What is lime? (with photos)

Lime washing, a form of lime, can be used to finish furniture.

Lime is a form of paint made from a mixture of slaked lime, chalk, water, and a variety of other ingredients. It has been used for hundreds of years to paint various structures around the world and continues to be used in some regions. The main advantage of whitewashing is that it is very cheap, but it is also impermanent, forcing people to re-treat whitewashed structures frequently.

Lime can be used on fences.

You may also hear lime called calcimine or calsomine. Slaked lime is made by heating limestone to high temperatures, turning it into calcium oxide, and then adding water to the mixture to make calcium hydroxide. Typically, chalk is added as a whitener. The base materials have historically been mixed with a wide range of ingredients such as milk, ground rice, glue, egg whites, salt and flour, among others. To use lime, people simply painted over the surface that needed to be whitewashed.

Lime can be ideal for barn interiors.

As lime is exposed to carbon dioxide in the air, it cures, taking on a distinctive bright white color. When first applied, the lime may look quite thin; Patience is recommended as it hardens and becomes solid as it cures. Depending on what is added to the lime, the lime may tend to chip or run off in the rain; the addition of glue is often recommended for this reason as it helps to glue the lime together. Concealer glue flakes, available at craft and construction stores, are ideal for this purpose.

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A special form of lime, known as lime washing, is made with pure, unadulterated slaked lime. It can acquire an interesting shine due to the small calcite crystals that form as the lime cures. Lime washing is also sometimes used to finish furniture; tends to penetrate very well and produce a pleasant patina.

Lime is ideal for the interior of dark structures like barns because it can brighten the room and make it easier to see. It is also often used in homes to create a more reflective indoor environment, ensuring homes remain lit even in the winter months. Mark Twain fans may be aware that lime is also used in fences and, historically, walls as well. This material adheres to a wide variety of surfaces and is also possible to paint over it, although the painted design will peel off with lime wear.

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