in molds to create reliefs for molding or decorative details.
Made of crushed limestone mixed with water (and sometimes a color), limewash is a translucent material that creates a distinctive chalky finish. It can be applied to porous surfaces, making it ideal for rehabbing masonry like brick or stone both indoors and out. Limewash is environmentally friendly, containing no VOCs, and is naturally mold- and mildew-resistant.
Plaster vs. Limewash: Application
Applied in layers with a trowel, plaster is definitely the less-DIY-friendly option. We recommend leaving to plaster finishing to the experts. It is especially at home in historic spaces, but can be used to add organic texture and movement to your walls no matter your home’s architectural style. It’s certainly more expensive to install than painted drywall, but it’s a timeless material that is long-lasting in both style and practical use. If you are interested in learning more about using plaster wall treatment, consider taking a virtual class with Jersey Ice Cream Co., or take on a small project like a range hood.
Limewash is applied with a brush and may be easier to DIY. Portola Paints offers a line of products in a wide range of stock or custom colors, including a primer and sealer to yield the most long-lasting results. If you are applying a limewash to brick or stone, consider the products by Romabio. A tinted limewash is a lovely way to add color variation and texture in a way that is more dynamic than paint but more subtle than wallpaper or millwork.
Plaster vs. Limewash: Maintenance and Care
While limewash is relatively low-maintenance – minor scuffs can be cleaned with a damp cloth or mild sanding – plaster requires more upkeep. Defects or marks may require the entire wall to be re-plastered, so it’s best to do some research before hanging frames or hardware over plaster. Cleaning, however, is simple, especially if a wax seal has been applied to repel grease and grime.
BY: ANASTASIA CASEY
PREVIOUS POST >