$20 DIY Sandstone Lime Wash

Earlier this summer, before it became 7489542943390 degrees outside, we decided to Lime Wash the sandstone on our house. I had been toying with the idea of whitewashing the house for a while.

I brought it up to my husband and he told me to ask all of my real estate friends what they thought. I think he was hoping they would say no, because it was going to be a lot of work… but they all said to do it. Sorry, hubs.

I started on the back of my house with paint, watered down, and tried painting and wiping off the excess and we HATED it. So, back to the drawing board, also cleaning paint off of sandstone is HARD.

Then, it happened. I accidentally stumbled upon lime washing on Pinterest.

I sent my husband some photos and since it was such a cheap investment ($20 a bag), he agreed that we should try it. I ordered two 50 pound bags of hydrated lime from Ace Hardware. I actually ended up not even needing one full bag, so maybe keep that in mind too.

What I used:

Hydrated Lime

Masonry Brush


A paint stir stick

Measuring Cup


Shop towels (something you can throw away)

Gloves (the lime dried my hands up!)

I started by mixing 5 cups of lime at a time. It’s a 50/50 mixture, so 5 cups of water, 5 cups of lime. Stir them together in the bucket. It was like a thick paste.

Before painting, I wet down the sandstone lightly with a garden hose and got to work! Dip the brush in the mixture and basically play around with it. I found that using wide strokes (painting like a toddler) gave the effect I was going for. I wanted some of the brown rock to show through and I pulled it off. I could suggest starting in a less obvious place, until you get in a groove. Use your towels to clean up excess drips along your way.

The lime will go on grey, but then will dry white. If you hate it, you apparently have 5 days before it really sets in, so you can power wash it off. I used that time to power wash where I accidentally got paint on the wood. Ugh. I’m a sloppy painter.

I love how it turned out. It’s been up for a few months now and still looks great! Lime is good for the rock, good for the earth and a cheap alternative to paint. The entire house took us less than a week.


We still need to paint trim and our siding, and lime wash the chimney….but here’s our progress so far! Let me know if you have any other questions!

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