Lime Paints vs Chalk paints

Many of us are now increasingly aware that modern paints are made up to some degree of toxic, environmentally harmful chemicals as preservatives, stabilisers, thickeners and drying enhancers, which is why the popularity of organic and eco friendly sustainable paints are on the rise. 

VOC-free (volatile organic compounds) paint also recently gained the headlines when highlighted by a certain young royal couple when decorating their nursery for their first born – the qualities and health benefits of the paint to use was just one priority for these new parents.

So, what are all these new paints?  Well actually they aren’t new at all.  Centuries ago lime wash was used as a readily available and cheap option for even the most basic of homes and nowadays although packaging and the range of pigments has expanded, the key features remain the same, with the benefits of lime and chalk paint becoming time enduring.

There is however some confusion over the differences between Chalk paint and Lime paint so we thought a quick summary may be useful to you:

Lime paint is a mineral paint make from slaked lime so sticks best on porous surfaces like unpainted plaster, bricks and concrete, it can also be applied without the need to prime.  Lime paint is rougher than chalk paint and is not uniform in colour so can be mixed to whatever depth of shade you desire by simply combining the differing pigments. It is ideal for adding texture to your walls; achieve a venetian plaster effect by applying several thicker layers or a simple lime wash effect by diluting the mix. The same technique can equally be applied to the vibrancy or combination of colour you wish to achieve; combine half and half pigments for unique effects. Lime paints are likened to artist paints and a great medium for a personalised finish, they have the flexibility of allowing layering for a rough texture or smooth texture just like a plaster finish.  Lime paint is also highly alkaline and therefore naturally resistant to fungus and mould growth, making it ideal for bathrooms, kitchens, and children’s rooms.

Chalk Paint is a 100% mineral based paint which can be used for walls, ceilings and furniture. The finish is very matt with deep natural pigment colours and has a chalky appearance. It can be used to create an ‘aged’ look and easily be distressed for a ‘Shabby Chic’ style if desired. It is water-based and can be applied without a primer or if you apply a wax or varnish topcoat it becomes wipeable and durable. Again it is an environmentally friendly product as colours are created with 100% natural pigments. It is a favoured choice for furniture painting as again it needs very little preparation before applying.

Both paints offer differing appearances, so depending on the finish you are looking for and the application you will be protecting the environment with either choice.

The lime paint we source is from a wonderful Swedish company we came across in our travels – Kalkpaint and comes in powder form​​ which makes the products even more eco-friendly. It is VOC-free and does not contain any film forming plastics. None of the pigments (mineral or oxides) used in its production are dangerous, however the Lime used in production is highly alkaline and has a pH level of 12.  While drying on the wall only the water will evaporate so no harm there, and once dried is harmless. The paint is packed in 1 kg bags of powder and you need only add 1.7 litres of water, stir well and you have about 2 litres of freshly made paint which covers approx. 8m2 in two layers.

Our latest new additional colours in our luxurious lime paint collection are now available. https://www.maitlandandpoate.com/product-category/lime-paints/