I am trying to create a deep coloured limewash, but the cured, dry colour of the limewash is too light. Can I darken the limewash?
I am trying to create a deep coloured limewash, but the cured, dry colour of the limewash is too light can I darken the limewash?
It is always difficult trying to create a dark limewash such as the deep reds you find historically that may have been done with Oxblood. You can get deeper shades by increasing the levels of pigment within the limewash, however, lime can only bind with a certain amount of pigment before it becomes overloaded and the pigment sits on the surface.
There are numerous ways to try and tackle this – you may want to do trials.
Keeping with pigment you can add raw linseed oil into the final coat. A maximum of 3% by volume. This should keep the colour darker and reduce dusting. Trials would be recommended.
Another option is to mix casein in with the limewash which helps adherence but being quite a bright white will not reduce pigment demand so we would recommend you try the linseed oil option first.
Using very mature limewash will tend to hold the pigment better – as it matures and breaks down the crystal formulation of the lime it creates a larger surface area for the pigment to bind to and therefore it is easier to create darker colours without having to overload the pigment too much.
Lastly, if all else fails you could look at keeping a mix with a higher level of pigment but applying a coating over the top to hold the pigment. We would try fixative (potassium silicate), Surfapore C or BS Plus – again trials are recommended and we can send you sample pots and instructions to try.